The Making of Rockapella
The current Rockapella line-up features Scott Leonard (since 1991, High Tenor), Jeff Thacher (1993, Vocal Percussionist), Calvin Jones (2013, Tenor), Mitchell Rains (2016, Tenor), and Bryant Vance (2016, Bass). This line-up marks a new generation of Rockapella, who remain keenly focused on musical excellence. “People have a hard time believing it’s just us making all of that music. It’s still those same elements that make modern band music: percussion, bass, melody and harmonies,” says Scott. “Our success is in the art of it – it’s not what you do, but how you do it!” adds Jeff. Rockapella has indeed proven that creating original pop & soul magic onstage is what sets them apart.
Calvin C. Jones
Calvin C. Jones was born and raised in East St. Louis, IL, and grew up idolizing Michael Jackson & Stevie Wonder. He started singing at an early age, then joined the vocal group Men Of Note at 13 and traveled the world as one of their lead singers for many years. Singing led to a passion for theater, and he went on to be featured in shows such as Dreamgirls, Fabulous 50’s, & Little Shop of Horrors, and brought his talents as a lead singer to the group SouthTown Fever. Rockapella had the good fortune to find Calvin while he was showcasing his silky smooth voice as a featured singer at Busch Gardens, Tampa, FL.
Our new bass, Bryant Vance, is veteran singer from the casts of the touring sensations Vocalosity and VocaPeople! His enormous bass “pipes” are in high demand, and we’re thrilled to have him join us!.
Pyrotechnics is a word often used to describe Scott Leonard‘s singing voice. Scott grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and though he departed the Hoosier State for the University of Tampa on a baseball scholarship, he ended up a voice major. He sang in rock groups for Disney in both Orlando and Tokyo for two years, releasing solo albums while in Japan. Scott’s soaring vocals and songwriting & arranging prowess have played indespensable roles in shaping Rockapella’s characteristic sound.
Mitchell Rains is one of our newest members, lighting up the stage in 2017! You may have spotted him before, storming the stages of Busch Gardens, touring the country with The Cat’s Pajamas, or M.C.ing a Monster Trucks live show! (really!)
The astonishing percussion sounds you hear in a Rockapella show are performed vocally by Jeff Thacher, completing Rockapella’s band-without-instruments sound. Born of a very musical family and raised on piano lessons from an early age, he later added frequent vocal and choral experience. After receiving a degree in music and recording from Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, Jeff spent some time in the radio and television industries while singing and experimenting with vocal percussion on the side in various groups, developing his unique sound. Since joining Rockapella in 1993, he’s been known as a pioneering giant among professional mouth drummers (a select group of beatboxers) who, as he likes to put it, “spit for a living”. Jeff’s powerful virtuosity forms the funky rhythmic heartbeat of Rockapella, delighting and astonishing audiences everywhere.
An American original, for sure!
Jeff’s video & audio work is based out of Ninjapella Productions pickups in-concert.