When young Brad was supposed to be practicing Mozart, he was instead teaching himself to play Billy Joel and Elton John songs by ear. Not much has changed, except now he’s armed with thousands of pop/rock songs from the 60s through today. He created the first-ever rock and roll dueling piano show in New York City in 2001 and has performed in venues throughout the northeast including legendary NYC piano bars The Duplex, Brandy’s and Don’t Tell Mama. Brad also writes music for web, radio and TV and recently scored five episodes of PBS's Emmy Award-winning animated series PEG + CAT. His Off-Broadway musical SEE ROCK CITY & OTHER DESTINATIONS received the 2011 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical and is published by Samuel French.
JAMES BARR, owner
James was born in a cross-fire hurricane in London, England and has been entertaining audiences world-wide since 2001. Flying solo, he has played in piano bars and on cruise ships in Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, Russia, the Far East, the Mediterranean and Bermuda. He spent over a decade at sea working with Seabourn Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International. He has also performed at some of London's top venues including the American Bar at the Savoy, and the Promenade at the Dorchester. In 2011, he moved to New York where he met Brad and discovered dueling pianos. He now regularly plays shows all over the country and is one of only three Englishmen in the dueling world, bringing a touch of class, a British accent and the occasional cup of tea to the performance.
RICKY LAURIA, Boston office
There’s nothing Ricky Lauria can’t do. Ok, he can’t build a car from scratch. But let’s focus on the positive: He’s a killer pianist, a soulful, dynamic vocalist and one of the most likeable entertainers on the east coast. Ricky started tickling the ivories at age six in his hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire and eventually tickled his way into some of New England’s hottest bands, including Downtown Rhythm, Roundabout, Soulphonic, Honey Train and Guilty Pleasure. Oh, and he also runs The Flying Ivories Boston office. Dude gets around!
BRITTANY BRUMFIELD, Indianapolis office
Why is Brittany so incredibly comfortable in front of an audience? Maybe it’s her double degree in Music and Theater from DePauw University in Indiana; or her seemingly perfect balance of warmth and wit; perhaps her knack for turning a mid-tempo rock classic into a show-stopping dance party. We may never know. What we do know is that she’s about as classy as it gets and that we’re super excited for her to head our new Indianapolis office!
ADAM KNAUSS, Philadelphia office
Working as a dueling pianist and entertainer for over a decade, Adam brings his unique brand of interactive, request-driven piano show wherever duty calls, from corporate events to bars and restaurants to weddings. Adam’s repertoire consists of literally thousands of songs suited to all tastes. The odds are pretty good that if you’ve heard it on the radio, Adam can play it. He performs at venues across the country and heads up Flying Ivories Philly.
Samantha Behrman is annoyingly talented. An alumna of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Sam is a classically trained vocalist and songwriter who plays piano, drums, bass, tenor sax and ukulele. While at Berklee Sam discovered that she could pay off her student loans by entertaining crowds as a dueling pianist. She began performing at Boston’s Howl At The Moon in 2014 and was soon invited to join the team at Howl NYC. Sam continues to annoy us all with her incredible musicianship as she pursues music and theatre in the Big Apple.
Matthew is a singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist/super-nice-dude from New York City. He was "The Piano Man" for the first, second and third National Tours of Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp's Tony Award-winning musical, MOVIN' OUT, performing across the United States, Canada and Japan. And, true fact: He was one of only 11 people to hold this position, dating back to the show's premiere in 2002. Matthew currently plays keyboards for JERSEY BOYS on Broadway, as well as in his own band, Stiletto, which covers the music of Billy Joel and Elton John. Is this guy perfect for dueling pianos, or what?
If we’re measuring success by the number of piano bars, corporate events and private parties played over a twenty-year period, then Jim Hitte is the most successful piano player in New England. As a solo entertainer, dueler and band member, Jim has been lighting up the stage with his high-octane show for audiences from Boston, where he regularly played the legendary Jake Ivory’s, to Providence, where he was lead pianist and musical director at Slick Willie’s, one of the first dueling piano bars in the country. If Jim is playing your event, it will not be boring.
David is an international piano entertainer and very Greek. In addition to playing dueling piano bars across the U.S., he has performed at corporate events in Cancun, Mexico for L’Oreal and Salon Centric. David is our resident musical sponge, having mastered thousands of songs in styles ranging from Bruno Mars to Yanni to David Bowie to Ray Charles. He was a mainstay at Point Street Dueling Pianos in Providence, RI and has jammed with the best of the best at Howl At The Moon in Hollywood, Rick’s Dueling Pianos in Las Vegas, and Big Bang in Columbus, Ohio. David refuses to cut his retro rocker hair but he does wash it regularly.
We’re pretty sure the Big Bang Dueling Pianos company was named after Jennie’s first appearance at their Columbus, OH location in 2009. As their universe expanded, Jennie joined the team at their St. Louis venue before heading north of the Mason-Dixon line to check out Providence, Rhode Island. There she was snapped up by Point Street Dueling Pianos where she rocked the house for five straight years. And then she became a nurse. Obviously. Board certified and 18 months later, Jennie once again felt the gravitational pull of performing and now brings her 90s music obsession, boss voice and hangover IV bag to all Flying Ivories shows.
Tom started working the dueling piano circuit two years ago in Philadelphia. After a brief stint on the road with ONCE the musical last year, Tom relocated to NYC where he has continued to duel with The Flying Ivories. His set list covers everything from The Beatles to Backstreet Boys, and he's been known to attempt an Eminem verse every now and again. Tom's background in improv comedy has come in quite handy in the dueling world where audience interaction is king. Tom’s favorite artists to play: Third Eye Blind, Billy Joel and – wait for it… anything 90s boy band. Because variety.
The love child of Elton John and Ron Howard, Jason Ostrowski was born with red hair, a gap toothed grin, an “aw shucks” attitude, and some seriously gifted hands. In addition to rocking house with The Flying Ivories, he has appeared on Broadway in the 2007 Tony-winning Revival of COMPANY, as well as on the road in the 25th anniversary production of LES MISERABLES, WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND, FOREVER PLAID, and as Harold Hill in THE MUSIC MAN. His television credits include CBS’s BULL, Investigation Discoveries “A Crime To Remember” and ED MCMAHON’S NEXT BIG STAR where he was a second place finalist.
If we had a dime for every dueling piano bar that Joe Snyder has ever played, we’d have $27.80. That ain’t a lot of cash but it’s a s***load of dueling piano bars. To name just a few: Duel in Philadelphia, Sing Sing in Pittsburgh, The Big Bang in Cleveland and Columbus, Bar Nine in NYC and Howl At The Moon in Baltimore, Orlando and Tampa. Joe is funny. Joe is loveable. Joe has red hair. He’s also one of the most sought-after performers for private events on the east coast and midwest. Go, Joe, go.
Described by his mother as "her youngest child," Matt started playing the violin at age five, made his illustrious stage debut as "Puppet #2" in the Eastbury Elementary School's 1992 production of PINOCCHIO, and spent several years honing his piano chops as Co-Captain of his high school math team. In college Matt skipped many a party to stay home and plunk out Ben Folds and R. Kelly songs; now, his entire life is a party. Matt is active in the dueling circuit throughout the New York/New England area, has performed at Dueling Piano bars in 17 states, in Europe and on cruise ships throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean. A third-place finisher in the 2015 O. Henry Pun-Off, he is widely considered one of the 500 best violinist-pianist-rapper-punsters in the Northeast. He grows his own beard.
Time Out New York described Nina as a "first-rate vocalist.” We agree. There isn’t a style of music Nina can’t nail and she’s nailed it at renowned NYC venues The Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn Bowl, and B.B. Kings. She had a top 10 album on NPR, her band won the WNYC Brooklyn Battle of the Boroughs, and she's lent her crazy-good vocals to CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND on The CW as well as to Kohl’s, Drambuie and Pepsi.
MICAH COWHER, drums
Micah is a NYC based drummer/vocalist/actor with the kind of boundless positivity and professionalism that makes one hate oneself. When he’s not joyfully pounding the drums for us, he’s touring and recording with his original act SIR CADIAN RHYTHM and Blink 182 tribute band THE DUDE RANCH. As an actor, he's toured with ROCK OF AGES, SHREK THE MUSICAL and BAYSIDE THE MUSICAL and has performed in various regional theaters and cruise lines throughout the country. Micah teaches percussion, dance and rock vocals through his company Cowabunga Arts and NYC dance company Dance Molinari. Musical highlights: opening up for Gavin Degraw, Andy Grammer, The Robert Randolph Band, Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, Blues Traveler, and Ben Folds. It’s okay - embrace the hate.
KEITH DROZ, drums
Keith brings his New Jersey rock roots to whatever state he’s in. With over 30 years of performing under his belt in venues both large and larger he can raise the roof at the drop of a drumstick. Keith currently provides the beats for numerous Jersey-based tribute acts including The Royal Scam (Steely Dan) and 52nd Street (Billy Joel) and regularly drums for Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. He’s not as nice as Donnie Kehr but he’s a very close second.
NATE MORRISON, drums
Like many drummers, Nate started out on the pots and pans. Later banned from his kitchen, he was forced to play actual drums and in high school became the All-State Jazz Drummer, won the Berklee Jazz Festival, received the State Rhythm Award, and earned a scholarship at Berklee College of Music. He continued studying music at University of Southern Maine while gigging all over New England and eventually opened The Drum Shop North Shore where he currently teaches drums to students of all ages. Nate is one of the most in-demand drummers in Boston and has been called “Mr. Metronome.” We like to call him “Nate.”
DAN WEINER, drums
In addition to keeping the beat steady for us, Dan has performed in the Off-Broadway show STOMP both as a performer and rehearsal director and has played drums for several Broadway shows including WICKED and HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME. He’s also been the house drummer for NBC's AMERICA’S GOT TALENT since 2012 and has worked with Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Talib Kweli, Rza (Wu Tang Clan) and Bobby McFerrin, among many others. Recently Dan produced an album featuring Neil Sedaka for LML Records as well as a track for Coca-Cola's 125th Anniversary Celebration.