Category Archives: Musical Guests

Rachel Sorsa

Rachel Sorsa is originally from Detroit and has lived in Austin and Atlanta before moving to Venice 11 years ago. She is an award-winning actress, singer and songwriter, and animal owner/lover/activist.

She earned a dual Bachelors degree from The University of Michigan in theatre and drama and music, from the schools of Literature, Science and the Arts and The School of Music. Sorsa then went on to earn her Masters degree in theatre (theory) from Michigan State University and a three-year Doctoral program in theatre history and criticism at The University of Texas-Austin. After her graduate studies and teaching appointments, she moved to Atlanta (her grandfather and mother’s original birthplace) and began performing in the regional theatre. She performed in over 20 productions in her 4½ years there.

In 2006, she moved to Venice continuing her success as a stage actress, most notably as the title role in the world premiere musical adaptation of Euripides’ HELEN at The Getty Villa, and as EMPRESS in Beijing, China in the world premiere musical CINNAMON GIRL with Chinese composer superstar, Nathan Wang. She has earned LA Weekly Theatre Awards, Stage Scene Awards and the LA Drama Critics Circle Award, and has made her foray into film and television with roles in BLUES FOR WILLADEAN with Octavia Spencer, Dale Dickey and Beth Grant; and HALLOWEEN PARTY among others.

In 2008, she formed Rachel Sorsa Band, including prominent members of the LA and world jazz community; Gus Duffy, drums; Serge Kasimoff, piano; Andy Allen, bass; and Preston Gould, trumpet. They have performed steadily on the jazz circuit throughout the years holding residencies at Danny’s Venice (7 years), world famous The Baked Potato and the prominent, yet short-lived RG Club in Venice. RSB released their debut album, SISU, last year. Comprised of five of Rachel’s originals and five arrangements, SISU has garnered rave reviews and radio play. She has worked as a session singer at Big Surprise Music and Pico Studios.

Rachel will be returning to Altanta this winter for 6 weeks to perform as Rosemary Clooney in the two-person musical TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY STORY at the renowned Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory. She is managed by Robin McWilliams at MadCatch Entertainment.

Rachel Sorsa on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S06.E04 – July 16, 2017

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Britton + Ming from Righteous Heirs

Both hailing from the South, Britton Sparkman (Birmingham, AL) and Ming Loo (Silver Spring, Maryland) grew up with music all around. In the summer of 2013, while working at a Tech company, they met and began making music together. Constantly looking for a fuller sound they continued to look for the perfect band.

In 2015 they, along with fellow musicians Jason Lamagna & Richard Maya, formed the Rock outfit, Righteous Heirs. Blending the styles of Southern Rock, Hard Rock, 90’s Alternative, and Americana, or Hard Rock Americana for short, they began recording and released their first EP, 1.

As of the beginning of 2017, Righteous Heirs have been continually recording out of their Studio in Simi Valley and releasing tunes via Bandcamp, and almost every digital outlet you can think of. Keep your eyes and ears open, as their is much more Rock to come!

Righteous Heirs on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S06.E04 (Britton + Ming) – July 16, 2017

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Ouiwey Collins

Ouiwey Collins, son of the Legendary Bootsy Collins, has unmistaken creative ability to bring “edge” and “flare” to anything he touches. His exemplary skill set has been expounded upon through collaborative projects with his father, Bootsy Collins. A roster of icons Ouiwey Collins has joined forces with range from George Clinton, Parliament, Billy Ray Cyrus, D.O.C., DPB, Snoop Dogg, Club Nouveau, The Machine Pro., D-Cat Music, Howard Hewitt, The Jimmy Hendrix Family Album, Zapp, Midnight Star, Shirley Murdock, Kocaine, The Dogg Pound, The Jacksons, Lady Miss Kier, and many others.

In addition to Ouiwey’s eclectic collaborative roster he has also channeled his creativity into the following projects: lead vocals for the game Donkey Conga, theme song for New Jack’s Backyard Wrestling, music for Digimon: The Movie, vocals for various Japanese Anime, Too Cold Scorpio WWE ECW wrestler: The Album, Cincinnati Bengals theme song, The Record Producer Reality Show: Bradley Spalter. In 2006 Ouiwey partnered up with David Brooks (DPB) to work with a youth event known as the Basement. Over a 3 year time frame Ouiwey mentored, trained and supported staff in the aspects of media and music with a concentration in video production, music production, web design, and graphic design. He also produced a reality show which aired on CW locally. In 3 years the demand for the Basement program grew from 400 to 8000 due to the efforts of Ouiwey & DPB. These Basement sessions were conducted weekly on Tuesday’s in an effort to consistently server the population. Following the Basement project Ouiwey went to Japan for 3 years and performed 6 nights a week with his band in live houses. After completing his North American tour he returned to the United States at which point in time he started travelling with his father on tour from 2011-2015. In 2016 Ouiwey Collins shifted his focus to work on his album and resume working with his band.

Ouiwey is currently in the process of working on his album and has connected with Marilyn Gill Executive producer at BET. Patricia Collins, Bootsy Collins, and Ouiwey have been approached to be featured in a Reality show which is currently in the final stages of the contract phase. The designated film crew will follow Ouiwey Collins and the Funksquad on their journey.

This is The FunkSquad!

Beautiful You

Wonder Woman

SOB

Ouiwey Collins on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S06.E04 – July 16, 2017

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Elio Banzer

11-year-old Elio Banzer is a native to LA. He’s growing up in Switzerland where his family moved 8 years ago. He took up playing drums at the age of 3½. He won the National Swiss Drum Contest in Lucerne twice.

Last fall he jammed with Bernard Allison, son of blues legend Luther Allison, at the Blues and Rock Night in Thusis, Switzerland.

Elio Banzer on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S06.E03 – July 9, 2017

Fort Defiance

Fort Defiance is an Americana duo from Nashville, Tennessee, hailed for their honest songwriting, timeless harmonies, and high-energy stage performance.

After weekend runs and short tours, the husband and wife moved into their van and began touring relentlessly – playing over 250 shows, in 46 states the first year, without the help of management or outside booking agents – and they haven’t slowed down since.

Their passion and grassroots sincerity has garnered heavy attention from around the country, causing critics to call them “breathtakingly seductive” (That Music Mag) and “Good, honest, and full of real heart” (Orlando Weekly).

Their newest release, a crowd-funded effort called The Haunts of Youth, was made available in March 2017.

Fort Defiance on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S06.E02 – July 2, 2017

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Cole Zampas-Klean

Cole Zampas-Klean has music in his soul, now 9 years old he’s the lead singer and keyboard player in 3 rock bands … he’s performed at legendary venues such as The Avalon Theatre, The El Rey Theatre and The Wiltern.

He and his band recently competed against 120 school bands in Los Angeles and won The “Battle of the Bands” contest. Cole has recorded his winning song at LA’s world famous “The Village” Recording Studios and was then selected for the All-Star rock band. Cole has been with his Orpheus band mates for several years now.

Locally in the Venice beach scene, Orpheus has been playing at festivals, the Grandview Market and the French Market on Abbot Kinney. With much more soon to come.

Keep an eye out for Orpheus and Cole Zampas-Klean so you can say you knew him when!

Cole Zampas-Klean on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S06.E02 with Michael Gatto – July 2, 2017

Atomic Walrus

Atomic Walrus is a Los Angeles-bred band best known for their high-energy live shows featuring a unique blend of rock, hip-hop, and funk. Formed after the band’s guitarist and drummer collided in a mosh pit in the backyard of a UCLA co-op, Atomic Walrus cut their teeth playing college house parties before expanding to venues all over LA, from the South Bay to Silverlake. Since then, the band has self-produced and released music, toured CA, and performed for 10,000 people at the Hermosa Beach Summer Concert Series.

The sun-drenched surf-rock of their new single “WYMMF” nods to their South Bay roots, juxtaposing bright guitars and driving drums with melancholy lyrics chronicling an underbelly of hopelessness in a seemingly picturesque beach town.

Atomic Walrus on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S06.E01 – June 25, 2017

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Keenan Webster

Founder of SankofaAfrica, Keenan was born in Nashville, Tennessee. His love of music deepened as a teenager in Los Angeles, California, where he began his music studies with Master Teachers from Africa and Cuba. Surrounded by a highly spiritual family, he has spent his life focused on studies of music, religion and history.

He is influenced by music giants John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Taj Mahal, El Hadj Kouyate, Toumani Diabate, Robert Johnson, Slip James, Johnny Shines, Habib, Koite and Keltigue Diabate. The music traditions of Latin America, Sumatra and India also infiltrate his style.

Keenan performs the 21 string kora (11 played by the left hand and 10 by the right), a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin with a long, hardwood neck. Strings were traditionally made from thin strips of hide, for example, antelope skin – now most strings are made from harp strings or nylon fishing line.

It doesn’t fit into any one category of musical instruments and is classified as a “double-bridge-harp-lute”. He also performs on the balaphone (from West Africa), West African drums from the Mandingo or Mende people, the flute and saxophone.

Keenan Webster on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S05.E11 – May 21, 2017
Radio Venice S05.E10 – May 14, 2017

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The String Revolution

Based in Los Angeles, California, The String Revolution is comprised of four professional guitar players who are not only stellar guitarists, but also create distinctive sounds with their guitars: mimicking percussion, special effects, melodic grooves, bass lines, and more. Their knowledge of a wide range of musical styles, guitar techniques, and a clear dedication and passion for the project brought The String Revolution together.

These musicians are at the top of their game, embarking on a debut recording followed by worldwide touring. Their shows include original compositions as well as memorable covers arranged in fresh and surprising ways. With entertaining guitar chops, exceptional musicianship and an international background, The String Revolution is no doubt a new and unique force in the world of music and guitar performance.

Janet Robin is the brainchild of The String Revolution. She was named one of the “Top ten female guitarists” by Guitar World Magazine. She has also been enjoying her career as a solo artist releasing CDs and touring internationally.

Daniel Schwarz has amazing acoustic guitar abilities and skills on the slide guitar, dobro and mandolin. He is an acclaimed music composer and musician who tours frequently in Europe.

Art Zavala Jr. brings a unique, musical guitar perspective to the project, including singing, experimental rhythms, different tunings and original songs.

Markus Illko proves his classical training as well his fluency in many other styles of music. He brings inventive fingerstyle, impeccable technique, and arrangement talent to the project.

The String Revolution on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S05.E09 – May 7, 2017

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Louise Goffin

You can usually find singer-songwriter and producer Louise Goffin sitting in a studio somewhere, trying not to throw her guitar into the mixing console while painstakingly fine-tuning her forthcoming collection of explosive choruses and implosive laments. This Sunday, however, she’ll be stopping in to Radio Venice to play us some of her songs live. If you can’t wait for the world to change, you can pick up her latest release, The Essential Louise Goffin, right now.

Louise Goffin on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S05.E07 – April 23, 2017

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Louise Lynn Goffin, is a singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and recording artist. She produced Carole King’s Grammy Nominated Album “A Holiday Carole,”

Louise grew up in an A-class University with a virtual PhD in Popular Music in the making. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she was brought to Laurel Canyon, when her parents, Carole King and Gerry Goffin were part of pop culture’s migration to the West Coast, California.

Her musical talent provides the right color of instrumentation while her lyrics and top-line vocal phrasing often brings an emotional vibrancy to the music she helps create. On Carole King’s holiday record, she brought out the best in King’s vocals, which puts her own indelible stamp on the music, lending a special seasonal flair.

Louise’s debut public live performance was opening for Jackson Browne at Troubadour when she was 17 years old. Her debut album Kid Blue was released on Elektra/Asylum. After recording and releasing its follow up self-titled album, Louise was invited to England in 1984 by Dave Robinson, then running Island Records for Chris Blackwell. Goffin found solace in the UK after meeting with the team and potential producers and permanently moved there for 10 years. Upon hearing her demo of “Fifth of July,” WEA in the UK signed Louise and released This Is the Place. The album included the VH1 classic video hit “Bridge of Sighs.” When the album was released in America, Louise appeared on The Today Show and Jay Leno.

Goffin has also enjoyed playing with other known musicians such as Roland Orzabel in the major Tears for Fears world tour and Peter Gabriel in Bath, England. She then travelled with the band for four months. Other cameos include playing banjo with the iconic Bryan Ferry in his video “I Put a Spell on You” and a duet with Carole King on the theme song for the hit TV show Gilmore Girls, on the song “Where You Lead.”

She now enjoys a hands-on approach to her musical and visual self-expression, directing & editing videos on her laptop when she has time between developing new artists, recording her own singles, performing live, and raising her two boys.