JOHNNY'S DANCE BAND 2017
Pictured (from center left) are: Bobby Lenti, Courtney Coletti, Su Teears, Tony Juliano, Joey Stout, Steve Delaney.
Photos © : Irma Cope, iRa Fine, Howad Pitko, Franco Prezio. Logo © Todd Beck & Dennis Raphael.
Since 1969, JDB has been through many incarnations. Tony, Courtney and Bobby were with the most well-known line-up of the seventies. Bucks County has always been their home base. They were the biggest local draw in the tri-state area, selling out the best clubs and performing at major venues such as: The Tower Theater; Bucks County Playhouse; The Spectrum; Philadelphia Folk Festival, and more. From Boston to DC, Johnny’s Dance Band built a tremendous fan base. They once played a birthday party for WMMR (93.3 fm) - on flatbed trucks at Penn’s Landing, when it was nothing but dirt. 25,000 people showed up.
Johnny’s Dance Band calls their shows “Rock ‘n Roll Vaudeville”. Much of the all original repertoire is satirical, aiming their humorous musical barbs at sex, religion, murder, ethnic groups, prostitution, the music business, relationships, the club scene, etc. Songwriters, Juliano, Colletti and Lenti have continued their prolific output during five decades, producing many hundreds of songs. They don’t just perform their unique repertoire. They portray some of the unique and strange characters that inhabit the tunes ... with dialects, theatrics, costumes, and “quasi-choreography”.
Legendary Philadelphia radio personality, Gene Shay has this to say about the ensemble, “JOHNNY’S DANCE BAND has always been enormously entertaining, all the while playing some outstanding songs - and in so many genres ! Their music and show is as unique and original as anything you’re ever likely to witness."
Su and Courtney portray Mary and Joseph, in Tony’s composition that examines the story of the virgin birth.
On stage live at Jamey’s House of Music, Philadelphia. Photo © iRa Fine.
Much of JDB’s music is also very straight forward. It’s a constantly changing mix of styles that include rock ‘n roll, ska, hard rock, calypso, swing, bossa nova, rhythm & blues, jug band, cha-cha, jazz, folk, country, traditional blues, ballads, simple love songs, and the list goes on. There’s no telling what to expect. It’s total entertainment. And every band member shares the spotlight.
The multiple musical skills within the group are enough for several bands. Tony Juliano is a singing dancing frontman, on guitar, harmonica, Latin percussion, keyboards, and bass. Courtney Colletti sings, plays lead acoustic & electric guitars, flute, bass and banjo. He’s famous for role-playing stories in satirical dialects. Bobby Lenti excels on lead guitar, and keyboards. He is praised as a superior blues artist. Su Teears adds her outstanding voice to the ensemble’s sound, interpreting characters humorously and emotionally - plus, adds some keyboard and guitar work. Steve Delaney executes JDB’s many musical styles superbly on drums. Joey Stout totally rocks it in the pocket on bass. They both are terrific singers and play every instrument in the band … excellently.
Fans throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond have been hopefully anticipating the re-birth of Johnny’s Dance Band, ever since they went on hiatus in mid-2014. Well, wait no longer, boys & girls. They’re back - from Alfredo to Blind Jelly !
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