Stevens (a.k.a. Steve Parton) began playing guitar at age 10,
after having had a successful career as a film maker (that explains
the kid in the Superman outfit brandishing an 8mm movie camera,
filming at the base of Stelco tower back in 1981). Guitar studies
saw him following two paths: rock and classical. For the rock
shows, Steve toured Canada and parts of the US, and played guitar
with the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra (featuring his celtic-rock
band, The Bremen Town Musicians). For the classical gigs, Steve
performed at Bill Gates' birthday party in 1997 and at Beethoven's
house in Vienna, Austria in 2003, and played guitar with the Vancouver
Island Symphony Orchestra (solo classical guitar).
One of the afore-mentioned Canadian tours was done on a budget,
so the band hitch-hiked the whole tour. The band was only made
up of two acoustic guitarists though, so drivers didn't have to
worry about accommodating drums and sound systems, etc. Said tour
went from Montreal to Winnipeg in 1994, culminating in a concert
opening for Leo Kottke.
Other gigs of note include a European tour. Actually, it was just
Italy. Venice, really. Well, it was in the Piazza San Marco Square
in Venice, and Steve was in fact busking - no agents, no promoters,
and no money. The problem was that Steve entertained the passers-by
with a tiny Martin Backpacker guitar, which looked more like a
baseball bat than a musical instrument. Instead of dropping Euros,
the "fans" kept interrupting the show with questions: "what the
heck is that?" "can I try it", etc.
is the Director of Avalon
His website is www.partonmusic.com
(Bass Guitar, Vocals)
The musical education of Big T (a.k.a. Tom Kiss) began at age
eight as a vocalist in his school choir. By age 13, he started
playing bass guitar, and by age 15, Tom began studying Tuba and
trombone – and so began his foray into low-pitched instruments.
Tom was very
much in demand as a session bass guitarist when he lived in Vancouver.
He has played and recorded for many bands on the West Coast as
well as here in Hamilton.
Tom has a
great deal of orchestral and ensemble experience. He played with
the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for seven years (including
a performance at Carnegie Hall), with the Ottawa Youth Symphony
(performing with The Winnipeg Ballet and at the Banff Music Festival),
as well as the National Youth Orchestra for a time.
Tom is the
Assistant Director of Avalon
||Mike was born
in the gritty steeltown of Hamilton, Ontario. While growing up on
a farm, 10 year old Mike was instantly hooked on drums while watching
a square dance band play at the annual Beef Banquet for local farmers.
There was no looking back. The sheer power of the beat made those
people square dance, and he had to learn to exude the magic himself.
At age 17 Mike began to play professionally. His first 8 years were
spent on grueling 6 nights a week, 51 weeks a year tours of northern
Ontario where he earned the title "tête carrée", possibly for his
lack of prowess with the French language. Musically insatiable,
he then enrolled in a 3 year college music program and after graduating
immediately began working in theatre, jazz, latin and rock music.
Soon the world called and Mike set sail for Europe, the US, the
Caribbean and Central America. In the middle of his time playing
abroad, Mike returned home to Canada and toured Canada for a year
with a very large circus, playing drums, and trying his best not
to upset the elephants.
Since returning to Canada, Mike is loving slamming out the infectious
grooves of Jam Sandwich. His new-found privacy after 24 years of
touring has afforded him the simple pleasures in life: openly singing
in the shower, working on his air-guitar and air-piano skills, and
perfecting his floor routine. Although he has an acute fear of spiders
and heights, he is fearless behind a drum set, something immediately
apparent to all who witness the magic of Jam Sandwich.