Ray Massa (Band Leader and Manager) is the Accordionist for the EuroRhythms, he also plays the keyboard and sings Lead and Harmony Vocals on select songs. Ray has also performed several times as a guest musician for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, more notably for a concert with Luciano Pavarotti . Ray is First Generation Italian; his family comes from a small town in the Campania Region of Italy called Campolattaro. He began studying music on the guitar at a young age. After realizing he could torment his friends much easier by playing the accordion, he quickly switched. Ray found great pleasure in performing for many ethnic groups (Italian, Polish, German, Slovenian, etc.) while in grade school back in the Eastern Ohio Valley area around the town where he was born, Bellaire, Ohio (Not far from Steubenville, Ohio Hometown of Dean Martin). In High School, he performed as a duo with his friend, Dennis Blair (who played Guitar and Mandolin). He attended College at the Ohio State University and during his freshman year he founded a trio which eventually grew to a seven piece variety band. While performing, he realized that by specializing in Italian Music, he could perform the music that he really loved and studied for many years, and at the same time capitalize on a niche market. Ray searched out as much Italian Music as he could find here in the US, and eventually took many trips to Italy to study Traditional and Contemporary Italian Music. Ray renamed the band to Ray Massa's EuroRhythms in the early 1990's and with the help of many dedicated musicians, they have transformed Traditional, Pop Italian and Italian/American favorites into Distinct and Energetic arrangements. Today these unique arrangements are performed by the current eight piece show band in an unparalleled style! You can hear Ray Massa's EuroRhythms at Major Italian festivals throughout the United States.
Tony's family comes from the Basilicata Region in the south of Italy. At the turn of the last century his family emigrated to Brooklyn, NY and northeastern Pennsylvania and eventually Tony came to live in central Ohio. He has been active in music from an early age and in addition to being the lead vocalist and trombonist for the EuroRhythms he has played guitar with several local bands. He has worked with Ray on and off since 1989 and returned as the full time lead singer in 2001. In addition to his music, Tony enjoys spending time with his family and restoring and racing classic muscle cars.
Marco Capoccia grew up in a large family in Alvito, Italy, a beautiful small town in the Appennini Mountains about 45 minutes east of Rome. Life in Italy was always exciting and busy; when Marco wasn’t in school, he was either playing soccer behind the church with his friends or working at his family’s bakery and olive oil factory. At the age of 10, Marco began studying the trumpet and at 13, he started playing in a marching band to make some extra money. When Marco was 20, he put aside his trumpet and let his hair grow long to sing popular American songs with a little rock band, without knowing a word in English. Five years later, his ambitions brought him to the United States, even though it was very hard to leave his family and the life in Italy. When Marco arrived in the fall of 2000, his first night out was to the Columbus Italian Festival. He saw this great band playing with an accordion at center stage; it reminded him of Nonno Antonio who loved to play after a few glasses of wine. Marco wanted to meet Ray Massa and ask him for an audition, but how ironic it would be to sing Italian songs in America after singing English songs in Italy. Since then, Marco has been percussionist, 2 nd trumpet, and one of the singers and entertainers with Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms. For Marco, this band has become a group of friends that travels together across the country spreading the passion, the positive energy and the unity of the Italian culture.
Giovanni Caproni (aka Giovanni Con La Chitarra, and Giovanni L'idraulico) has been with Ray since 1992. Giovanni, an accomplished musician on many instruments, plays guitar, keyboards, mandolin and contributes vocals for the EuroRhythms. Giovanni (who has "Perfect Pitch") also writes many of the musical arrangements for the Band as well as for other artists. In addition to traditional and contemporary Italian music, Giovanni's musical career spans everything from American country music, to rock and jazz. Giovanni currently resides near Delaware, Ohio.
| Gaetano Nicolosi is Italy's hottest newest export. As a
drummer, performer, recording artist, and instructor, this native of Ramacca,
Sicily, has quickly ascended to the top level of his craft. He has performed
on or been featured on many Italian TV programs such as RAI2, TMC (Tele
Monte Carlo), Teletna, and Tele D. He has been also profiled in many of his
country's newspapers: La Sicilia (Italy's version of the USA Today), Il
Resto Del Carlino, and Corrierre Adriatico. He has even written musical
transcription for the Italian drum magazine called Drum Club. As a music
instructor, Gaetano taught at the Accademia Musica Moderna in Modica,
Sicily, and the Accademia Amor Vitae in Catania. He was also a private music
instructor in Ramacca, Sicily, at the Centro Polifunzionale. Since arriving
in America in 2000, Gaetano has performed over 600 shows nationwide with
IronHorse, headlining and opening for acts like ZZ Top, 38 Special, The
Doobie Brothers, RATT, Skid Row, and The Kentucky Headhunters. His powerful
yet intricate drumming technique has been the foundation of the band’s
music, as demonstrated on "BRING IT ON", their 2004 release on Compendia/VTone
Records. His talents have earned Gaetano high praise in the industry, and
endorsements from some of the top manufacturers of musical equipment: Taye
Drums, Istanbul Agop & Alchemy Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks and
accessories, Attack Drumheads, and Ultimate Support stage stands and
accessories. In addition to recording and performing, Gaetano not only finds
time to perform drum clinics across the nation and private instruction to
select students, but he has now published his first two instructional books:
Reading Rhythms In Simple Time Signatures (Books 1 & 2).
Jerry Parsons has been with Ray Massa and the EuroRythms
since 1999. He plays bass and sings background vocals. He has played in
various bands for 36 years. He was approached by a long-time friend (former
drummer for the EuroRhythms) to audition for the band. Music is not only a
hobby, but also a profession. He holds music education degrees from both
Otterbein College, and Kent State University. Jerry is a full-time music
teacher, and has taught high school choir and music theory for 30 years. He
is an active choral writer, arranger, clinician, and adjudicator across the
state of Ohio. He resides, with his wife and two children, in central Ohio.
Bryan Olsheski joined the EuroRhythms in 2000 as their Saxophonist. He graduated in 1995 from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Bachelors in Jazz Performance. Bryan “cut his teeth” in the industry as a soloist and guest artist with performers from around the world whilst working for Princess and Royal Caribbean Cruise lines for 2 years. Relocating to London, England for 3 years, Olsheski soon gained a reputation as a teacher and also began performing and recording in salsa, jazz as well as function bands hired out for weddings and other special events. While living in England, Bryan formed his own band playing his original music at many of the popular jazz clubs in London such as The 606 Jazz Club, The Jazz Café and Bulls Head Barnes. He has shared the stage with some of the most famous names in jazz such as Joe Henderson, Kenny Garrett, Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Conrad Herwig, Jack McDuff, Slide Hampton and George Benson. He has also been a featured soloist for The Temptations, The Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Steve Winwood, Vaughn Weister’s Famous Jazz Orchestra, Afro-Rican Jazz Ensemble, Kico Cowan and Expresion Cubana, The Four Tops and The Spinners. Living in Columbus, Ohio for the past 5 years has enabled Bryan to dedicate himself more to composing and perfecting his craft. In March of 2005 he recorded his first CD under his own name showcasing several of his own compositions.
Ben Huntoon is the Jazz Education Specialist at Stanton's Sheet Music in Columbus, Ohio. In that capacity he is responsible for all buying, selling and promotion of jazz music and jazz education materials. Mr. Huntoon actively represents Stanton's at state, national and international conventions of OMEA, JEN and the International Trumpet Guild.
Ben also is a Senior Lecturer at Otterbein University where he teaches trumpet and coaches brass ensembles as well as serving on the jazz faculty. He has served as co-director of the O.P.C.I.C.A. All State Jazz Ensemble and was host of the International Association for Jazz Education Teacher Training Institute at Otterbein in June 2005.
As a jazz educator, Ben has adjudicated jazz festivals and conducted numerous jazz related clinic sessions at OMEA conferences and events around the state of Ohio. He also served the former International Association for Jazz Education and the current Jazz Education Connection of Ohio in a variety of capacities. Ben also was one of the contributing writers for the GIA publication, Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz.
An active professional trumpet player, Ben has performed in Ohio and throughout the Midwest for over thirty years. He has performed for a number of professional theatrical companies including CAPA’s Broadway Series. He has played on a regular basis for numerous jazz personalities with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and Vaughn Wiester's Famous Jazz Orchestra, among others. Ben has performed as guest soloist and served as clinician with a number of high school jazz ensembles and colleges in the Midwest. He was a member of the Capital University Faculty Brass Quintet for five years and currently performs on a regular basis with his own quintet, The Gabriel Brass. He’s an active freelance trumpet player performing in numerous multi-ethnic bands and ensembles. Ben has a B.M from Capital University and a M.A. from The Ohio State University. He is a member of the Jazz Education Network, Ohio Music Education Association, International Trumpet Guild and American Federation of Musicians, Local #103.