Meet the Brothers
***Suburban Brothers Band Bios***
Growing up in the Five Towns, Suburban Bob "Guitarist at Law" Pinnola
began teaching himself how to play a Lone Ranger guitar he got for Christmas at age 6... back when he was in first grade at Our Lady of Good Counsel elementary school in Inwood. He hasn't stopped playing music since, going on to form many bands including: a rock band with a horn section at Lawrence High School called the "Harry Schwartz Orchestra" (the name of the band was never fully figured out, in that it was not actually an orchestra and no one in the band was named Harry or Schwartz); a classic rock and jam band "Dreamwork" at SUNY Albany (before those rich Hollywood guys ripped off the name of Bob's band, which Bob had originally ripped off from some wacky dude named Sigmund Freud he learned about in Psychology class; and a rock jazz fusion band in Albany Law School called "Driving While Intelligent" (playing at numerous law school parties and events perhaps attended by a fellow student named Andrew who is now the governor of New York). Bob has been playing solo acoustic guitar and vocal gigs since his coffeehouse days of the late 1970's up to today, always mixing in his original songs with songs by his favorite artists. Bob is the "Founding Brother" of the band, playing lead, rhythm and slide electric and acoustic guitars, as well as singing and scat singing, playing piano, bass, harmonica, drums, congas, banjo, mandolin, tambourine and, of course, when necessary... cowbell! He enjoys telling jokes and stories, often interacting with the crowd in between songs (and sometimes during songs!) Bob writes many of the songs they perform, each member adding his own personal style and touch to the music. Over the years, Bob has developed the Suburban Brother's musical philosophy... Always something different. Always with energy. Always with style.
Michael "Cousin Mikey" Immerman began his musical career as a youngster playing the trumpet, but went on to focus his creative energies on the guitar, singing and songwriting (and becoming a master chef). The band performs many of Mikey's original songs. He is a very talented and smooth, finger-picking guitar player, having an excellent voice with a wide range. His solid performance and songwriting abilities help take the band to the next musical level. He loves to kibitz and joke with Bob during performances. Those two are like brothers, as friends and musicians. Although not actually brothers, Mikey and Bob are "First Cousins-in-Law". (Mikey is Bob's wife Martha's first cousin.) Mikey has a heart and voice of gold. Although Mikey usually plays soft and smooth, he often wears very loud shirts. "How loud?" you ask. He wore a shirt last week that was so loud... it should have come with a volume knob! And if anyone takes the ferry from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport, you will recognize the big man with the big smile playing the small traveling guitar as our own Cousin Mikey.
Ben Pinnola grew up in a house full of music and musical instruments. There were guitars, pianos, drums, amplifiers, microphones, banjos, basses, congas, bongos, tambourines, harmonicas, you name it. He had interests and abilities in music right from the start. He began playing sax in elementary school and learned fast. He played congas with his father Bob and the Suburban Brothers Band at the age of 8, performing at the first Islip Street Fair in 1999. A star was born. He made his FM Radio debut at the age of 15 on the LI Blues Warehouse with the Suburban Brothers playing sax and bass. He has studied music and graduated with honors from Five Towns College in Dix Hills, having performed in many ensembles, orchestras and concert bands, playing sax, piano, guitar and clarinet, as well as singing and arranging songs in the vocal jazz ensemble. Other than being a Suburban Brother, he is also in a really cool jazz trio called the Fresh Tones, a funky rock/jazz fusion all original music band called GeoTribe, and a fun energetic funk/rock/rap/jam/all original music band called Big Happy, performing in venues all over Long Island, including The Paramount and the Great South Bay Music Festival. Always busy, he plays sax with the Dean Karahalis Concert Pops Orchestra, having performed at many venues, including the Tilles Center and Eisenhower Park. Ben performed on solo jazz piano at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center, opening for Jon Weber at the "Tribute to Jazz Piano" Concert. He was a band director at the School of Rock. He also has performed as a sax player in two big bands, including "New York's Most Dangerous Big Band", as well as "Something Special". Ben performs weekly at The Polo Lounge in Westbury playing piano with vocalist Billy Mirra. Ben plays in venues throughout New York City, including The Bitter End, Mercury Lounge, The Cutting Room, Silvana and Rockwood Music Hall. He also plays solo gigs on guitar and piano. He does studio session work. He gives private lessons on sax, piano, guitar, bass, drums, flute, clarinet, trumpet and voice. Stated simply... Ben plays many instruments and plays each one very well. When you watch him play, you can see he is deeply into the music. Go to Ben Pinnola's Website to find out more about him, his music and his upcoming shows.
Ferdinand "Freddy" Motley IV has been playing music professionally since the ripe young age of 11 in his father's jazz band. He has a deep understanding of many types of music and an intense level of creative ability. He is a talented musician and drummer, with a soulful voice. He's been performing or teaching as a Musician/Educator for many years. He met Bob Pinnola back in 1984 and they quickly became good friends, jamming, joking and gigging together, and has been a "Suburban Brother" ever since! Longtime buddies Fred and Bob have a special musical chemistry that comes through strong, smooth and clear during every performance. Furthermore, Fred's perfectly timed drum rolls are essential to get the crowd to laugh right after Bob delivers the punchline of a joke. (ta da Boom!) Freddy is the Musical Director of the St. John's University Jazz Band. Freddy performed on the famous TV music show Soul Train back when he was a teenager... and he's still got it going today!
Bob's daughters (and Ben's sisters) Rosa and Tessa are affectionately known as the "Suburbanettes" and
have been featured on vocals and very smooth dance moves. Rosa and Tessa both sing beautifully. Rosa plays flute and banjo. Tessa plays guitar. They are pictured here from about 8 years ago having fun together at a Seatuck Eco-Carnival (in green shirts) with two of Mikey's kids (their cousins) Victoria and Madeline. Mikey's other daughter Katrina sometimes sings and rocks the house with the band. Now, Bob's young grand kids Luke and Emmie are getting in on the musical action. It's a musical family... The hills are alive with the Suburban sound of music!
The "Suburban Sister" of the band is Alexandria "Mustang Ally" Muller, adding another dimension to the band with her vocals, trumpet, French horn, style and grace. She is a talented classically trained musician, playing in numerous orchestras and ensembles. She has experience as a music teacher and band director, and is presently getting her Masters Degree in music. Ally plays, sings and enjoys all types of music, always ready expand her musical horizons. Her vocals bring sparkle, charm and a modern country feel to the band's sound. The crowds love her trumpet playing. Not only does she fit right in, she has brought the band in some new musical directions.
Another Suburban Brother is Joe "Mojo" Clayton" on all types of percussion, bass guitar, vocals and setting up sound systems and equipment with lightning speed and a big smile! He grew up on the next block from the Pinnola residence and has been a friend of Ben's since they were kids. He adds a cool, fun and lively groove to the music.
Yet another Brother is one cool dude named Ron Staib on drums and vocals (and cowbell, when appropriate and necessary). Bob has been friends with Ron for many years, trading jokes and enjoying life. Ron can really play, adding syncopation and drive to the music, and has a strong smooth voice. He adds energy and a touch of class to the band's music and sound.
There are several other notable musical guests who often join in with the band...
Bob "Rube" Cinque, Esq. on bass, guitar and civil litigation. Rube has been playing music with Bob since their freshman year at SUNY Albany, including in a progressive rock jam band called Dreamwork. (Long before they both became lawyers.) They still play regularly in an acoustic band called The Jammers, playing gigs up in Westchester and Putnam Counties.
Tommy "Drumz" Smith on percussion and youthful enthusiasm. He has great natural ability and always brings the music up a notch. He's also the drummer in Ben's other band... GeoTribe.
Ken Gesseck on guitar and vocals. Ken plays anything that rocks and plays with all his heart.
Tom Cilmi on vocals and guitar. Tom plays many types of music, but really loves "modern" country music (which means songs about new trucks).
Joel Bruce "Flat Tone" Fieldman MD on piano. Bob has been jamming with Bruce since their college days at SUNY Albany. He plays very well, and really loves jazz. Bruce was in a successful jazz fusion band called Spiral back in the 80's, opening for musicians like Billy Cobham and Tina Turner. Then, for some reason, he went to medical school. Go figure.
So, while this group of Suburbanites may not actually be brothers, over the years they have become a circle of musical friends of all ages who get together whenever they can to relax, tell jokes, laugh, enjoy life and discuss important Suburban topics like paying taxes, the skyrocketing price of beer and burgers, the never ending cycle of home repairs, raising kids, raising parents, and the importance of lawn care. (Hey, that's why it's called Lawn Guy Land!) And when they get together... the Suburban Brothers play from the heart and perform the music they love.
Once again, friends gather
and good times are had by all.