MEET THE BAND
Meet the Band Members of All Tuned Up
Band Leader, Drums, Vocals
George started playing drums at age 5. His father was a self taught musician and would teach him to play all types of musical styles. George was involved with every possible music program while attending high school and was drum line section leader his junior and senior year. He was in the orchestra and was All South Jersey for drums 2 years in a row. He studied with Al Ipre during this time. After graduating he started to work in area clubs and restaurants and played in various bands. A few years later he started doing road work with show bands and traveled on the east coast. George started college a little later than usual and received an Associates Degree in Music from Burlington County College. He then attended Trenton State College and Rutgers University for a degree in music performance. During this time he was playing 5 and 6 nights a week in clubs and in Atlantic City Lounges. George studied with Tony DeNicolla and Joe Morella and became a well rounded player. George has written many jingles and commercials that are still played on the radio in the South Jersey Area!
Diane L. Bittner
Co-Leader, Front Lead Vocals, Guitar
Diane started her singing career at a very young age appearing on The Al Albert’s Showcase, Sally Star and also Chief Halftown. She was destined to be on the stage from that point on! Diane studied voice, theory and guitar at Russell’s School of Music in Cherry Hill, NJ and won many group/combo competitions during her high school years. Diane performed at weddings and parties with her band Blue Mist during this period of time. After graduating she began working in local clubs and restaurants with a band called Night Flight. She studied voice with Paul Spencer Adkins, a world renowned tenor from the Philadelphia area. Diane went on to work with many of the area’s most popular bands including Grand Illusion, Double Take, Punchline and Shining Star Orchestra. She has recorded many radio commercials and jingles during her career and loves recording in the studio. She has performed at The Tropicana, Bally’s, Trump Plaza, Showboat, Caesar’s and Trump Marina, just to name a few! She continues to captivate audiences with her powerful voice and can sell a ballad like no other in this area.
Guitar, GUITAR SYNTH, vocals
John received his first guitar and first guitar lesson on his sixth birthday, because his parents didn’t want to buy him an instrument without having him take lessons.Best decision ever.He studied with his first teacher, Hal Columbo (from Mike Douglas’ Philadelphia studio band), for seven years. In addition to the kind of training that every beginner/intermediate students receive, he was also required to sing anything before he played it, to have him KNOW the notes, instead of the guitar informing him of the pitches. That ear training gave John perfect pitch and the ability to play anything he can hear.By the age of 16, John was singing and playing full-time, and at the age of 20, he’d moved to Los Angeles to further his career. After working with members of El Chicano and Tierra, as well as Michael Sembello and many other great musicians, he helped form Savage, a three-piece (plus front man) ensemble, playing funk and rock. The drummer was Ike and Tina Turner’s Alan Krigger, and the bassist none other than Steve Miller’s bass player, the formidable Gerald Johnson. While working with Savage, Gerald received a call from Myrna Smith (from The Sweet Inspirations), asking him if he would like to record on The Beach Boys’ Carl Wilson’s solo album; Gerald suggested that Savage could record the album as a unit. They recorded the album at Caribou Ranch in October, 1980 with Jimmy Guercio producing.In 1981, Carl toured with John, Myrna, Gerald and Krigger, and added Beach Boy Billy Hinsche (also from Dino, Desi and Billy), to promote the album. They also opened the show for The Doobie Brothers on their 38-date tour in spring and summer of 1981, and also appeared on The Tomorrow Show, Casey Casem’s Top 10, Solid Gold and American Bandstand during that time. The members of Savage, along with Billy, also contributed to Carl’s second solo album Youngblood, recorded at Los Angeles’ famed Cherokee Studios, with Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Elliott Randall producing.John has played professionally for over 40 years, with Peaches from Peaches and Herb, members of Boyz2Men, Confunktion, Kool and the Gang, and many others on both coasts, and has been fortunate enough to have received master classes from the likes of Jeff Baxter, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea and Stanley Clark, and even Bill Bruford.John’s extensive knowledge of electronic music, synthesis and the physics of sound has enabled to teach those subjects for Penn State University, Bryn Mawr College, Anthem College and Rutgers University. He has also contributed to Mathematical Concepts in Music – Scales, Harmony and Ratios by Dr. George Articolo, professor emeritus of Mathematical Physics at Rutgers University.Carl’s first solo album was re-released in September of 2105, and John and the rest of the members of the Carl Wilson band feature prominently in the liner notes. John was also interviewed for a biography of Carl Wilson called “Long Promised Road – Carl Wilson, Soul of the Beach Boys”, also released in September of 2105.In addition to guitar, John also plays harmonica, flute and keyboards. John plays Godin electric guitars and Breedlove acoustic guitars exclusively.
Lou Durham has been playing piano and composing music for nearly 50 years and is a native of South Jersey. He Graduated Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ Class of 1972. He holds degrees in commercial/jazz piano with a minor in composition, arranging and history, and a minor in Middle East politics and religion.
After college, from 1972 through 1986, Lou played music up and down the east coast performing at resorts and casinos. Lou was a member of the very successful bands Grand Illusion and Soundscape and was a band mate and good friend of George and Diane of All Tuned Up. He then auditioned and was accepted into the US Army as a pianist and toured with the band, traveling the world with the 214th Army Band, Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1994 Lou won an audition for the prestigious and elite US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, DC where he made it a career move to perform as a pianist for President Bill Clinton, high ranking dignitaries, officers and members of congress, and actually spent six of those years as Vice President Al Gore’s personal pianist, performing wherever the Vice President requested his services. Some of these notable moments include being commissioned to either perform or write Grammy nominated music for many major shows including DC ́s 1812 Concert on the Mall, performances for Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George H W Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, Senator Ted Kennedy and Colin Powell, and at one point played for the King and Queen of Sweden. He has shared the stage with Clark Terry, Lew Solo, Dennis DiBlasio, Dave Koz, Darryl Worley, Trisha Yearwood, Mark Wills, Craig Morgan, The Soul Survivors, Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass’ and many more. Recordings include 4 CD’s of patriotic music, including and featuring two title tracks he composed. He scored a composition featured in the award winning documentary, “Why We Fight”. Lou retired from the military after 23 years as a Master Sergeant. Lou has decided to reunite with is old band mates George and Diane!
Bass Guitar, Vocals
Trumpet, Flugel Horn
Tony started playing the trumpet in the 7th grade.
He joined The Bonsal Blues community band when he was 15 years old and was immediately a stand out musician. He has been playing professionally ever since. Tony has worked with many of the area’s top club bands and is now reuniting with George and Diane. He was a member of Punchline and The Shining Starz Orchestra in the past. Tony has also played in many big bands and concert bands in the tri state area. We are excited to reunite with one of the area’s top trumpet players.
Tenor Sax, Alto Sax, Baritone Sax, Soprano Sax, Vocals
Rich took his first sax lesson at age 9. By the time he reached his teens, his natural talent had him playing in dance bands throughout the tri state area, not to mention an ethnic band specializing in Polish music. Rich has played in top 40 bands and was a member of the house band for the ”Shack” restaurant on Roosevelt Blvd for several years. To add to his colorful repertoire, you may have seen Rich parading on New Year’s Day in the String Band Division of the Philadelphia Mummers Parade. Rich currently plays in the Bonsal Concert Orchestra and the Bonsal and Silvertones Dance Bands. Rich is the newest member of All Tuned Up and finishes out one of the Top Horn Sections in the area!