SOUL COMMANDERS IS A GROUP OF SOME OF THE NW’S MOST TALENTED AND EXPERIENCED MUSICIANS COMMITTED TO PLAYING THE MOST DANCEABLE R&B, FUNK, SOUL AND POP HITS FROM THE 80’S THROUGH TODAY.
Covering artists that range from Michael Jackson, Chaka Kahn and Earth Wind and Fire to Hall and Oates, Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston, Johnny Cash to 80’s dance hits, a Soul Commanders performance delivers the deeply infectious grooves and timeless melodies of these musical gems with a familiarity and integrity that could only be achieved by artists with the capabilities and professionalism that this group possesses. Dedicated to maintaining this rich tradition of American popular music, most of the groups players began their musical careers when these hits were first popularized and as a result they bring a level of authority and intimacy to the material rarely seen in today’s market.
The members collective discography reads like a who’s who of the last 30 years of popular music. John Mazzocco, the group’s leader and bass player, is a highly sought after musician whose credits include John Lee Hooker, Paul Delay and Curtis Salgado. He has put together a stellar group of musicians beginning with one of the area's freshest talents, vocalist Michal Angela Wilson. Michal Angela Wilson is rapidly becoming one the NW’s favorite singers. Her classical training at the U. of Idaho leaves her well prepared for the increasing demand for her talent. Since moving to Portland she has become a ubiquitous presence on the local music scene working with artists like Devin Phillips, Errick Lewis and noted producer and trumpeter Farnell Newton who has said, “Michal Angela is one of the most talented and lyrical singers that I always look forward to working with”. On keyboards and piano is Ramsey Embick a native Oregonian whose studies at Berklee College of Music led him to the Los Angeles music scene. This is where he landed the gig of Musical Director and keyboardist for the Pointer Sisters and recorded with such notables as Ray Charles, The Commodores, Michael Jackson to name a few. The group’s guitarist is none other than Eddie Martinez, Eddie cut his teeth in the studio scene in New York and is widely considered one of the finest guitarist working today. His credits include Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Robert Palmer, Meat Loaf, RUN=DMC, and David Lee Roth. On drums we have Edwin Coleman III. Edwin comes from a highly musical family and played his first gigs at 18 with his dad's trio. An accomplished classical cellist as well as an impeccable drummer, his musicianship has kept him on the "first call" list for groups like Soul Vaccination, Inspiration Sounds Gospel Choir and now Soul Commanders. Mark Wyatt is one of our lead vocalists and his pairing with Michal Angela delivers the goods. His credits are as diverse as they are plentiful, from a stint on guitar with the US Air Force Band in Ca. in the 80's to his work as featured vocalist on the 2010 grammy nominated album "Reflections by Keb Mo, He is talented, versatile and a consummate entertainer and professional. Rounding out the group is Scott Wardinsky on percussion. Having lived and studied in Cuba for many years Scott adds a distinctly latin tinge to the groups sound. He is no stranger to the NW scene where he has played with Tom Grant, Nu Shooz, Calvin Walker Band etc. He has recently returned from L.A. where he taught Afro-Cuban percussion at UCLA from ’98 – ’04.
In the today’s world of popular music with all of its computerized tricks and digitally enhanced performances Soul Commanders genuine, organic sound is like a breath of fresh air. Their contagious energy, detailed execution and commitment to providing quality dance music make them a highly desirable act for weddings, conferences, festivals and parties alike. With a repertory of literally 100’s of songs this group can tailor its shows to most occasions.