Diana Jacobs & MIDNITE MOOD
It’s Jacobs’ pipes that most immediately impress... yet her Midnite Mood backing band mates are no slouches, either, as they lay a brilliant foundation for Jacobs to build upon. The combination... will get asses shaking or slow dancers cuddled in close. Guitarist-vocalist Mettis (Jacobs) and Jacobs make for a powerful band core. With more than 25 years’ performance experience together in Central New York, the married couple’s connection is clear within the music, as their musical lines weave and align beautifully. Jim VanArsdale adds guitar, keys and vocals, Mike Burns is on bass, Sue Ferlenda contributes backing vocals and David Chitambar is behind the kit solidifying the soul.
Jessica Novak, Syracuse New Times
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Mettis and Diana Jacobs - Guitarist/Vocalist and Lead Vocalist
Mettis and Diana have performed together in the CNY area for over 25 years with bands ranging in genre from Blues and Rock to R&B and Gospel. Together they recorded their first cd, entitled I Thank Him, with their gospel group - Jacobs' Ladder. The title cut of that cd was nominated for a Sammy Award in 2005. Diana has since released a piano/vocal solo cd entitled How Lovely. Diana fronts Midnite Mood with Mettis on guitar as he shares the lead vocals. Their entertaining style and dynamic vocals have become trademark features of the band.
Mike Burns - Bassist
Michael Burns is a fretted and fretless bass player and backup vocalist in genres including jazz, r&b, country, folk, blues, klezmer and rock professionally since 1973. He is most widely known for his playing with Florida’s Vickie Lee & Loose Change Band during their 1987 Norwegian tour and for being an integral part of The John Reilly Band and Joe Lonsky’s Destination for nearly a decade. He also appeared with Lonsky’s Destination at the 2004 New York State Fair. Mike has had extensive experience as a studio musician. Over the past years, Mike has recorded with Kenny Derr’s First Take, The John Reilly Band, Roadside Traveler, The Destination, The Scapegoats and Terry and Beth Cuddy’s “A Cast of Thousand” just to name a few. Along with being the bassist and one of the “Bro Tones” for the Mabel Evans Band, Mike’s current bass projects include Midnite Mood and Lou Nocilly’s Jazzitude. When introducing Mike, Joe Lonsky often referred to him as Mr. Clean for always having the cleanest car and bass grooves around.
Sue Ferlenda - Backing Vocalist
Sue Ferlenda, originally from Moravia, N.Y., has resided in Auburn since 1980. She is married with two children and has been singing for most of her life; however, she credits the late Jim Watts for getting her started on her "public" music path as backing vocalist with Jacobs' Ladder. Mettis, Diana, Sue, and Jim Watts worked together in the 12 piece group which released its only cd in 2004 entitled I Thank Him. Sue also sang with the group Too Old to Rap and has worked as a vocal soloist for various ceremonies. Her current love is singing beautiful harmonies with Midnite Mood.
Dave Chitambar - Drummer
Dave has been playing the drums for over 40 years, and is well versed in all genres of music. Most notable collaborations include Wilmer Alexander Jr., (of Wilmer and the Dukes) as well as Jazz luminaries Sal Nistico and Brother Jack McDuff. He has shared the stage with the likes of Stanley Turrentine, Monty Waters, and David Amram. He has been a member of many local bands, including Four Brothers, Fake I.D, The Villagers, and The Destination. Dave also joins Diana and Mike as current members of The Mabel Evans Band.
"Music is truly the pulse of life."
Dave Kuykendall - Guitarist
(Photo to be posted soon!)
Dave was interested in music at a very early age and began lessons at 8 yrs old. He studied with different teachers until he was about 20, then decided to enroll at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. There Dave took his studies even further; he became interested in different styles of music from jazz to fusion, to funk and fingerstyle acoustic. While in California, he studied with some of the best musicians on the planet. “It opened my whole thought process” says Dave. He’s also been influenced by a lot of the musicians in this area. Dave has been in many local bands from 1990 when he returned from California, most of them being funk and soul bands, but he’s also done, jazz, blues, rock, country, etc. He has played many parties, weddings, clubs, and corporate gigs.
Dave has also been teaching music/guitar for over 20 years in Geneva, Auburn, Rochester, and Seneca Falls. He really enjoys passing down his knowledge to the students and seeing how they can be creative with what he has guided them on. Dave is also a solo guitar arranger. His videos can be seen on Youtube. If interested, his nickname is tuckis23 on Youtube. Dave has also done a lot of pit work for area musical productions.
Influences... there are way too many… but a few are Tuck Andress, Ross Bolton, Micheal Landau, Allen Hinds, Tommy Emmanuel, Guthrie Govan, Dave Weckl, Vinny Couliutia, Chick Corea, Victor Wooten, Tower of Power, and Aquarium Rescue Unit. Dave still practices daily, and loves to be inspired and learn new things. Music is just a never-ending journey!!!
All photography on this page by David Conway