Jonn Del Toro Richardson

Jonn Del Toro Richardson got his start at an early age, having grown up in a musical family. His grandmother and her siblings played in a touring mariachi band playing regionally through the Southeast and Southwest. After watching his uncles play at family gatherings, he picked up a guitar in his early 20s. On a diet of Country, Motown, R&B, Classic rock and various other genres, Jonn continued learning his chosen instrument and he worked in various bands playing all types of music.

Once he heard the blues, he knew he had found his place. Richardson’s partnership with Diunna Greenleaf and his role in the Blue Mercy Blues Band and the support of the Blue Shoe Project in Dallas TX led them to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN in 2005. That same competition Richardson was honored with the Albert King Award, the most promising blue guitarist of the competition.

In 2007 Jonn played on the Grammy winning album The Last of the Mississippi Delta Blues Men. He continues Perkins’ legacy by working with the Pinetop Perkins Foundation. You can hear his influences on his various recordings and live. Richardson has had the pleasure to work with players such as Diunna Greenleaf, Otis Taylor, Bob Margolin, Hubert Sumlin, James Cotton, Bob Stroger, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Anson Funderburgh, Ronnie Earl, Rich Del Grosso, and many, many more.

Jonn has released two CDs with other artists. In 2011 Jonn released Time Slips on By with Rich DelGrosso to great reviews. It garnered a Blues Blast Nomination for best Traditional Album and was named one of the top 100 blues CDs by Billboard Magazine of 2011. In 2013 Jonn teamed up with Sean Carney to release Drivin’ Me Wild. This album also got great reviews as served as the basis for several European tours.

In November 2015 Jonn released his first solo Album, Tengo Blues. Produced by Answon Funderburgh this effort charted in the top 10 blues charts for months and garnered rave reviews throughout the country. It also and earned him a Blues Blast Award nomination for best new artist in 2016.

In May 2017 Jonn won the Blues Music Award from The Blues Foundation for Best New Artist Debut Award for Tengo Blues!

Jonn Del Toro Richardson continues to tour extensively both in the U.S. and Europe.

Mark Telesca is an American Songwriter / Singer / Guitarist and Bassist. He studied music at Florida Atlantic University and currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

His “HOOK” oriented songwriting style and storytelling lyrics along with his expressive style of bass playing and powerful lead vocal is capturing the attention of music lovers everywhere.

Mark has released his first solo studio CD titled “Heavy Breathing” in January of 2015. His CD spent many months on steady rotation on SIRIUSXM RADIO (Bluesville). The CD is receiving rave reviews and reached the #5 spot on "Blues Power Radio's Top 30" Blues Albums. He has had three singles off the Heavy Breathing CD that has charted on Blues 411 Baker's Dozen of Blues. "If You Got Enough Jack" has reached #5 " Cross the Dog" has reached #2 and "I Don't Need Your Lovin' Anymore" has reached #1 !!!

In January 2015, Mark took his band to Memphis, TN to compete in the International Blues Challenge (IBC) and were semi finalists.

Mark has also started a career playing solo acoustic guitar focusing on Pre-WWII blues, Americana and his own original music. He has since competed in his local IBC challenge as a solo artist. He has been fortunate enough to win himself another spot in to compete again in Memphis in January 2016 and will be competing again in 2017.

Mark is very proud to be endorsed by Delaney Guitars. Delaney Guitars has built the Mark Telesca Bass Model. They are calling the bass the "TRADITION" model based on its traditional looks, feel and sound. It is currently available for purchase www.delaneyguitars.com

Mark is out gigging almost every night promoting his music. In addition to his hectic gigging schedule, he is the host of one of the most popular Pro Blues Jams in the Southeast. The Jam takes place every Monday at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL. There are many touring artist who make it a point to spend some extra time in sunny Florida just to attend and hopefully participate in this high quality Jam.

As well as being a songwriter, singer, guitarist, and band leader, Mark is a touring bassist supporting many blues / rock artists. He is currently touring with “Blue Mercy” Featuring 2014 Blues Music Award winner and 2015 Blues Music Award Nominee Diunna Greenleaf.

Mark was the bassist along with 2010 Blues Music Award Winner and 2015 Grammy Winner Jason Ricci on Harmonica in The Keith Brown Trio. They later recorded Keith’s album “Down the Line” an acoustic album.

Influences are: The Delta Blues, Gospel Music and Motown.
Bass influences are James Jamerson, Donald Duck Dunn, Oteil Burbridge, Willie Weeks ... Just to name a few.

Richie Schmidt

Richie Schmidt was born and raised in NYC, and was surrounded by musical influences from an early age. Singing in his church's “cherub” choir at age 5, he would follow on to the junior and adult choirs. From grade 2 to 6 he took violin lessons (at public school!). And when the church began to experiment with the new “folk” music style that was becoming popular, he began playing guitar. Some formal lessons followed at the local music store, and the guitar became a constant companion.

With his transistor radio (tuned to WABC), he began listening and learning the songs of the time. A friendly competition with his sister Debbie (also a singer/guitarist) provided a “look what I just learned” leap-frog game of sharing songs and styles, accelerating his knowledge of the instrument, as well as his familiarity with the variety of 60s and 70s pop music.

Other influences would add some spice to his skills. Under the direction of musicologist Peter Griggs he studied East Indian music and performed as a percussionist with the NYC Gamelan. A high school friend, Christopher Thall, was a prodigious talent who demonstrated learning techniques that opened up many avenues to musical approach and understanding. And Richie's fascination with musical instruments led him to acquire abilities on piano and flute, as well as banjo, mandolin and other stringed instruments.

He began performing in rock cover bands in 1976, playing classic rock favorites at parties and high schools and eventually in clubs all around NYC and Long Island. In 1983, he fully dedicated himself to a life of music, leaving his home to join a traveling act. Early in these travels he met keyboardist Tess Smith. The two traveled with the touring band for a number of years, eventually settling in South Florida. In 1990 they were married, and began performing as the duo “Twocan Blue”.

In 2002 Richie was invited to fill the guitar role for “The Fabulous Fleetwood's” the longest running “rockin' blues” band in the region.

In 2008, he was the musical director for the stage re-creation of the concert movie “The Last Waltz”, and also performed in the role of guitarist Robbie Robertson .

Continuing on a busy schedule of performances, he's frequently called on as a solo artist and side man, performing on stages large & small, with local musician friends, as well as many noteworthy artists.

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