The Speak Easy Prohibition band is the brain child of Stacy Capurso, proprietor, with her husband Jon, of the Windsor Station Restaurant. She asked her father-in-Law, Peter Concilio, if he would put together a band to play the dance music of the twenties, and opened one night after inviting her clientele to join the party and dress in jazz age outfits and dance.
The staff dressed in flapper outfits and contests were held for the most creative outfits.
The band has performed throughout the Upper Valley and is contemplating a tour this summer.
Bob Merrill has played and performed on piano for more than 50 years. He has been the composer and accompanist for the Dartmouth Film Society’s silent films, and in 1999 was presented with an award for playing his fiftieth film. He has produced music for both commercial video and film, and is featured on several albums.
Vocalist Grace Marie Wallace was born and raised in Worcestershire, England, and began studying classical piano and flute at 11 years old. After moving to the U.S., she became involved with the Interplay Jazz and Arts organization where she discovered her love for jazz vocals. She has studied with Madeline Kole and Natalie Bernal.
Bassist Peter Concilio studied with composer/arranger Don DeFala. He has produced concerts for Maynard Ferguson, The Heath Brothers, Dizzy Gillespie, and a variety of other artists, and was the artistic director of Hartland, Vermont’s Jazz Fest during its five year run. He is the creator of the Speak Easy Prohibition Band.
Drummer and Percussionist Tim Gilmore teaches at Plymouth State University, St. Paul School, and Interplay Jazz and Arts. An active clinician with Adventures in Jazz, his credits include performances at Blue Note in NYC and appearances with a number of artists including Shelia Jordan, Tower of Power, Richie Cole, Stanley Clarke, Pete Seeger, and Shawn Colvin.
Trumpeter Dave Ellis is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. He has performed with the Oratorio Society of Washington D.C., Vermont Symphony, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, and Sam Rivers. He has conducted jazz festivals at Plymouth State and Hart Colleges and directed Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble at Dartmouth College. He is the president of Ellis Music.
Saxophonist Katie Runde is a woodwind player who has performed dance, funk, jazz combos, and pit orchestras. She plays with several groups, including the Party Crashers. Her playing spirit is contagious, and the Speak Easy musicians are ignited as are audiences by her fiery performances.