About Us

Tom Venable

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Tom Venable has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Performance and Education from:

The Manhattan School of Music.

He started playing drums professionally at the age of 12.

At 15 he was playing with members of the New York Tonight Show Band, Count Basie Band and Frank Sinatra Band.

He is a member of Local 802 (NYC) American Federation of Musicians and is actively working in the NY metro area specializing in studio, show and live performance.

Tom is the owner/operator of t.v. music recording and production co. a.k.a. HappyRock productions, in the Hudson Valley of N.Y.

Rich Syracuse

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RICH SYRACUSE- STRING BASSIST, ELECTRIC BASSIST, COMPOSER Rich Syracuse has been a mainstay on the New York area scene for more than three decades. While performing at an early age in New York City he was the winner of the prestigious Congress Of Strings Award. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Rich performed with The Group For Contemporary Music under the Conductor Charles Wournin and Harvey Solberger, The Hartford Ballet and the New Jersey Lyric Opera Co. During the early part of his career he performed in Jazz groups featuring pianists John Mehegan, Joey Calderazzo and Ted Rosenthal. After moving to New York State's Hudson Valley in the mid 1980's he began a long-standing stint in the Nick Brignola Quartet playing clubs, festivals, and recording sessions. Besides his years with Brignola, he has performed with Mose Allison, Kurt Elling, Dave Liebman, Brubeck Brothers, Warren Bernhardt, SumiTonoka, David Torn, Mike DeMicco, Peter Levin, Sam Morrison, Bernard Purdy, Vic Juris, Dave Stryker, Chuck Lamb, Jeff "Siege" Siegel, Dena DeRose, John Medeski, Michael Musilliami and Ali Demogli, Rich had been the bassist for Jazz pianist Lee Shaw for over 25 years until her passing.
 

Rich is Professor for String and Electric Bass Studies at Skidmore College in Saratoga, New York, Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut and Bass Professor and Ensemble Coach at The State University of New York at New Paltz. Rich is an Individual member of the International Association Schools of Jazz. Rich has toured throughout Europe, South America, and  


Peter O'Brien

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Peter O’Brien was born in Flushing, Queens, New York. The son of drummer Bill O’Brien, Peter began playing the drums as soon as he could sit up at the set, playing along with recordings of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and all the greats of jazz. Formal studies with his father began at the age of five.

           Peter attended St. Andrew Avellino grammar school and at age seven tried out for and was accepted into the school orchestra, which consisted of seventh and eighth graders. He then received a music scholarship from Power Memorial Academy High School. Peter studied privately with Charlie Perry from age 13 through 17. In 1976, at age16, Peter attended a drum clinic held by Charlie at Hofstra University. The last week of the clinic featured studies with Jack DeJohnette, whose interest in Peter led to recommendations to John Ambercrombie, Bill Connors and Miroslav Vitous. After graduating high school, Peter decided to forgo college and dove headfirst into the New York City jazz scene garnering the attention of drummers Jo Jones Jr., Al Foster, Jimmy Lovelace, and Michael Carvin (with whom Peter studied in 1978-79).

           After a period of sitting in at jam sessions and gigging around the city, Peter went on the road with various showbands touring the US. In 1982, he toured the US with Brother Jack McDuff and, from 1984-1985, performed all over the US and Canada with the Edgar Winter Band. The band featured the legendary singer Jerry LaCroix (original lead singer for White Trash) and is the only band to perform the jazz-inflected fusion material from Edgar’s first groundbreaking record “Entrance” (Epic), as well as his rock and blues music. During this time, Peter also performed several dates with Roy Buchanan, including a sold-out show at the Beacon Theatre with Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. From 1986-1987, Peter toured Europe with Mark McMillan (songwriter for Chaka Khan).

           In early 1988, Peter moved from NYC to Woodstock, New York, and soon began working with John Hall. In 1989, Peter became a member of Hall’s band Orleans (Still The One, Dance With Me). Peter has appeared on seven CD’s (four with Orleans, three with Hall), three tours of Japan (two with Orleans, one with Hall), and countless US tours and dates (including Woodstock ‘94) and was the subject of a feature article published in Modern Drummer’s Rhythm and News (Japan). Peter toured and recorded with Orleans through 2004. Peter also freelanced throughout this period and did other major tours with Dr. Lonnie Smith (Spain 1992), Rory Block (US and Europe 1996-7) and Tracy Nelson (US 1998).