CLOSENUF Bios Archives...
They will always be CLOSENUF:
CLOSENUF's Origin Bio
Little did we know it but CLOSENUF actually started when Adam Vicelich, a singer / songwriter / keyboardist and music teacher from Brooklyn, NY, met Ron Pitkin, a guitarist from Rockville Centre, Long Island, in October 2000. In adolescence, Ron's guitar virtuoso best friend took his own life, and Ron vowed to become the guitarist his friend never had the chance to be. Ron had come to audition for a band that Adam was in at the time. As fate would have it, that band broke up before Ron had a chance to join. Adam went solo for a while and recorded a demo CD; he called upon Ron to help with guitars. In the summer of 2001, the two musicians started playing open mic nights jokingly calling their group “Ad-Ron."
In early September, 2001, Adam walked into Maggio's, a local music store, and spotted a flyer hanging on the wall. Another accomplished Brooklyn singer/songwriter with his own demo CD was looking to start a cover band to raise capital and interest to eventually showcase original music. Adam called the number on the flyer and spoke to Anthony J. Foti for the first time. Finding both a sincere similarity in appreciation and influence of established artists, and a focus on writing for the same genre and fan base, the two quickly realized that they were well on their way to starting a new band.
Adam recruited a colleague, Ivan Reisberg to play drums, and Ron called on an old friend, Jeff Gallo to play bass. They set up the first band meeting on a Wednesday that September. Believe it or not, despite the happenings on 9/11, “CLOSENUF ?met for the first time at the Vegas Diner in Brooklyn, NY, on September 12th, 2001.
The band quickly started rehearsing classic rock covers, as well as Adam's and Anthony's original songs. Unfortunately, there were some bumps in the road. Shortly into the project, both Ivan and Jeff left the band for personal reasons leaving Ron, Adam and Anthony without a rhythm section to forge ahead with their idea.
Six months later, after lengthy auditions, Henry McDonagh III, a music teacher and accomplished soundman from Queens, NY, signed on to play bass. Interestingly, although being from yet another part of the New York City area, Henry came as a recommendation from his former guitar teacher who at the time was teaching Ron, and graduated from the same college musical education program as Adam (small world!). Shortly after, Trey Roper, a musician since age 7 from Bayonne, New Jersey, found his place behind the drum set. Trey, in the same vein as Ron, had auditioned sometime earlier for a former band of Adam's, and that group disbanded before he could become a permanent member (ah, destiny!).
With this line-up of 5 talented and accomplished members, any of whom could front their own band, a signature sound emerged as each were challenged by the others to be the best at what they do. Since then, CLOSENUF has established a strong presence on the New York music scene, playing bars and clubs from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Long Island. Currently, CLOSENUF has released an all-original (placed on the ballot for GRAMMY NOMINATION for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)) rock-n-roll CD under the Wreckords Records label. Musical perfection? CLOSENUF!
Adam Vicelich - Keyboards, Vocals & Composition (2001-2008)
Adam is a pianist, singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, NY who has over 20 years of performing experience. Before founding "CLOSENUF" with Anthony J. Foti, he recorded and performed his music with "Flyer's Fall," a group whose nationally distributed CD had received stellar reviews. He then went on to self-produce a solo CD, yielding more positive press, and has produced recordings for other songwriters. Adam has a Masters Degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, and is currently a music teacher. Adam has since moved on to pursue work exclusively as a songwriter and composer even selling material to Disney!.
Ron Pitkin - Lead & Rhythm Guitars, & Backing Vocals (2001-2008 / 2015)
“Rock Hard Ronnie Ron” is a guitarist, singer/songwriter from Rockville Centre, Long Island who has over 25 years of playing experience. In adolescence, Ron’s guitar virtuoso best friend took his own life, & Ron vowed to become the guitarist his friend never had the chance to be. Besides being a founding member of CLOSENUF, he has also worked on solo projects & collaborations with various NYC artists including vast studio work. His stage presence in the classic rock persona combined with his skills to absorb & conquer all styles from blues to rockabilly to metal, make him a fan favorite. He has taught guitar at Bracco Music in Valley Stream, LI & has attended Five Towns College for musical education. Ron is the 2nd longest veteran member of the act who briefly moved along for
a blues career and returned to the line-up in 2015 for a few guest appearances! He now resides in Florida doing Blues full time.
Henry McDonagh III - Bass Guitars, Electric Guitars & Backing Vocals (2001-2008)
"Hank" is a Graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College. He is currently a NYC Board of Ed music teacher.
Being southpaw, he has taught himself the uncanny ability to play guitar upside down if forced to use a right-handed stringed instrument. Besides playing bass & guitar for "CLOSENUF" he has also played bass or guitar for a long list of theatre musicals (Godspell, Pippin, & Peter Pan to name a few).
He also serves as musical director for many local acts from a cappella groups, jazz ensembles and orchestras scoring live theatre. He has extensive experience in sound design / engineering, as well as lighting, and was a technical engineer and a website consultant for CLOSENUF. Hank has since moved on to pursue musical direction in stage & theatre.
Trey Roper - Drums & Percussion (2001-2008)
Trey began playing drums in seventh grade as a member of the junior high school band. While in high school, he played in the school jazz band as well as the concert and marching bands. He played in the college jazz band for 2 years, and played drums for an original rock group during this time. Two of the group's songs received airplay on public radio. He has since played in a variety of bands, both original and cover, playing a variety of styles and has recorded with various artists; and currently resides in Bayonne, NJ. Trey left the act moving to the Midwest to spend more time with his family.
Roberto Ciraudo - Lead & Rhythm Guitars, & Backing Vocals (2009-2020)
Roberto is a guitarist originally yielding from Uruguay emigrating to the United States in the 1980s. Having played since a child being taught by Uruguay music masters, he has worked consistently for the last 25 years in many projects both live and recorded as a hired gun or regular line-up in varying styles from Classic Rock to Spanish Rock. For three years he was the lead guitarist for the South American rock band "The Black Angels" (as their name translates from the Spanish). They toured South & Central America and moved on to State-side gigs culminating at The Roseland. He has shared the stage with Celia Cruz and was offered a contract by Polygram Mexico but turned it down for a life in the states. Together with William Seyfried from 2011 to 2014, and also sharing vocal duties, he formed the double guitar section of CLOSENUF known as "The Talent Twins." Having relocated with his loving family, Roberto pursues work closer to home but is a welcomed special guest star filling in & sitting in at various concert appearances since!
Tony Napp - Bass Guitars & Backing Vocals (2009-2011)
Tony “Napp” is a Brooklyn bassist whose influences include Paul McCartney, James Jamerson & Jaco Pastorius. He started at age eleven taking accordion & singing lessons. By age fifteen, he moved on to the bass guitar & played in different neighborhood rock bands, one of which was “Three O'clock Sun” that played all the local clubs. Later his next band “Good Fortune” played the hotel circuit doing Holiday Inns up & down the east coast for seasons. He continues to be a solid & experienced bass player with a wide range of interests reflected in his instruments which include: fretted & fretless four string basses, a five string bass, an acoustic upright bass, & his favorite - an authentic “Hofner” Beatles bass. Tony left the act to spend more time with his family.
Peter G. Paszti – Keyboards & Electronics (2009-2011)
Peter is a pianist/keyboardist/composer from Brooklyn, NY, who was born in Hungary, and has over 20 years of performing experience. As a child he was trained in classical music on piano, but was keen on the “voice” of keyboards. By adolescence, he established with his best friend his first band “Ejnye – Bejnye” (Hungarian expression when a parent yells at a bad child). Later he worked with various groups & individual musicians in Hungary both live & in the studio. He was also a member of a small team of graphic artists where he made music for computer animation & commercials. In the past few years, he has worked as a solo musician, as well as continuing to make music for use in movies & commercials.
Please enjoy Peter's beautiful New Age Istrumental Arrangement of "The Tag."
(Click to Listen)
Rick Troise - Drums, Percussion, Bass & Musical Direction (2011-2014 / 2017-2022)
Rick is a brilliant musician hailing originally from Peru and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Aside from having been the rock solid bass player for the band, he is also a mean drummer & currently plays that role (and guitar player on the side). His talent is all natural but his flawless craft comes from years of lessons, taught by the best musicians at Norm’s Music (a Brooklyn staple for years). The amount of effort Rick puts into his musicianship is admirable as he is not only precise in his playing, but he uses his self-trained ears to help perfect the music of the band with arrangement and notation skills. He is also an accomplished songwriter and composer and rounded out CLOSENUF's crack rhythm section in multiple capacities. As a multi-instrumentalist but with drumming his primary passion, Rick moved on to concentrate on his career as a drummer and composer.
Brian LoBianco - Bass, Keyboards, Trumpet, Drums,.Backing Vocals, etc.
Brian is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Sheepshead Bay, Bklyn. At the age of 6, he learned some chords on the guitar from his uncle. After a few weeks, he started teaching that uncle. Brian was born with Perfect Pitch which allows him to denote the musical pitch or chord or key to any song. Brian is able to hear a song & then play it almost right away. With this musical gift, Brian can now play up to 18 instruments & he has composed over 300 songs. These songs span from as early as the Gregorian era through today. There is not a single genre that Brian dislikes, loving all music from around the world. There is always music playing & being created in Brian's head. Brian has a wonderful stage presence & has played bass, keyboards, trumpet & singing backing vocals for the act. He now spends his time between musical & acting projects around the country.
William Seyfried - Lead & Rhythm Guitars & Backing Vocals
(2011-2014 / 2016-2022)
William is a guitarist from Brooklyn, New York. With much appreciated assistance from his family, he picked up the instrument by age 15 at the recommendation of a close friend who was learning piano so they would be able to play together. Like many who had made the discovery before, the music & instrument became his vice & guarded his passions. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College with degrees in History & Education (both forms of storytelling), but music still best captures for him this endeavor. With over 7 years with the instrument he has recorded & performed with various musical projects, is himself an accomplished songwriter & vocalist & is quite happy to be currently working with CLOSENUF. Together with Roberto Ciraudo in 2011, he formed the double guitar section of CLOSENUF known as "The Talent Twins." He left the band in 2014 on a journey to find himself & his true musical direction but returned in 2016 to grace our stage again! He now concentrates on composing and assisting of musicians' musical projects.
Joe Nielsen - Rhythm Guitar, Drums, Percussion, Bass & Backing Vocals
Joe has been playing percussion & guitar for over 30 years. He started with the jazz rock band, "Blood Intersection" playing the NY Parks circuit from Prospect to Central Park. He then moved on to recording with the southern rock band "Major Minor" covering the NJ & Village Club scenes. His next venture was working with Charlie Isola in the heavy blues project "Friends of Friends" which eventually evolved into "Cuts & Blueses" which became a mainstay in the NYC Blues & Village Club circuits. Hailing originally from Costa Rica, this semi-retired Brooklyn native has not only been the band's drummer but guest stars on guitar & bass (with backing vocals, too) carrying on his rich family history as the true rhythm of CLOSENUF, and is a welcomed special guest star filling in & sitting in at various concert appearances! He relocated down south where he continues his rythmic duties.
Special Thanks To Additonal Past CLOSENUF Emeritus who graced our stage:
Steve "Woody" La Cerra: Drums & Percussion
Larry Cardinale: Guitars & Bass
Eddie Teachout: Guitars & Vocals
Denise Sosa: Flutes & Vocals
Michael Bonsignore: Bass & Vocals
Edward Villagomez: Harmonica & Guitars
Gabe Cepeda: Drums & Percussion
Martin Ciraudo: Drums & Percussion
Johnny Guitar: Harmonica
Stevie Ray Porter: Harmonica
Brian Pelter: Bass, Harmonica & Vocals
Joel Quantalino: Drums & Percussion
Barry Ostrov: Bass & Vocals
Dawn Lorenzo: Vocals
Paul Lawrence: Guitar & Vocals
John Francese: Guitar & Vocals
Chris Piccione: Drums & Vocals
Russel Paccione: Guitar & Vocals
Joey Cusumano: Drums & Percussion
Arthur Cee: Bass & Vocals
Angelo Diaz: Keyboards, Electronics & Vocals
Richie Cannata: Saxophone
John Stamos: Drums & Percussion
Please note page contains references to CLOSENUF membership prior to 2015.
© 2001 Wreckords Records
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