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All Photos by Jon Pike
Matt Thompson, Margo Granfors, Herbie Robinson, Bryan Barstow, Seth Hoffsommer
All Photos by Jon Pike
Todd Crisafulli, Tommy Berlin, Margo Granfors, Herbie Robinson
drums, percussion & coffee cups
Seth Hoffsommer began his musical career at the age of four, singing with his family in gospel concerts at churches throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania until he was thirteen years old. He studied percussion with William Prieb (percussionist with the Buffalo Symphony), Chris White (music professor at Univ. of Maine, Orono), Alan Dawson (world-renowned jazz drummer formerly teaching at the Berklee School of Music), and Greg Caputo (Benny Goodman Big Band drummer). Seth has been playing drums professionally for a decade in a wide range of projects, including jazz and rock bands, church programs, and theatre productions in southern New England. He is active teaching percussion for the Wachusett Regional School district and has offered private instruction for 10 years. Special projects involve working with Lee Totten's drummer Chris Contantine and with Lee Totten's Real World band. Other engagements include playing drums in several musical productions with the theater group The Gateway Players and performing baritone vocals with Master Singers of Worcester.
Danny is an Assistant Professor at Berklee College and performs regularly with Calypso Hurricane. Danny has also performed with Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, James Cotton and James Montgomery.
lead guitar - Treasured Illusions and God in a Cup
trombone - Carnival of Years
Trombonist Mark Paquin began his performing career at age 17 in the jazz and rock clubs of Portsmouth, NH. While majoring in music at the University of New Hampshire he performed with the legendary seacoast groovecore band Fly Spinach Fly -- as well as performing with the UNH Wind Symphony and with jazz legends Louie Bellson, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Snooky Young, Joe Williams, Carl Fontana, Al Grey, Alan Dawson, Frank Foster, and Frank Wess.
His 3+ years with Fly Spinach Fly resulted in two albums, a management deal from New York City, innumerable club appearances all over the Northeast U.S., and opening gigs for such national acts as Fishbone, Cypress Hill, the Ramones, 7 Seconds, De La Soul, Queen Latifah and Boston's own Bim Skala Bim. It also opened up the seacoast music scene to Paquin, who regularly freelanced with such artists as T.J. Wheeler and the Smokers, Groovechild, Heavens to Murgatroid, Kristin Mueller Trio, Sonic Joyride, Matt Jensen, and Big Chicken.
After a year of freelancing following Fly Spinach Fly's breakup, Paquin was asked to audition for Boston ska legends Bim Skala Bim. A successful audition and three months of shows led to his becoming a member of the group. Bim recorded their latest album UNIVERSAL with Paquin and have since been touring in support of the album. Most recently Bim completed a two-and-a-half month tour with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The tour covered the entire continental U.S. with two dates in Canada.
In addition to playing with Bim Skala Bim, Mark Paquin is still an active freelancer (trombone, tenor sax) and studio musician, appearing with the Seacoast Big Band and the Bob Batchelder Big Band -- plus recording on nearly twenty albums.
background vocals - Mr. Tequila
lead guitar - Plastic Palms & Plastic Music
bass & vocals
Bryan Barstow began playing bass at age 14. He studied with Berkelee School of Music graduate Mark Respass (bassist for Mundo Mojo). He played upright bass with the Burncoat Senior High Orchestra, Worcester, MA., performing classical concerts throughout New England. Other professional engagements included appearances with Worcester area bands Tomb Diver and The Rancid Blues Trio. More recently, as the bassist with Towering Pretzels in the Boston metro area, Bryan continues to study music theory, keys, and bass while working on his own project, Tri-Fusion.
Bass and Vocals
Todd, a native of Natick Mass., discovered a passion for the bass in 1990 and shortly thereafter formed his first band, appropriately named Not Yet. After moving to Colorado in 1993, Todd and new acquaintance Bryan Jesse formed Area 39, a four-piece blues-rock band which performed throughout the Rocky Mountain region, opening for national acts such as The Greg Allman Band, The Radiators, Anders Osborne, and Soul Coughing. As part of this circuit, Todd had the chance to make connections with many musicians, most notably appearing as a guest bassist with artist Kevin Kinny (of Drivin' 'n' Cry'n). Now a member of Towering Pretzels, Todd's songwriting talents range from introspective ballads to drivin' rock. Musical influences include the classic rock of The Allman Brothers, Cream, and Frank Zappa to the funky grooves of bands like the The Meters and Parliament of Funk.
Drums, Percussion and Vocals
Tommy has played drums professionally since 1982, first with the local cover band Fandango and later with progressive rock bands in Germany. In 1990, he spent a year in Vienna, studying drum styles and techniques before moving to Detroit. He joined a popular local band The Civilians, appearing on festival programs with national acts such as The Smithereens, Joan Jett, Robby Krieger (of the Doors), Honeymoon Suite, Prong (from NYC), Steppenwolf, and Foghat. Building other contacts in the Michigan rock scene, Tommy worked with several rock and funk bands, including the humorously named band KMA. His ongoing interest in musical training brought him to Boston in 1996 to study at the Berklee School of Music. As a member of the Towering Pretzels, Tommy continues his studies while adding his own blend of versatility and precision to their sound.
drums, percussion & vocals
lead guitar & vocals
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