Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums
Praise for Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums 1st CD release “Come Out Swingin’!”:
"The Rhumba Bums abide by Cab Calloway's advice:
'Live what's in your soul and sing your friggin' heart out’
Down Beat Magazine
“Carmen Getit wrings a mean, meaty moan from a Gibson”
Adam Levy, Guitar Player Magazine
"At the forefront of the swing revival”
Jim Moret, CNN Showbiz
"Steve Lucky sings and plays Pete Johnson boogie woogie style piano
combined with the showmanship of Harry the Hipster…"
John Tumpak, L.A. Jazz Scene
Called "Instant Crowd Favorites" by the San Francisco Blues Festival and "Consummate musicians and entertainers" by New York City's Lincoln Center, Lucky and Getit bring an intense energy and sheer personal magnetism to the stage, exercising wit in a continuous battle of the sexes. They've earned a reputation as captivating entertainers with "superior musicianship" (Downbeat), engaging audiences at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens, Greece, as the house band at the Derby in Hollywood, and hundreds of nightclubs, festivals, and performing arts centers around the world.
Born in Seattle and raised near Detroit, Steve Lucky started playing piano at age eight and was playing and singing professionally by the time he was thirteen. He founded and led the six-piece Blue Front Persuaders through the ‘80s, playing jump-blues, ‘40s and ‘50s R & B, and swing, while living in Ann Arbor and attending the University of Michigan. Their novel sound and wild show was a big draw on the Midwest college circuit, earning them a spot on Star Search and a notable review for one of Lucky's original songs in Billboard magazine.
In 1987 Lucky moved to New York City to play keyboards for Grammy award-winning guitarist and vocalist Johnny Clyde Copeland. During the next five years he was active in the Greenwich Village music scene, was hired to score performance art and theater, and performed with a diverse group of musicians including Joan Osborne, Blues Traveler, and the Spin Doctors.
Sticking to his musical roots, Lucky formed his own band in New York City working the nightclubs and touring throughout Europe until he moved to San Francisco. Lucky started the Rhumba Bums in 1993 as a quintet, but admits the band really took shape in ‘94 with the addition of Miss Carmen Getit on vocals and guitar.
In Carmen's powerful voice, one can hear echoes of her idols Ruth Brown, Etta James, and Dinah Washington. Miss Getit is a dynamic performer and versatile vocalist, interpreting "slick jazz a la Dinah Washington" or shouting down-and-out blues according to the Ann Arbor Observer.
Miss Getit got her musical start plucking out melodies on the piano before she learned to read. Piano lessons soon followed, and at age ten Carmen began singing and playing acoustic guitar with a group of girl guitarists at her local church. Over fifteen years later Steve Lucky bought her an electric guitar and turned her on to early blues and jazz. In 1998 she recorded a critically acclaimed release with the Rhumba Bums, "Come Out Swingin'!", earning four stars in both Downbeat and Blues Access Magazines and accolades from the press. Getit is recognized for her more swinging styles in Guitar Player Magazine as "smooth and steady", and her grittier blues playing in Experience Hendrix Magazine, where Frank-John Hadley calls Getit "one of the most striking young blues guitarists in the country".
Carmen has performed and recorded with Elvin Bishop, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and piano blues legend Pinetop Perkins on his 2005 Grammy-nominated release “Ladies Man". Carmen is featured in productions like the "Queens of Boogie Woogie", "Women In Blues" and "Divas of the Blues" with other women artists including Lavay Smith, Carol Fran and Ruth Davies. Carmen graduated the University of Michigan, and received awards as a professional dancer and dance instructor. She will be featured in an upcoming book, Top Jazz Vocalists, by acclaimed music writer Scott Yanow.
The band is rounded out with some brilliant musicians including Johnny Bones and Doug Rowan on saxophones, Brian Fishler on drums, and Nate Brenner on bass. They have performed and recorded with a diverse group of musicians including jazz greats. Their accomplishments include jazz scholarships to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and jazz faculty positions at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and Young Musicians Program at University of California, Berkeley.
Steve Lucky can be heard on Elvin Bishop's 2004 release, with Little Charlie & the Night Cats on Alligator Records, with John Hammond Jr. on Virgin Records, and with Little Walter’s famous sideman, the late Dave Myers on BlackTop Records. Lucky has performed or recorded with Kim Wilson, Meters' founder and drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Duke Robillard, Earl King, Lowell Fulson, Roy Gaines, Chuck Berry's pianist Johnnie Johnson, James Harman, Carol Fran, Mark Hummel, Angela Strehli, Paul de Lay, Rusty Zinn, Carey Bell, Johnny Dyer, Finis Tasby, and 1999 Grammy-nominee Odetta. In addition to piano Steve Lucky is passionate about playing the Hammond B3 organ.
A talented songwriter, dancer and arranger, Mr. Lucky’s original compositions are featured in ABC TV’s "General Hospital", Showtime’s “Chris Isaak Show”, CNN's "Showbiz", FOX/Columbia Tri-Star’s “The Tick” TV show, ABC TV’s "Port Charles", The Learning Company's computer games, ABC TV’s "Bachelorette", Apple’s Final Cut Pro software, a Nissan Motor Corporation TV commercial, in-flight on United Airlines, and nationwide in Levi-Strauss stores.
Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums appeared on CNN's Showbiz with Jim Moret, PBS' "CD Highway", a Bravo! documentary "This Joint Is Jumpin'!", “Locals Only” on FOX, CBS’ Good Morning America, and in the film "Be Cool", MGM's sequel to "Get Shorty".
A knowledgeable music historian with a degree in Anthropology, Steve Lucky conducts performance-lectures on the history of boogie woogie and its significance to the evolution of American popular music.