Jeffrey Levine As a kid, Jeffrey wanted to be John Lennon – then he realized that job was already taken. But that original urge was what drove him to focus exclusively on being a rhythm guitarist. While his contemporaries were copying the licks of Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, Jeffrey was copying the chord comping of Terry Kath, and later, Andy Summers – all the while, writing songs. Then he got a music degree, not realizing that rock stars don’t get music degrees. This was followed by writing music for commercials and movie trailers, which he found profoundly unfulfilling, and led to a sharp left-turn career-wise.
As the principal songwriter in the band, the songs reflect his early influences – Beatles, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Todd Rundgren – while the overall sound reflects the many combined years of experience of us all. By day, he’s a Business Coach. If that sounds interesting, you can check it out here. Other things about him? He says the most important experience in his life has been and continues to be, as a parent to his now grown daughter. He also plays lots of tennis, is an INFJ, Taurus, Enneagram 3, and a cat person. “Being able to forget about the commercial music market, for me, brings the fun back to music.”
Michael Lamper Michael brings audiences into the Blue Noise Kitchen world with a joy and charm that leaves the room screaming for more. His powerful, graceful, melodic voice provides the cannon fodder, while his sense of humor pulls the trigger. Handsome, talented and hilarious don’t come together too often, but Michael Lamper has it all, and he uses every last ounce of it in bringing the songs, their characters and stories to life.
If you’re in the lineup at Malibu you can probably say hi in person. He also has been known to play a mean 18 holes, and sings/plays with a variety of cover/tribute bands in Los Angeles including Steely Jam, Color My World, and Desperado. Michael has toured the world and played with such names as Tommy Shaw (Styx), Kevin Cronin, Matthew Nelson, Jack Blades, the Allman Brothers, Quiet Riot and Los Lobos to name a few. He sings, he slings guitar and bass, he surfs…ok, I’ve run out of other verbs starting with “s”. Suffice it to say (see what I did there?), every band needs a good frontman and Blue Noise Kitchen can now check off that box.
Ed Via A natural talent who took up the sticks at the age of 11, Ed has been honing his chops and perfecting his groove for over 30 years. While his studies focused on things besides music (he has a BS in biology and an MBA in marketing), Ed was always a true musician at heart, performing in marching and jazz ensembles throughout college, and later contributing to a diverse range of artists such as Wan Santo Condo (Everloving Records), Luce (Nettwerk Records) and singer/songwriter Rebecca L. Bolam. Currently, in addition to helming the drum throne of Blue Noise Kitchen, Ed gets his 80s New Wave groove on as the drummer for a Tears For Fears tribute called, you guessed it, Fears For Tears. As their bandleader puts it, Ed is “one of those musicians that intimidates other musicians with his musicianship.”
Todd Richmond Remember flip clocks? Todd had one as a kid, and as luck would have it, it played both AM and FM radio. So from a young age there was a mix of pop sensibilities and rock explorations, combined with studying guitar, banjo, and piano. Flash forward to the late 80’s, and Todd jumped to bass to pursue jazz. Since then he’s gigged all over California as well as shows in Japan and a smattering of albums with Kaz Takeda, Caltech Big Band, Simpleflower, and others.
Todd formed his own band nostatic in 2010, reinterpreting jazz standards and pop classics. The album “Time’s Up” was released in 2014, and after hundreds of shows the band (loosely defined) continues to explore new ways to interpret songs from the past. Wanting to move into project focused on writing and original music, Todd began working with Jeffrey, and Blue Noise Kitchen slowly came into being. Bringing experience in a variety of genres and styles as well as a much-needed phd in chemistry (Doctor #1), Todd covers the low end while also playing far above the 12th fret. Well, since he’s usually on fretless he isn’t playing above frets per se but you get the drift.
Dennis Mitcheltree Born in Milwaukee, Dennis’s initial musical instrument was the oboe, picking up the saxophone at age 12. He studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston with Billy Pierce, Joe Viola and George Garzone and spent 20 years in New York City helping to shape the Brooklyn jazz scene with his quartet and as the Artistic Director of the American Music Group. An award winning saxophonist, composer, jazz educator and international recording/touring artist, Dennis is currently based in Los Angeles. He has four critically acclaimed albums as a leader.
Scott Johnson grew up in a family of musicians and received his undergrad degree in music composition back when electronic music was just beginning to be digitized. Throughout his youth he designed sound and music for theatre and dance projects in New York City in the fertile downtown performance art scene. He moved to Los Angeles in the 90s and became a psychotherapist, combining the transformational work of the live art he loved with the sublime space created in the process of talk therapy. He’s recently returned to making music in his spare time in his home studio and is very pleased now to be working with Blue Noise Kitchen.