UnityGroup: About Us Bios
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UnityGroup is an exciting, eclectic world music ensemble that has captivated audiences of all ages with it's dynamic and heartfelt performances. UG blends contemporary American improvisation with rhythms and melodies from around the world, including the Caribbean, West Africa, the Mid-East, Australia, and Asia. To add depth to the music, the band's musicians play many unusual and exotic instruments, such as Trinidadian steel pans, African drums, and Australian didgeridoos. The unique result is a passionate, energetic music of spirit and celebration. The band has been graced with several high quality influences in band membership over this ten year period.
ROBERT WEINBERGER (Saxophones, Flutes, Shekere, Didgeridoo, Kalimba, Congas, Djembe, Djun Djun, Steel Pan, Percussion): Robert has been a vital member of many different musical and dance ensembles since he began performing creative music in 1974. An experienced improvisational artist, Robert has been called "a soulful saxophonist who plays with passionate intensity." Robert composed for and collaborated with notable modern dance choreographers Bill T. Jones, Arnie Zane, Lois Welk, Deborah Miller, Jill Becker, and Deborah Gladstein. He drummed West African and Caribbean dance music with Percival Borde and Caren Calder. Robert performed and recorded for ten years in the NYC Lower East Side music scene with groups as diverse as The Worms, Blues Traveler, and Joan Osborne. In 1990 Robert moved to Puerto Rico where he spent a year performing both American and Latin music with various ensembles. Upon returning to the mainland he joined Sylvain Leroux and the Maintenance Crew, an exciting and influential World Music ensemble whose performances and recordings were well-received by audiences throughout the East Coast. He relocated to upstate New York in 1994 where he has been active in all aspects of the regional musical community as a composer, arranger, teacher, and performer. Robert enjoys playing all styles of music. In addition to his experience in World Music, he has recorded and performed with classical, jazz, Dixieland, fusion, avant-garde, Latin, folk, rhythm and blues, and rock ensembles. Robert currently teaches flute and saxophone as a member of Binghamton, NY's Community Music Center, and aesthetics and creativity in the public schools as an artist affiliated with Southern Tier Institute for Arts Education. In addition to his music endeavors, Robert has a second career in the healing arts. He manages an active homeopathy practice, which provides a unique, holistic opportunity for transformational growth and healing for people afflicted by illness and injury. In 1997 Robert created UnityGroup to provide a vehicle for his and Sylvain Leroux's music of spirit and celebration. The band's first CD, released in November of 1998, has received critical acclaim and extensive radio airplay from regional jazz, world, and independent music stations.
HARRIS THOR (Guitar): Guitarist, composer, arranger, audio engineer, and custom instrument maker. Harris prefers live performance in genres such as Blues, Fusion, Classic Rock, Pop, R&B, Country, New Age, Jazz and Improvised Captured Music. Harris also plays fretless bass, Blues harp, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, and lap steel. In addition to many self-published works, he has performed his original fusion compositions on national public television and radio. In his own words: "Live performance of improvised music is satisfying in that it is a direct route to the soul." Harris became a member of UnityGroup early in 1998. A few of Harris's musical influences are Balinese Classical music, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Seeger, Morton Subotnik, Eric Clapton, Leo Kotke, Johnny Winter and Carlos Montoya. Original compositions/arrangements, performances and recordings with: The Cerbonaughts (Todd Bludeau), The Screaming Headlines (Marc Rando/Geoff Edwards/Greg Loveria), The Second Hand (Greg O'Brien/Andy Horowitz/Paul Gordon), Second Nature: now performaing as 4 On The Floor (Dick Mindemann/Rick Marsi/Dave Gardner), RiverFront Band (Jim Lomanaco/Darren Nauerz) and other individual artists such as Daniel Ansell (Danny James), Jimmy Clune, Boris Matiss. For a complete listing, please see Harris's bio sheet. Current live performances in UnityGroup, Blue Shift, 4 On The Floor and Harris Thor.
JIM ROSATI (Drums): Jim has been playing drums since the age of 3. He has performed with many regional and national jazz greats, including Freddie Hubbard, Slam Stewart, Jay Leonhart, Slide Hampton and Dick De Pofi. Jim is experienced in diverse styles of music ranging from hardcore funk to dixieland to soul. Currently he teaches percussion and drums in Binghamton, NY where he performs in the local music scene. Jim joined UnityGroup in the spring of 1997.
JOSEPH PERKINS (Bass):
Joseph has been active in the upstate New York music scene for over twenty years
as a member of countless popular music ensembles. His powerful bass has added a
singular spark of percussive energy to virtually every group with which he has
performed. Joseph has been performing with UnityGroup since the autumn of 1997.
Recorded with Joe Bonner and Douglas Jackson on - "First Breath". Performances
with his early mentor, blues guitarist Roosevelt Dean, the versatile Marco
Marcinko and the late great, Billy Fuster. Early musical influences have been
from Verdine White from Earth, Wind, Fire, Larry Graham from Sly and Family
Stone and Jaco Pastorius, and John Patitucci.
He has been introduced and applauded as the" Bassman Extraordinaire".
© Copyright 1998-2020, Robert Weinberger, Harris G. Thor. © Copyright 1998-2020 UnityGroup. Please request permission to use photographs and audio clips. Copyright ©2001-2020 UnityGroup