Songwriter, producer, vocalist Vicki Bell (Victoria) is the producer and member of the Alexis P Suter Band, fronted by the extraordinary Blues and Soul vocalist Alexis P Suter.
Vicki was born to an artist mother and a father who raced cars and she has always been the star member of a large Italian/Irish family. From the age of five and onward, Vicki entertained at family and neighborhood gatherings by producing, directing and starring in her original productions. Miss Bell has always been creatively inclined, dancing, singing and directing for her family and neighborhood friends at the early age of 5 and making her public debut in a production of the Musical “West Side Story”.
After graduating from Union-Endicott High School in upstate New York, Bell received scholarships and studied at The Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (now University of the Arts) and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, NYC. During that time, she began her career as a singer and dancer in various settings in New York. She then joined the National and World Tour and the acclaimed Broadway Musical,
“A Chorus Line” in the role of Val, playing over 160 cities in Europe, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand. She was honored to perform at The White House for President Ronald Reagan with the cast and Marvin Hamlisch broadcast on PBS "In Performance at the White House" series.
Vicki was a member of the pop singing trios, The Girls Club (Select), Jack and Jill (Strictly Rythm) and Three of Hearts (Cutting Records) which were part of the underground dance music scene in NYC at the time. It was then that she fell in love with songwriting, production, remixing and engineering and began honing her skills in these arts learning from Moogy Klingman (Utopia), Coati Mundi (Kid Creole and the Coconuts), Mario Sprouse (Gordon Parks), Danny Madden and as a technician from great engineers Joe Berger and Dave Lee.
Bell worked with and recorded for several indie labels. In 1998, Vicki along with Drummer and Percussionist Ray Grappone and Engineer/Producer Dennis Martin formed Hipbone Records based on New York’s Lower East Side. Hipbone Records released twenty 12" Vinyl soulful dance music and beat/groove records featuring live musician/electronic collaborations. Vicki composed, produced and engineered the majority of the releases along with Grappone. Hipbone employed some of the best remixers in dance music at the time and released Vinyl recordings from Artists Alexis P Suter, Amy Helm, The Groove Collective and many more. From those Vinyl releases Hipbone licensed individual tracks to over 60 + compilations world wide, and also licensed many tracks for Film and Television, notably “Stevie” by Steve James and “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” on Bravo Television. Hipbone then released full length CD's in the Blues, Roots and Jazz genres.
Vicki and fellow musician/producer Peter Adams combined efforts to form Open Door. They released two full length efforts, the much acclaimed “What’s Behind Door #1” (Sole Music, UK) and follow up “So Close To Beautiful” (Hipbone Records). Their cover version of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” was licensed over 50 times to compilations world wide. Their original "Shelter Me" was featured on the FX Network Series "Nip/Tuck". The duo toured the USA and UK in support of their releases.
In 2004 Vicki collaborated with Alexis P Suter and Grappone to create her debut Blues/Soul CD release “Shuga’ Fix”. This release lead to a regular opening slot at Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble shows held in Woodstock, NY. Bell and Grappone were associate producers on both “The Midnight Ramble Session” releases Vol.1 and Vol. 2. Vicki mixed Volume 1 with Dave Lee. She also performed and produced Alexis P Suter Band “Live at the Midnight Ramble” released on LHS Records. At the same time Miss Bell engineered regularly at Hipbone Studios recording the likes of Vassar Clements, Michael Falzarano, Buddy Cage of NRPS, Scooter Warner, Jesus H Christ, The Groove Collective, Alexis P Suter and many more.
Vicki continues to produce, compose and sing with Alexis P Suter Band who have performed at 50 + Blues and Roots Music Festivals along with Theater and Venue dates in the USA, Canada and Europe. Alexis P and the band have released 7 full length recordings to date in which Bell served as producer, composer and performer. They have appeared as musical guests on “IMUS in the Morning” and “The Artie Lange Show”.
Other recent credits for Vicki include singing live with Corey Daye (Cher Chez La Femme) and performer credit on Levon Helm - “Live at the Midnight Ramble” Vol. 3.
Miss Bell is currently in production for the next Alexis P Suter album.
Ray Grappone, musician, born in Brooklyn, New York is a professional Drummer, Percussionist and Producer.
Member: Local 802 AFM, ASCAP and The Blues Foundation.
After graduating from Lafayette High School, Grappone, received a BA in Percussion Performance from Kingsborough College and an MA in Music Education from Herbert Lehman College. There he gained vast experience playing in Percussion ensembles, Chamber, Orchestra, Opera and Concert Band.
Ray is also the resident drummer at the acclaimed “TADA” Youth Theater in New York.
On Broadway, Ray played more than 20 productions. He held the drum chairs at “Blood Brothers”, “Side Show”,”Little Me”, “The Flower Drum Song”, “Marie Christine”, “Bombay Dreams”, subbing on others including “Les Miserables”, “Rent”, “Wicked, “The Producers”, “The Boy From Oz” and many others. Off Broadway Grappone worked with Alan Menken on “Weird Romance”, Stephen Sondheim on “Saturday Night” and Noel Coward’s “If Love Were All” with Twiggy.
Ray performed in the National tours of “Jerry’s Girl’s”, “Starlight Express”, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “The Music Of The Night” (38 piece Orchestra featuring Colm Wilkinson). Also, “A Chorus Line” World Tour.
Other performances included playing for Bette Midler, Eddie Fisher, Carole King, Patti Page, The Radio City Rockettes and The New York City Opera, and Shakespeare’s “King Lear” with Kevin Kline.
Ray owned “The Drummer’s Workshop” in Brooklyn for 5 Years where he taught privately and hosted Master classes with percussion greats a highlight was Arnie Lang percussionist for The New York Philharmonic.
In Rock, Blues and Indie, Ray has performed with Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Felix Cavaliere, Buster Poindexter and Alexis P Suter.
Television and Film credits include; “IMUS in the Morning”, “The Artie Lange Show” and “The Accidental Husband” starring Uma Thurman, Colin Firth and Isabella Rosellini.
Currently Ray plays with The Alexis P Suter Band performing at Blues/Roots/Folk/Jazz Festivals, Theaters and Club Venues. He performs with Buster Poindexter (aka David Johansen).
Michael Louis is a guitarist, singer, songwriter & producer. Born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, he moved to Gravesend, Brooklyn, NY in his early teens where he still lives today. Michael has produced, recorded and worked with many other musicians including Sun Records legends Sonny Burgess, Billy Lee Riley, Roland Janes and Fame Studios session guitarist/Little Richard’s musical director, Travis Wammack. He has recorded in Memphis, Tupelo and Muscle Shoals and has toured all over the USA and outside of the country as well. Michael has more than 6 albums on his own label, MMM Records, 2 with the rockabilly band, Slick Pelt. He has recorded with many others. He loves the blues, the roots, and all its fruits. He is very happy to be working with Alexis P. Suter and her band.