John Hill - Lead Vocal & Percussion
John Hill Gary Brooks Joe Mass Kenneth "Kalah" Higginbotham Rick "Pepper" Holmes Suzann Christine David Kershner Stephen Cuffeld Walt Beier Aaron Walker
John began performing at the young age of 8 years old with his father bandleader Joe "Joey Daniels" Hill and his big band with local legends such as guitarist Franny Beecher from Bill Haley & The Comets, drummer Jack Pastorius father to the late great
Jaco Pastorius and other noted musicians.
John started out playing saxophone and studied jazz, big band and rock n roll through his childhood years
while being influenced by Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Chicago, Steely Dan and Earth Wind & Fire.
Singing became John's focus over the years and has performed with various entertainers including Jim Belushi, Wayne Newton, Jay Leno and other note worthy musicians.
Having such a wide range and love for various genre's John began to build the Dirty Dozen Dance Band with versatility and first rate musicianship to offer music that will touch all time periods.
Gary Brooks - Bass
Everybody's favorite sideman, a triple threat on keyboards,tenor sax and with the DDDB electric bass guitar. " I truly believe in laying down the groove. Nothing fancy here. I'm musically rooted in R&B and have performed with groups from the 50"s and 60's with United Group Harmony Association,and Harvey Brooks,Lester Chambers, Lonnie Mack along with a multitude of great musicians.
Rick “Pepper” Holmes - Drummer
Rick is a long-time resident of the Philadelphia area by way of Culpeper, Virginia and Coatesville, PA. Self-taught, Rick began playing drums at 9 years old. He had local success in his high school band, The Untouchables, opening for Kool and the Gang and Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds at Kutztown State College. In the 1980’s, after successfully touring the NE in the popular band High Energy, Rick played drums on the Blue Magic album, From Out of the Blue, for Columbia Records. Rick toured the world with Blue Magic for two years until he joined The Stylistics, and continued to tour the world. Rick shared the stage with The Chi-Lites, The Dramatics and Ray, Goodman and Brown and other top recording artists of that time. After leaving The Stylistics, Rick lived in Japan for a year until returning to the U.S.A to form his own original funk dance band, Groove Circus. With roots in soul, R&B, rock and funk music, Rick’s musical interests are diverse and he excels in playing many genres of music.
Some of Rick’s influences include: Buddy Miles, Peter Rivera, Clyde Stubblefield, John Bonham, Stuart Copeland, Dennis Chambers, Neal Peart.
Rick is well known among his fellow musicians for his impeccable pocket.
“My favorite style of music to play is dance music. I love to see the smiles on people’s faces when they are grooving on the dance floor!”
Joe Mass - Guitar & Vocal
Joe Mass, the Philadelphia born guitarist/multi-instrumentalist has a colorful history as one can see through this journey of his musical past.
Joe has worked with numerous artists including Bootsy Collins, Rick Derringer, Carlos Santana, Andy Timmons, Jon Bon Jovi, Lance Quinn, Skid Row, Patty Symth, and Chris Issak among others. In 2003 Joe also was featured in producer Tom Emmi's now fabled series Studio Jams. This episode featured Rod Morganstern and T. Lavitz along with another Philadelphia legend Eric Bazillian. Joe is also working on a solo acoustic record which features his vocal abilities as well his multi-instrumental talents. Joe also has dabbled in acting through the years appearing in the off Broadway smash Tony and Tina's Wedding and Rocky Horror.2011 had Joe recording at The Sanctuary in Redbank NJ. It is Jon Bon Jovi's private studio working with producer Obie O'Brian. "Music and Rhythm: The Only Thing In This Life That Is Infinite. . . I Love To Play".
Kenneth ‘Kalah’ Higginbotham
- Keyboard / Vocalist
Aaron Walker - Trombone & Vocals
Aaron began playing trombone and singing at the early age of 15. Hailing from Philadelphia the beginning of his music career started with New Day & Midnites Sun both local bands.
Once Aaron began showing he could play at the next level his illustrious talent landed him in the horn section with recording artist Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Ray Goodman & Brown, The Delfonics and the amazing Stephanie Mills. Aarons recording credits came with WMOT artist Sweet Thunder. Aaron currently plays with his own band Blue Soul and is a member of The Dirty Dozen Dance Band
Going back to the 70s, Walt Beier was the lead tenor saxophone in the Pitt Jazz Band that performed with Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry and at the Montreux Jazz Festival. At that time Walt was featured on a PBS TV special with Pittsburgh guitar legend Joe Negri.
During the 80s Walt performed with leading Vegas acts including Super Gold and Fantasy, touring nationwide and globally, with stops in South America, Europe and Canada.
One stop found Walt playing in the horn section backing up the late Johnny Winter in NYC. In the 90s Walt performed with successful club date groups in and around NYC. After taking time off to start a family, Walt joined Lanark recording artists The Blue Plate Specials in 2008.
Walt Beier - Saxophone
A native of Philadelphia; an artist, pianist, keyboardist, synthesist and an Emmy nominated producer he studied music at and graduated from
The University of Pennsylvania, earning his bachelors degree in Theatre Arts. His influences range from Oscar Peterson and Count Basie to
Herbie Hancock, Sting, Michael Jackson, The Beatles
and others. He has played for and performed with
artists such as Billy Paul, Dee Dee Sharp,
Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, The Intruders, the rock
group Hit The Ground Runnin’, Freddie Jackson,
The Ebonys and the legendary R&B group CHANGE.
He currently works with The Dirty Dozen Dance Band, The Psychedelic Pimps, Earth Wonder Fire (Earth, Wind and Fire / Stevie Wonder tribute band) and a
host of other groups. He is a member of The Original Groove Circus Band and divides his time between
performing, film scoring and producing various styles of music along with creating other forms of
multimedia through his company
Spats Productions, Inc.
David Kershner - Trumpet
Stephen Cuffeld - Vocalist
Stephen began singing at 5 years old and his love for music lead him to play drums at 14. His thirst for learning drew him to a very accomplished drum teacher named John Roberts who himself was a tour drummer for many great artists. At that time Stephen became a standout musician and the rest is history.
His first professional tour came with Philly's own Musiq Soulchild. Thereafter his singing ability landed him on stage with music giants Jill Scott, Faith Evans, Syleena Johnson, Raheem DeVaughn, Glen Jones and Glen Lewis. Currently Stephen is a member of EBE and The Dirty Dozen Dance Band.
Suzann Christine - Vocalist
Class, creativity, and raw talent is what the 2012 Philly Hip Hop Award winner for “Best Female R&B Artist“ Suzann Christine offers her many fans and followers with the fun yet relatable R&B/Pop music she is known for. Within the past year, this singer/songwriter has been introduced to the airwaves and social networks, winning the hearts and ears of thousands within her hometown of Philadelphia and throughout the country.
Opening for artists such as Keyshia Cole, Raheem Devaughn, Ryan Leslie, and Philly's own Musiq Soulchild, being chosen as one of the top 10 artist to make it in the Andre Harrell “2010 Superstar Soul Search” for Philly, launching the Philadelphia Phillies Official Playoff Anthem with Philly’s hit station Wired 96.5, being the Grand Prize winner of Citi Trends “The Big Break Talent Search” with her single Closed Casket, performing as a featured artist for BB Kings R&B spotlight, opening for Melanie Fiona, Wale, TI, Waka Flocka Flame and other notable artists at the popular RadioOne Fest.
We'll Keep It Funky All Night Long!
As a founding member of Big City and the 4 piece Big City horn section, David played a significant number of gigs all over the tri-state area for 13 years, playing as a dance band, and also in the role of an opening act for major touring artists.
Subbing with other Philadelphia-based cover and wedding bands such as the Philadelphia Funk Authority and the Mark Michaels Orchestra. He has recorded on several projects including Philadelphia’s nationally touring saxophonist, Andrew Neu’s first album. David has backed up many artists including Kathy Sledge, and a show with Nancy Sinatra at
World Café Live.
David has recently become a member of David Uosikkenen’s In The Pocket, playing with some of Philadelphia’s most legendary artists including members of The Hooters, Tommy Conwell, members of The A’s, the Soul Survivors and many more.