THE WIZARDS OF WINTER
THE WIZARDS OF WINTER BIO
After spending my whole life living in the city, my move to the western NJ countryside had more fringe benefits than the lovely scenery and relaxed vibe. Through mutual friends, I met Scott and Sharon Kelly and together the three of us founded the Wizards of Winter. Originally this was just to have some fun as a TSO type band and raise money for some local food pantries and shelters.
But a funny thing happened. We'd filled in the 12-person band with contacts each of us had as well as taking fliers from various sites and the shows went better than we could've imagined. The audience wanted to buy our record. Of course, we didn't have one so Scott, Sharon and I proceeded to write one. We ended up writing, arranging, and recording several albums and the shows grew exponentially from a couple hundred local folks to selling out theaters all over the country.
I'd never really done meet and greets before, so playing in front of a few thousand screaming fans was heady enough, not to mention signing autographs and chatting with people, posing for pictures etc.
One night we had sold out a theater in Portland, Maine and the people were going nuts before we even went on. We wondered if they'd gotten advance copies of our new record. I'm sure some might have, but the truth was the place had 5 bars throughout the arena, so they were “primed” so to speak!
I spent the better part of a decade with the Wizards of Winter. From our creation in 2009, until 2018. I have many wonderful memories but probably my favorite songs are a couple where I wrote the basic riffs and was heavily involved in the arrangements, “Winter Magic,” “Ebeneezer” and “Once Long Ago.”
A lot of people are quite amused that I'm the guy who wrote the original libretto which is still a major part of their tour and stage show!
I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention getting to know the legendary Jon Zazula (Jonny Z), who lent his vast musical and managerial experience to the Wizards of Winter, was a highlight of my decade long career with the band.