Each Performer unique, each performance special!
The Park Avenue Band consists of nine personalities, each with his/her own history of entertaining discerning audiences. Each member is a veteran performing artist and musician. All have had formal instruction, and many are University-trained in music or performance.
Any member of The Park Avenue Band could lead (and has) a dynamite, crowd pleasing ensemble of their own. The fact that this diverse, talented group has assembled under The Park Avenue Band logo is a testament to the depth of experience, and superb showmanship, which only this nine piece Band can represent. Here are a few words 'of note' about each member of The Park Avenue Band:
Leta Gentry has performed with several R&B, Rock, Jazz and Country bands throughout the Midwest and is based in Indianapolis. Leta’s powerful voice can range from hip and contemporary to smooth and sultry, but when it comes to her personality…she’s just our girl next door.
Piano, Organ, Keyboards
David Webb has been playing professionally for over 30 years. Prior to joining Park Avenue he was the musical director for "The Super Seventies Spectacular" staring the Bay City Rollers (S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y Night), Grammy nominated Maxine Nightingale (Right Back Where We Started From), and John Ford Coley of England Dan and John Ford Coley (Really Love To See You Tonight). He has also played for Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame member Charlie Thomas of The Drifters and Al Wilson (Show and Tell). Although we apologize in advance for his questionable dance moves on stage, this man can rock!
Jay Rifkind has played the saxophone most of his life and considers it a “passion.” He has played in a rock band for many years called "Hocus Pocus." Jay also played with Dr. Bop and the Headliners, and he has his own jazz group called "What's Cookin". He is the featured soloist in many of the songs played by The Park Avenue Band and plays with several other Indy jazz and rock groups.
Tom Ewigleben is a founding member of The Park Avenue Band and he is the band's horn section leader. Not only is Tom a virtuoso trombonist, he is also a music educator. He is currently the Director of Bands at Broad Ripple Magnet High School. In addition, Tom leads The West Winds Big Band and The Jazz Torino. Tom plays in several area big bands, cover bands, The Capital Brass Quintet, and has subbed in most all of the area symphonies.
Jim Benge began studying the guitar at age of 6 and he pursued guitar studies at the Indianapolis Conservatory of Music for seven years. Jim had Big Band and Orchestra experience when he was younger, but he began his guitar quest in earnest while in college. He toured the country for several years playing lead guitar in a rock band, and then settled down in Indianapolis to play in numerous local Rock and Blues bands including a five year stint as lead guitarist for an award winning country band. Jim's expert guitar playing and his able leadership have helped The Park Avenue Band to become one of the top event bands in Indiana.
Rick Wagoner is the driver of the groove for TPAB. He is currently in his 24th year of teaching band for the Avon Community School Corporation. Besides playing with The Park Avenue Band, he plays around the Indianapolis area as a freelance percussionist with groups like the Indianapolis Brass Choir, the Westwinds Big Band, The Jazz Torino Quintet and others.
Rich Jeffries attended Butler University for both his degree in Music Education and his Graduate studies, and he studied trumpet with Bill Adam at Indiana University. Rich has an illustrious performance career having gigged with The Four Tops, Temptations, Lou Rawls, Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus, Indianapolis Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony, Sorg Opera Orchestra, Middletown Ohio, as well as the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra, West Winds Big Band, and many Church and fill in gigs throughout the Midwest!
Talk about experience! Bringing a special touch to The Park Avenue Band, bassist/arranger Felipe "Jimmy" Santiago is known to Indianapolis area musicians as an Artist Manager and Agent, a band leader, a graphics artist, audio engineer, and music producer! Jim has played for, arranged for, or recorded with just about every big name in, or coming through, Indianapolis! If it has anything to do with the Music Business, Jim has probably been there, done it!