General Information

Ladies and gentlemen, The Band

  • Lead Vocals: Seymour
  • On guitar: Pitman
  • Female vocals: Baksh
  • On keyboard: Francis
  • Musical director: Edwards
  • On guitar: Hay
  • Bass guitar: Tacklyn
  • On drums: Washington Sr

Last month, The Band, which will perform at various events during the 35th Americaís Cup was chosen after 3,000 votes.

Six local musicians made the cut, they were: Dave Pitman, on saxophone and guitar; Jesse Seymour, lead vocalist; Torrey Tacklyn, on bass guitar; Troy Washington Sr, on drums; Raven Baksh, vocals and guitar; Leroy Francis, on keyboard; Tony Hay, on guitar; and Robert Edwards, who will act as musical director.

This week, we are taking a closer look at each of these musicians to get to know them better before they take to the stage during AC35.

Dave Pitman

1: When did you fall in love with music?

I really canít remember not being in love with music. I have always loved listening to music of all sorts of genres, and growing up in a very musical family there was never any shortage of it. Once I got old enough to actually appreciate what I was hearing and, eventually, performing, music had already become an everyday thing. I canít imagine going a day without listening to or performing music in some capacity. It makes everything better in life.

2: Favourite song to perform and why?

This sort of depends on what Iím playing. For instance, I love playing any Stevie Wonder or Chicago on tenor sax, but if Iím on baritone sax the prize definitely has to go to Diggin on James Brown by Tower of Power. Then on the other side of the spectrum, if Iím playing guitar, I definitely enjoy rocking out to ďDonít Stop BelievingĒ or ďCall Me AlĒ by Paul Simon.

3: Who would make up the members of your fantasy band?

Other than The Band, of course?! Bruno Mars (and any member of his band). Beyoncť? Stevie? The list of hero vocalists goes on. I would love to play with the Jerry Hey Horns, the guys who played on all of MJís albums. Or the Tower of Power Horns. Either of those outfits are killers of their craft. Also, it sounds cheesy but I really miss playing with my old band in Toronto, Yasgurs Farm. The guys I met at school were incredible to play with. Performing with that group is really what gave me the bug to pursue performing this kind of music live.

Torrey Tacklyn

1: Most embarrassing moment on stage? Performing for an artist in a packed house at CedarBridge Academy and at the bridge of the song, the song was starting build, the artist decided she didnít want to complete the song and just stopped singing. She looked at the band and gave us the signal to stop. We were so confused and me being the music director was not happy! I felt really crazy.

2: What are your pre-performance rituals?

Headphones, iPhone, and listen to music from the performance songs. Cracking jokes with the other band members just to loosen up. To me, having fun and enjoying the music Iím playing on stage is an awesome feeling!

3: If you could play on any stage in the world, where would it be and why?

Madison Square Garden, all the greatest musicians and artists have performed there.

Tony Hay

1: Who is your favourite artist and why?

Eric Clapton. Iíve seen him about 30 times. He got me interested in playing guitar and has been a big influence.

2: If you could play on any stage in the world, where would it be and why?

The Royal Albert Hall. Iíve seen many great rock concerts there, and it has really good acoustics and a unique atmosphere.

3: What are your pre-performance rituals?

First, I bathe in pure Evian. Then I usually look for the giant bowl of M&Mís in the dressing room and eat only the blue ones. Only then can I play the guitar.

Robert Edwards

1: What is your favourite song to listen to and why?

Itís not a ďsongĒ, but rather a ďworkĒ; and that would be Verdiís Requiem. It is just such a powerful work in its entirety and when you listen to the orchestrations it puts me in a place of tranquility Ö Itís a ďCalgon, take me away!Ē moment.

2: If you could play on any stage in the world, where would it be and why?

Actually, I have performed on my dream stage and that was at The Apollo in NYC in 2008.

Because of its history and all the great performers that have passed through there.

3: What is your favourite album and why?

Itís between Powerlight and All and All Ö both by Earth, Wind and Fire. The songs are just awesome and again, when I want to go a certain place, those two albums take me there.

Leroy Francis

1: Most embarrassing moment on stage? I mustíve been about nine-years-old. I was playing a piano selection for a youth competition at my church. The church hall was rammed so when they called my name to perform, I went up to the piano, sat down and started my selection. Everyone was enjoying it until I caught a vibe and went on and on and on. I mustíve played for like a good 15-20 with my eyes closed tight. Because my eyes were shut, I never saw the people on the side lines, trying to signal to me that it was time to end it. When I realised how quiet the audience went, I started to wrap it up and then all of a sudden, the audience started cheering really hard. I felt like the guy! So I started playing longer and harder. What I didnít realise was that the audience had started clapping because the ushers had started making their way towards me, grabbed me and pulled me offstage. I hung out in the bathrooms for the rest of that night.

2: If you could play on any stage in the world, where would it be and why? The Grammys. Only the best of the best perform there and the production of those shows are always amazing.

3: Who would make up the members of your fantasy band? All the members of the 90s band Mint Condition, when my favourite drummer Chris Dave played with them. I wouldnít play keys for them though. I would play something crazy like a kazoo or something, that way I can focus on them during performances, learn and take notes.

Raven Baksh

1: Favourite song to perform and why?

My favourite songs to perform at the moment Neon by John Mayer and October Song by Amy Winehouse. Neon because of the guitar playing (I like a challenge and jazz chords), and ďOctober SongĒ because itís Amy (I adore her) and itís a wicked song to sing.

2: Most embarrassing moment on stage?

I was filling in for a guitarist on a fancy dinner night/gala gig and I didnít know one of the songs (It was short notice!). So I turned my guitar all the way down and pretended to play ó until the solo came around and a dinner guest called my bluff by pointing and laughing at me.

3: When did you fall in love with music?

I fell in love with music when I was a little kid. My parents always had music on in the house. Everything from the Spin Doctors and U2 to Public Enemy and The Fugees. I think it was solidified when my grandpa taught me how to play My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean on the guitar when I was 7.

Jesse Seymour

1: Favourite song to perform and why?

Find that Girl by Jah Cure. The response I get is amazing. The ladies love it!

2: If you could play on any stage in the world, where would it be and why?

Coachella, it seems like an amazing place to perform. Definitely my vibe.

3: Who would make up the members of your fantasy band?

Bill Withers on drums, Prince on guitar, Elton John on keys and lead vocals ó ME!

Troy Washington Sr

1: If you could play on any stage in the world, where would it be and why?

Superbowl stage because the world would be watching.

2: Most embarrassing moment on stage?

Slipping off of the drum stool.

3: Who would make up the members of your fantasy band?

Winston Johnson ó Keys; Brian Washington ó Bass; Lawrence Jones ó Guitar