Lance Buller and the Monarchs
Press and Bio
This last year the Monarchs new CD "Hipsters' Paradise" has found a smash hit radio and internet single "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" - featuring the vocals of Lance and oft-vocal sidekick Stephanie Porter, along with the whole groovin' sound of the Monarchs and an arrangement by Bob Hammer (pianist/arranger of Charles Mingus alumn)! They have been an all-star hit for several years at many Jazz Festivals and Parties around the country, whooping up the crowd into a party, swingin' down the walls, and selling out CDs like mad, and once again garnering invitations for return performances. Their previous CDs include "It's Party Time", also on Pony Boy Records.
Formed in 1985 by trumpet powerhouse Lance Buller, The Monarchs are a unique combination of journied jazzmen and young lions. Always striving for the tightness and flow of a show, they start and end with the spontaneity and drive of a jam session. They quickly became a group much in demand at jazz clubs and festivals. Performing all the standards plus original compositions, The Monarchs carry on the tradition of New Orleans with a flair that is jazz today. The latest jewels in their crown include a standing-room performance at the famed Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and of course their newest sell-out Enhanced CD,It's Party Time, on Pony Boy Records!
Lance Buller - Trumpet,Vocals
Born in Toronto, Canada, Lance moved to Los Angeles at the age of 7 so he could be near his parents! His first love was trumpet at the age of 13. His second love was a girl named Vikki, but that's another story. He paid more attention to the trumpet than Vikki and was named "most outstanding musician" in high school. In college he started playing with the top rock, jazz and latin groups in L.A. He was solo chair with The Holywood Bowl Production Band under the direction of such noteable leaders as Gordon Jenkins Jr., Mercer Elington, Dave Grusen and Henry Mancini. He joined the A.F.of M. at the age of 20 and almost immediately hit Vegas working the Dunes and Aladin Casinos. He worked with Little Anthony, Bob Marley and at 24 began a long asssociation with The Beach Boys which included 5 albums and tours to Europe, Australia and the U.S. His recording career, which began in 1974, includes 21 albums, including 4 with his own band, The Monarchs. His constant live performances and touring often find him featured with show-biz great Big Tiny Little, Igor's Jazz Cowboys, or touring with The Monarchs. Lance himself sums it up best... "There is nothing like being up there with a hot band behind you and a great crowd to entertain. That's why I'm here!"
May - Saxophone, Clarinet, Vocals
Charlie is master of every style and a showman supreme! A native son of New Orleans, Charlie cut his musical teeth on Bourbon Street. His father was a good friend of Louis Armstrong - and Charlie counts one of his first musical experiences as sitting on Louis' knee as a youngster! He gained early national exposure on The Colgate Comedy Hour at the age of 16. He has played with both Al Hirt and Pete Fountain as well as having his own band for many years in Las Vegas Showrooms and Playboy Clubs around the world. There's only one Charlie May and he is the reigning "King" of Port Angeles, WA. "Take It, Charlie!" His new CD "Relaxing with Charlie May" is a treat, check it out!
Aleshire - Trombone, Vocals
Born, raised, and still living in Tacoma, WA., Gary has been a mainstay of the Pacific Northwest jazz scene for over 35 years! He has appeared at numerous jazz festivals in both the United States and Canada as both a band leader and as an all star with many groups. His trombone has a big, warm "tailgate" sound, and his vocals a believable 'guy next door' quality. It's a little Jack Teagarden, a little Abe Lincoln, but it's all Gary Aleshire. His personality matches his playing....warm, friendly and smooth.
Perciful - Piano
Jack hails from that fabled city of intrigue... Moscow... Idaho. Not Russia! After a short trip to Los Angeles, Jack cracked the big time by moving to Las Vegas, where he got "the call" from Harry James! Jack spent 20 years with the legendary trumpeter's famous big band. The rest as they say is history - He has worked and hung out with as many luminaries to fill volumes. Currently living in Olympia, WA., his reputation is still nation wide. Need a great piano man? Call Jack. The gentleman of jazz.
Holloway - Bass
Larry is one of those musicians who can do it all. Whether it's performing with The Seattle Symphony (alongside Joel Grey and Rita Moreno), big band (Tommy Dorsey with Buddy Morrow), small group (with Harold Land and Chet Baker), Steve Allen or with The Monarchs, this Kansas native takes to music like a duck to water. He is one of a very few bassists who "tunes in fifths", a technique inspired by the late, famed bassist Red Mitchell. Larry was recently awarded the first Red Mitchell Memorial Fund Scholarship at the Willamette University Jazz Festival in Salem, Oregon, where he performed several duets with legendary trumpeter, Clark Terry. Here's to Larry...a cat that's always in the groove and loving it.
Williamson - Drums and Whistles
Known for his good feeling swing, Greg spent his formative years in the "ghost" bands of Glenn Miller, Harry James and Woody Herman. After stirring it up in L.A., Greg returned to Seattle to work and travel with jazz great Ernestine Anderson, and touring re-creations of Steve Allen's Original Tonight Show with the Paul Smith Trio (of Ella Fistzgerald 'Mac the Knife' fame); as well as producing, recording, arranging; and leading his own sextet "The Big Bad Groove Society" - and of course doing what he loves best... playing drums. One of the busiest musicians on the Northwest jazz scene, Greg is always ready with a smile and a helping hand, and an inspiration to the musicians who are fortunate enough to work with him.