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Laya – lead vocals
Laya was born and raised in Cambridge MA, the youngest of four siblings. She grew up listening to Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Boys II Men, and has always loved to sing! Laya was an award-winning vocalist in high school, and went on to be a backing vocalist for Daniel “Skyhigh” McClain, with whom she appeared at Virgin Records in Boston and on the Fox 25 Morning Show. Laya has studied voice at the New School of Music, the School of Groove, and with renowned voice artist Jimi Zimmardi. She also has enjoyed success as a songwriter, actor and model, and was featured in Black Hair magazine in 2005.
Laya has been turning heads since her very first show with the band. "Its such a great feeling to be able to do what you love and have people enjoy it right along with you," Laya says. "But the best part is singing with such a great group of guys. They’re like my extended family!”
Laya’s favorite colors are tan, brown and turquoise.
Joe – lead vocals
Joe’s always had a love for all things music, and started picking up instruments one by one when he was in middle school—first the drums, then the bass and eventually the guitar—but it wasn’t until after college that Joe learned to love the spotlight as the frontman for Gloucester-based Middle Ground. "We only played a few shows a month, but the experience really opened the door and allowed me to gain the skills I would need to flourish with Groove Authority."
Joe remembers growing up with great music always playing in the house. “My older sisters grew up in the mid-80’s, and to this day I’m still a hardcore 80’s fan. I think my parents’ Motown records had a huge impact [on my taste], too. And I’ve always loved the Beatles and the Beach Boys.”
When asked about singing with Groove Authority, Joe gets visibily excited. “I believe every song we do, whether it's because of its lyrical content or its musical groove, has the power to stir people's emotions. That’s why I love singing in Groove Authority. In fact, you'll usually catch me dancing, too! I can't help it; the music just makes me move!”
Joe’s favorite sports team is the New England Patriots. “Go Pats!”
Mike – drums, vocals
Mike’s first encounter with drums was at the age of 11 in a small town in New Jersey, and he’s been relentlessly pursuing the "groove" ever since! Upon moving to Boston to attend the venerated Berklee College of Music, Mike got a chance to study with funk legend Larry Finn and rock master Mike Mangini. For more than three years now, Mike's solid-as-a-rock playing has given credence to the name “Groove Authority.” From his intense study of dozens of percussionists from around the world, Mike has incorporated many techniques and styles into the repertoire of Groove Authority, helping the band to sound great at any venue for any crowd!
When he’s not playing drums, Mike enjoys researching Sacred Geometry to help better his understanding of life, harmony, and drum set performance.
Ken – piano, keyboards, vocals
Ken is one of the best keyboard players you will find anywhere, and he has the résumé to prove it! Melvin Sparks, Michelle Willson, The Love Dogs, Fathead Newman, and Bernard Purdie are just a few of the artists Ken has performed or recorded with. Ken has twice been the New England Blues Society's pick for Keyboardist of the Year (2006, 2009), and The Ken Clark Organ Trio was featured in Bass Player Magazine for his incredible low-end prowess on the Hammond B-3 organ. Ken is one of the few and the proud who can still be seen and heard on the B-3, as cited in Wikipedia's entry for the Hammond organ. He has a performer's diploma from Berklee College of Music.
Ken's skill as a singer and keyboardist is obvious every time he performs, but for him it's all about the connection he makes with crowd and his fellow musicians. "I enjoy the intense spiritual sense of community between the musicians and the audience," Ken explains, "especially at weddings, where the good vibes in the room are there from the get-go!"
Ken's favorite ice cream flavor is pistachio.
Andrew – saxophone, auxiliary percussion
Andrew has played with Clutch Grabwell, Bellevue Cadillac, Eddie Sheer, Madhouse, Mike Levesque, Tony Savarino, The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, The Circadian Rhythm Kings, the World's Greatest Sinners, Archie Bell, LaLa Brooks, and many others. He's opened for such national acts as Ziggy Marley, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, Blind Melon, Eek-A-Mouse, and Jon Faddis. Andrew has studied music at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory, as well as privately with Jerry Bergonzi, Charlie Banacos, George Garzone, Frank Tiberi, Bert Wilson, and Johnny P. Jessen. He was included in the Grammy Ballot (first round) for Best Jazz Soloist for his performance on "Brown Skin Girl" with the Revolutionary Snake ensemble on their 2008 album Forked Tongue.
In addition to being a saxophone virtuoso, Andrew is an accomplished percussionist with a "bag of toys" he employs for sonic coloration and, of course, groove! But more importantly, Andrew brings fresh ideas and improvisations to every gig. "No matter how scripted music may be, you still never know exactly what will happen," he says with a sly grin. "Performing with Groove Authority is a great experience because we all know how to combine a really well-prepared show with a little spontaneity to keep things interesting!"
Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Andrew's favorite sports teams are the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks.
Paul – bandleader, guitar, vocals
Paul is the driving force behind Groove Authority. His tireless efforts as bandleader and manager are responsible for Groove Authority being one of the busiest professional cover bands in New England. Thanks to Paul, Groove Authority enjoys relationships with some of the top talent agencies in Boston, as well as an ever-expanding legion of fans and happy clients.
Recent wedding receptions rocked by Groove Authority garnered praise not only for the music but for Paul's attention to detail. When it comes to getting the right feel for your event, Paul will be there to talk logistics, timeline, and setting the right mood.
In addition to his versatile guitar work with Groove Authority, Paul is a consummate blues guitarist, and has played at some of the top blues venues in Boston (the original House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe.
Paul’s favorite guitar player is Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Seth – bass, vocals
Seth is an active composer, music educator and bass player in Boston. He has degrees in music performance and music education from the University of Massachsetts Amherst, and is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree on a scholarship to Boston University's College of Fine Arts. Seth has also toured the country (40+ states) with college-age student groups performing his own music arrangements, and has been commissioned to write music for ensembles from across New England, as well as Texas, Nebraska, South Carolina and even Japan.
Seth comes from a family of musicians; his father Rob and brother Jared both sing and play guitar for a living, and his mother Mary Ann sings in the church choir. Seth began gigging with his father at age fourteen, and has been in love with groovin' ever since!
After occasionally subbing on bass for Groove Authority over the course of a few years, Seth came on as the band's full-time bass player in 2009, and he couldn't be happier about it. “Groove Authority is such a fun band to play with!” says Seth. “When we really lock in and get the crowd going, it’s a feeling you can’t get any other way. It’s addictive and it’s contagious, and for me it’s particularly exciting because the music-making just keeps getting better!”
Seth recently found that he is a Mayflower descendent, but he’s more excited about being Samuel Adams’ third cousin, nine times removed.