Originally from Houston, TX, Mark Lucas has been a full time Arizonan for over 25 years. Mark is not only one of the most talented vocalists and guitarists (with a degree in classical guitar) but will surprise you and keep you laughing with his hilarious comedy routines. His soulful roots come through in every song he sings or plays whether its Classic Country or Rock & Roll. For many years you could find Mark entertaining visitors at Tortilla Flat on Canyon Lake leading the ‘Tortilla Flat Band’ during the afternoons. He is now focusing his efforts on “The Rhythm Cats” and the shows he helps co-produce here at the Silver Star Theater. The “Mark Lucas and the Wild Bunch” show features original material Mark has written and recorded throughout his career. You’ll be sure to enjoy the many talented sides of Mark Lucas..
As a product of the “babyboomer” generation, Jeff’s passion for music was greatly influenced by the Beatles in 1964. Jeff grew out his hair, rebelled against authority and bought a guitar. Mastering the bass guitar, he began his music career with the St. Louis band “Children” in 1976. After almost 20 years as a musician, who had played with countless bands and traveled the U.S. – Jeff decided to settle in Arizona. For the past 25 years, Arizona has had the benefit of Jeff’s musical talents and after all those years he’s still playing his guitar and having fun! Jeff will tell you “I consider myself a lucky man.” We are lucky too – ‘cause he’s a Rhythm Cat! His musical abilities have become obvious to our audiences. An average show will find him making the rounds from acoustic and electric guitar to bass to keyboards to ukulele to vocals and more. Truly a talented and versatile pro!
Greg’s musical interest sparked at the young age of 5, when under his father’s instruction, he began playing along on the trumpet to Herb Alpert records. He continued learning to play the piano and guitar and went on to earn his Bachelor’s in Music Performance at ASU and immediately following graduation landed a fulltime job as trumpeter with The Side Street Strutters at Disneyland while also touring the U.S. and Europe with them for over 21 years. Since 2002, Greg has been the trombone instructor every summer at Teagarden Traditional Jazz Camp in California. He was part of the Brian Setzer Orchestra and was also the other half of an acoustic duo with Nils Lofgren, lead guitarist with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Not only that, but Greg has been a professional tap dancer for over 20 years! The Silver Star is honored to have him join us as the newest member of The Rhythm Cats Band!
Chris Kennison has been performing professionally for over 40 years. He displays his talents with performances on pedal steel guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, dobro, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele and Hawaiian lap steel. He performs in Arizona, Hawaii, and Colorado. Chris has performed on radio, TV, and has worked with the Ft. Collins Symphony, Doug Kershaw, Dan Seals, and at most major venues in and around Northern Colorado. He also leads a Hawaiian swing band called “Book – Em Danno“ whose recordings have been featured on the Hawaii 5-O television show.
Chris is also an Audio Recording/Engineer and for 25 years has owned and operated a commercial recording studio in Fort Collins, CO. His love of steel and Hawaiian music has led him to serve on the Board of Directors for the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association where he helps raise money for scholarships for young musicians learning steel, and he produces concerts and conventions showcasing international steel players.
Born and raised in Chicago, Michael studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and graduated from Indiana University as a woodwind major, but was equally involved playing bass guitar and string bass. You’ve heard Michael’s bass playing for years, even though you didn’t know it was him playing on commercials for major airlines, Coors, McDonalds, Sears and hundreds of other clients. With a background playing all styles of music, he backed up every major act and show performing in the Midwest and became a popular choice in the recording industry and recorded more than 1,000 commercials, movie scores, HBO Specials and record dates. Michael started traveling with top concert entertainers and shows in 1987, and was on the road continuously until 2007. He was honored to be “hand picked” by Andrew Lloyd Webber to tour with his American concert tour. During his 20 years traveling, he toured with the Broadway shows, CATS, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.
Ed was born in New York and started drumming at age 11 with the Sea Cadets Drum and Bugle Corp. His family moved to Arizona when he was 13 where he played with many high school bands. At age 17, he started playing professionally with local bands and performing at many local venues. He has performed throughout Arizona for the past 30 years and opened for Willie Nelson, Jerry Reed, Gene Watson, Asleep at the Wheel, Mark Chesnutt, Joe Diffie, Kentucky Head Hunters, Mark Wills, Little Texas, Steve Wariner, Eddy Raven, Dixie Chicks, Black Hawk, Aaron Tippin, Susie Bogguss, Sawyer Brown, Trace Atkins, Chris LeDoux, and Aaron Watson. Ed has also played shows with Hank Thomson, and worked with song writer Dale Noe. In the mid 90’s he backed up Toby Keith and others at the grand re-opening of the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix and recently backed up Lynn Anderson and opened for outlaw song writer Billy Joe Shaver..
Jackie is honored to be joining the Rhythm Cats this season! She is an actor and an Arizona native, but has spent the last two years in Chicago performing, training, and choreographing. Some favorite local theater credits include; Lucy Harris(Jekyll and Hyde) Hope Harcourt (Anything Goes), Louise Bigelow (Carousel), Ariel Moore (Footloose). Please join us in welcoming Jackie to The Silver Star Theater!
I would like to thank everyone for the support I’ve had over the past year since my accident. I have a spinal cord injury and it is the nature of the injury to take up to 2 years to recover. I am walking with cane now and have limited use of my hands and arms. I’m doing all that I can to get back to performing at the Silver Star with all my friends and for all my friends. Again, I would like to thank everyone for the prayers and well-wishes and all of the support I have received since the accident. It is unlikely that I will return for the 2018 2019 season, but it’s possible Willie might make a cameo appearance.
From Cripple Creek, Colorado the son of a High School Band Director, Steve grew up in a musical family. He was the student conductor and recipient of the John Phillip Sousa Award in high school and earned his degree in music education from the University of Southern Colorado. Steve toured with dance bands during the 70’s, then moved to Arizona where he played with “Cosmo Topper”, “Prairie Rose” and other notable bands. Steve also appeared in a major motion picture with Sally Fields and James Garner, “Murphy’s Romance.” He can play a variety of brass and woodwind instruments including: trumpet, trombone, mellophone, tuba, saxophones and clarinet. Steve has a very versatile voice and is well known in Arizona and Colorado for his Willie Nelson impersonation, he also does a great job on Johnny Cash and many other classic country artists.
Patrick hails from the Emerald Isle’s Capital city Dublin, where he is a well-known performer and recording artist. Patrick studied Singing in Dublin at the prestigious “BEL CANTO SCHOOL OF SINGING,” where the teachings are centered on expression and telling the story. He has brought his vocal excellence to many countries including Sweden, Germany, as well as touring theatres on the East Coast of the United States. Patrick has appeared on TV and Radio shows in the United States, Europe, and in his native Ireland and has released 3 albums to date.
Patrick is very much committed to the Art of Singing and also enjoys bringing a high energy of dancing to his Shows. After entertaining in most corners of the globe, he is excited to bring a high quality evening of entertainment to the Silver Star Theater. Patrick’s favorite pastimes include golf and meeting new people. Although he performs in all of The Rhythm Cats shows, Patrick says “his Vegas Jubilee Show will be full of surprises“. Certainly a show you won’t want to miss!
One of the world’s best Alpine yodelers, was raised on a potato farm in Grace, ID, and had to wander quite a distance to discover his passion – yodeling! A performer from the tender age of three, he has sung everything from western ballads to barbershop music. It was during his travels to Austria in 1976 however, that he discovered the folk music that would be his life. Armed with recordings of the great yodelers, Kerry returned from Europe, determined to master this ancient art–and he did. While driving the family tractor around and around the potato fields, he practiced 14-15 hours a day His career really soared when Disney World hired him to work at the German Pavilion of the Epcot Center in 1984. After his experience as the Disney World Yodeler, Kerry, in 1990, headed out on his own and has had great success as one of only two or three professional, full-time yodelers in the United States. In the summers, you will find him at various German, Swiss, Austrian, Cowboy, Country and Scandinavian festivals around the U.S. and Canada.