Live music is the heartbeat of any party – it sets the rhythm of the evening and the flow of conversation, creates memories out of great songs, and jump-starts the celebration with ecstatic dancing.
Playing all types of events, the Party Faithful features three versatile and dynamic vocalists and is propelled by two sizzling horns, an unstoppable rhythm section made up of guitar, keys, bass, and drums, and a distinctive electric violin. Together, this all-star ensemble rides a tidal wave of rock and rhythm, creates a dazzling stage show in the process, and entices each audience with a musical energy unique to our productions.
Customization is a cornerstone of every Party Faithful performance, as they work closely with each client to create a unique song list and performance concept that results in a one-of-a-kind show that keeps the dance floor full.
Meleesa is a Chicago native whose love and appreciation of music began at an early age, continued in her studies at DePaul University School of Music, and has led to a career that has crossed musical genres and taken her around the country. A vocalist who has performed classical, jazz, rock, pop, reggae and more, Meleesa’s influences range from Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder to Sarah McLachlan and Annie Lennox. Among the highlights of her career is sharing the stage with Patti LaBelle and the Pointer Sisters, and recently singing background vocals for R&B artist Seal on a live taping of Soundstage.
Born in Milwaukee, WI, Ameerah started singing publicly at the age of 10. Her outsized talent as both a lead and a background singer brought her nationwide recognition, and led to world tours with Alexander O’Neal, Sheena Easton, Janet Jackson (Janet Tour), and multiple stints with Paula Abdul (Club MTV, Forever Your Girl, Under My Spell). She also worked with The Brand New Heavies, eventually stepping in when lead vocalist N’Dea Davenport left the tour. After giving birth to her first child, Ameerah returned to Milwaukee where she quickly became a valued and sought after member of the local music community for original projects, special events and large festivals. She moved to Chicago in 2010 to pursue new opportunities, and we’re honored to perform with her on a regular basis.
A musician well-versed in Folk, Balkan, Jazz, Blues, and Rock styles, Pat has showcased his artistic range as a member of two of Chicago’s most avant garde bands, D-Section and The Balkan Rhythm Band. Pat also toured the country with The Fareed Haque Quartet, an ensemble that opened for Sting at Switzerland’s famous Montreaux Jazz Festival. As lead guitarist for Mother Root, a band that serves up a hearty mix of original rock, he has opened for such rock luminaries as Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited. He was one of four live musicians performing for “The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” a musical written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp. Pat is currently performing and recording with Howard Levy’s Acoustic Express Quartet, a group that often appeared with legendary jazz violinist Johnny Frigo. Pat is also a producer and composer of high regard.
A keyboard man with a style all his own, Carter moved to Chicago 20 years ago to work with well-known orchestra leader Les DeMerle. Today, Carter plays with singer/songwriter Tom Fuller as well as GLM. He is also a teacher at the Maywood Fine Arts Association (MFAA), a not-for-profit organization that offers affordable fine arts education to young students in need. Along with its partner organization, Stairway of The Stars dance studio, the MFAA works with approximately 1,200 kids a week. Besides nurturing the musical skills of these students, Carter directs the audio production for the dance studio. This work ranges from providing full orchestration for dance shows to recording narration for the organization’s “Books Alive” program. Through “Books Alive,” the studio selects a children’s book, records a narration of the book, and then puts it to music. The students then perform this production at other area schools where students are truly starving for fine arts education.
An eclectic modern bassist who spent his formative years in Colorado playing violin, guitar, piano, and basses, Geoffrey relocated to Chicago to work with a wider variety of players and composers. Since then, he has toured Europe with both jazz and classical groups, has performed with artists that range from Monty Alexander and David Fathead Newman to Clark Terry and Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and has appeared on recordings alongside David Sanborn, Fareed Haque, and Paul Wertico, just to name a few. Some of Geoff’s musical highlights include performances at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the Park Tower Blues Festival in Japan, and the Spoletto Music Festival in Italy.
Possessing an energetic rhythmic feel and formidable melodic and harmonic insight as a saxophonist, Scott has been a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene since 1998. Frequently performing in Chicago with the likes of Von Freeman, Kurt Elling, and others, he has also played alongside international jazz artists such as Clark Terry, Lou Rawls, and Harry Connick Jr. As a member of the jazz/blues/soul infused band the Mighty Blue Kings, Scott has performed at venues and festivals across the nation. His latest CD of original compositions for Origin Records, Passages, has received critical acclaim. Also a dedicated teacher of music, Scott has worked with students in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute program at Gallery 37, the Northwestern University High School Music Institute, and the Near North Montessori School as well as with students of several colleges and universities in Chicago and the Midwest.
Brian Schwab was performing professionally well before he attended the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. But it was at this distinguished school that he became keenly interested in the recording arts. A quick study on everything from four tracks to DAT, ADATs and Tascam machines, Brian opened his first music studio in 1996. At the same time, he was making a name as a strong trumpet player in Cincinnati—he played with The Drifters, Herman’s Hermits, Patti Page, Frankie Valli, The Temptations, and more.
After launching and then selling a mobile recording business, Brian moved to Chicago in search of new opportunities in 1999. In the summer of 2000 he toured with Don Henley of the Eagles and in the fall played in Chicago Broadway shows “Cinderella” and Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.” With an ongoing parade of new and exciting projects and the move to a digital ProTools environment, Brian more than kept up with recording industry standards. With this studio and his more recent leadership at GLM, Brian has continued to enrich and hone his many musical skills. A tracking and mixing engineer, a specialist in music preparation for a wide range of digital media, and an expert in Finale and Sibelius music notation software, Brian is an in-demand copyist, arranger, and performer in Chicago and beyond.
For more than a decade, Colby Beserra’s broad experience in both music and theater has ranged from performance, production, and composition to direction and education.
He recently sang backup vocals for country singer Faith Hill for a Soundstage performance which aired December 2008 on PBS. As a composer, he wrote the lyrics for “Lovely,” a song he lent vocals to on a version that was featured in the movie The Guardian (starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher). With engineer Brian Schwab, Colby is the creator of and Music Director for WBEZ radio’s “Under Cover” series, a co-production with Chicago Public Radio. Since 2001, he has served as Music Director for the Albany Park Theater Project (APTP), a nationally renowned, community-based youth theater company that creates original theater based on true stories from Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. Colby served as the Music Director for the world premiere of Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back at Adventure Stage Chicago in the spring of 2009.
A graduate of Northwestern University’s theater school, Colby was the first Director of the Vittum Theater (now known as Adventure Stage Chicago). In his more than five years at the Vittum, Colby helped lay a foundation of high-quality theater and arts programming catering to the students and teachers of Chicago’s schools. In 2007, the company was named “Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company” by The American Alliance for Theatre and Education. In other theater work, Colby wrote, produced, and performed the score for The Jenkins Farm Project, a dance installation created by his wife Annie Beserra. He was the Music Director, one of three composers, and played the part of Oberon in Striding Lion InterArts Workshop’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (called Ill Met By Moonlight) in 2004. He also served as Co-Music Director, actor, and singer in the Frank Zappa-inspired piece Billy The Mountain and Other Wartime Stories in Chicago and at the New York International Fringe Festival. A two-time grant recipient from the American Composers Forum, Colby has produced and performed original music on projects for many talented artists. He has contributed original music to Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign website. Selections from Colby’s self-titled album and Jukebox Saloon, a collaboration with pianist Dan Lipton, can be heard at www.greatlifemusic.com and www.jukeboxsaloon.com..
Vance Okraszewski is a freelance Chicago based drummer and percussionist. Since 1998 he has made a living playing music in a wide variety of settings, ranging from commercial studio work, cover bands, musical theatre and pit orchestra work, jazz projects and original rock groups, to orchestral percussion performance and accompaniment for modern dance.
As a drum set artist, he has toured nationally with Lynda Carter, Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band, Lucy Lawless, Don Rickles, Jon Bauman, Justin Guarini, Diana DiGarmo, Kimberley Locke, Constantine Maroulis and Michael Orland, the assistant musical director for American Idol. As a theatre musician, he has played drums and percussion on the following shows: Chicago, Saturday Night Fever, Rock of Ages, Million Dollar Quartet, Company, Madagascar, Oklahoma, Boys From Syracuse, City of Angels, The Producers, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Ring of Fire.
As a percussionist, Vance has performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, CUBE and the Evanston Symphony Orchestra. As a marimba soloist, he has done three full length solo recitals, the most recent as a guest artist at Northern Michigan University. He performed the world premiere of Without Hands in 2003, an original composition for solo marimba written for him by LA based composer Keith Horn, and in 2008 was featured as a marimba soloist with the DePaul University Percussion Ensemble on the Michael Burritt piece Shadowchasers. In addition, Vance is available to play marimba for wedding ceremonies and other private functions in the Chicago area.
In the recording studio, Vance has played on numerous albums and demos for various Chicago artists.
As a composer, he has done numerous sound scores for modern dance. Currently, Vance accompanies modern dance classes at Columbia College and Northwestern University.
As an educator, Vance currently teaches privately at Near North Montessori as well as out of his home studio on both drums and percussion.
“Violinist Katherine Andrick has strong roots in classical music, but fell in love with improvisation during her time at Elmhurst College, just outside of Chicago. There, Katherine was fortunate enough to study jazz and classical under former Cirque du Soleil violinist Edgar Gabriel, jazz improv on violin/guitar under prominent Chicago guitarist Frank Portolese, and jazz composition/arranging under renowned jazz arranger, Doug Beach.
Katherine has now performed internationally, as well as all over the U.S. in a variety of ensembles, including ones based in country, zydeco, blues, rock, jazz, classical, and fusion. In Chicago she spends her time doing recording sessions and playing in many of the top venues of the city. Her playing has been featured in commercials, as well as television shows in the U.S.
As a frontman, Katherine’s ensembles give their own unique take on the compositions of the likes of Jean Luc Ponty, Zbigniew Seifert, and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, as well as originals. Among other projects, she has arranged and scored all of The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s album, Inner Mounting Flame, as well as arranged Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” for string quintet. Katherine is also an active educator, frequently working as a clinician, guest artist, and adjudicator.”