Gary is a zookeeper, teacher, musician and songwriter. He resides with his family in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California. In addition to writing and arranging "Song of the Animals," Gary sings, and plays acoustic and electric guitars, 5-string banjos, mandolin, electric bass, harmonica and percussion on the project. Gary is currently working on a new CD collection of original songs, called "Song of the Oceans" (scheduled release in January, 2009).
U. UTAH PHILLIPS
Bruce Utah Phillips, a legendary folk singer and story teller, shared his voice (and wisdom) ''Talkin' Critter Blues.' Utah died in Nevada City on May 23, 2008. He will be greatly missed.
Robert began playing violin at age 12 and guitar at age 16. He first began playing in pit orchestras for musicals in high school and college. Robert has been concert master of the Palomar Symphony and Sierra Symphony, and has played with the Apollo Orchestra, Panache Chamber Orchestra and Auburn Symphony. He has played electric violin and guitar in rock, county western, blues and jazz bands. Robert is also a vocalist and has performed many major choral works in classical choirs, and was the 'Fiddler on the Roof' in the Center for the Arts 2006 production of the same name. These days, he utilizes his vocal talents as Grass Valley's official Town Crier. Robert is privileged to also perform with Gary in the acclaimed (and eclectic) duo, the 'Local Motives.'
Mike turned pro at 14, and at age 18 he joined the Air Force Band, based in Washington D.C. Mike performed at Constitution Hall with Percy Faith, as well as at THE White House. At the age of 19, Mike performed a duet with Dionne Warwick in a national TV concert, and during the 70’s Mike played at college campuses throughout the country. More recently, Mike has performed, on stage with Petula Clark, and played guitar for the New York Musical “Hairspray” at the Reno Convention Center. And, of course, Mike arranged "It's a Zoo Around Here" and plays solo guitar for Gary on “Cry of the Wild: A Tribute to John Muir.”
Anna is an accomplished singer/songwriter, graduating from Simpson University in 2004 with her BA degree in Music and Worship Ministry. She feels privileged to participate in the "Song of the Animals" project, singing on "Living in the Garden" and "Who's Watching Who?" Anna's passion for music is evident in her many performances throughout Northern California. She and her husband, Lance, look forward to sharing their gifts and talents together in Music Ministry. They reside in Grass Valley, CA.
Mikail's family roots in Nevada City date back to 1849. He composes odd little soundtracks for the various films in his head, promotes LIVE music via NCME, performs locally & internationally, and has hosted his weekly radio show The Other Side for 30 years on KVMR FM. He enjoys spending time with his cat pal Monie & sweetheart Kurly Q.
Lyndsey has a passion for creatively communicating through the arts. A singer, songwriter and freelance graphic designer, she gratefully enjoys the opportunity each day brings to develop and grow as an artist. Lyndsey has been happy to partner with Gary on his projects and support his vision (and obvious passion!) for music and wildlife and creation. Lyndsey lives in Northern California with her husband, David, and their three small children.
Frank is a producer, engineer and musician living in California's Sierra foothills. Currently, Frank is studio engineer for the K-LOVE and Air 1 Radio Networks. Frank is involved with several projects, including playing keyboards with Nevada County's "Mystafya" and the Sammie award-winning group, "Aaron King and the Imperials." Frank also sings and plays bass with the Sacramento-based group, "The Neighborhood." "Song of the Animals" adds to a long list of engineering and musical credits.
Buddy is Gary's favorite animal...the family's ever-smiling golden lab. Buddy enjoys going on nature hikes and playing in the snow...and, of course, singing along with the band. He has performed since the age of 3 (in people years). For the 'Song of the Animals' project, Buddy joins Gary, Lyndsey and Utah on 'Talkin' Critter Blues.'
Marc has been playing drums since age 14. He likes all music, but his passion is in Celebration Arts. "I am flattered to be part of something that matters...serving with Gary is always awesome!"
Don began making music at the age of nine, playing piano, alto sax, guitar, organ, and electric bass (his second favorite instrument). He began playing piano in church at age 15, and has been doing that ever since. Don is a member of the music team at Twin Cities Church, and plays country-rock keyboard in the Denny Russell Band. He arranged the vocal parts and sings bass on “Noah Saved All the Animals.” Don is a self-employed software developer, and lives in Grass Valley, California with his wife, Lola.
Sarah (18) is an expressive and creative artist living in the Sierra foothills of Northern California. She loves animals, and loves all of the songs on "Song of the Animals." Sarah enjoyed painting the dancing animals for the cover of her Dad's CD project!
Lifelong drummer, Scott "DrummyX" Wilson loves music and the creative people that come with it. A Northern California father, teacher, & skier, he enjoys the opportunity to create music in the studio as well as on stage. Producer of a variety of albums and artists the past 15 years, Scott continues to look for the right stuff when it come to music. "Gary's musical concept was a perfect opportunity to mix many styles of music for a common good - the animals!"
Jan is an actress/singer by night, and a Charter School advocate by day. She was born in Rhode Island and lives with her family in Northern California. Jan sings "Please, Don't Bring an Elephant Home" on the "Song of the Animals" project.
'EUELL' & 'SADDIM': GIBBONS
Euell and Saddim are white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) who reside at the Sacramento Zoo. They represent an endangered species of 'diurnal, lesser apes,' native to Thailand, Malay Peninsula and northern Sumatra. On "Song of the Animals," Euell and Saddim share their distinctive voices on "You Make a Monkey Out of Me." (Gary's disclaimer: Okay, so I took a bit of creative license on this one! We all know that a gibbon is an ape, not a monkey, right?)
Denny is a singer/songwriter living in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California. As a Fleet/Commercial manager he sells cars & trucks to make a living. As the front man for the Denny Russell Band (which Gary is also a member of), he pursues his musical passion. Denny sings tenor harmony and shares lead vocals with Gary on "Noah Saved All the Animals."
Ludi is a multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, recording artist and private instructor who lives near Nevada City in Northern California. Ludi performs on the didgeridoo on "Song of the Animals." (Ludi can also be heard on "Kairos / Kronos", on CD Baby.com)
Bruce began his extensive musical career in 1967, as a drummer, playing in numerous bands. In 1993 Bruce set up the Flying Whale Recording Studio in the Sierra Mountain Foothills near Grass Valley, Ca. On "Song of the Animals," Bruce recorded and mixed "You Make a Monkey Out of Me", "Talkin' Critter Blues", "Three-Legged Cat", and "Cry of the Wild."