FOR BOOKING INFO PLEASE CONTACT ART SIEGEL (941) 953-9107 OR CELL 726-4850. For schedule, song clips, song list and more photos, please visit www.theventuras.com
About THE VENTURAS:
The Venturas came to be in the year 2001. After the disbanding of the successful Gulfcoast swing band DAN ELECTRO AND THE SILVERTONES, core players GREG POULOS (guitar), ART SIEGEL (drums) and J.P. COLEY (bass), knew they had a good thing going and wanted to keep playing together. After appearing briefly around town as THE POULOS PROJECT, the guys were introduced by local restaurant owner John Caragiulo to a young singer named JENNIFER SWEAT, who had no experience at fronting a band at that point, but tons of obvious potential. With the combination of Jennifer's natural talent, the guidance of seasoned pros, and some hard work, she quickly blossomed into one of the area's most dynamic and entertaining singers. The VENTURAS took off and became one ot the region's most successful bands. Early shows were characterized by fresh, quirky twists on popular songs such as The Beatles' WHEN I'M SIXTY FOUR and Patsy Cline's SHE'S GOT YOU, a transformation of songs the band called "Venturaizing." The band played gigs ranging from jazz festivals, to blues festivals, to swing dances, to rock clubs. Their versatility kept them working, even as the business got tougher. Four and a half years later, fortunes changed. Jennifer got married and needed to move to California to join her new husband, leaving The Venturas with the seemingly impossible task of finding a new singer to cover all that ground. Jennifer told the guys that the woman for the job was Clearwater's ALLY COUCH. Almost as a formality, the band auditioned about a half dozen singers, but in the end, it was obvious that only Ally had the goods. And did she ever.
Raised in Tupelo Mississippi, the daughter the talented singer TONY COUCH (who performed in bands with Muscle Shoals greats like JIMMY JOHNSON), ALLY had music running through her veins. From her musical family she developed her love of jazz, blues, soul, country and swing, and seems to have internalized some of the phrasing abilties of her favorite singers and players: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Etta James, Nina Simone, Irma Thomas, Willie Nelson, and many others. Her career led her to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Texas, and finally to Tampa, Florida where she sang for bands like THE HEEBIE JEEBIES and BOMBED OUT CAT. Ally can turn on a dime from a mournful, smoky jazz ballad like Billie Holliday's LOVER MAN, to a saucy blues number like Big Maybelle Smith's ONE MONKEY DON'T STOP NO SHOW, to a powerful, gritty rock song like Janis Joplin's PIECE OF MY HEART. Says Venturas bandmate Greg Poulos of the petite Ms. Couch: "Pound for pound, you'll never find a more soulful vocalist anywhere!"
Pianist EDDIE TOBIN joined the Venturas in 2006. He studied at Fl. State University and The University of Miami. At UM, Eddie studied under the highly respected pianist/educator, Vince Laurence Maggio. During and after college Eddie Played around the Miami area, on cruise ships, and later from Los Angeles to Washington D.C., Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
In 1987, he made Nashville his home for 15 years. He played for the Forester Sisters and, with that group, opened for Kenny Rogers through 1988. Eddie also played with Brenda Lee for a little over a year on keyboards and accordion.
Soon after, Eddie became pianist and conductor for a show band for four years. This led to a seven and a half year ride all over the world as pianist, music director and conductor for Englebert Humperdink.
Eddie has performed in such prestigious venues as: the London Palladium, Montreal’s Place Des Arts, the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, and the Kremlin Palace of Moscow. Eddie has performed in such diverse places as Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Germany Belgium, and at various casinos in Las Vegas and around the country.
Drummer, business manager and original member ART SIEGEL moved from New York to Florida at age 10, began playing drums at age 15, and was working professionally by age 17. He spent his early years working in clubs, developing his abilities in many styles of music. He is one of the founders of the Sarasota jazz band, FLIGHTPATH. As a member of the variety band, PANGAEA, he entertained at the Summerhouse on Siesta Key, Florida for 5 years.
Art was the drummer for DAN ELECTRO and THE SILVERTONES, where he also contributed to the band's original music. Later, he spent his time with JENNIFER and THE VENTURAS playing drums as well as handling all of the bookings.
Notable musicians he has performed with include: HERBIE MANN, KENNY DREW Jr., JOHN LAMB, and BOB HAGGART.
Bassist and original member JOHN PAUL "J.P." COLEY began playing music at age 12, starting with piano lessons. He switched to the bass to begin playing professionally. After a stint in the U.S. Navy, J.P. returned to Sarasota and resumed his music career by forming THE HURRICANES, an R&B outfit. He has played the blues with ROCK BOTTOM, DAN ELECTRO, ROY BOOKBINDER, and DIAMOND TEETH MARY; jazz with MIKE MARKAVERICH, LEON MERIAM, and THE WEST COAST BIG BAND; reggae with the INSTIGATORS and the STRANGEWAYS; just about all of the above with Jennifer and the Venturas.
Recording credits include Harmaniac and Tone with ROCK BOTTOM and the CUTAWAYS, Polk City Ramble with ROY BOOK BINDER. With Dan Electro and the SILVERTONES, J.P. played on and produced two records, Mr. Smooth and Reason To Lie. Following that, with JENNIFER and THE VENTURAS, he played on and produced Cover Play, and was a staple in the live club recordings on You Really Got Me.
His influences have included Ray Brown, Walter Page, Jimmy Miller, Larry Taylor, Max Bennett, and Berry Oakley. J.P. plays a 3/4 upright base, a Music Man Stingray electric bass, and a Fender electric bass.
Guitarist and original member GREG POULOS is a native of Sarasota, Greg has been a guitarist for 43 years. Together with classmate, Richard Price, he began his first band, BITS OF DIFFERENCE, during his 8th and 9th grade school years. They later began CRYSTAL PAIN, which was a very successful Sarasota band during the late 1960's. As a member of the Chicago style blues band, LEBO NASH, Greg found himself moving to Boulder, Colorado, in 1972. Then in 1976, he toured with he late, great FREDDIE KING for one year. He spent his next 10 years living in both Boulder and Atlanta.
Greg moved back to Sarasota, offering his talents to local bands including: SARASOTA SLIM, ROCK BOTTOM, the ANDERSON POULOS BAND (with Chris Anderson currently of THE OUTLAWS), and The POULOS RAMSEY BAND with the late, great singer and harp player PAT RAMSEY. He then spent 5 years as the guitarist for the band DAN ELECTRO AND THE SILVERTONES, and 4 years with JENNIFER and THE VENTURAS.
Greg plays a reissue of a 1954 Gibson ES-5, a McCarty Paul Reed Smith, and a 1966 Gibson 335 among several others!
For any of you who have made it through reading this ENTIRE BIO. my congratulations. You are very patient! ! ! ! !