Meet the Martians!
DEANNA ("D") KNIGHT
Vocals
D is fresh to the west coast, with a career that has ranged from a cappella performances to Big Band flair, from European choral tours to healing-sound ceremony, and from psychedelic jammin' rock to lyrical spoken word. Her life-affirming, earth-loving release, "Shadow of a Star" was co-produced with the highly talented George Koller (Holly Cole Trio, Loreena McKennitt) and gathers some of Canada's finest acoustic musicians in an original journey of "cosmic folk". D is now exploring new ground with old tunes in the Gypsy-jazz stylings of The Hot Club of Mars. D's charm lifts our spirits with hope, harmony and a smooth touch of hot jazz. Visit her at Reverbnation.com/deannaknight
MICHAEL DUNN
National steel and Maccaferri-style lead guitar
Michael Dunn started playing guitar at age 11. Having trained as a classical and flamenco guitar maker in the late 1960's, he now makes his living as a luthier specializing in the construction of Maccaferri/Selmer Gypsy style guitars. He has recorded on other artists' CDs over the years, and is well known across Canada for his acoustic guitar work in various Hot Club style bands and touring with National Guitar artist-in-residence Bob Brozman. He has recently released a duo CD, "Djali to Django", with another outstanding hot swing guitarist, Don Ogilvie. www.michaeldunnguitars.com
MARK DOWDING
Sax, flute and harmonica and backing vocals
Woodwind specialist Mark Dowding, a co-founder of the group and also of the BC-based traditional folk music group The Wheat in the Barley, weaves lyrical counterpoint and solos on alto and soprano saxophones, harmonicas and flutes, and sings harmony vocals. Since his debut as a professional musician in 1970, he has performed and recorded with many vocal and instrumental artists from across Canada, in genres as diverse as Celtic, JuJu, salsa, contemporary folk, pop, blues, R&B, and his main love (since meeting Michael in 1979) Gypsy jazz. Mark also handles the group's website and multimedia production through his new-media production company, WindGod Productions.
TOM NEVILLE
Violin, Mandolin, Guitar, Vocalized Harmonic Blurts.
Tom's playing offers up a wide variety of musical tastes: Folk, blues, pop, jazz, country and ethnic flavours performed in many varied settings. He has played on numerous recording sessions for film, commercials and on many album projects. In 2001 he released his first solo CD, "Highly Strung", a collection of original and traditional material featuring many of the finest musicians and singers in British Columbia. Some of his Career highlights include a Command performance for the Duke and Duchess of Kent at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (backing Joelle Rabu), performing with Danny Kaye and the Peking Pops Orchestra at Expo 86, and recording and performing with Juno Award winner James Kellaghan. Tom can often be found performing around B.C. with Joelle Rabu, Joe Stanton, Babe Gurr, The Wheat in the Barley and The Hot Club of Mars.
DON KELLETT
Maccaferri-style rhythm and lead guitar, National and (Michael Dunn) Weissenborn Steel Guitar
Don started playing guitar at age 10, purchasing a guitar and lessons with his paper route money! Guitars have been a constant companion ever since. In 2002, Don met Michael Dunn. Working with Michael allowed Don to develop his interest in Hot Club Swing and as well as Hawaiian Steel Guitar. When he is not fulfilling his role as a member of the Club of Mars, Don also performs as a solo finger style guitarist, in duos with Rosemary Campbell, Abby Schwarz and Susan Vigneux, in the Rose Room Trio and the Hot Club of Poco Trio. In addition, Don is on the faculty of the Moveable Music School.
STEVE SZABO
Maccaferri-style rhythm guitar
Steve began playing guitar at an early age and developed a special passion for hot swing in recent years. He has been a regular member of Lache Cercel's exotic gypsy swing ensemble who have held court at the Kino Cafe in Vancouver every Monday night for the past 5 years. It was in these long-running sessions that he met and began playing with Michael Dunn, who has taken Steve in as his protégé and has worked with him on developing the tightly coordinated Gypsy jazz rhythm and lead guitar stylings now manifesting themselves in the rhythms of The Hot Club of Mars.
CHARLIE KNOWLES
Acoustic and electric bass and backing vocals
A professional musician since 1969, Charlie has played in a wide variety of musical situations, covering concert performance, musical theatre and the recording studio. As longtime sideman of Joelle Rabu, music has taken him to such diverse places as the USA, Eastern Europe, and China. Recording credits include numerous film scores and album projects. Although a bassist first and foremost, he has also been spotted taking turns on other instruments such as cello, mando-cello, guitar, mandolin, banjo and accordion.