Meet the Band!
synergy n. , pl. -gies .
The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual.
Guitar / Lead Vocals
Darren did his fellowship in Funk during the 90’s in the bars and clubs of NYC and Atlanta, including The Wetlands, Mercury Lounge and Chameleon Club. Inspired by Dr Funkenstein and reared in the house of Rhythm-n-Blues, he brings a style that he refers to as Boogie Blues.” A pinch of “boogie blues”, a cup full of the funkness that is the rhythm section and a big helping of the signature M-tone’s horns . . . that’s the recipe for the Mysterytones explosive sound.
Keyboards / Vocals
Mike started playing the blues while attending High School in Rhode Island in the early 70’s, covering everything from the Allman Brothers to Hendrix on his beat up RMI electric piano. Later in the decade, he upgraded his axes to Hammond, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet and Moog and played with the New England-based, horn-heavy R&B band, Night Flight – covering Tower of Power and Brecker Brothers tunes, mixed in with the disco of the day, and touring up and down the East Coast. By the 80’s, Mike had packed up to move to sunny Miami where he has since played in Cuban bands and Motown acts such as Hard Tymes, and rockers like The Urge. Mike likes to think of his keyboard style as a blend of Herbie, Brian, Jimmie and a touch of ELP. (You keyboard players will recognize this line-up.)
Low man on the totem pole.
Ignacio has been tapping rhythms for what seems like forever. By the time he got his first car, a ’69 Ford Mustang with an 8 track stereo, he was tapping rhythms on his steering wheel to the sounds of Tower of Power, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Earth Wind,& Fire, and other great bands of the day. Motown and a variety of jazz greats were also huge influences. He played drums for local 70’s Funk and R & B bands such as Black Magic and Impulse, and got some formal music education at Hialeah High School and Miami-Dade College. It goes without saying that he’s had a passion for playing in bands with horn sections over the years, but the passion was set aside for a while to raise a family. As a recent “empty nester” with some extra time, he joined the Mysterytones in the Spring of 2012 and never looked back, except to remember the “Good Old Days”. One of his favorite lines is -“The Mysterytones make me feel like a kid again, until I get up the next morning after a gig”!
Danny began playing the sax at the tender age of 12. At 15, he heard the amazing Tenor Saxophone of Ed Calle soloing over a Jr. High band arrangement and knew what he wanted to do in life. In his senior year at the New World School of the Arts, he was awarded the Outstanding Jazz Soloist award and All-State Jazz Band recognition. He then entered the University of Miami Studio Music & Jazz program. There, Danny was able to hone his distinctive sound. While at UM, he performed in a wide range of ensembles, mastering the styles of Art Blakey, Earth, Wind & Fire, Funk Fusion, Rufus and Jazz. Following graduation in 1997, he traveled the world, playing in different R&B, Jazz, Latin, Caribbean, Rock, Blues and Big Bands. These travels took him to South and Central America, the Middle East, Europe and the Caribbean. Danny now makes his home in Miami and has pledged his soul to the Mysterytones. And nobody’s got more soul than Danny!
David “Big Dave” Kirsten
Inspired by E.B. White’s novel for children, “The Trumpet of the Swan”, “Big” Dave picked up his first horn at the age of 10. Since relocating from New York to Miami in 1976, he has played with Salsa Bands, Symphonies, Big Bands, Jazz Combos and has performed at more weddings than he cares to remember! Just when he had resigned himself to a life of “smooth jazz” and show tunes, providence struck. A member of the Mysterytones moved in across the street and invited Dave to sit in with the band. He experienced a “funk epiphany” and was saved! Revitalized, Dave recruited two more horn players, scratched out a few arrangements and began his quest to convert the masses with the power of Funk, Rhythm & Blues and Soul. Amen!
Hailing from Hialeah, John studied music at Florida International University. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Music at Miami Dade College and Executive Director of Education at the Rhythm & Pitch School of Performing Arts. A highly sought after freelance musician, when John isn’t doing his thing with the Mysterytones he performs across the globe with Electric Piquete, the Bad Apples Brass Band and anywhere a jam session breaks out.
Paul Smith (June 15, 1964 – October 18, 2012)
The original Trombonist with the Mysterytones, Paul “Lead Bone” Smith, performed throughout the U.S. with some of the top artists of our time. Whether touring with Glenn Miller’s band, jamming on a cruise ship or playing with the Mysterytones, Paul’s distinctive sound and iron chops laid the foundation for a fabulous horn section. Paul left us way too soon, but will never be forgotten.