New England's premier tribute to the band, Chicago.
This is a hi-energy, explosive showband dedicated to covering the band's catalog that spans over 45 years. The audience will have "total access" to the music of Chicago.
Meet The Band
Multi-Instrumentalist + Vocals
Rob has been involved in music education for many years. He has been teaching percussion in southeastern MA since 1996. Rob launched a community percussion ensemble called “Mallet Maniacs.” He created this unique program as a grassroots effort to encourage percussionists from different schools to unite and play in an environment that is challenging and fun. Rob is a multi-instrumentalist and loves paying tribute to Peter Cetera and the amazing bass lines found in Chicago’s music
Ray Leonardo Sr.
Drums and Percussion
Ray is from a family of musicians. His Dad was a jazz drummer and Ray grew up listening to Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Miles Davis and many other jazz masters. Ray’s drumming is influenced by the great jazz drummers of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s era. He was also very influenced by The Beatles and Ringo. No surprise there. The most influential band that set Ray’s musical education in motion is Chicago, with the great Danny Seraphine and Terry Kath. Ray said, “Chicago was like listening to all of my favorite music played by one band. Everything that turned me on musically these guys could do and did!” Through almost 47 years of playing the drums, he has worked with a variety of performers. From wedding bands, rock trio’s, big band jazz groups and many ethnic groups. Ray still continues his drum studies today with Bruce Becker in L.A. Bruce is a disciple of the great Freddy Gruber. Rays philosophy is this “The growth of a musician never stops if he or she chooses that path, it is a constant journey of discovery and creativity.”
Guitar and Vocals
Ray grew up being influenced by his father’s drumming and musical interests, Chicago, in particular. “My most formative years included hours of musical bonding with my father in front of a record player and while in the car. These were critical moments in my life, although I did not know this at the time.” Ray took a liking to the electric guitar after hearing Terry Kath’s playing as a little kid. “I couldn’t stop listening to the guitar solo on 25 Or 6 To 4 as a kid. The wah pedal that kicks in toward the end blew my mind. How could something sound like that? It was crying or weeping of sorts. It was so cool!”
Kath’s ability to shred on the instrument was not the only impactful aspect of Chicago. “I love the horns. I have always had an affinity toward horn bands, and that all started with Chicago. Jimmy Pankow developed a unique approach to a 3-piece section by placing the trombone front and center, so to speak, his melodic and harmonic instincts are still magnificent.” As a history teacher by day, Ray is not lost on Chicago being a representation of American music and American history more generally. “I find it fascinating, though not surprising, that the city of Chicago was so musically fertile during the mid-20th-century. The southern gospel and blues came to the midwest with the migration of Black Americans up the Mississippi River and spawned Chicago blues, jazz, and rhythm & blues; all of this music greatly influenced the bands coming out of the city, not the least of which was the band who took its name!”
Marcus Jannitto has a minor in music from Barrington College and was trained as a classical French horn player, playing piano in various bands on the side to pay for college. After taking a 35-year break to serve in the Air National Guard, he is back playing for gas money for Chicago Total Access!
Drums and Percussion
Jim started playing the drums at age 11 and joined his first band at 13 years old. His early influences were Norman Garrett, Martin Goldstein and Tim Quinn – each, in their way, instilling a lifetime of passion and love for music. Jim appreciates all types of music and currently plays in the Ocean State Pops Orchestra. One of his early drumming influences was Chicago’s founding drummer Danny Seraphine and his unique style – fusing jazz and rock & roll drumming – which played a major roll in defining the Chicago ‘Rock & Roll with Horns’ sound! “I can’t believe how much fun I’m having played this amazing music!”
Steve has been playing in jazz and rock groups for years in the Providence RI area. He has also done many show bands where all of the reed instruments are called for. A huge fan of the original Chicago (Transit Authority), he has relished playing with CTA since its inception.
Art “Bubba” Aldrich
Besides playing in and eventually leading a very successful New England “wedding band” called The Coachmen, Bubba toured the East coast in the early “70’s” in a backup band backing state fair headliners for 2 years. Names like Pat Boone and family, Mac Davis, Lynn Anderson, and Roy Clarke were just a few! After a brief 30 year hiatus from playing, the Coachmen decided to have a reunion performance in 2014. Bubba got hooked again and has been playing ever since. Besides truly enjoying being with CTA, he does some freelance playing along with playing principal chair in the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble.