Dan Navarro is a virtuosic bassist in Tampa Bay. In fact, he is my personal favorite bass player around. We talk about his musical upbringing and how he had such a high pedigree from a young age. When he discovered Geddy Lee he knew he’d caught the bass guitar bug. Once he started playing in the Tampa scene, word of mouth helped to propel him to the top tier gigs and he’s cemented his reputation as a consummate professional.
Willy Colon is an incredibly talented guitarist and a phenomenal entertainer. He’s well known in the local scene but he’s also played with national and international acts such as Coast City, Blanca, Yandel, and most recently, Luis Fonsi. We talk about how he’s living the dream that he’s had since he was a young musician. He also reveals how anxiety has crept into his life and how he’s learned to cope and recover from it. We also talk about how he’s looking ahead to developing new artists, starting with Casey Conroy.
Geo Ponce is a consummate musician and producer. His talent and skill have been bolstered by his work ethic, all of which have landed him on worldwide stages with reggeaton artist J. Balvin. We talk about his upbringing, his musical influences, and surprises he encountered on the road. You can follow Geo on Instagram and keep up with his work in Orlando, LA, and abroad.
Justino is a talented guitarist and singer, but he considers himself, primarily, as a songwriter. It shows in his total approach to music. He’s one of the hardest working musicians in Florida so he definitely knows about the grind. His focus right now is his original band, Anthill Cinema. “Creativity Over Everything” isn’t just a catchy mantra. It’s saved him from some darkness, and now fuels his art.
Alfred Sheppard is an accomplished pianist, composer, arranger, and music director. Most recently he’s been playing with Mandy Harvey. Serving as her musical director, he’s been able to tour the US, write for pops orchestras, and play her music in all kinds of venues. Now he’s moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of composing and scoring for films. Hear how he talks about him “cheating on jazz”, surprise Scientology gigs, and his rendition of our theme song.z
Jonathan Thomas is an exceptional drummer in the Tampa Bay area. From an early age, he’s been playing with most of the heavy-hitters in the Tampa music scene and he continues to do so. He rose to a national level with the band Ascend the Hill. Hear how he started out paying his dues, and he’s continuously working on his craft.
Matt Poynter is an accomplished drummer who actually started out on piano. He discovered his gift at a young age and has been musically active for most of his life. Now he’s part of a band called “The Hip Abduction.” Their star has been rising and they’re playing national stages like Jannus live, and Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Here we talk about how he got started, and how he balances touring with working at home.
He was given the moniker, Giambi, in the studio. Now, after working his way up this is how he’s known in the industry. Giambi has worked with acts like Dead Prez, Nappy Roots, Big Pun and Sean Price and his story is the quintessential networking and hard work story.
Follow him on social media, and reach out to him if you’re in NYC.
Jaymee Granell is a bassist, band-leader, and songwriter here in Tampa. He started out playing bass to simply join his friends in a band. Now he’s an in-demand sideman as well as a leader of several musical projects in the Tampa Bay area. This is the 2nd part of my conversation with him. To catch Jaymee’s backstory check out episode 6.
From Me To You
Melissa Petrescue is an up and coming pianist in the Tampa Bay area. Today I talk with her about growing up with a classical music background and how that applies to her current musical situation. She realized that music could be more than just a hobby, and is now successfully working full-time as a professional musician.
Lance Cox is a local drummer playing the wedding scene, Busch Gardens, and freelancing whenever he can. We talk about his story getting into music, why we might (or might not) need music school, and the benefit of listening to the whole group.
Follow him online:
Check out these groups he plays with:
Self-proclaimed cappuccino addict, Nathan Brown, is currently working with renowned blues artist, Coco Montoya. In this episode, we talk about life on tour, getting schooled in the blues, and his endorsements with Kiesel guitars and Tsunami cables. Growing up in Detroit prepared Nathan to provide a solid foundation for any group he’s playing in.
Bass Solo 1
Bass Solo 2
Erica DiCeglie is a singer/songwriter. Coming from a musical theater background, Erica is now writing her own songs and performing music her own way. Sometimes part of being a working musician is having multiple jobs at the same time. Erica is also an assistant music director at a local church, and this job lets her work on other aspects of her musical career.
Her album “My Blue” will be released in the first week of November and will be available on CD and all digital platforms. Look for news and show updates on her website and Instagram.
Bobby Brennan is a phenomenal bass player who has performed on several major national tours. He’s currently working on the Cirque du Soleil arena tour of “Corteo.” It’s evident that Bobby loves what he does, and that joy permeates his whole life. He’s also got a very inspirational story of drastic weight loss, and radical lifestyle change. You can follow his health & wellness journey, as well as his musical escapades on Instagram or on Facebook.
Bobby is a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen, so I had to reference one of The Boss’s tunes for the title of this episode.
Today’s guest is Mike Pinder. He’s a drummer, and music director based in Orlando and Tampa. In this episode, we talk about how Mike got started in music and his approach to his music career. He sums it up quite succinctly. “Don’t Be a Dick!” Listen to Mike explain this point of view.
You can find Mike online:
or working with his original band:
or in any of these groups, and more:
Jaymee Granell is a bassist, music director, and composer here in Tampa. He started out playing bass to simply join his friends in a band. While that first band didn’t quite get off the ground, he quickly found himself writing and recording songs with a high profile celebrity. In this conversation, we talk about the successes and struggles he encountered while dealing with the music industry, all on his way to “making it.”
This is the first of two parts. In the second part, we’ll cover what Jaymee has been working on recently. In the meantime, you can catch up with him in real time with the links below.
From Me To You
Stephen Dornfeld is a pianist, arranger, music director, and educator in Florida. His mild-manner belies his profound musical knowledge and ability, but that depth is evident on stage and in recordings.
I talk to him in this episode about how he got started, how his formal education translated into a practical experience, and about overcoming and managing his Tourette Syndrome as a professional musician.
Joe Cosas is a pianist, composer, music director, educator, and studio owner/producer/engineer. Hailing from St Louis, Missouri, he’s now in Tampa working the wedding and corporate gig scene as well as building his studio clientele.
In this episode, we talk about what brought him to Tampa, how he built his network, how he handles the business side of music, and how he balances family life with work life. He seems to have his financial “ducks in a row” and has been able to navigate the crazy schedule that we musicians tend to have.
You can find Joe Cosas at these online places:
In this episode, I talk to Dave Hamar. He is a drummer, composer, teacher and he’s currently playing with rising star, Mandy Harvey.
We talk about getting started playing music, making the jump to be a professional, and even gear. See if you can catch the nerd references he throws out there. I actually really appreciate his gaming analogy!!! You’ll hear in this episode how great a story-teller he is. That’s likely why he’s such an interesting drummer to listen to and to play with. Be sure to listen all the way to the end.
You can find Dave online at these places.
This episode was recorded in April of 2017. Dave will be back for more.
Will Scecina is a working musician in Florida. Recently he’s been the touring guitarist for rising star, Mandy Harvey.
In this episode Will talks to me about how he got started playing, why he left NYC, and part of his life while on tour. He says he’s had two pivotal moments in his career; the decision to go full time, and the decision to not be stuck in one role. When he’s been honest with what he wants in life, the universe has responded in kind.
You can find Will and his band, Anyan Dévery, on Instagram and their websites.
This episode was recorded in June of 2017, so stay tuned for more conversations with Will.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a professional musician? Have you wondered what “a day in the life” is like? Well, that’s why I created this podcast.
My name is Tito and I’m a professional musician. I have a bunch of friends who are musicians. These are the real working pros that you may or may not have heard about yet. I’m going to be talking to them and asking them questions so that you get some insight into their lives.