Lara Karuna Band Leader/ Vocals
Oakland, California Native, Singer, Songwriter and Producer, LARA KARUNA has been performing at some of the top venues, and writing with some of the top producers for the last 10+ years. Awarded Best Band 2015 by Desert Sun, Karuna’s powerful five octave voice, and 400 + song repertoire has easily been earning her a reputation as a vocal powerhouse.
Courted by Universal Music Publishing, Karuna has been able to work with some of the most influential artists in pop, hip hop and R&B music today, writing and recording with such Grammy-winning producers as: DJ Khalil (Dr. Dre, P!nk, Eminem, Drake), 1500 or Nothin' (Beyonce, Rihanna, Cee lo, Bruno Mars), Fisticuffs (Miguel, Jhene Aiko), Scott Storch (Christina Aguilera, Pink, Beyonce, Dr. Dre), The Funktwons, A.K.A, Tim N Bob (Mary J. Blige, Brandy, and Jennifer Lopez), Richard Perry, ( Pointer Sisters, Carly Simon, The Beatles, Ray Charles) and Mike City (Usher, Brandy, Sunshine Anderson, Carl Thomas).
Her self-produced single, Choose You can be heard on the hit TV show 90210. Other writing credits include, Lil' Tupac from the movie, My Baby's Daddy, and The Good the Bad and the Ugly by Aceyalone. In her first voiceover debut, you can hear her playing the crying mother from Boyz in the Hood for the The Game's, Ricky. Currently, just a week after being released, her self-produced remix of Prince’s classic Adore is garnering attention, with the video getting approximately100K views (and counting) on social media
As a singer and performer, KARUNA has performed with Kanye West, and opened for such acts as Ben Harper, Maceo Parker and De La Soul . She has toured nationally and internationally, with residencies at the Park Hyatt, Beijing, and the MGM, Macau, even being flown out for a private event in England. In the Coachella Valley, she just finished a three-year residency at Mastro’s, Palm Desert. She has also performed at the Hyatt, Palm Springs, Hideaway Golf Club, Toscana Country, and Big Horn Country Club - to name a few. Current residencies include: Thursday through Friday at The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage, Saturdays at the JW Marriott, Palm Desert, Sunday’s in January at Arnold Palmer’s restaurant, and bi weekly at Hideaway Country Club. Corporate clients include: Keller Reality, Southern Wine and Spirits, NCAA, Quinn Emanuel Law Firm – to name a few.
Other notable venue performances include: The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, The Palazzo, Las Vegas, The House of Blues, Hollywood, Anaheim and Chicago, SOB’s in New York, The Roxy, Hollywood The Viper Room, Hollywood - to name a few. Additionally, she has performed the National Anthem several times for high profile sporting events such as the Clippers Basketball game, Maddbackers Celebrity Basketball Charity Event, and the Hideaway Golf Tournament.
Emanuele Fontana Keyboards/ Vocals
Emanuele Fontana is a Pianist \ Keyboardist and Singer. He studied under world renowned jazz pianist Stefano Bollani and graduated with 110 cum laude in Jazz at the “Luigi Cherubini” Conservatory in Florence.
He has toured with Article 31, Noemi for whom he was the Music Director for the "Rosso Noemi" Tours, as well as Gianni Morandi.
He has played and collaborated with many of Italy's top artists such as Italian Music Artists Fiorella Mannoia, Max Gazze ', Bianca Atzei, Dolcenera - to name a few.
He has also collaborated as an arranger with producers for artists such as Franco Godi, Corrado Rustici and Michael Baker, Diego Calvetti
As a writer, producer and arranger he has worked with the world's top Record Labels such as Sony \ Bmg, Universal, Cavernjatt Records writing songs for artists such as Mina, Noemi and Articolo 31. Fontana is also a music teacher at the prestigious Academy of Music in Florence
Claudio Matteini Guitar/ Vocals
Claudio Matteini is a singer, guitarist and more. His style is very much influenced by John Mayall's guitarists, of whom he made the essentiality of blues phrasing his own. Funk, jazz / rock and Motown records artists (Stevie Wonder in particular), but also country like James Taylor, are teh bedrock of his musical style.
Matteini has recorded as session guitarist for artists such as Fred Bongusto and Marco Masini. He has played and collaborated with artists such as Massimiliano Agati, Marco Falagiani, Nico Gori and others. Matteini notably played three years with the renowned saxophonist and great friend Foffo Bianchi, (RCA producer of Lucio Dalla, Rino Gaetano and Renato Zero etc.) who later became the historic sound engineer of Elio e le Storie Tese. as well as Faso, Mayer and Antonello.
Currently Matteini performs with various groups including the UMAGROSO band which Luca Marianini (ex Dirotta su Cuba and Jovanotti) and Mirco Rubegni (Funk off and Dee Dee Bridgewater) were part of.
There are many collaborations, including BB QueenTet by Benedetta Bianchi and Roberto Magnanensi, with Cris Pacini and Daniele Cerofolini, with which he was able to express himself in European clubs, events and squares.
Anthony began studying music at the age of 9 when his mother put him into piano lessons. He became obsessed with the instrument almost instantly, playing hours and hours each day. His mother had to pull him off the bench aggressively when the family was eating dinner, and when other people in the house needed to go to sleep.
Anthony grew up an outsider, getting picked on for being overweight and gay. He found a whole new world in piano music that he could escape to, excelling at a rapid rate. Since the age of 11, he was winning competitions at a statewide level and was later accepted into arts magnet school, Denver School of the Arts as a high school student.
While in high school, Anthony began to discover that he had a passion for theater arts and singing. He wrote his first song at the age of 15 and later won the Berklee Songwriting competition for high school students at the age of 16. After winning that competition, Anthony realized that songwriting was his true passion and made up his mind that he was going to move to Los Angeles and become a singer/songwriter. A true Hollywood dreamer.
Anthony attended CalArts and received a Bachelor’s degree in music, focusing on composition and songwriting. While at CalArts, Anthony starting working on his first EP ‘Living In Layers’ which was released shortly after he graduated in 2010. Since then, Anthony has collaborated with artists such as Beck, Ben Lee, Kristen Chenoweth, and James both live and in the studio and regularly sings on pop demos and commercials.
Anthony is involved in 2 side projects, electronic pop duo ‘Starhook’ and hip indie choir ‘The Silver Lake Chorus’. Both are also set to release albums this year. Anthony’s music has been featured on ABC Family’s ‘Pretty Little Liars’ in 2013 and on ABC Family’s ‘The Fosters’ in 2014.
Anthony’s music embodies a sense of realism and honesty. He creates an environment for uncomfortable truths to be heard and pulls listeners inward with his emotional vocal style and dense piano harmonies. He will make you cry, but you just might like it.
Rhythm Guitar, Keys, Vocals
Born and raised in Australia, Craig's professional career began at the age of 20 when he joined internationally acclaimed vocal group, The Ten Tenors as their touring keyboardist/programmer in 2000. A change in personnel led him to becoming of "The Ten" in 2003 and over the ensuing six years, performed in 25 countries around the world, averaging 250 shows per year. He co-produced several of the group's albums, contributed countless arrangements and recorded an original composition that was on the certified Platinum album, “Tenology".
In 2009 Craig moved to Texas after meeting his now wife on tour and landed a gig playing at a dueling piano bar. Playing four nights a week, Craig honed his skills as a pianist and entertainer and learned over 500 songs (totally from memory; no lyric sheets or charts here!) from the last 60 years of pop/rock, blues and country and jazz.
Staying in touch with a few past "Ten Tenors" alumni who also settled in the US, Craig performs with three of the guys regularly with ARIA, a pop/classical crossover group at largely corporate events around the country. As things started to get busier with ARIA, Craig took the plunge and moved to Los Angeles in 2013, where he's now only starting to experience the tip of the iceberg for all things creative LA has to offer.
With his diverse background performing in venues from cramped cafes to open-air arenas and everything in between, Craig can fit in with almost any event scenario. Craig can tailor any performance to include dedicated requests ahead of time (complete with full backing tracks if needed) or on the spot and can blend into the background with solo piano jazz standards or lead a crowd singing (among others) Don't Stop Believin' at the top of their lungs. If you're looking for a world-class singing pianist (with a dash of Aussie charm for good measure), you've come to the right place!
Rodrigo "Rod" Castro is a Los Angeles-based session guitarist, composer & songwriter. Rod has written and recorded music for tv shows including X- Factor, America's Got Talent, Gene Simmons Family Jewels and The Two Coreys, LA Ink, 90210 and A&E's documentary "Finding Hulk Hogan".
Rod also plays guitar for SuperNaked (managed by Jon Lovitz) and composes music for The Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop (A Hans Zimmer & Extreme Music Partnership).
Rod currently works as the resident session guitarist for Skip Saylor and has recorded/written & performed with artists including Snoop Dogg, Elliott Yamin, Machine Gun Kelly, Daniel Bedingfield, Multi-Grammy award winning arranger/composer David Campbell, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill, Zapp Troutman, E-40, Ronnie Hudson, Too $hort, Scarface, Mikal Blue, Norwood Fisher and Bootsy Collins.
Rod was the guitarist and music writer for Day 8, fronted by actor Tom Sizemore, produced by Mikey Doling of Snot & Soulfly.
Rod also recently was hired to be the guitarist for the nations top ranked show choir which served as the inspiration for the television show Glee.
Jake Michael Hayden wanted to play drums as a young boy. With money being tight, he convinced his mother to buy him a drum kit by spending many hours a day beating on literally anything he could make a drum set out of (paper plate hi-hats, broken electric drums, a milk crate throne, a card table “rack,” and air-drumming double bass). . Mom was convinced. She brought home a drum set and Hayden blossomed.
In 2001 Mangini provided Hayden with his first opportunity playing drum set at the national level, referring him to the 80’s New Wave pop icons, and Frank Zappa alumni “Missing Persons,” replacing one of the legendary drummers of our time Terry Bozzio.
Hayden relocated to Los Angeles, CA and has recorded with such renowned producers Tom Fletcher (Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Lukather) , Ross Hogarth (Van Halen, Doobie Brothers), merican Idol Judge and legendary bass player/producer/A&R executive Randy Jackson Hayden has also performed with bands including Steve Lukather, Rick Springfield, Tom Waits, the famed sunset strip rock/comedy act Steel Panther, Adam Lambert, Leif Garret, Cherie Currie. Currently, Hayden joined up with the 2000’s pop icon RyaCabrera.
Hayden consistently works with some of the biggest producers, session, and touring musicians in the music business and has quickly become a recognizable name in the drumming community in Los Angeles. He has strong experience as a Producer, Music Director, Band Leader, Session Drummer, and Session Singer. Having nearly 20 years of such wide- ranging experience in music, and a razor sharp focus, Jake Hayden makes a strong case to anyone hiring him that they are getting one of the truly premier experiences Los Angeles has to offer from a working musician.
Michael Hill was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and moved to Vancouver Island, British Columbia with his family at the age of eight.
At the age of 19, Hill began touring full time with local Canadian groups throughout Canada and the U.S. including groups such as Perry And The Poorboys and EMI/CMG Sparrow Records recording artists Starfield from 2001 - 2004. In the spring of 2004, Michael relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where he began touring and songwriting with Canadian 2004 Juno Award winner Jill Paquette. He also become band member of the Johnny Hiland Band and toured performing Paul Reed Smith guitar clinics and teaching master classes in schools across America promoting Johnny Hiland's signature guitar and his new Favored Nations Record produced by Steve Vai. Michael recorded on Johnny Hiland's sophomore album.
In 2007 Michael moved to Southern California and has been currently performing, co-writing and producing original independent artists in Los Angeles. Michael performs along the west coast in a variety of top notch bands as well being casted in Disney's Mad T Party Band at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim and Disney's Tommorrowland Terrace.
In between gigs and Disney performances, Michael has been in production this summer/fall for a new TV documentary reality show which will air on Spike TV in Fall 2015. Directed and produced by India Allen, Nigel Dick and Brain Linse. It's a Rockumentary that follows a band that goes through the hardships of "trying" to make it big in the music industry in Hollywood.
Mike also teaches privately at Rockstar of Tomorrow in Norco, CA