by Joe Nunziata
A talented group of Pelham Memorial High School student musicians recently formed their own band called Backwater Groove, and they’re already making their music matter! On Sunday, October 20th from 4 to 7pm at the Pelham Country Club, the band will be volunteering its time and talent to help the Rotary Club of the Pelhams Tastings XV Fundraiser.
This additional feature of the popular annual event was the idea of Rotary’s current President Marty Ketels, and longtime drummer himself, ”One of the core values of the Rotary is fostering volunteerism…especially at a young age. We are so very proud of these thoughtful students to step forward to volunteer their musical talents and add to the excitement and success of our annual fundraiser.”
Here’s some background on the Backwater Groove: Guitarist Shep Solimine has only been playing guitar for four years but plays with maturity beyond his years. Versatile with all types of music, he prefers indie rock…and the challenge of comping for the combo (playing background chords for accompaniment).
Bassist Lucas Matos has been playing the bass for 9 years, enjoying the genres of fusion and metal and jazz standards.He recently participated in a 5-week summer program at Boston’s Berklee School of Music.
Saxophonist Stephen Tahbaz has been playing jazz since 4th grade. A section leader in the school’s Jazz Ensemble, he also loves playing the guitar and the drums.
Drummer Jack Denison was first noticed by Rotary President Marty Ketels a few years ago at the Huguenot Church Cabaret, where Jack “took on” Marty - drummer for the Pelham Jazz Ensemble and the Third Sunday Band - in a Drum Dual. As Marty put it, “He ran circles around me with his speed and finesse.”
Piano Player Max Cuomo started playing the keys in 2nd grade.He attended the Litchfield Jazz Camp for 3 summers. In the first year of the PMHS Jazz Band, Max is looking forward to the exciting Rotary event.
So Save the Date for Tastings XV “gastronomical FUN-raiser” on Sunday October 20th from 4 to 7pm at the Pelham Country Club to celebrate 2019 Honoree Peter DiPaola, and acknowledge “the future volunteers” of benevolent and talented students.
For more information about Rotary Club of the Pelhams, visit pelhamrotary.com