Wayne Sulc - Producer, Saxophone

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The SaxMan!

"The SaxMan" Wayne Sulc is our featured perfomer and co produced the cd. Writing two of the songs, and arranging 12 of them. Wayne drove this project from inception to completion. Bringing the experience of 3 prior cd projects and years on the stage with local legends, Wayne's compulsion to present his intention was what made this project happen. Here's a taste of his back ground.

While many musicians can barely handle the demands of being in one band, Wayne Sulc (aka SaxMan) performs in four, with a new album "Heroes and Legends" release this year. At 18, Sulc started playing the saxophone in the D.C. area in a number of R&B and Top 40 bands. It was during this time that he met keyboardist Steve Long and percussionist Tim Cutrona. Perhaps because of the Friends different backgrounds, the band has gone through a number of reinventions, from funk and jazz to R&B and back to funk and jazz. "Mine is the old way of playing in bars and clubs. [Steve] is a bit more traditionally and classically trained," says Sulc. Now, more than 30 years later, Sulc and company have played with such musical artists as Muddy Waters, Sam & Dave, Eddie Money and Hootie and the Blowfish, and have been featured on local jazz station 105.9 FM. While the CD is modern Funk and Latin infused smooth jazz, it pays tribute to the musical heroes & legends of our past. On another note (and band), Sulc's love for salsa music goes back to his childhood in South and Central America (Panama), when he would sit outside the fences of bars and listen to the music coming from inside. But it was eight years ago, when Sulc met Pepe Rojas, that this salsa flame was rekindled and the two formed Esencia Tropical ("tropical essence").Read less...

Tommy Lepson - Vocals, Guitar

Tommy Lepson, The man with the pipes!

Tommy has contributed his voluminous voice and powerful B3 sound to expand our horizons and open up our audience.

Here is a piece of his back ground.

Tommy has appeared on shows with everyone from Chuck Berry, The Righteous Brothers, James Brown, Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Kinks, to Captain Beafheart, Little Feat, NRBQ, and also at the White House three times. Tommy has recorded and or performed with Danny Gatton, Nils Lofgren (E Street Band), Jeff ”Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Bros., Steely Dan) Duke Robillard, Kim Wilson, Tom Principato, The Nighthawks , Root Boy Slim and The Assassins (Jimmy Thackery). He has received numerous Washington Area Music awards, and in 2006 was inducted into the Wama Hall of Fame.This year. An evening with The Tommy Lepson , either live or on disc, is a musical journey that will rock you, move you with emotion, tickle your funny bone and make you shake your tail feather. So come on out and hear the voice that Little Feat’s Shawn Murphy calls ”one of the best”.

Urban Funk

A long detailed account. noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style. A medieval Icelandic or Norse prose narrative of achievements and events in the history of a personage, family. A nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.

The story of this Epic is certainly a Saga. What began as a plan to record some of our favorite artist has developed into a vision of a life’s journey, adventure and chronicle that we want to share with you. The Legends of our youth were icons. Their music shaped our development and continues to influence our world. The Hero’s who perform on this project were carefully chosen, and they did so at a high level. These artist all, took valuable time from their daily endeavors to contribute to this grateful project and we are forever indebted.

Influenced at an impressionable age, we were seized by the icons of our time as they took root as some of the most influential artist of all time. Their ability to synthesize the elements that went before them and transpose it into yet newer genre’s of music is what sets them apart and made them part of one of the most dynamic periods of musical history we may ever know.

Sacrifice, diligence, perseverance, challenge, triumph, tragedy and success are the hallmarks of many literary representations, the events leading to the culmination of the publishing of this compilation included all.

Thanks to the support of all of those who have been touched by this process including our family, friends and colleagues who without, we would not have accomplished all that we have.
This project was formulated through a single-track recording process. The number of tracks created, edited, deleted, modified, automated, mixed, and mastered have become a blur over the period of several years, and are certainly in the hundreds. Our intent to select the musicians, instrumentation and arrangement was to pay homage and elaborate on the creativity of our teachers, guru’s and masters of an art form we love. The original material is a culmination of the experiences performing, recording and representing the pulse of the era’s in which we participated. The talent of the artist, engineers and technicians who assisted us was a team effort which while not unique in this type of exercise was certainly significant and beyond the scope of what we originally requested and made this production what it is. The stories shared by our partners were from the history books of musical legend. The road trips, performances and studio contributions with the leaders of our industry were truly a marvel and created a sense of awe as we toiled through session after session and kept us going. When we thought we were there, we were not and many times tracks created far in the past would shine like diamonds in the sun to become the final detail that exceeded our greatest expectation. Have I said enough, not likely, I know there is more…..

Steve Long - Keyboards

Steve Long




Steve Long, keyboardist with Urban Funk is a New England Conservatory trained musician who has also studied with the great big band leader, Bill Potts. Working in the Washington metropolitan area for the last 25 years, Steve has performed clubs, venues and stages with some of the most well known local bands and musicians. Composing in the funk fusion style, Steve penned many of Urban Funks tunes, and is the featured arranger on “Heroes And Legends”.

Mike Davis - Bassist

Mike Davis




Bassist Mike Davis was raised outside of Chicago. His approach to bass was influenced initially by the gritty blues/rock oriented sounds of that area, which he brought out to Baltimore with him., Since relocating to Baltimore, Mike has been fortunate enough to play with some of the area’s best original-music bands, spanning the spectrum of metal, roots, R&B, and light jazz. Recording with these bands, Mike has appeared on more than a dozen releases, (Urban Funk, SaxMan & Friends, Naked Blue, Mutt, Common Bond, and others) some distributed internationally. Performances have featured numerous regional performances, tours of the entire East Coast and of Europe. These opportunities have included an opening spot for “Foreigner”, plus a featured spot on a national cable show. When not trying new approaches to music such as applying a fretless bass to metal music. Mike sometimes ventures out to sea to support ocean explorations conducted as part of his day gig.

Tim Cutrona - Percussion

Tim Cutrona



Since the birth of Go Go, percussionist Tim Cutrona has showcased his musical talents in the Washington, DC area. Currently performing with Urban Funk, Tim has been a sideman for many local groups including Junior Cline and The Recliners, The Grapefruit Kings, and SaxMan & Friends he has also played at a number of local clubs, such as Blues Alley, The Hamilton,  and  The Cats Eye Pub. Before joining Urban Funk, Tim performed with Passion, an R&B group from Atlantic City  , venues included the Trop World Casino and The Wonder Bar Club. Tim’s professional career began in Europe where he performed for military personnel throughout Western Europe. Returning to the states in the early 1970’s, Tim performed with a number of local R&B bands, including his favorite, “The Six Sense Band and Show”.

Gary Crockett - Drums/ Vocals

Gary Crockett – Drums/Vocals


Drummer Gary Crockett puts the FUNK into Urban Funk with a hard-hitting, deep groove honed, over many years of playing in a variety of musical situations. Grateful to work with a talented and diverse group of musicians such as this, he states "Making music with this group of players is a rare treat. I'm always looking forward to our shows."

Starting out on drums as a youngster in the Washington, DC suburb of Takoma Park, MD, and studying under the legendary and notorious DC jazz drummer Walter Salb, Gary had no idea what the life of a musician would entail. He began touring the southern US starting in the mid-70's through the mid 80's, soaking-up the laid-back culture and sweet, swampy sound of southern R&B, rock and soul, while playing and recording in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with the great Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, former Jackson Five and Mick Fleetwood's Zoo guitarist, Gregg Wright, through much of the 70's. Starting the early 1980's in Shreveport, LA, he moved on to become a founding member of Warner Brothers recording artists, Private Life, and become a short-term member of former Rod Stewart, Rick Derringer and Steppenwolf guitarist Danny Johnson's band, The Bandits. In that whirlwind of growth he shared stages with legends such as Bob Marley & the Wailers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dr. John, Levon Helm, Eddie Van Halen, Chuck Berry, The Neville Brothers, Dickie Betts & Great Southern, Freddie King and many others!  
Returning home to the Washington, DC area in 1984, and for nearly the last three decades, Gary has continued to be an in-demand live and recording drummer for many great musicians in the always vibrant DC concert and music club scene, while also performing for three US Presidents, twice at The White House! He has become involved in music production, producing CD's for singer/songwriter Marge Calhoun and guitarist Bobby Thompson, both featuring ex Gil-Scott Heron and current Warren Haynes (Allman Bros/Government Mule) sax player, Ron Holloway. Along with Urban Funk, he's currently found in venues with Urban Funk and WAMA award-winning vocalist and B3 organ whiz Tommy Lepson, legendary boogie-blues man Catfish Hodge, country artist Wil Gravatt, WAMA award-winning guitarist Dave Chappell, blues man Linwood Taylor and with Lepson and guitarist Thompson in a new rock-blues project, Blueheart Revival. 

Currently calling Fredericksburg, VA home, Gary can be found up and down the US east-coast, bringing the beat to those in need of a soulful, "Urban Funk" infusion!

Dave Chappell - Guitar

About Dave

Dave Chappell, a Washington, DC native, is one of the most sought after and respected musicians in the area.  For the last several years, he has won the Washington Area Music Awards(WAMMIES) for 'Musician of the Year', 'Rock Instrumentalist of the Year', and 'Roots Rock Instrumentalist of the Year'.

He has performed with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge, Johnny Johnson, and guitar wizard, Danny Gatton.
He can be heard frequently at area clubs such as JV's Restaurant, State Theater, the Birchmere, Bethesda Blues and Jazz, and Picadilly's Pub - performing with DC area favorites Tommy Lepson and Bruce Swaim.  And from time to time, Johnny Neel from the Allman Brother's Band and Gov't Mule.

Washington Area Music Awards

Musician of the Year
Roots Rock Instrumentalist

Roots Rock Instrumentalist
Roots Rock Instrumentalist
Roots Rock Instrumentalist
Roots Rock Instrumentalist
Roots Rock Instrumentalist
Roots Rock Instrumentalist

Musician of the Year
Roots Rock Instrumentalist

Musician of the Year
Rock Instrumentalist
Roots Rock Instrumentalist 
Children's Music Instrumentalist
Rock Group/Duo   (with Rhodes Tavern Troubadours)

Roots Rock Instrumentalist
Rock Instrumentalist

Rock Instrumentalist

 The Washington Post
Calls Dave a "guitar whiz"... and in an article about the Washington Area Music Awards  "The awards came so fast and furious for Chappell, he didn't even know he'd won five until somebody asked him if he was taking the rest of the year off to celebrate his haul."

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