Brooklyn born and raised singer/songwriter Eric Stuart has toured the country either on his own or with such rock legends as Peter Frampton, Ringo Starr, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He's also opened for such acts as Jethro Tull, Julian Cope, Hall and Oates, and Chicago.
His first full-length album, Curiosity, was released in 1996 on his own independent label, Widow's Peak Records, and was soon followed up in 1997 with Picture Perfect World (EP).
In the summer of 1997, Eric's classic rock & roll style was noticed by Ringo Starr who invited him to open The Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band Tour, featuring Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce (Cream), Gary Brooker (Procul Harum), and Simon Kirke (Bad Company). That exposure served as a springboard for Eric to open for the Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Paul Rodgers Tour that same summer.
Since then, Eric Stuart has been touring on a regular basis including two U.S. tours with Peter Frampton.
In 2000 Frampton later produced Eric's next album, Blue, Dressed In Black along with John Regan and Harvey Jay Goldberg.
Now living in Nashville, Eric's songwriting talents have given him the opportunity to begin co-writing with some of Nashville's finest songwriters. He looks forward to many more artistic collaborations in the future. Co-writing is a very interesting journey. Says Eric, "To bare one's creative soul with another is a very vulnerable thing but when there is mutual trust and creative energy in that room it can be an almost spiritual trip."
In 2004 Eric released the self-produced independent album Bombshellshocked on RevUp Records. In 2007, he released his next album entitled In The County Of Kings on Widow's Peak Records. Order your copy today at www.ericstuart.com.
Eric Stuart Band has just released the new CD 'Empty Frame Of Reference' 5/2009.
The versatility of violinist Maria Conti has allowed her to expand her musical career both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, having performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York City, as well as abroad in Venezuela with the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Ms. Conti is currently the Assistant Concertmaster of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, a position she obtained in 2004. She has served as acting Concertmaster for the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Maria subs regularly on Broadway in the Lion King.
The Times Herald Record called Ms. Conti’s rendition of Havanaise by Saint-Saens “ …a tour-de-force performance…, the soloist exhibited consummate control…” Maria enjoys the opportunity to perform concertos with orchestra, and this fall she was asked to perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the National Symphony of Peru.
In addition to her solo and orchestral engagements, Ms. Conti is a member of the Axis Quintet. “AXIS” is an ensemble that explores the possibilities of the conventional string quartet and guitar and has met with rave reviews for their “vibrant and memorable performances” (New York Concert Review). Maria is also a member of the Axis Duo (violin and guitar) and the Axis Trio (violin, cello and guitar), and new works have been dedicated to her. Of a recent chamber music concert in Austin, Texas, it was said: “…a combination of vivid programming and superb musicianship …Caballero and Conti brought plenty of panache to Piazzolla’s ‘L’Historia du Tango’…” (Austin American-Statesman).
A native of Westchester, Maria is co-president of the Westchester Musicians Guild and has a private violin studio in New Rochelle. Maria performs for the Windham Chamber Music Festival in Windham, NY, and she has been a soloist in the Hudson Valley Bach Fest on multiple occasions. Maria also enjoys playing non-classical music and has recorded for numerous artists as well as releasing a CD of original songs with her folk rock band “Fearless Juan”
Maria's classical training along with her passionate playing are a wonderful addition to ESB.
Bryan plays drums...really well!...(bio is on the way!)
Born and raised in Hawthorne New Jersey ( Deborah Harry of Blondie's hometown!) Jenna showed an interest in music at an early age. Her father was one of the original members of the singing group The Happenings who had the hit "See You In September" . Her Uncle, Greg Hollenbeck is a professional drummer who has played with many well know rock and blues artists. When Jenna was in grade school, Greg would often let her 'sit in' and sing along with his various projects during their rehearsals. Even though she was just a young girl, she held her own and impressed many with the strength and control of her voice.
Jenna continued her passion for music at The American University in Washington D.C. where she studied voice and interned with the Washington Opera. Though most of the music she was studying was classical, she joined a few rock bands in her days at school (One with Eric Stuart!) and after. The vocal control from the formal training was the foundation but she had the pipes to sing rock and roll. Jenna includes such singers as Natalie Merchant, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos and Sarah McLaughlin as her influences.
In 1995, Jenna moved to New York City looking to join a band. She ran into Eric Stuart who was in the process of looking to add a female singer to his project. They had not seen each other in 10 years but fate had brought them together. Jenna joined the band and her vocal talents were featured on the Eric Stuart EP Picture Perfect World.
Jenna stayed with the band for another 2 years through 1997. When Stuart moved into a solo career she moved on to other projects while making live guest appearances with Stuart until she officially rejoined the Eric Stuart Band in 2002.
The strong, pure sound of Jenna's voice is an important color to the sound of the Eric Stuart Band.
Originally from Berkeley, CA, Kevin considers himself a true jack-of-all trades. Having played everything from guitar, banjo, trumpet, percussion, harmonica, and anything else he can acquire, he now finds himself playing piano/keyboards with ESB.
A talented songwriter in his own right, Kevin has spent the last 3 years fronting his own band and producing albums for other songwriters. He also continues to write music for short films and documentaries. He lists Billy Joel, Jim Croce, Steely Dan, Van Morrison, and John Lennon as some of his musicial influences.
Although classically trained in music composition and film scoring at UC Berkeley and UCLA, he has since jumped back into the pop/rock world as an artist, arranger and producer.
Kevin states: "It took me four years of writing classical music to realize that it didn't speak to my heart as much as a four chord Jim Croce tune."
In addition, to his music, Kevin performs as a voice over and on-camera actor in regional and national commercials. And, like any good keyboard player, Kevin is also true computer nerd!
Although he is a self-effacing musician (someone in this band has to be!) what Kevin brings to the band is a great mix of song-supportive parts and colors. His classical training gives us a good foundation to tap into to help make good rock songs great ones. We look forward to the new directions the addition of a talent such as Kevin will bring to the band.
Born and raised in New York City. Phil gives the credit for his musical talent to his mother who was a trained opera singer in her younger years. She had Broadway show tunes on the record player constantly and sang along all day to the likes of Richard Burton and Judy Garland. Once
his older brother Frank played the first Beatle records, he was hooked and wanted nothing more than to be a famous musician. Phil trained himself by ear at first, trying to play every song that came on the radio by picking out melodies on 1 string at a time. His 1st guitar was from Sears. "It had 3 bad sounding pickups, a cheesy flowery pick-guard and terrible action but it made for very strong fingers." He hasn't stopped playing since but luckily his guitars and amps have gotten quite a bit better.
Phil originally cut his teeth on artists like the aforementioned Beatles and then into fusion and Jazz Rock. Guitarists such as Steve Morse, David Gilmour, Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton have provided great influence on his playing. But when it comes down to good old pop songwriting, Phil would argue (and does quite often) that Paul McCartney is hard to beat. Phil studied privately for 2 years under the guidance of Irwin Stahl who was the Dean of the Westchester Conservatory of Music for many years. Phil credits Irwin for showing him the true meaning of discipline when it comes to studying music on a serious level.
Phil is no novice when it comes to recording and performing. He toured for 4 years with a number of internationally traveling show bands. He has live performance and recording experience with numerous New York based singer songwriters such as, Matt Kurzban and the Immoral Fibres, Vivian Prince and Pointe Blanque, Jennifer Levy Project, and Eddie Denise. Up until 1998, Phil spent 2 years on the road as he traveled and performed in the lead guitarist role for the legendary Ronnie Spector.
Phil's network of New York musicians led him to the Eric Stuart Band. As fate would have it, he originally played with Bryan Gardenour in a band called Svengali back in 1998 and the rest is history. "I'm so happy to have the opportunity to play with Eric. The songs are so well crafted and the band is amazing. It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to travel with a great band and I can't wait to hit the road with this one."
Phil's pop/rock background, his melodic sense, and his ability to add flavors and textures to the songs has made him a perfect addition to the Eric Stuart Band.
Mason has been involved in music one way or another most of his life. "My father played bass in a band and my mother was a singer when she was younger. Our house was always full of music. Some of my earliest memories are of dancing around the house to Sly and the Family Stone, the Allman Brothers, and the Beatles." He started taking piano lessons at the age of eight. In Jr. High he joined the band and played trombone. "I learned to read music early on and it's something that has helped me my entire life."He began playing bass guitar at fourteen when his father gave him his first bass. Some of his earliest influences were Barry Oakley, John Paul Jones, Gene Simmons and Michael Anthony. "I had been listening to rock and roll all my life and I knew exactly what it was I wanted to do.
Mason began traveling with bands when he was only 16 years old. "I got a taste for the road at a very early age and have been drawn to it ever since. It really is the life I love." He has opened for bands like: Foreigner, Kix, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, Nazareth, Live, John Popper, Spin Doctors with various musical projects of his own. He has also worked in the studio with producers Al Greenwood (Foreigner keyboardist), Michael Musmano (Tongue and Groove), John Regan and Harvey Jay Goldberg. He is a passionate songwriter and won 4th and 10th place in the Billboard Songwriters Contest 1n 1996.
Since joining the group in early 1998, Mason has become an integral part of the ERIC STUART BAND. From dynamic stage performer to acting tour manager on the bands first national tour, Mason has made his presence felt. As a player, Mason brings years of touring and recording experience that has helped to mold the rhythm section into a tight and cohesive unit.
It should come as no surprise how easily the members fit together in this band. "I remember when I first heard Eric's music, I knew immediately I wanted to be part of the band." Mason says, " but when we sat down and began talking about influences and our favorite bands and songs it became clear we needed to play together." Mason's ability to "play for the song" can be heard on the new ERIC STUART BAND CD, Blue, Dressed In Black. The precise rhythm patterns of 'Staring You In The Face' and 'Blue, Dressed In Black', and tasty lines in 'Raise A Little Hell' and 'Can't Get Enough Of It' help to show off the talents of Mason's bass playing. With a four octave vocal range, Mason made an immediate impact on what the band could do vocally both in the studio and live. Listening to 'Blue, Dressed In Black' and 'Rasie A Little Hell' you can really appreciate the way Eric and Mason's voices compliment each other.
When he is not playing music Mason enjoys playing sports. He was a star soccer player and even spent a short time playing with Tab Ramos at NCSU. "I've always enjoyed athletics and being outdoors. Whether it's water skiing, jogging, or just hangin' in the park with a Frisbee and a guitar." Mason is an avid reader of classic literature as well as contemporary fiction. He can be seen reading anything from Kafka or Homer to Elmore Leonard and Michael Crichton.
Mason's strong, supportive vocals and intelligent, melodic playing have created the foundation for the Eric Stuart Band.