|Electric Myakka Band|
The band has played many outdoor gigs at such places as Myakka State Park , Parrish School , Lake Manatee State Park , festivals and parades, wedding receptions on the Gulf, Siesta Beach , lawn parties, and special events. They have played private parties: graduations, corporate events, receptions, openings, birthdays, and memorials.
Myakka plays primarily in Sarasota and Manatee Counties , but will travel if requested. The basic lineup is Lisa on lead guitar, Brad on guitar and vocals, James on bass and vocals, and Scott on drums and percussion. Lisa can move easily to keyboards or banjo, which can give the band a completely different sound. They have 3 different amplifier/speaker setups, from 4,000 Watts, to unamplified settings for intimate, indoor gigs.
Scott Blum is a renowned drummer and percussionist, originally from the New Jersey and New York area. He started his career in music at the age of 12. As a percussionist, his performances include dance bands, rock bands, theatre productions, parades, circuses, ethnic festivals, jazz festivals, operas, radio, television, and studio recordings. He has received numerous awards and grants for his work in percussion and education. Scott has performed with internationally known artists from Archie Shepp to Esteban. He currently plays percussion with Don Scaletta and the Jazz Project; A Salute to Stan Kenton. He recently composed a percussion piece called, Boom Boom Ba, choreographed and presented on several stages by Fuzion Dance Artists.
James Kushner has, at various points in his life, acted and sung Off Broadway, directed theater in Chicago, worked as a theater technician in Los Angeles, been a drummer for bands in New York and Chicago, pioneered the solo-bass-and-vocals approach to folk circles and open mikes in Florida, studied mathematics at a prestigious university, written both parody and serious songs, performed with a crack Los Angeles jazz ensemble on the slide whistle, performed and promoted Sacred Harp singing all around America, and played upright bass onstage for the Manatee Players. James has recently performed at the Sarasota Players Theatre. “Playing bass for the Myakka Band is, in many respects, the culmination of my professional experience”, he asserts.
Lisa Fitzgerald is a virtuoso musician who began by playing cello and piano early in life in Tennessee , and played drums in the marching band in high school. By the time she met Brad, she was becoming or was already accomplished on banjo, electric bass, keyboards, and most recently, electric guitar. “If we could clone her, she could be an entire rock band”, says Brad. Lisa also began to write bluegrass songs (which the band still performs), as well as a few rockers and some classical-type pieces on the keyboard, some of which are currently being considered for movie soundtracks. In the Myakka Band, which she co-founded with Brad in 2004, Lisa has played electric bass, keyboards, drums, and now electric lead guitar.
Brad Fitzgerald started performing in high school, when he sang with the Glee Club and the school Choir. He was swept away by the folk craze of the early 60’s, and learned to sing and play on guitar the songs of The Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc. While living in Boston in the ‘90s he began to perform solo at area coffee houses, singing and playing original folk and rock songs. During that time he also released a cassette tape and a CD of original folk and rock music. In 2001 he met up with Lisa in Sarasota and they soon started performing together as Myakka. Since then they have headed up several bands, including the “original” Myakka folk duo, Myakka Bluegrass, and, since 2004, the current Electric Myakka Band. Brad plays guitar, sings, and has written about 50 original tunes.
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