The Funky Biscuit Presents
Biscuit Jam With Mark Telesca, Richie Schmidt & The Funky Biscuit All Stars Featuring Jon & Zoe Zeeman With Special Guest Rick Marotta
303 SE Mizner Blvd
Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton, FL, 33432
Doors 5:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is minors under 21 with parent or legal guardian
Watch & Listen
From the age of 8, Jon Zeeman has been obsessed with guitars, amplifiers, wah-wah pedals, power tubes, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones.
Growing up outside NYC, he studied classical piano and decided on a career in music at the ripe age of 13. Early jobs at IHop and other occupations taught him that the business world, or anything that required waking up early was not for him, and so he spent his high school years practicing more and more and doing less and less homework. After studying music at Ithaca College for 2 years, Jon left school to play on the road. In the mid 80's Jon moved to New York City and became involved in producing, session work and song writing, working at his "Studio Z" in a downtown loft. The New York years were punctuated by many trips to Scandinavia, where he toured and recorded with several groups.
Jon began performing his own music in the mid 90's working regularly at the "55" Club and other downtown venues. Leaving NYC at the birth of his daughter, Zoe, Jon now resides in Martha's Vineyard and West Palm Beach Florida, where he performs regularly. He has toured, recorded and performed with such notables as Susan Tedeschi , Janis Ian, The Burns Sisters Band, Chris Spedding , and the Allman Brothers Band.
His first CD, "Still Life," was released in Europe in 2003 to much acclaim and was followed by "Zeeland" in 2008. Jon is excited to announce the 2013 release of "Down On My Luck."
Marotta's ability to lay down the perfect groove, unburdened by ego and needless complexity, has enshrined his drumming on records by Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Hall & Oates, Stevie Nicks, Wynonna, Roy Orbison, Todd Rundgren, Roberta Flack, Peter Frampton, Quincy Jones, Jackson Browne, Waylon Jennings, Randy Newman, Kenny G., the Jacksons, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and many others. He has also worked extensively as a producer, music director, and film and television composer.
Marotta's less-is-more attitude is all the more distinctive given that he came of musical age during the '70s, when showy drum work was the norm. "That's how I developed my attitude in the first place," he says. "When I wa coming up as a musician, there were a lot of truly great drummers like Neil Peart and Terry Bozzio, guys who played a lot of notes and did it very well. But the more notes I heard other guys play, especially in fills, the fewer I would play. At first, it was just a matter of taste, but then I started getting a lot of session calls because of that attitude."
Remarkably, Rick never hit a drum until he was 19. "As far as I'm concerned," he says, "that was a great advantage! I just took these drum sticks the size of baseball bats and started hitting the drums as hard as I could. I still believe that just flailing away is a great way to start out on a instrument. If you have any talent at all, it will come out. After that you can go back and learn the rudiments."
Marotta's straight-ahead attitude hasn't prevented him from creating innovative parts that not only contributed to memorable hits but have also been studied and imitated by countless other players. "If you play simply," argues Rick, "you can even play freakier, more imaginative stuff in a tasteful way." He cites examples from his own work: 'Hour That the Morning Comes', from James Taylor's Dad Loves His Work, where Rick cemented the offbeat parts via careful repetition, and the syncopated, deep-pocket patterns of 'Peg' from Steely Dan's Aja.
"I suppose," says Rick, "that the sessions I'm proudest of are ones like that, where I played something different from what everyone else was doing at the time. But on the other hand, I really liked some of the ones that were just plain simple, like James Taylor's 'Walking Man'."
Today, Marotta keeps it not only simple, but small: One of his current kits is a compact Yamaha Hipgig set. "It's a small kit where all the drums fit into each other," he explains. "Some people see it and think it's a toy, but it sounds amazing. I use it on a lot of gigs. When I played the Hipgig kit behind Sheryl Crow, everyone freaked out at how good it sounded. Same with Michael McDonald — everyone was talking about the great drum sounds. That little 16" bass drum sounds like a 20". It's punchy, with a lot more depth than you'd expect. The small snare drum sounds great too, especially with the added-on wood rim. It's a great cross-stick sound. I turned my brother on to the kit (Rick's younger brother is Jerry Marotta, another top-tier session man). He tells me that he uses them all the time, because the bass drum sounds so unbelievable. He's been swatting them hard, and he's a bigger guy than me. And now I hear that a lot of guys are showing up with them at sessions here in LA."
Marotta has accepted fewer drumming gigs as his composing career has accelerated. (He is currently scoring three TV shows: Everybody Loves Raymond, Imagine That, and Yes, Dear). But even if Marotta is writing more parts than he's reading these days, his philosophy remains the same: "I bring to composing the same attitude I bring to drumming," he says. "Simple is usually better."
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 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.
Reserve Seats for this event are subject to a $15 food or beverage minimum (Happy Hour Menu not available during this event). Entire party must arrive no later than 7:30pm or reserved seats will be released
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