Entertainers (St. Louis, MO)
You will see the country's most talented Dueling Piano Performers banging it out...every night at THE BIG BANG!
Cam Brown(click for more)
- St. Louis, MO
Cam hails from a musical family out of Toronto, Canada. His Father was a dixieland/swing drummer and his mother was a pianist and ballet instructor. Growing up with two brothers, one who plays piano professionally, and a brother who shreds the metal guitar, Cam had no choice but to pick an instrument and join in. He chose the piano, and he's been playing ever since.
Cam started his classical studies at Toronto's Royal Academy of Music. After completing 10 years of classical music instruction, he decided to forget what he had learned and, with the help of his brother, Cam really began learning blues and rock and roll. He quickly began performing regularly in the Toronto bar scene with other local players. Cam was also involved in two original projects: Zou Zou - a jazz/funk/pop band, which won a songwriting contest at one of Toronto's top radio stations, and Still Life - a world music band that received national airplay and video rotation.
Cam filled his spare time as Musical Director for such musical theater productions as The Fantastiks and Hair at various summer theaters. The ambition to learn every musical style eventually led Cam to attend York University, where he majored in percussion and studied avante-gard classical, after which he attended Humber College, where he concentrated on Jazz and performance.
Then the ships came calling. Primarily with Carnival Cruise Lines, Cam played in the show band and the piano bar, getting the opportunity to travel the world and perform with such celebrities as Kathy Lee Gifford, Regis Philbin, Marvin Hamlisch and John Davidson....that's right...John Davidson.
Eventually settling down in St. Louis, Cam auditioned at The Big Bang and has been performing there for the last two years. Cam brings his unique and versatile style to the stage every night with a broad repertoire of material as well as a real passion for just playing great music.
Steve Luhmann(click for more)
- St. Louis, MO
Steve began his musical journey at the age of eight when he started taking piano lessons. He was inspired to pick up guitar when he heard the intro to "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses. Steve has taught piano and guitar since he the age of fourteen and continues to do so. Over the years he has written and recorded original music in a variety of genres from jazz to choral and orchestral music as well as pop and hard rock. As a child, Steve was heavily influenced by the talents of Michael Jackson. Learning all the dance moves to "Bad" is quite an accomplishment for a seven year old.
Steve earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in piano performance from Valparaiso University in the Spring of '03. During that time, he and his roommate entered an N'SYNC MTV talent competition and WON! (You might see Steve bust a few dance moves when you come to the Big Bang St. Louis!) Steve actively stars in and directs musicals at his home church, Christ Memorial Lutheran. He earned his first Arts For Life (local "Tony") award in 2005 for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for Best Musical Direction.
When you come to the Big Bang St. Louis and you see a Justin Timberlake/Lance Bass or perhaps Eddie Van Halen or Slash impersonator on stage....it's probably Steve. "Grab a cocktail, be ready to sing, and fasten your seat belts!"
For more info, go to www.stevenluhmann.com
Mike Manson(click for more)
- St. Louis, MO
It was 1982 and Mike's mom took him to see Billy Joel in concert at the Checkerdome in St. Louis, Missouri. Mike was seven years old then and has loved Billy Joel ever since. That was the groundbreaking moment that ultimately brought Mike to where he is now...playing music by Joel (not to mention McCartney, Elton, Prince and on and on) night after night with real heartfelt enthusiasm and passion.
Mike's educational background was actually not in music, but rather in Marketing and Political Science, graduating in 1996 from the University of Missouri / St. Louis with degrees in both those fields. However, Mike found his opening into the world of professional entertainment in the summer of 2002 when he first visited The Big Bang as a patron, and was encouraged by his friends to audition for a job there. It didn't take long before Mike became one of the most beloved entertainers in the St. Louis club. It also didn't take long before Mike gave up the 9-5 Marketing job.
Mike is now the Entertainment Director of The Big Bang St. Louis, and he regularly admits that he doesn't miss his old daytime gig one bit.
Chris Rader(click for more)
- St. Louis, MO
Chris Rader is a multi-faceted musician, songwriter, and entertainer. Possesing the skill to sing, and play a plethora of musical instruments including: guitar, piano, banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, harmonica, drums,and basically anything he can get ahold of, Chris has spent over 12 years pursuing the life of "The Musician". During these years he has developed from a "wet behind the ears" kid with a guitar who sang slightly off pitch, to an undiscovered music and entertainment talent.
Growing up in the small rural community of Walsh in Southern Illinois, Chris knew from a young age that music could stir the soul. His father and mother always had a steady stream of Elvis Presley, Classic Country, 80's & 90's Country, and Motown Hits of the 50's & 60's filling the open fielded air of his youth. Soon Chris' older sister introduced him to Classic Rock, Hair Metal and Grunge. Before long he was collecting tapes and cds and using his action figures to act as Rock Stars: Leonardo on Vocals, Wolverine on Guitar, G.I. Joe on Keys, He-Man on Bass, The Red Power Ranger on Drums. As time progressed it was clear a real musical instrument was in order. Receiving his first real guitar on Christmas at the tender age of 12, Chris set about making "music" immediately. Not long after "the best christmas present ever" Chris wrote his first full song. As fate would have it, he hasn't put down the guitar or stopped making music since.
From the age of 14 the bar setting and night lifestyle have been a constant for Chris, who played in the 3 piece Southern Illinois based band, Leveld, or as they are commonly referred to, Level-d. He acted as songwriter, vocals, and guitar primarily but also played all of the above mentioned instruments when the opportunity presented itself. As a founding member, he has seen the band release three albums of original songs, various appearances in local press, and television. To learn more about the music of Leveld, go to www.leveldmusic.com
In recent months, Chris has put together another group of musicians to form the alternative stringband, ClusterPluck. On vocals, banjo, and guitar Chris is working to keep on track with performing his and the bands original material for increasingly interested and excited crowds in and around St. Louis, Mo with sights on expansion. Some fans have even began to gather under a united flag by referring to themselves as "PluckHeads". For more info on this tantalizing new band check out www.facebook.com/ClusterPluck
In early 2009 at the age of 24, Chris auditioned at The Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar in St. Louis, Mo. and was soon hired to play piano and entertain based on his voice and charismatic presence. Crowds of the Big Bang have been falling for him ever since due to his funny quips, personal charm, and Rock N Roll/Country Outlaw influence. Some of his favorite requests to fill for the good-timing patron are: Johnny Cash's "Jackson", ANY Tom Petty song, and the always room energizing "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin, on which he turns the club into an arena, with a heavy dose of help from fellow banger, Cam Brown, on drums. A new world has been opened to the easy going, long-haired country boy, thanks to the experience he is soaking up from the best piano players and entertainers in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. (perhaps anywhere)
Look for Chris when you visit St. Louis. Chances are he will have a big smile on his face and will be playing a song for a room full of happy people.
Jennie Ursic(click for more)
- St. Louis, MO
Jennie Ursic comes to the Big Bang St. Louis from Philadelphia, PA (and yes, the cheese steaks are amazing). After taking piano lessons as a kid, she found herself listening to and wanting to play more Rock and Roll as she got older. With all of the Billy Joel, Eagles, and Beach Boys her dad and brothers played around the house, it was inevitable! (Side note: She shares a birthday with a pretty awesome musician. His name may or may not be Billy Joel). She expanded her passion for music throughout high school where she performed in various choirs and local theater productions. Her most memorable stage experience was playing a mean beggar woman in Aladdin. Good times. ☺.
After graduating college, Jennie moved to Columbus, Ohio and started serving part time at the Big Bang Columbus. It didn’t take long to realize that she wanted to be on stage singing and playing piano instead of serving and watching. She was fortunate to get her start there and in July of 2010, she moved to play full time at the Big Bang St. Louis! She’s thrilled to be a part of their team and is having the time of her life. Random fact: Every so often, she’ll break out in the Bed Intruder song. If you don’t know it, look it up, come to the Big Bang, request it, and brace yourself. See you all at the Bang!!