Cliff Conway - Band Leader
A few years back, Cliff had a vision of being in a top notch horn band performing Old School Memphis Soul and Rhythm & Blues. Since there were no bands in the area that matched his desire, Cliff took action and founded his own band from scratch, with the help of John Ranis, (co-founder of another local sucessful horn band). It took countless hours of preparation getting the set lists and horn charts together before he asked the first musicians to join him. A talented crew of musicians were chosen who are disciplined to work as a team. The rehearsals, the commitment to the style of music and sheer percerverance have all been driven by Cliff's singular desire and determination. The pay off has evolved in to a band that Cliff is very proud of - "STAX CITY"
Old School Memphis
Soul R & B Band from Sonoma
County California -
Tenor and Alto Sax
During his high school and college days, Cliff played in several top bands (including The Royal Family and Our Fathers' Sons) in South San Francisco. Cliff took a break from music, working hard as a heavy equipment mechanic, raising two wonderful kids, and spending time with his wife of 34 years. After 40 years off, Cliff is back playing his tenor sax and loving every minute. When not jamming or rehearsing, Cliff can be found attending music classes at SRJC, riding his Harley, and enjoying the local music scene.
Greg started working the drums at the age of 4. He's played with organized stage and concert bands since the fifth grade, reaching "All State" status in 1980 during his senior year at Sacramento High School.
Since moving to Santa Rosa in 1985, Greg has toured with local talents including Dan Regan, Ray Brock, Dave Schrader, "Eddie & the Fog", and Ron Lachey. "I like horn bands, driving syncopated beats and punchy horns with soulful vocals; rhythm & blues is catchy to me as well". Having previously hit the stage with such artists as Evan Palmerston, Tom Hayashi, "King" Perkoff and Al Garth, Greg has become well prepared to be the backbone of STAX CITY.
Drums & Vocals
Mike's background includes playing keyboards and programming on two Thomas Dolby albums including Aliens Ate My Buick which garnered two Grammy nominations. Mike toured with Doldy as part of his backing band The Lost Toy People and worked as a composer for Dolby's Headspace multimedia company.
Credits also include work in television with projects as varied as producing club tracks for television soaps, recording and mixing music for HBO and network television films, and for Mutato Muzika, Mark Mothersbaugh's (DEVO) music production company, re-orchestrating and recording music for Popeye cartoons for Turner Entertainment. Mike is now contributing music library tracks for various television reality shows. Composed and recorded music for Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida and for Universal Japan.For Paramount Pictures, Mike co-produced and co-wrote the soundtrack album for the Emilio Estevez film "That Was Then...This Is Now". Also for Paramount, keyboardist on the Oscar winning film, "Children of a Lesser God".
Album engineering credits include a soundtrack related album for Roman Polanski's film The Pianist released by Universal, work on Steven Hexx's Lit, the world music duo Willie and Lobo's Siete album, and Humboldt favorites Kulica Bakers Dozen, and Honkytonkers Rooster McClintock. Mike recorded and mixed music for photographer/director Bruce Weber's feature film The Chop Suey Club featuring jazz great Bud Shank and the late pianist Bill Evans drummer Joe LaBarbera.
With almost 30 years experience engineering, Mike has worked on national television commercials as a music mixer and recording engineer. Clients included 3Com (Palm), Acura, Afrin, MCI, Levis, Volvo, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Additionally, he was a recording artist for D&D Records (1983-84) as Dial M., the single from his first album (Modern Day Love) had KROQ (L.A.) top twenty airplay. Locally Mike is playing classic soul music with Stax City and with his own jazz group Miles Ahead - a Tribute To The Music of Miles Davis. www.mikekapitan.com
Guitar and Vocals
Tucker's music career began in southern California playing in numerous bands and backing up local folk singers. He later met and performed with singer, song writer Bob Ward at The Friendly Cup in Whittier doing back-up on guitar, harmonica and vocals. They moved to Northern California in 1970 and performed in clubs in San Francisco and around the bay area as Bob Ward and the Cigar Band. They opened The Rosewood Forest, a coffee house/Folk music club in Santa Rosa where he met some amazing local talent including Norman (Spirit in the Sky) Greenbaum who was MC on their Thursday open mic night. He has had the good fortune of sharing the stage with, or been an opening act for such artists as Taj Mahal, Van Morrison, Kate Wolf, Tim Hardin, Dotty West, Mel Tillis, The Perfect Crime (John Brandeburg and Hugh Shacklett) Michael (Beargrease) Hansen, Larry, Michaela and Tucker, Gary Grubb, and numerous others. He has been a member of many local bands like Zoler System, Trybe, Live Wire, Medicine Man, Third Rail, Doc Kraft, Hot Grubb, Stax City and many more. Tucker loves his life, friends and family and he says it only gets better from here!
A recent transplant to Sonoma County from the East Coast, Ruth enjoys performing in diverse genres. Big band experience includes the New Xavier Cugat Orchestra, the Jimmy Dorsey Band, and Diva Jazz Orchestra. Theatrical pit orchestra work includes a tour of Brazil with a production of Grease. In 2008, she was a featured performer at the Yellowstone Jazz Festival in Cody, Wyoming. She performed in the (NY) Tri-State area with artists including Joe Carter, Nanny Assis, the Ken Nigro Band, Dee Cassella, the Suzanne Sheridan Band, Rick Baumer's Studio Rio, and The Berkshire Big Band. Her own ensembles feature Brazilian-influenced jazz. She also teaches privately and served as an adjunct woodwind instructor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.
Paul was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. Began playing Trumpet at age 10, Tuba at 13 and switched to Electric bass at 15.
Since relocating to the San Francisco bay area in 1990, Paul has recorded with Mazzy Star, Maria Muldaur, Shana Morrison, The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, and Victor Krummenacher (Camper Van Beethoven) among many others. Performances both at home and on the road include Bob Weir, Henry Kaiser, Elvin Bishop, Jeffrey Halford, Tracy Nelson, Amy Meyers, Jesse DeNatale, Dr. Elmo, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Huey Lewis, Phil Guy, "Mighty" Mike Schermer, Bernard Purdie, Tom Heyman, Shana Morrison, Nearly Beloved, Erika Luckett, Jonathon Richman, Carl Weathersby, Maria Muldaur, Augie Meyers, Wendy DeWitt, Adam Levy, Frank Bey, Wee Willie Walker, Loralee Christensen, Rancho Deluxe, Roy Rogers...
Tom Buckman versatile Bay Area bassist and vocalist. Having played professionally for about 50 years,
he is adept on Fender and the electric upright, handling many musical styles while he "lets it groove".
Tom leads the local TOP tribute band Hour of Tower and plays with the Jami Jamison Band.
Scott studied with internationally acclaimed trumpet instructor Claude Gordon and continues his studies
with Claude's protege Jeff Purtle. Some venues, artists and groups he has performed with include Lake
Tahoe/Reno/Bay Area showrooms with Debbie Reynolds, Rip Taylor, Reno Jazz Orchestra, Danny Marona, Chris Calloway, Kenny Rogers, and accordionist Dick Contino. Since 2000, Scott has played lead trumpet
with Santa Rosa Junior College affiliated Wednesday Night Big Band, performing with world renowned jazz artists including Bobby Shew, Bill Watrous, Steve Smith, Alan Vizzutti, Jon Faddis, Michael Davis, and Carl Saunders. His greatest musical influence was his close friend, the late Michael Whitwell, one of the most
gifted and talented trumpet players to come from the bay Area.
Musician/Bandleader Ray Fernandez has played professionally for 35 years. He has played and toured with: The Mad Maggies, Sonic Strut, Trousers, The Overcommitments, Lagos Roots Afrobeat Ensemble, Macy Blackman & the Might Fines, Those Darn Accordions, Patrick Maier Band, Lorn Leber, Blue Rock Country Club, Miss Kitty & the Big Dogs, Club Ed, Beat Freaks, Bohemian Luv Jones, Kings Hat, The Essentials, Spare Parts, Action Jackson, Party of Five, Stiff Upper Lip, All the Kings Men, Joyce Rooks, Rudy Chalard and Blue Light Revue. Ray performed in the house band for The San Francisco Mime Troupe's award winning play Freedomland in 2015 and 2016. Freedomland was voted winner of "Outstanding Performance by the Ensemble of a Musical," "Outstanding Direction," & "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Principal Role in a Musical" by Theatre Bay Area Awards! Steeped in R&B, soul, funk, rock and jazz.
Multi-instrumentalist, Ray Fernandez always brings it from the heart.