has been singing for audiences (even if it was just her own family in the living
room) since 1st grade. She performed in a competitive vocal jazz group and in
musical theater productions throughout high school and college. Her favorite
role was the White Witch from Narnia because it allowed her to express her inner
Bee-otch. Grace has been performing in rock bands for the past 13 years and made
a CD, "Endgame," with an original hard-rock band called FOIL in the late
nineties. ESSEX was the one that stuck, though, and has been her musical home
for over 6 years, making her the longest-standing member of the current group.
Her claim to fame in the group is her ability to imitate the various artists and
genres that ESSEX performs from Joan Jett to Will I Am with the fidelity that
you would expect from a tribute performer.
Barbara began performing at
the age of 7 in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa. Sheís been onstage since
performing in traveling choirs and musicals throughout high school in Southern
California. Barbaraís favorite memory was playing Princess Winifred the
Woebegone in Once Upon a Mattress, a role originally played by Carol Burnett on
Broadway. Barbara moved to Northern California in 1997 to attend college. She
currently holds a Masterís Degree in Social Work and hopes to begin a Ph.D.
program within the next several years. Barbara has a love of jazz and soulful
ballads but will sing just about anything if the mood strikes. She's had the
opportunity to "try on" many other bands but feels sheís found a band family
with ESSEX. Barbara cites the bandís friendships offstage and their individual
talent as the basis for ESSEXís cohesiveness onstage.
was born a long time ago in a place far, far away...
called Kansa City, Mo.
But he moved to Southern California as soon as he
He grew up singing Cameo, Earth Wind and Fire and Prince
because he innately knew that it takes a real man to sing like a woman.
He studied at music Theory and Education at Azusa
Aaron has played keyboards and bass and sung in
various bands, churches, arenas and studios across the US, The Bahamas, Mexico
and Japan. He loves virtually every genre of music but home is a genre he likes
to call Rockspeljazzenbee. (His own brand of Rock, Gospel, Jazz and R&B.) His
five favorite male vocalists are Fred Hammond, BeBe and Marvin Winans, Richard
Page and Michael McDonald. Aaron claims there are only three songs: Fast, slow
and medium...the rest is all arrangement.
Don has been playing guitar for nearly 25 years working as a steady
musician for the last 15. After hearing the likes of Hendrix, Zeppelin, AC/DC,
and Pink Floyd he knew right away that the guitar and music would play a very
important roll in his life. He gained his performance experience playing on the
cover band circuits in the South Bay Area and gained studio and recording
experience by writing and recording a full length album entitled, Better Late
Than Never. He is just as happy jamming with people and having inspired
creativity as well as playing those good olí cover tunes that seem to hold time
for some people. Having played with many musicians Don feels fortunate to be
playing with such wonderful people and talent that make up
Krista was born and raised in the
small town of Sonora, CA. She began
playing piano when she was 8
years old, and has been performing in
various bands of all
genres since the age of 15. In high school, she
played piano for
jazz band and jazz choir, and also served as drum
major for the
marching band. During the past five years, she has been
regular performer with the Columbia College "Kicks" Big Band, rock
and soul band Chains Required, jazz quintet Rod Harris & Company, and
also as a solo singer/songwriter. Krista is a recent
graduate of Sacramento State University, where she completed her B.M.
in Jazz Studies, and is currently working toward her M.M. in Jazz
Studies at CSUS.
John Gonzales is the newest addition to
Essex. Originally from Wyoming, he moved to California in 1988 to pursue a
career in music. His father was a professional musician for many years so John
grew up around music. John started playing in his dadís Mexican/county rock/50ís
rock band when he was 12. In school he played in the jazz band and received
Outstanding Drum Solo awards at the Wyoming Jazz Festival 1985-1987 and
graduated with the prestigious Louis B. Armstrong Jazz Memorial award.
Our Sound & Lighting
don't leave home without him!
Our super duper fill-in keyboard player. One of the best
Mitch still graces us with his presence behind the kit
every once in a while.