Bud Buckley and Jax Resto are BudaRest, a multitalented songwriting/performing duo transplanted from New York to southwest Florida. Jax has been a performer all of her life from her days in school to her college years majoring in dance performance at Queens College. This lead to her years with Ringling Brothers Circus as a dancer and as an aerialist. Following her circus career, Jax became a wife and mother, a rock drummer, a song writer and a novelist. She is still very active in all of these roles. Her band Kore played at the NY Mamapalooza festival in 2010. A Year later she formed FBI (Female Band Invasion) and is currently with her new band Sweet Turbulence.

Bud performed all his life in a quite different arena. He was a multi award winning journalist/PR director with the teachers’ union in New York while at the same time teaching. The writing kept him in the eye of teachers across the nation and the teaching put him on stage everyday for a tough and demanding audience. They demanded attention and they demanded he play his guitar and sing while teaching all the elementary school subjects. Bud eventually studied finger-style guitar with well known Hudson Valley guitarist, singer songwriter and music educator Helen Avakian. He also studied voice with successful pop star Leslie Ritter of the Amy and Leslie duo. He has recorded four CDs, three produced by award winning songwriter Helen Avakian in Woodstock, NY with well seasoned studio pros like Scott Petito, Deni Bonet, Ross Rice, Dan Hickey and others. He is highly rated by Reverbnation and is their number one singer/songwriter in all of western Florida.

Together, Jax and Bud form the songwriting/recording team of BudaRest, and have discovered that a pace of a song a week is something they can do and have done. At that pace, however, they have to slow down and save time for arranging and recording. A full collection of songs is in the making for release later this year. And probably every year. Or even twice a year. Who can stop this train?

Many of these songs will find their way into eBook novels penned by Jax. Music video production is also high on their project schedule. Jax directed a viral video with Bud on one of his songs, “Keeping Secrets” and many other video projects are planned for this truly dynamic duo.

Drew Whelan

Drew Whelan is a Singer/Songwriter/Producer Who Plays Guitar, Bass and Keys. Born in 1985 in Great Meadows, New Jersey.

Drew is influenced by the new and the old, from big sonic rock guitar to cutting edge dance beats, textured synths interwoven with fat bass lines that can shake the ground on which we stand...

Drew discovered his parents’ record collection, at a very young age - Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, Yes, and Joni Mitchell were played very often as he was growing up! But in that collection he indulged in so many forms of sound, from the blues, jazz, rock, folk, just to name a few. He would spend hours going through them, taking in the cover art, the concept, imagining what could possibly be in the heart of the record once he laid the needle on the first track...More often than not he was wildly surprised! It was quite an escape for him, like traveling to another dimension and he could go there any time he wanted. He would just hit play and off he'd go into another world!

Growing up, Drew was not the most astute student in school. He only seemed to care about the things that interested him and his brothers... the things that seemed to shimmer and pop. "I think I was a professional day dreamer and bubble gum chewer in those days" - Drew Whelan - He could’t wait to get home to let his imagination soar, playing li’l diddies that he layed down onto tape which tended to be given as gifts to friends and girls I was interested in at the time. It was my way of being a part of the collective...which brings him to his first real introduction to a live instrument. Involved in the school band, heed vividly remember making (THE) choice over what instrument reflected his personality! He was all about the saxaphone! He loved the sound, tone and range. He don‘t think it was really a big stretch crossing over to the stratocaster eventually.

A little bit later he came to discover the magic of electric guitar while at a friend’s house and his Mother’s acoustic guitar that his Father had gifted her. Since that moment he was enthralled and got his first electric guitar as a birthday present. He passionately dug in for long hours that seemed to slip away without second thought. All through high school he devoted all of his free time to the art of recording.

Over the years, Drew retained that same love and devotion to his craft, studying at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California for a brief time, honing the technical...and straight shootin’ from the hip! All of which has allowed him to pull from a very wide range of interests and influences, leading him into different territories musically. Drew is constantly evolving with the tides and changes of style and culture! He believes there is something to appeal to all age groups in his music as those barriers seem to be slipping away.

His sound has been related to the likes of Bono from U2, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, The Gorillaz and Mark Ronson...Projects + Collaborations (to include and exceed)

Banana Lazuli

Banana Lazuli is a Canadian-Peruvian composer and performer from Montreal, now residing in North Carolina. She uses vocal loops, synthesizers, piano, harmonium as well as hand-held gadgets to create lush sound-scapes and poetic song narratives. Her work explores many different musical traditions, and her studies in anthropology and linguistics have led her to experiment with various traditional forms of female chanting from around the world.

A refreshing blend of experimental folk and cosmic pop, Banana's music will both relax the mind and uplift the soul. Her upcominh album "The Cosmic Love Collage" will be released in 2012 on Visionquest Music, an electronic music label based in Berlin, Detroit and London.

Banana's recent collaborative projects include avant-folk band Feast Of Spirits (Canada), surrealist-futurist music group Mono y Banana (Peru) and circus-jazz duo Pamplemousse Explosion (Canada). She also recently established Haunted Clockwork Records with her friend Oliver Lewis. Haunted Clockwork is an indie label and art collective dedicated to the promotion of experimental music and film, and has released several albums and compilations timed with the solstices.

From 2007 to the present, Banana Lazuli has also collaborated musically with the Experimental Choir of Montreal, Penny on the Tracks Circus Troop, Willow Rutherford, Chandra Melting Tallow, Maya Kuroki (of Dynamo Coleoptera), Shoy Boy, Teen Sleuth and the Freed Cyborg Choir, Choeur Maha, Ser Musica (Peru), Samavesha (USA) and the CAPSICUM Immersive Composition Society (Oakland, California) and others.

Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands

Out in the woods she lived, all alone. At least that’s what it felt like, never belonging to any one group and having a penchant for the oppressed. Crystal did not come from a musical family, and unlike so many children who are forced into music lessons, at age seven she practically ran away to her piano teacher’s house down the street – books in her basket – pedaling as fast as she could down the gravel road – dust flying behind.
When she was still young, a little demon told her that she shouldn’t sing, that it sounded better when she just played the piano, but she was determined to ignore the demon and sing her heart out anyway. But sometimes the influence of the demon rendered her silent and still, and her hands seemed to be void of life.
As she grew up she traveled the world, dancing with the Romani people of Spain, residing in an “anarchist” collective, working in Yellowstone, and above all else learning about other cultures and their music. It was in Greensboro, NC in 2010 that she met what would become her first Silver Hand. Diego Diaz had witnessed her previous band that took him to another time and place, and he wished to contribute his haunting and ethereal guitar sounds. It was around this time that Crystal’s hands began to grow back. She began writing her own music again, and in less than a year collaborated with the North Carolina Symphony on an arrangement of her song "Toy Hammer" for their 2010 New Year's Eve program at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. She is constantly performing, has had two Northeast tours and has played alongside Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Larkin Grimm, Pearl and the Beard and many more.
“Muses and Bones,” her second album, will cast you into an otherwordly, ethereal, hauntingly familiar yet strange landscape, ranging from deranged Cirque du Soleil to burlesque European Carnival. Within Crystal’s unconventional song structures, you’ll hear her inspiration from P.J. Harvey and Björk, and a deep love for Yann Tiersen and the Gotan Project. Her lyrics and melodies portray the world as a dark and strange (and often funny) place deeply connected to fables and imagination. Stories such as "Little Match Girl" and "The Misplaced Zygote" convey folklore lessons that address phases in women's lives where they need to be conscious of staying true to their intuition. Songwriting begins in many different ways, including inspiration from refrigerator magnet poetry or going to the movies alone at midnight, but is mostly a channeling process that happens late at night when the veil between reality and dreams is the thinnest. Expect the unexpected.
Crystal’s songs reflect her educational background in Anthropology and Ethnomusicology and her experiences playing and singing various styles – Mariachi, Chinese, Balinese Gamelan, Ugandan, Samba and more. She is a mad multi-tasker who jumps around on accordion, musical saw (self-taught through YouTube videos), piano, adungu (a Ugandan harp), concertina and bombo (Argentine drum) – sometimes more than one at a time! She possesses astounding vocal range and power that descends on a dime to delicate subtlety. One moment she sings, she soars - and the next… a falsetto whisper that slyly peeks behind the curtain.
Many Silver Hands have come and gone on various instruments. These days Sandy Blocker, whom Crystal met as her African drumming teacher 11 years ago, contributes African, Middle Eastern, and South American rhythms by adding riqq, jembe and congas, alongside kick drum and cymbals. Another Silver Hand is the exquisitely tasteful Jeremy Denman from the hip-hop group Urban Sophisticates on trumpet. Crystal desires to collaborate with other artists in all areas of media and believes strongly that arts have the power to create community and heal.

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BudaRest with Drew Whelan, Banana Lazuli, Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands

Friday, June 7 · 7:00 PM at Ella Lounge