More recently, Grace has been developing her solo project. In May, 2014, Grace released her debut album “The Grace Blues Project,” at the Sportsman’s Tavern with the legendary Will McFarlane (guitar player for Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and many other artists.) The album features several amazing musicians including Will McFarlane, Jerry Livingston, Carl Johnson, Toney Rhodes, Howard Wilson, and Michael Petrino, as well as vocalists Grace Stumberg, Savannah King, Bethany Fonda, and Emmi James.
This past January, Grace released a single that she wrote: “Made A Mess” feat. David Michael Miller. Grace and Dave held a release party for the single at The Strand in North Tonawanda, where Grace played with members from Dive House Union, along with her own band, Grace Lougen and The Leftover Pancakes. Her bandmates, Caleb Saathoff on drums, Ben Saathoff on bass, and Linnea Cremean on viola have been playing regularly with Grace for the past few years and perform with her in the Buffalo area. Influenced by artists like Led Zeppelin, Joe Bonamassa, and John Mayer, the band writes original music that encompasses the soul of old school blues and rock and roll with a fresh modern flare.
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Damone A-Miracale Jackson is a drum set specialist and percussion teacher living in Western, NY. Damone graduated from Villa Maria College in 2014 with a B.A. in Music Performance and a concentration in jazz. He has won several awards including the Buffalo Music Award’s Best Blues Drummer in 2013, 2014 and 2015. His work with the Tommy Z band helped earn a pre-nomination for a 2013 Grammy award for the album “Sometimes” and a 2014 semi-finalist finish in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.
Recently Damone has been on tour in South America playing shows and teaching master-classes. He is thankful that music has provided the opportunity to travel the world and play with many truly fine musicians including Jerry Livingston, Zuri and Rodney Appleby, Tommy Z, Louie Prima Junior, Grace Stumberg, Eric Crittenden, Jason Moynihan, John Bacon Junior, Sabu Adeyola and many others including his current primary performance vehicle Robert “Freightrain” Parker. Damone gigs extensively throughout western New York and is one of the areas most in demand drummers for both live shows and studio work.
Greg started playing the organ at the young age of 4. He was introduced to the world of jazz and blues by his late father, Sirmanuel Leech, who was an exceptional guitar player. Greg and his brother, Kent "Boom Boom" Leech, who is a drummer, could be found playing weekends at the Governor's Inn in Buffalo, NY along with some of Buffalo's greatest: Charles Bailey, Jimmy Jones and Spoon, just to name a few. This all started before Greg was in Kindergarten. You could also find him playing and traveling with young Lucky Peterson at any given night throughout the city. In Greg's early teens he formed the band "The Leech Brothers" which they were hired out to play at many dinner dances and private parties playing their first love of Blues and R&B.
Greg perfected his playing skills jamming with his longtime friend and mentor, Ronnie Foster, the former keyboard player for George Benson. He also spent many months traveling and playing with the Bobby Blue Bland band. He has played at many venues both nationally and here locally at the very popular Sportsmen's Tavern, Ironworks, the Seneca Casinos, as well as the Kitchener Ontario Blues Festival with Chris Beard, a blues guitarist out of Rochester, NY. Presently, Greg plays throughout WNY with various bands: Evolution (his band), the Unity Band, JJ White & the All Nighters, the Jony James Band and mainly with Freightrain...
"Once in a Generation it seems that an event or happening occurs that impacts a discipline in a a way that truly leaves a mark. In this generation, the discipline is vocal music, and that happening is The Union."
The Members of The Union, Simone Appleby and Leslie Gardner have forged their voices into a harmonic blend unlike any other. Their signature sound transcends language, generation and ethnic or cultural divides and offers up an enthralling gumbo-like blend of flavors from the arenas of gospel, jazz, R&B and pop. Their unique sound can be savored through their renditions of timeless gospel pieces, patriotic anthems and classics, and through their own original works. Their dynamic offerings inspire reflection and provoke thoughts of self and spirit. In addition to their own recordings, The Union's impressive repertoire includes work with industry greats across all genres, Aretha Franklin Phoebe Snow, Albertina Walker, Dorothy Norwood, Father John Misty, Shirley Caesar, Sarah Dash, Danniebelle Hall, Vicki Winans to name a few. The Union has become one of today's most sought after vocal group with a nationwide following.