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The New Standard

Vocalist Layonne Holmes

New Standard Bios
 Layonne Holmes - Vocalist

Layonne Holmes is a singer with a rich alto voice and a repertoire that includes funk, soul, jazz, blues and rock & roll. Layonne has stage and studio experience, and continues to broaden her horizons by performing with world-class musicians and adding songwriting to her credentials. This is her story.

Early Inspirations
Ask Layonne Holmes why she became a singer, and she'll tell you it's in her DNA. Her mother, Delores, was an accomplished performer with a long list of credentials, including having been a backing singer with The Bruce Springsteen Band.

As a child, Layonne was surrounded by music. Although she received her musical foundation in gospel, she was equally enthralled by the Jacksons, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, among others. As a teenager, she discovered The Police, which prompted her to explore the sounds of rock and other musical genres. However, it wasn't until she was about 18 that she had an "aha" moment, when she heard famed alto singer, Sarah Vaughan, interpret music in ways Layonne had never before imagined. It was then that Layonne realized that there was a market for alto singers. From that moment, there was never a doubt in Layonne's mind that she would pursue music, but she got her bachelor’s degree in business administration and a day job as an extra measure of security.

A studio session that started it all

When she was 22, Layonne got her first check for session work for E Street Band member, Danny Federici. Her mom told her, “You’re a professional now.” More session work followed over the years, with Layonne laying tracks for Fernando Saunders of Lou Reed Band, Vini Lopez of Steel Mill, Bill Chinnock, Steve Delopoulos and John DeGrazio of Burlap to Cashmere, Matt O'Ree, The Soul Project, and many others.

Thriving in the spotlight

Much as she loves studio work, Layonne gets a special rush from the audience/performer dynamic. Her joy for her craft comes through in every live performance. Layonne got her first break singing backup with the band Backwoods and subsequently became a member of Love Among Freaks (of “Clerks” movie fame). Soon after, Layonne, her mom and friend Debbie Vaughn formed RAIN, a group whose sound was an electrifying fusion of soul, jazz, R&B, rock and gospel. Layonne parlayed her experience getting RAIN off the ground when she wanted to pay homage to the female singers who were her musical influences. Layonne's critically acclaimed Grand Ladies of Jazz concert show, which featured songs from Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Nina Simone and other women who blazed trails in music, formed the basis for her next project: the New Standard. And even as the New Standard was taking off, Layonne and her New Standard band mate, Gerry Carboy, made plans to add a Motown/Stax tribute band to their busy schedules. They tapped seasoned musicians to recreate the era with reverence and boundless energy. Since its founding in 2011, the 11-piece Motor City Revue has built such a strong following that it sells out every performance, with tour dates extending beyond the tristate area. Additionally, Layonne is a member of Tim McLoone & The Shirleys, a cover band that performs a mix of rhythm and blues, classic rock, country and Broadway, with a healthy dose of "girl group" attitude. Layonne’s association with Tim began when she and her mom signed on as volunteers for his non-profit organization Holiday Express, a group that brings music, supplies, financial support and goodwill to those in need. And when not appearing with the aforementioned groups, Layonne frequently is tapped by Marc Ribler, Glen Burtnik, Bob Burger and others to perform in musical themed shows at New Jersey venues such as the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, the State Theatre in New Brunswick, and McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park.

Performing in the major leagues

Since the late 1990s, Layonne has been featured in many Rock ‘n’ Soul Revues produced by Bob Bandiera, a member of the band Bon Jovi. Her work with Bandiera led to an invitation to be a member of Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia, featuring Jon and several Jersey artists doing covers of famous rock and pop songs, including some of Bon Jovi’s own. Throughout her career, Layonne has shared the stage with many music industry luminaries, including Darlene Love, Phoebe Snow, Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, Ben E. King, Leslie Gore and Beth Nielson Chapman. And in 2011, Layonne and her mom were selected to back Bruce Springsteen on the internationally-televised “9/11 Tribute to Heroes” telethon and appear on the album of the same name.

The next chapter

Layonne continues to stretch her musical muscles, turning her attention to songwriting collaborations with area musicians. Layonne’s first published song, “Higher Plane,” appeared on the 1999 Love Among Freaks CD, “Representin’ Planet Earth.” Layonne and the New Standard Quintet often include some of her more recent compositions in their set list. Layonne’s next goal to conquer: recording a solo CD. Based on her successes to date, the CD is bound to be a powerhouse debut….and surely will lead to even more “firsts” for Layonne’s resume.

 Gerald Carboy - Bassist, Musicical Director

Studied music theory, composition and arranging with Professor of Music, Maestro Julio C. Malatesta.

Studied jazz composition and improvisation with New York jazz saxophonist Anthony Bertolotti.

Current projects:

Music Director - The Motor City Revue

The Motor City Revue is an 11-piece band specializing in arrangements of Motown and Stax classics.

Band Members include - Layonne Holmes (Vocalist), Ricky Collins (Vocalist), David Anthony (Drummer/Percussionist), Joe Bellia
(Drummer/Percussionist), Arne Wendt (Keyboards), Ralph Notaro (Guitar/Vocals),  Rick Brunermer (Section Leader/Tenor Sax), Joe Grillo (Baritone Sax), Tommy Mears (Trombone), John Martin (1st Trumpet), Eddie Mendez (2nd Trumpet), and Gerald Carboy (Bassist)

Music Director - The New Standard Jazz Quintet featuring Vocalist Layonne Holmes

The New Standard Quintet performs new arrangements of old and modern standards from the American Song Book plus original recorded and unrecorded compositions by various members of the group.

Band Members include - Recording artists David Anthony (Drummer/Percussionist), Bob Himmelberger (Pianist), Tom Timko (Tenor Sax), and Gerald Carboy (Musical Director/Bassist)

Music Director – Disco Connection

The Disco Connection is an 9-piece band specializing in arrangements of the Disco Classics and Anthems of the 70's & 80's.

Band Members include - Lisa Sherman (Vocalist), Layonne Holmes (Vocalist), Tom Bowes
(Vocalist), Andrez Fredricks (Vocalist), Ralph Notaro (Guitar/Vocal), Bennie Harrison (Keyboards), Joe Bellia (Drummer/Percussionist), Rick Brunermer (Tenor Sax), John Martin (Trumpet), Gerald Carboy (Music Director/Bassist)

Music Director – Decades of Divas Theater Show

Writing the arrangements and working directly with Oscar and Grammy winning composer Franke Previte on show repertoire. Decades of divas is a journey through time where five friends celebrate the women entertainers who have influenced them the most.

Cast Members include -
Lisa Sherman (Vocalist), Layonne Holmes (Vocalist), Eryn Shewell (Vocalist), Reagan Richards (Vocalist), Jilly Sentino (Vocalist), Ralph Notaro (Asst Music Director/Guitar/Vocal), Bob Himmelberger (Asst Music Director/Pianist), David Biglin (Keyboards), Joe Bellia (Drummer/Percussionist), Gary Oleyar (Violin), Rick Brunermer (Tenor Sax), John Martin (Trumpet), Gerald Carboy (Music Director/Bassist)


The Forest of Feelings – David Sancious & Tone, Columbia/Epic
Transformation: The Speed of Love – David Sancious & Tone, Columbia/Epic
Dance of the Age of Enlightenment – David Sancious & Tone, Arista
True Stories – David Sancious & Tone, Arista
Summer Dance - Live at Montreux, Volume II – The Chris Hinze Combination, Keytone
New Jersey Material – Pat Guadagno
Meet the Shirleys – The Shirleys
Holiday Express “Live” – Holiday Express
Holiday Express Greatest Hits – Holiday Express
Just Good Music – Richard Bamberger
Reflections – Beth Krenkle
Now and Then – The New Standard Featuring Vocalist Layonne Holmes
Classic R & B – The Motor City Revue, Sonoma
R & B Love – The Motor City Revue, Sonoma
Motown Tribute – The Motor City Revue, Sonoma

International Performances:

Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland with jazz percussionist Terry Silverlight, jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks and jazz flutist Chris Hinze (Netherlands)

Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland with jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, with Kevin Eubanks and jazz flutist Chris Hinze (Netherlands).

European Tour with The Chris Hinze Combination (Keystone/RCA)

United Kingdom Tour with David Sancious & Tone (USA) (Columbia/Arista).

Nationally Performances:

David Sancious & Tone
Barry Miles & Silverlight
Tal Farlow
Jeanie Bryson
Vic Juris
Kevin Eubanks

Producer for new project for USA market. - Maria Markesini - European Jazz Artist from Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Performances as part of opening acts for the following Tours:

Chick Corea and Return to Forever, Larry Coryell, Pat Martino, Tony Williams Lifetime, Alan Hallsworth, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Jim Hall, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Peter Frampton, Ahmad Jamal, Kansas, Hot Tuna, and Santana. .

Miscellaneous Performances in the New Jersey and the Tri-State area with the following Artists:

Guitarists: Tal Farlow, Vic Juris, Kevin Eubanks, Ray Gomez, Vinnie Corrao, Bob Devoe, Glenn Alexander, Bob Bandiera, Chris Buono, Pat Karwin, Grover Kemble, Sonny Kenn, Bob Lanzetti, Jimmy Leahey, Marc Muller, George Naha, Rhett Tyler;

Pianists: David Sancious, Barry Miles, Bob Himmelberger, John Bianculli, Jon Blodgett, Ted Brancato, Jim DeSalvo, John Drymond, Michael Ghegan, Bennie Harrison, Scott Healy, Michael Mancini, Glenn McClelland, Brad Mandigo, David Nunez, Jim Nuzzo, Marc Stasio, Jerry Vezza;

Drummers: Billy Cobham, Ernest Carter, Terry Silverlight, Narada Michael Walden, Dave Anthony, Bob Boyd, Tom Cottone, Gary Dates, Glenn Davis, Colby Inzer, Vinnie Lopez, Charlie Mills, Bernard Purdie, David Silliman;

Singers: Ben E King, Rob Thomas, Gary US Bonds, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scalfa, Cindy Lauper, Gayle Moran, Southside Johnny, Alex Ligertwood, Rob Paparozzi, Jeanie Bryson, Jackie Jones, Layonne Holmes, Lisa Sherman;

Brass & Reeds: Gordon James, Michael Gribbroek, Steve Jankowski, John Martin, Ed Mendez, John Asti, Rick Brunermer, Tommy LaBella, Ed Manion, Stephan Munter, Bill Saxton, Joey Stanns, Tom Timko, Danny Walsh.

Original (1993) and active member of the charity organization Holiday Express, whose mission is to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year.

 Bob Himmelberger - Pianist

Has been performing and teaching in the New York/New Jersey scene for the past 30 years. He's had the privilege to work with jazz greats such as Charlie Rouse, Eric Kloss, Jimmy Ponder, Vic Juris, Joe Carroll, Ted Curson, Harry Leahey, Lyle Atkinson, Nelson Riddle, Steve Gilmore, Bob Moses, Bernard Purdie, Bill Goodwin, Victor Jones, Jennie Bryson, Rick Margitza, Mike Richman, Chip Jackson, Eliot Zigmund, Jack Wilkins and saxophonist Bill Evans. He has written a book of transcriptions of Thelonious Monk, and Bud Powell solos that have been published and is sold in most music stores and through various music magazines and catalogs around the country. His CD's "Where Do We Go From Here" and the recently released duo CD with bassist Rick Crane, "Duality" can be purchased at cdbaby.com.

 Dave Anthony - Drummer/Percussionist

Has recorded with Oscar Award winning Tan Dun, composer of the sound track, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

Has also recorded and performed with Glen Burtnik (songwriter/Styx), Jackie Deshannon, Patty Smyth, John Waite, John Popper, and the Billy Joel Broadway musical, Movin' Out and many more. He is currently performing with the Motor City Revue (11-Piece soul band), BATIK (world, fusion), Komeda Project (jazz), Renaissance Band (Christian Rock), and Hank Lane Music (private event company).

 John Martin - Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones, as well as flute, clarinet, oboe and all recorders.

John attended DePauw University on a full scholarship as a Music Performance/Pre-Engineering double major.   At DePauw John soloed with the University Orchestra, performed with the Faculty Brass Quintet, freelanced as principal trumpet of a professional orchestra in Indianapolis, and played first trumpet in the band, jazz band and orchestra.

After graduating from DePauw, John earned a Bachelor's Degree (Engineering Science) from NJIT.   While studying there, John freelanced in a number of musical genres such as salsa, rock, original, polka, German, church music, classical solo and duo recitals, etc.   It was during this time that John took up the soprano saxophone, later adding alto, tenor and baritone saxes as well as flute, clarinet, oboe and all recorders to his collection of instruments.

John has worked as a Crystal Growth Engineer/Product Manager, a Programmer/Project Manager, a Programming/Web Design Consultant, and currently as Senior Programmer at Diversified Media Group in Kenilworth, NJ.   He has studied Computer Science at Rutgers and Optics at Princeton.   For many years, John served as an Adjunct Instructor at Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ, conducting the Brass and Saxophone Ensembles as well as working as a private trumpet, trombone and saxophone instructor.