Official Biography

(courtesy of SOULBOP!)

SOULBOP! is the brainchild of John Finley and Danny Ironstone. Embodying the harmonic sophistication of Jazz and the emotional urgency of Soul/R&B, SOULBOP! reflects a passion for these two great African American art forms and the desire to contribute to their historic tapestries.

John Finley (vocals): His experience in live performance, recording and songwriting runs through R&B, Gospel, Jazz and Rock. Very early on, John fronted Elektra Records' rock supergroup Rhinoceros; he's enjoyed continued songwriting success since his breakthrough "Let Me Serenade You" by Three Dog Night and garnered performance recognition within the L.A. Soul Gospel Music community.

Danny Ironstone (kybds./ musical director): Possessing a wide array of musical talents, this keyboardist / arranger and composer is both a teacher and student of the art. His songwriting credits include recordings by Chaka Khan, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Crawford and Shena Easton as well as numerous TV Themes. In live performance, Danny has toured with Anita Baker, John Kay & Steppenwolf and The Pointers.

Leon Abner (drums) provides the "deep pockets" for everyone lay in; he is the heartbeat. Leon has a lengthy and extensive live touring and recording background including:

World Tours: Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea

U.S. Tours: Ronnie Laws, Funkadelics and Elvin Bishop

Recordings: Diana Ross, Lee Rittenour and Bloodstone.

Stuart Thorne (bass) brings a musical Worldview to this ensemble. A graduate of The Musicians Institute of Los Angeles, he is accomplished on all stringed bass instruments, as well as the more exotic Chapman Stick. Stuart has performed with jazz greats Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and R&B artists Mandrill and Freda Payne as well as many Latin and Brazilian acts.

Philip Upchurch (guitar): The living legend; he's recorded 23 albums; been everywhere; done everything. In his youth, he created the seminal band instrumental, "You Can't Sit Down" and has recorded with John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Joe Williams, Carmen McCrea, Diane Shuur and Michael Jackson. Phil's worked on stage with Quincy Jones, George Benson, The Crusaders and numerous Blues greats and travels worldwide conducting workshops and receiving major awards.

Louis Taylor (saxes): From the lineage of Stanley Turrentine and King Curtis, Louis contributes what is intrinsic to this gathering: the soul of Gospel and Blues with the intellect and vision of Jazz. This Berklee graduate has recorded with Quincy Jones, CeCe Pennison and The Cheathams as well as in many major Film/TV productions. Louis has toured with Ray Charles, The Gap Band and continues with Gerald Wilson. His new CD is entitled "Sheba's Groove."

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