ARTISTS

Featured Artists

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Leon & the Peoples, Soul/Reggae/Pop

Leon & The Peoples, one of NYC's hottest bands is on a roll, after joining LL Cool J, Usher and Alicia Keys on the main stage of the Tom Joyner Star-Studded Fantastic Voyage Cruise that sailed from Miami with stops in St. Kitts, St. Maarten & San Juan, Puerto Rico as well as headlining stops at the 2022 St.Albans Jazz & R&B Fest and the upcoming Virginia’s Jazz on the Bluff.


Leon & The Peoples has developed their signature Soul/Reggae/Pop sound while performing nationwide and building a loyal fan base for the last 15 years. Led by multi-talented performer, singer-songwriter, actor & producer simply known as Leon. The Peoples features top-notch musical talent from across the globe. The unique creation results in high energy live performances and a commitment to bringing their blend Soul & Reggae to a world wide audience.  Their 2nd album, "Love Is A Beautiful Thing" on Spectra Music label has already gained nationwide radio play after debuting at #3 on Billboards Hot Singles Sales chart with the title track Love Is A Beautiful Thing and following it up second single “beautiful” also charting on Billboard at #12. They received an International Reggae & World Music Award nomination for the first album "The Road Less Traveled" as well as "WINNER" of Best International Artists at Joe Higgs Reggae Awards.

Leon & The Peoples have performed on BET"s highest rated show 106 & Park, Head-lined 2016 & 2017 AIDS WALK NY Concerts in Central Park, International Festival of Life (Chicago). New Orleans Music Fest, Aspen Jazz Fest, Catalpa NYC Music Festival, the world famous Apollo Theater, The Peoples Festival (DE), Reggae On The River (CA), New York’s SONY Hall and many more. Completed a 38 city "sold out" tour w/ Reggae great Beres Hammond. Leon & Peoples song "Life Is A Funny Game" is the closing credits song in 20th Century Fox movie "Cover" They have two songs on the romantic comedy "I Really Hate My Ex" and the drama, "Where Children Play.”movie. Leon & The Peoples recently headlined the Change Fest for Social Justice in Chicago.

As an actor, Leon has starred in over 40 movies and was voted as one of the Sexiest Actors of all time by AOL. Received NAACP "Best Actor" nominations portraying the late great David Ruffin in the NBC hit movie "The Temptations" and as Little Richard in the authorized bio pic "Little Richard." He also starred in the #1 African American film in the last 25 years voted by AOL, "The Five Heartbeats". Other notable movies include, the lead role in the international Disney blockbuster Cool Runnings, Above The Rim, Waiting to Exhale, HBO's OZ and currently on CBS’ Blue Bloods, Showtime’s City On A Hill and is currently starring opposite Bruce Willis & Frank Grillo in the action film “A Day To Die.” Leon & The Peoples were the cover stories of Music Insider Magazine and The Channel Magazine.

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Livingston Leo's Chicken Dinner, Rock

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Steve Molitz All-Star Band, Jam Band/Rock

Maplewood and NYC all-star musicians have united for Rocktoberfest 2022 to create a sound perfectly crafted for the Millburn main-stage.  These touring musicians play and tour with their own bands as well as guest with others.  Members of this illustrious group include:

 

Vocals, Guitar: Lenny Meranus is an artist who works in two different media – music and barbecue. The 1982 Livingston High School graduate is a self-professed “Livingston guy, through and through.” He has lived there for nearly his entire life – since 1968. His band, Livingston Leo, named for  the town he loves, brings together his passion for both music and barbecue. “I tell people, I write songs about ‘love and barbecue, and loving barbecue,’ ”he laughs. “You think I’m kidding?” He’s not. He’s got six barbecue grills lined up along the side of his house. His favorite thing to grill is chicken, which has earned him the nickname “Chicken Genius” from his friends. (“Chicken Genius” is also the name of a popular  Livingston Leo song.) “If I’m not working or taking care  of my kids, I like to sing the blues. Oh, and barbecue!” he says. Meranus’ artistic roots run in the family. His father, Arthur, is a fine arts painter. His mom, Phyllis, is a life-long singer, dancer and actress whose name is synonymous with the Livingston Community Players. Meranus himself has been playing guitar since the age of 13, when he received one for his bar mitzvah. “lot of the guys I played with became my earliest musical influences,” he notes. 


 

Vocals, Guitar: Al Schnier is a founding member of moe. and his band has spent the last 30 years playing sold-out shows alongside such like-minded acts as the Allman Brothers Band, Robert Plant, members of the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, The Who, Gov’t Mule, and Blues Traveler, to name but a few. moe. has headlined Radio City Music hall, Fox Theater, multiple festivals of their own, including snoe.down and moe.down and played Red Rocks many many times.  The band was a part of the revolutionary music scene at NYC Wetlands where the genre fusion began and the band grew into a popular and critically acclaimed jam band.This incredible career artist is joining Rocktoberfest Allstars and Livingston Leo for what is sure to be an impressive show.  


Keyboardist: Steve Molitz (Phil Lesh and Friends, Robby Krieger, Particle) has an incredible touring and recording career that includes a wide range of artists including Phil Lesh/Bob Weir/Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), Robby Krieger (The Doors), Alice Cooper, Don Felder (The Eagles), Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons/Tommy Thayer (KISS), Trey Anastasio/Page McConnell/Mike Gordon (Phish), The Allman Brothers among a long roster of equally impressive names.  Steve is also an accomplished film and video game composer, and his original work is heard daily by millions of gamers around the world in titles such as World War Z, Evil Dead: The Game, SnowRunner, and NBA 2K Playgrounds 2, among many others.

Drums: Don Castagno is a Drummer and Songwriter living in New York City. He has been part of that city's music scene for forty years. He has toured, recorded and performed with many of the country's top Blues and Rock & Roll artists, and has played locally with many of New York's best Blues, Rock & Roll , R & B, Country and Folk acts.He has Theatre and TV credits.Don toured extensively for over twenty years with two time BMA winner, Blues guitar virtuoso Debbie Davies. Some other highlights of Don's career include: Programming the drums for seminal Hip-Hop hit, ("South Bronx" by KRS1)…Playing drums on the cult-classic comedy hit, "Asshole" by Denis Leary, (which recently attained "Gold Record"status)….Performing with Cyril Neville at the 2010 BMA awards in Memphis…and also having the honor of playing "double-drums" with the late, legendary drummer Levon Helm at the "Midnight Ramble".  As a drummer he is known for his shuffle feel, his "pocket", as well as keen instincts, and musicality.As a songwriter,he has had many of his songs covered by several contemporary Blues artists on the national scene, (Debbie Davies, Coco Montoya, Popa Chubby, Sam Myers, Jay Stollman, Dave Gross etc…).His song 'Scratches' (recorded by Debbie Davies), is featured in Season 2 of HBO's hit series "True Blood".

 

Sax: Arno Hecht is a founding member of the Uptown Horns, the legendary NYC-based horn section. He has played with countless artists, including The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Robert Plant, James Brown, Tom Waits, the J. Geils Band, Dion, Joan Jett, Iggy Pop, the B-52s, Buster Poindexter, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Pat Benatar, Ronnie Spector, The Allman Brothers, Darlene Love, Joe Cocker, Albert Collins, and more.  You can hear Arno on numerous seminal albums, including Tom Waits' Rain Dogs, The Rolling Stone's Flashpoint, the J. Geil's Band's Showtime, James Brown's Gravity, Cameo's Word Up, The B-52's Cosmic Thing (including the song Love Shack), Joan Jett's platinum album Up Your Alley, Albert Collins' Cold Snap, Iggy Pop's Party, Billy Joel's River of Dreams, Twisted Sister's Come Out and Play, Al Kooper's Rekooperation, Peter Wolf's Come As You Are (including the song Can't Get Started), Nona Hendryx's Female Trouble, Joe Cocker's Unchain My Heart, Buster Poindexter's Buster Poindexter (including the song Hot, Hot, Hot), The Dead Milkmen's Soul Rotation, Keith Richards' Main Offender, Tracy Nelson's In the Here and Now, Dion's Yo Frankie, and the platinum Rocky IV Soundtrack Album, which includes James Brown's Living in America.

 

With The Uptown Horns — Crispin Cioe, Larry Etkin and Bob Funk — he released two albums, The Uptown Horns Revue and A Shot in the Dark. They were each individually inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2012.

Percussion: Stevo Nelson is the only hillbilly that ever came from Livingston New Jersey… The child prodigy drummer moved to New Orleans after high school where he became best friends with Cyril Neville and other members of New Orleans’ greatest bands. While in New Orleans, Stevo recorded with George Porter, Little Queenie and Earl King. Stevo plays a one-of-a-kind percussion instrument that he calls a “spice rack”. Stevo has shared the stage with some of the most famous musicians in the world including the Neville Brothers, Radiators, Phish, Little Feet and Los Lobos. Stevo has five kids and runs a successful construction company.  Stevo and Livingston Leo have been making music together for 45 years.

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The Edge of Heaven, Chinese/American Jazz Fusion

A world-class guitar hero and Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer, Gary Lucas has been called "Guitarist with a Global Beat" (New York Times),"One of the best and most original guitarists in America" (Rolling Stone), "One of the 100 Greatest Living Guitarists" (Classic Rock Magazine), and "Legendary Left-Field Guitarist" (The Guardian). Lucas has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Jeff Buckley, John Cale, Nick Cave, David Johansen, and Lou Reed. 

http://www.garylucas.com/

Ms. Yang is a two-string fiddle virtuoso, mezzo soprano, as well as an actress. She is a dual Global Music Award winner. Hailed as " The Chinese Huqin Girl Stepping into Hollywood '' by Sino Vision, she has performed in legendary settings such as the United Nations, Abu Dhabi Palace, Time Square New Year’s Eve Countdown Stage, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Barclays Center, CBS, WNBC and many others. You can also see her in the Emmy Award-winning TV show We Speak New York.  

https://www.feifei-yang.com/
 

Dongfeng LIU, Pianist of Latin and Jazz music, composer, arranger and a music educator. He is a voting member of the Grammy Award and the Latin Grammy Award. Member of the Pop Music Association of Chinese Musicians Association. In 2012, he was invited to make a special performance in Diao Yu Tai State Guesthouse for Chinese President Xi Jinping and Cuban President Raul Castro. His first Album “That Time” was released in 2014. Recorded in New York, his second album ”China Caribe” which was released by ZOHO MUSIC in 2018, has brought him massive praises through out the globe. 

https://liudongfeng.com/

A-Z

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Autumn Jones, Soulful/Alternative/Singer-Songwriter Music

Autumn Jones is a singer-songwriter from Maplewood, New Jersey, and a recent graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. The soulful R&B she creates is an expression of her life experiences as told through her stories and in each of her songs, which are available on all major platforms. She has had success performing in the Boston area at venues such as City Winery, Ryles Jazz Club, Midway Cafe and Hard Rock Cafe. She's also had recent success in New York City, New Jersey and Spain with her performances at Silvana in Harlem, Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan, Radio City in Valencia and the annual Maplewoodstock festival in NJ.  Autumn has also had the amazing opportunity to open for R&B Artists Vivian Green and Jon B. at the acclaimed South Orange Performing Art Center. Her recent release, "Bittersweet"  has won a Tracks Music Award for Best R&B Song  and another for Best Studio Sound in 2021.As a proud lyricist, she believes that the combination of word and music are extremely powerful, and hopes that her songs and lyrics move others as much as they have moved her. Her love for performing has shaped her into the confident show woman that she is today, and she cannot wait to get back on the stages in front of live audiences once again.

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Daze, rock/indie

Daze is a rock/indie band based in North Central Jersey. Sofia Bruno (lead vocals), Gabriel Rivera (guitar, backup vocals), Adriana Rivera (bass), and Vicente Martinez (drums) are the teenagers behind the music. They perform original songs from Gabriel Rivera’s album, Drifting, as well as covers of their favorite rock and indie songs (ranging from Arctic Monkeys and Neon Trees to Led Zeppelin and David Bowie).

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Deadful Greats, Dead cover band

A group of musicians who love the music of the Grateful Dead.  Deadful Greats play the upbeat and vibrant tunes from the height of the Dead's prowess from 1973 to 1978. Ripping through the classics, uncompromising in the arrangements, and nodding to the rarities, the Deadful Greats give you “all the Dead you are Grateful for”! 
 


Instagram: @DeadfulGreats
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/DeadfulGreats
Email:  DeadfulGreatsBand@gmail.com

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ENCORE ROCK STRNG QUARTET, Classical and Rock Strings

While we can surely serenade an audience with Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven,
sometimes we just want to “plug in” and “rock out” – and so the ENCORE ROCK
STRING QUARTET (ERSQ) was born. Founded in 2022 by four musicians with
over one hundred years of combined performance experience, ERSQ is ready to
rock you with a repertoire ranging from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Queen, and
Rush to other current rock and pop superstars. A division of the ENCORE
ORCHESTRA OF NEW JERSRY, a not-for-profit 501c (3), our Classically
trained musicians realized an opportunity to evolve in a new performance
landscape. With great stage presence, an extensive set list, and the ability to
improvise, the quartet’s goal is to engage a diverse audience by exploring popular
music of the last several decades. Book us for your next corporate event or private
party!!

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DistortionRock/Metal

Hi all, we are a rock/metal band called Distortion! We were founded by the two guitarists of Twice Heard, another local band that disassociated in the summer. Distortion only plays covers for now, covering bands spanning from CCR and Boston to Guns N’ Roses and System of a Down. Follow out Instagram page: @distortion_band_official to see our upcoming gigs, videos, and future originals! We feature: 

 

Colin Quigley on keys and vocals,

Jake Leyzerovich on guitar,

Jaime Dilworth on guitar,

Alex Baker on bass,

Nolan DeCicco on drums

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Forget the Whale, Pop Rock

An original, genre-bending pop/rock, NJ-based, female-fronted sextet with catchy, singable tunes and backed by a brassy horn section. The band includes members Alishia Taiping (lead vocals, bass) Dan Pieraccini (bass, keys, vocals), Peter Durning (guitar, harmonica) AJ Zienowicz (drums, vocals), Dan Landers (saxophones) and John Sequiera (trumpet and trombone).

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5jTaVspFTd3rY2xDUfaakR?si=-vN0htIdTHOilQrG9wTI4A

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/forgetthewhale

 

Insta: www.instagram.com/forgetthewhale

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Josh Harmon, Jazz

Josh Harmon is a musician and comedian from Short Hills, New Jersey. He combined his two interests to create the internationally renowned viral video series “Rhythms of Comedy,” in which he plays drums alongside standup comedy and sitcom scenes to highlight moments of good comedic timing. His videos have received hundreds of millions of views online, garnered millions of followers, and received praise from some of the world’s biggest drummers and comedians alike. In December 2020, he performed his “Rhythms of Comedy” routine live on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, for which he got a coveted nod of approval from Questlove.

His unique and comedic drums videos have helped spread fun and positivity around the world, and he hopes to continue to find never-before seen ways of using the drum set. His grandma is also very proud of him.

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Millburn Moksha, Bollywood & Classic Hindi Covers

Deepa was inspired on the tennis courts of the Racquets Club when her friends found out she is a talented singer.  Which further inspired the creation of Deepa and Friends to incorporate other local musicians to create Hindi music magic.

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The Parkers, Alternative/Electronic Pop/Rock

The Parkers are a grungy synth-pop group with anthems of disenfranchisement, burning missives to toxic love, and searing social commentary. Blond and doe-eyed, sisters Anya and Kate Parker-Lentz exude a detached suburban cool, but in reality are tirelessly driven musicians. Propelling the sisters forward live is the dynamically explosive drummer, Henry Kane.

The Parkers have released singles “15 Again” featuring rapper Marcaux and “AI Mind” following their debut EP – a collaboration with a variety of producers such as Ido Zmishlany (Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, The Chainsmokers, Camila Cabello), Julie Hardy and Mike MacAllister (Meg Mac, Donna Missal).

 

Performers Theatre Workshop, Musical Theater

At PTW, expert faculty train students in acting, dancing, singing, guitar, piano, songwriting and audition technique, in a caring and non-competitive environment. PTW has spent nearly 40 years building a warm, supportive, and culturally rich community where children of all ages and levels can find friendship, build confidence, and develop skills they will use for a lifetime. Based in Millburn, New Jersey, they serve students from Essex, Morris, and Union Counties, and elsewhere throughout the state.

Performers Theatre Workshop’s mission is to provide the highest caliber of performing arts education to students while fostering individual growth in a supportive artistic community. PTW strives to bring alive and develop the full potential within each student, with lots of individual attention, high level training and encouragement. 

 

PTW staff and students have been seen on Broadway, in national tours, on television, in major motion pictures, and in theaters near you.


For more information about the program please feel free to email Ptwstars@gmail.com or call the office at (973) 327-2250.

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Rodyna, Traditional Slavic
Rodyna (meaning "family" in Ukrainian) is a collective of musicians and artists who came together for their mutual love of playing and performing traditional Slavic and Eastern music, and their love and respect for one another. Each performer brings their unique gifts to Rodyna: Joseph Castelli (guitar and bouzouki); Jennifer Anya Castelli (balalaika and vocals); Caty Bentler (vocals); Kazuki Kozuru-Salifoska (percussion and vocals); Marta Jaremko (vocals). Members of Rodyna hail from right here in Millburn and other parts of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

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Ryan Wang, Opera, a capella, acoustic guitar

Ryan Wang is a fifth grader from Short Hills. At the age of eleven, is a star singer in Millburn NJ and neighboring towns. Learning to sing from seven, Ryan has been decorated with medals of numerous singing competitions including First-Place winner of the American Protégé Vocal Competition and performed multi times at Carnegie Hall. As the lead singer of Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus, he performed for four years at the acclaimed NJSO's Lunar New Year Concert. Ryan also enjoys casting in his school's musical and is passionate about helping others with his singing talent. He has been performing at nursing homes since six and was invited to sing by the First Responders Hero foundation and many other local organizations.

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School of Rock, Classic Rock/Hard Rock

Our Street Team is the top tier of our Performance Program, representing our hardest working and most advanced students.  They have additional performance opportunities over the course of the year and an annual Summer Tour. Street Team students participate in weekly rehearsals led by our Music Director, working to perfect an array of songs, culminating in performances on local stages, festivals, fundraisers, events and regional tours. 

Annually our Street Team rocks for great causes, raising thousands of dollars for organizations like New Eyes for the Needy via Kids Rock for Vision concerts that SoR Chatham sponsors, and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. 

Street Team is a precursor to the School of Rock National AllStars program.  Five of our SoR Chatham Street Team musicians earned a spot on the 2019 National All Star teams, touring the country, playing stages like BB Kings and Webster Hall in NYC, House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, and Lollapalooza Festival.

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Side Buckle, Rock

A life-long passion for rock n’ roll brought together the members of Side Buckle - EJ (Vocals), David (Vocals/Guitar), Peter (Lead Guitar), George (Bass), Vinu (Drums) and Matt (Harp, Keyboards).  After hours of jamming together and playing numerous open mics, Side Buckle is now ready for its Rocktoberfest debut! 

Side Buckle covers a wide variety of decades and music styles – from the Clash to Tracy Chapman.  

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So i Heard, Music School, Kid Rock

Sean Killary and Sam Morgan founded So i Heard Music based on the principle that music lessons should be fun, and taught using modern technology.
The original location in Millburn, NJ opened its doors in July of 2013 and quickly became the talk of the town. By 2018, So i Heard Music has grown to serve more than 1,300 students per month, and all of our students have seen the benefit of our unique style of music lesson.
Students can learn how to play an instrument, read, write, and record music, all within a fun, safe, and high-tech environment built for K-12. We teach beginner through advanced piano lessons, keyboard lessons, drum lessons, percussion lessons, voice lessons, guitar lessons, songwriting lessons, bass lessons, violin lessons and more in technology-equipped studios that foster creative expression.

 

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Soulfege, A Capella

Our very own award-winning A Cappella group from Millburn High School, Soulfege, has appeared on Lifetime's national television series Pitch Slapped, performed for the NJ Delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and various venues and competitions since 2008. Check out their new album, “blue”, available on all platforms! Soulfege loves having the opportunity to perform for the community and share their passion for music with others!

Starry Arts Group, Children's Chorus

Founded in October 2015, Starry Arts Group Children’s Chorus of Eastern Cultural Exchange Association (ECEA) has provided an opportunity for children to show their music talent.  The Chorus rehearsed in a short period of time with the joint efforts of  music director Rebecca Shen, parents and students with songs "Edelweiss", "Linger's Ring", "Farewell", "Singing and Smiling", "Little Pine", violin ensemble "Gorgeous" and other programs. The children have been performed at the Huaxia Chinese School's Christmas Gala. They were also invited to participate in the Livingston community event on Martin Luther King’s Day and at the Multi-ethnic Cultural Festival.  Every audience loved their performances.   On January 25, 2020, the Children’s Chorus was invited the second time to perform in NJPAC with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  On February 6,2021, the Chorus recorded two songs for NJSO’s virtual concert. The audience left a lot of comments online, praising them.  In the coming year 2022, the Chorus will perform with NJSO in NJPAC again. This year, the Chorus will continue to create opportunities for children to learn and perform, and continue to carry forward Chinese traditional culture.

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Stuff Bros, Acoustic/Electric/Funky/Eclectic

Each Brother adds his own special something to the musical stew: jazz influences, classical training, original songwriting, urban rocking, country-fried jangles and world beats. By popular demand they're freckling the Northeast together in venues large and small. Whether for the thousands at festive Maplewoodstock, the hundreds at cozy SOPAC and regional townships, or the dozens upon dozens at local clubs and house shows, the STUFF BROS live sound keeps people moving and spirits flowing.   The STUFF BROS bring their own recipe for rootsy goodness to classic and unexpected tunes, guaranteed to make you shake n' shimmy. Acoustic, electric, funkified, eclectic.

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Toad and the StooligansHip-hop/Funk/Jazz
Hailing from Providence, RI, and growing up in the nearby suburbs, Toad and the Stooligans is far from the typical hip hop group. Formed in early 2015, the high school friends joined together with the common goal of playing a different brand of hip hop. Heavily influenced by funk, jazz and other genres, the Stooligans mesh multiple sounds together to create a canvas for their dual-vocal delivery.

The Stooligans have played extensively in the Providence area, including winning the 90.7 WXIN Battle of the Bands in 2017.

Their debut album "Very Handsome" was released on September 15, 2017.