La Vela Italian Restaurant and Lounge

716. E. New Haven Ave.
Melbourne, FL 32901

Friday, Jan. 13th, 6-9pm
at La Vela Italian Restaurant, downtown Melbourne, FL.
Free Admission

Rick Cupoli on guitar, Mark Shepard on the vibraphone and Tavares Ellis on the Bass and Bryan Gardenour on drums.

Rick Cupoli is a native of New Jersey. It is there where he began to learn guitar and has been playing actively for many years. He has played many styles from Rock to Classical and dabbling in jazz periodically. In more recent years the standard jazz genre has captured him. He finds the beautiful melodies and sweet colorful chords are timeless and captivating.

Mark Shepard plays Vibraphone and has played back in the hayday all over 1950’s NYC.  He’s a favorite around Brevard County.

Tavares Ellis is a jazz upright bassist who has been playing music since the early age of 11 years old. He is often heard saying “I was born a trombone player, but I always had a strong affinity to the bass.” Classically trained on trombone, he began playing jazz in a brass quartet performing tunes from the rag time era through the bebop period. Eventually, bass playing became his primary form of expression musically. He has not looked back since. Although he appreciates most forms of music, jazz, specifically bebop, is his primary focus today.

His favorite bass influences include Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and Christian McBride. He is a regular on the local jazz scene in Melbourne, Florida as well as Orlando, Florida. In a community of growing jazz musicians, Tavares find himself quite busy and relishes every opportunity to play with new musicians.

Bryan is originally from Melbourne, FL and is a professional drummer with over 25 years of performing experience. He has played with touring Top 40 bands and has performed at Disney World, Universal Studios, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise ships and at the Capitol in Washington D.C. Bryan lived in NYC for 8 years and played with numerous jazz artists and also performed at venues such as Birdland, The Rainbow Room and Smalls while studying at Drummers Collective. He was a member of the Eric Stuart Band and toured the U.S. as the opening act for Peter Frampton. After moving to Nashville, he was active in the music scene and played at venues such as The Ryman Auditorium and B.B. Kings. From there Bryan relocated to the SF Bay Area and performed with local jazz artists before moving back to Melbourne in 2013 to be closer to family. Since returning, he has become busy once again performing jazz and is currently a member of the Jazz Cats and the Space Coast Big Band.

Open to the public – Free admission – No reservations are needed.