Show Time: 7:30pm
$12 pp online prepaid tickets
$15 pp at door
$7 pp food/drink minimum
Stella Crispo – Piano/Vocals
Joe Colucci – Guitar
Nick Attila – Violin
Tony Ventura – Bass
Mike Baranello – Drums
Stella Crispo was raised in an eclectic musical family with classical roots on one side and pop on the other. She grew up listening to everything from Mozart to Queen and has been determined ever since to ‘do it all,’ singing in the footsteps of her idol and greatest influence, Linda Ronstadt. One of Stella’s many projects, ‘Heart Like A Wheel,’ is a tribute to Ronstadt and emphasizes her early pop/rock/country music. HLAW’s first show at B.B. King’s in Manhattan was a huge success. Stella has been a sought-after singer and pianist for many years. Her versatility has allowed her to make an impression as both a musician and songwriter. She graduated from Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division in NY, attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton and completed her undergraduate degree in Classical Voice at William Paterson University in NJ. Her career has taken her from performing in high-profile bands to recording jingles to appearing in off-Broadway’s ‘Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding.’ Stella has also been heard at Newark, NJ’s Performing Arts Center several times, most recently invited to give a pre-show concert for Liza Minnelli. Being bilingual, Stella is also a staple on the Italian American circuit. She has appeared in concert at many Italian events throughout the New York City area, and opened up for comedian and actor Pat Cooper and Italian favorite Julius LaRosa. As a songwriter, Stella has an open door to present songs to Grammy award winning artist, Laura Pausini.
Songwriting began at an early age when Stella wrote her first song, ‘Come Sail Away With Me,’ with a middle school friend. She continued writing throughout high school and college. Invited by an agent in Brescia, Italy to participate in the Sanremo Music Festival, Stella received rave reviews for the performance of one of her original songs ‘Dream Come True’ that took her through the many rounds of the festival, landing her among the top remaining contestants. One of her other tracks from the same album, ‘Finally,’ has been frequently used as a wedding song. In 2010, Stella was asked by international artist Philippe Valy to write the anthem for ‘My Last Butt,’ a new anti-smoking campaign. ‘Day After Day’ was completed shortly after. Many songs later, Stella’s library includes ‘Show Me,’ a song inspired by her son and ‘The Best Christmas,’ released in 2016 and dedicated to those in the armed forces who were able to be home for Christmas.
Currently, Stella performs as a soloist on Wednesdays and every other Friday at the elegant Calandra’s Mediterranean Grill in the Hampton Inn on Route 46 in Fairfield, NJ. She is also a member of ‘Best Day Ever,’ a hot R&B band and recently performed the National Anthem at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
Stella’s talent, heart, drive and dedication are what have touched her audiences until now and what will continue to attract audiences in her future.
Tony Ventura (Electric and Upright Bass) has a BA in Music from City College of New York (Ron Carter). Some of his Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include RENT, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, PIRATE QUEEN, TONY AND TINA’S WEDDING and MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL. He has been seen on the SOPRANOS playing bass beside Nancy Sinatra and in the Disney movie ENCHANTED. Other film credits include LIPSTICK JUNGLE, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, DAMAGES and MAD MEN. Tony has worked with numerous singers including Lou Christie, Mel Carter, Darlene Love, Jay and the Americans, Nelson Brothers, Bobby Rydell, The Drifters, The Tokens and Shirley Austin Reeves. He has worked with jazz guitarist Melvin Sparks, Shinobu Ito and jazz saxophonist Junior Cook. He is a busy freelancer in the jazz, blues, and R&B circuit in the NYC/NJ area.
Matt Baranello is a drummer and percussionist much in demand for the energy, taste, musicianship, versatility, and knowledge that he brings to every musical situation. Matt is equally fluent in Jazz, Afro-Latin, and American popular styles. While drum set is Matt’s main focus and passion, he also plays Bata, Congas, and Timbales. He has shared the stage with numerous Jazz, R&B, Afro-Carribean legends. Matt has been the drummer for Ensemble Uniqua, Piltdown Man, and Bryan Vargas and ¡Ya Esta!. He has performed live and/or recorded with Max “the Sax” Lucas, Alyson Williams, The Flamingos, Eartha Kitt, The Drifters, Stella Crispo, Ronny Jordan, Kema Jamal, Benoir, Tim Berne, Eric Johnson, Jimmy McGriff, Fred McFarlane, Carlos ” Go-Go” Gomez, Seleno Clarke, and many, many others. In addition, Matt has toured the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Germany with various musical groups. He can be heard on countless recordings featuring a wide variety of musical styles such as Jazz, Heavy Metal, Afro-Cuban folkloric, Afro-Latino Soul, R&B, Hop-Hop, Rock, Folk, and everything in between! Currently, Matt is a member of Coincidence Machine , The Nate Lucas All-Stars, Los Forajidos, and leads various ensembles of his own. Matt is currently signed to AJB Productions.
Nick Attila is a virtuoso violinist with an extensive performance background, who has performed as violin and guitar soloist with several symphony orchestras. He is a multi – genre artist with the capability of playing multiple instruments. Violin, Viola, Guitar and Electric Bass are my primary instruments, but… has also been know to dabble with many more in the recording studio. Song writing and recording are one of the his favorite things to do, not to mention being the soloist in front of a large symphony orchestra.
Benny Harrison (piano) is a New York-based singer, songwriter, producer and keyboardist who has worked with Joe Bonna Mossa, Hiram Bullock, Tommy James, members of Living Color, Buck Dharma from Blue Oyster Cult, Carmine Appice from Rod Stewart and Vanilla Fudge, Gene Cornish and Eddie Brigati from the Rascals, Oscar Hernandez from the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Flava Flav and Kristin Chenoweth.
Joe Colucci (guitar) was born in Hoboken, NJ to parents who are avid music lovers with eclectic tastes ranging from traditional Italian love songs to down and dirty rock ‘n roll. Before the age of 10, Joe and his family had relocated from the United States to Europe and back again several times. The gypsy life and love of music would serve him well in years to come. At the age of 15, Joe found himself in his first professional band playing guitar and piano with a classic country band. Having played music throughout high school and college, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that Joe became serious about music and started coming into his own. As his eclectic taste for exotic places and music merged, Joe has been involved in projects ranging from a Bossa Nova Trio in Brasil to having his own Johnny Cash Tribute Band. When Stella asked him to join and back her up on guitar, Joe jumped at the chance to work with her and the other members of the band with whom he has performed and recorded for many years.