Meet THE BANDs
A stylish chanteuse with an amazing vocal range and sophisticated taste in vocal interpretation and personal style, Ginger has trained professionally since her teens. She has sung in multiple settings including The Sweet Adelines a capella group, church choirs, and even a short stint doing singing telegrams as Mae West (but that’s a story for another day). In real life, Ginger is a retired family physician. While in medical training, Ginger was a member of the Little Lyric Opera Theater Company of Philadelphia. Her Irish roots led her to compete in Irish singing contests up and down the east coast, and she took third place in the prestigious Mid-Atlantic Fleagh Cheoil in 2010. Ginger is also the lyricist for Mixon Brew Music, LLC, collaborating with Joe Mixon. Together they composed the songs of the first Ginger and The Schnappes album. The influence of Ginger’s dad and his love of big band jazz combined with Ginger’s own wry sense of humor and love of vintage clothes have created a stunning and engaging singer.
Joe is the guitarist and musical director for Ginger and The Schnappes. He has a master’s degree in Music from Combs College of Music in Philadelphia and provides the musical backbone to the band as well as elaborate solos for most of the tunes. An expert multi-instrumentalist, Joe has taught music theory and musical performance at several colleges in the Lehigh Valley including Northampton Community College, Lebanon Valley College and Moravian College. Joe is the vocalist and steel drum player for the Big Wahu Caribbean band and can be heard playing steel drums on the world wide collaboration album by Infinity Group. Joe is also the guitarist for The Blues Professors and, together with Ginger, composes licensable songs for Mixon Brew Music, LLC. Joe is responsible for the beautiful tunes that range from swing to blues to country. Joe also has a private music practice coaching vocal and instrumental performance.
Throughout a music career spanning over four decades, Brian Jon Bortz – Bassist, has continually found great joy in playing music at a very high level and always with great musicians. Highly regarded as one of the premier bassists in the region, Brian has performed across the US, to Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe. He has backed major show-business stars, played for the President and Vice President of the U.S., annually plays for the Freddy Awards, and is deeply involved in his church music ministry. He is a founder of The Last Thursday Band, a member of Fusion Jazz Trio and Ginger & The Schnappes, and is a first-call sub with several great bands. Brian also has extensive recording credits. He calls the recording studio his “happy place” and has worn the producer hat for several projects as well. Brian’s influences are wide ranging and include everything from Big Band to R&B and everything in between. Brian's breadth of musical expertise combined with exceptional skill and a positive attitude are the attributes that have sustained his career and keep him in high demand.
Vernon has been playing for nearly three decades. During that time, he has worked tirelessly to craft an unmistakable drumming style, often playing multiple rhythmic patterns and instruments simultaneously, giving the illusion of more than one percussionist playing. Vern’s musical roots are Gospel where he cultivated his drumming, singing and skills on the organ. Since childhood, Vern has been a respected member of the greater Philadelphia Gospel community playing in venues as varied as local churches to the Philadelphia Academy of Music. In 2002 Vern organized the award winning Fusion Jazz Trio. FJT is know throughout the Lehigh Valley and has played such prestigious venues as Allentown Symphony Hall and the Levitt Pavilion at ArtsQuest, Bethlehem, PA. Though Vernon's primary focus is Fusion, he still finds time to play with many local artists such as Barry Sames, Will Brock (Gerald Veasley), Gene Perla (Miles Davis/NinaSimone), Ian Holmes (American Idol), Moe Betta (Wyclef Jean), Richard Cummings (Harry Belafonte), and Robbi & Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon).