Black Coffee is heading into Syracuse up around the SU Campus on Saturday at Funk n’ Waffles for a night of top flight music that will be sure to leave you wanting more. This band has talent spewing out of its collective ears. The band hails from State College, PA. And as their Facebook page states: “Black Coffee is a rhythm and blues band from Central Pennsylvania whose style unearths a reminiscent vibe reviving the sound and passion of traditional blues and soul music.” They list Blues/Rock/Soul/Jazz in the genre category.
I had never heard of this band before, but Vince Cuneo was so nice in our communications that I had to take a look and listen. As soon as I saw Caitlin’s gorgeous face, being a guy, of course I looked! They are smooth as ice this band, and she has a voice handed down from above that is sexy, sweet, rangy, and powerful all at once. Only the Gods give someone a voice like that. Here are the facts as told by their ‘BIO’ page on the Black Coffee website:
Caitlin Cuneo is the singer of Black Coffee and is from Connellsville, Pennsylvania. The singer has been classically trained since she was ten years old and eventually became involved with musical theatre, where she was involved in endless choral and many other performances. She quickly found her passion when singing with Vince Cuneo’s old band and discovered her natural blues timbre. She attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and trained in various vocal styles ranging from Rock to Jazz. She was a part of the Berklee ensemble “The P-Funk All-stars” that performed at various Berklee events including the Beantown Jazz Festival and The Harvard Club. She also took part in The Michael Jackson tribute show at the BPC. “Being a part of Black Coffee has allowed me to work with gifted musicians and perform throughout PA and other states. This project has immensely improved my craft by gaining experience. Also, being able to write and perform the music I love and having that vehicle to share it with others has been the greatest gift of all.”
Outside of Black Coffee, guitarist and slide player Ryan Alford is an original member of the State College based funk and soul outfit the Hounds of Soul. He is rhythm guitarist for Cosmic Collision, and writes and performs with State College’s soul/jazz trio Dirty Superb. Former funk/fusion instrumental bands he has been a part of include the seven-piece jam band Cootie Brown and Penns Valley trio Vitamin Funk. He accompanies Harold Taddy on the mandolin, and also breaks it out for acoustic performances with woodwind player Michael Fortunato in Experimental Verses, as well as occasional performances with keyboardist and songwriter Gina Riggio (Mysterytrain).
Guitarist and vocalist Vince Cuneo is from Connellsville, PA and has been playing music all of his life. Starting with listening to old albums with his father and then moving to the drums for 15 years because of his mother’s music education background, he now plays guitar and sings with Black Coffee. Vince and his sister Caitlin started writing together when they were young children, and have developed their unique sound over the past few decades. Playing with this project has been one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. His influences range from all styles of music and virtuoso musicians, but he has always had a desire to play soul and funk music, which has consumed the past several years of his life. “To play music everyday is a gift, but to share your story and life through music with others is a true blessing.”
Jim “The Hot Sauce” DeVoss has been playing the drums for more than 25 years. His first drum set (from the Sears catalog!) was given to him by his parents as a Christmas gift and he began banging away, humming the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix tunes in his head as he played. For a few years, Jim took private drum lessons under the tutelage of drum instructor Ron Amastadi, learning rudiments, technique and how to groove in a band situation. Since a teenager, Jim has been in many projects, playing all genres of music with soul and funk music being his favorites. About performing with Black Coffee, he has often said, “If I can’t be in Otis Redding’s band, than this is the band I want to be in.”
André La Velle
Bassist André La Velle is a Napa Valley native that moved to State College, PA from San Francisco in 2008 after working for years in the video game industry as a Music Director and Sound Designer at Electronic Arts in Silicon Valley. During his years in Northern California, André performed in numerous ensembles as both an upright and electric bassist in orchestras, jazz combos and big bands, as well as in funk, blues and rock groups. He holds a B.A. in Music as well as a B.A.S. in Audio Engineering.
When not laying it down with Black Coffee, André can be heard performing with the Nittany Valley Symphony, the SkyTop Blues Band, and with other local groups. When not performing, he is usually behind his computer composing music. André can also be heard monthly on WPSU as a host for the Friday Night Jazz Show.
That is a lot of talent and it shows in the finished product. From everything that I have read about them in any city they have played, the show belongs on a big stage and you leave a coffee house feeling like you stepped out of a different world. Be sure to get there Saturday for this show!
Black Coffee w/ Technicolor Brothers(Derek Kirch)- Funk N’ Waffles
Saturday, December 10, 2011
9:00pm until 12:00am
Funk ‘n Waffles
727 S. Crouse Ave, Suite 8, Syracuse, NY 13210
Facebook Event Page
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