Musicians Unite Staff
Chris Coles - Musicians Unite Founder
Chris had the passion to start Musicians Unite to help give all musicians the supportive, educational, and inspirational community they all so desperately need and deserve in today's world.
As a musician, his primary instrument is drums/percussion. He spent years studying privately with late drumming legend Joe Morello and holds a B.S. in music education. After years of playing in groups from orchestras and jazz ensembles to rock, funk and fusion bands and teaching private lessons, his primary passion now is to continue to grow Musicians Unite in order to give musicians the very best community available for them today. He wants nothing more than to help other musicians reach their own goals by assisting them in more easily networking with, learning from, supporting and inspiring each other!!
Drop Chris a line anytime to discuss any and all things music!!
Kirk Bolas - Columnist
Kirk Bolas is a licensed drug dealer by day and a denizen of Musicland at night and on weekends. Born in 1963, he grew up in a musically repressed home where he developed a love for Classical Music and the Pop Tunes of the '50s and early 60's, as most of the recordings he was permitted to listen to were family hand-me-downs. "Music is a hobby, but should never be considered a serious career.", was the mantra heard endlessly in his childhood.
Upon his 18th birthday, he purchased a cheap Hondo Classical Guitar, and spent the next 35 years developing as a multi-instrumental gigging, recording and teaching musician, a music gear geek and a confirmed DIY modder, builder and designer of music gear. He is a proliferative reader and retains what he reads. He's a walking encyclopedia of mostly useless trivia, but the desired teammate in a game of Trivial Pursuit.
Somewhere within all of this, he's managed to raise a family and support a wife, two kids, a menagerie of assorted critters and a mortgage. He is currently working with a gifted collaborator on the first of hopefully many such collaborative projects as composer, arranger, musician and engineer, and is part of a nascent, in-embryo country trio named Shotgun Angel. His reason here is to share what he has learned in the manifold areas of music related exploration that has touched his life. Personal motto: "Failure is not in the falling down, but is in the staying down."
JD Couch - Columnist
JD Couch is an author, musician, and lyricist from Rutherford County, North Carolina. He is the partner of Jerriann Law, an award-winning author of the Kentucky Bluegrass state.
For forty-six years, JD has been a musician. He wrote his first lyrics at age nine, and by age twelve, when he started playing guitar, he knew this was a lifetime love he'd forever hold dear.
JD has co-written and published several books with his partner and they have others in the works. His music and his writing has always been the driving force of his life.
He credits his guitar as the motivation that gets his feet on the floor each morning, and off he goes to his quiet place to pick and sing a few songs before breakfast. If asked what he'd do if he had to choose between having a creative lifestyle or a life without his talents, he never hesitates to say, "Imagination is a great thing to those who know how to use it, but very few can or we all could do it."
To JD there is no other profession like music or writing and this is his life. It is what makes him happy and complete.
Sandy Gennaro - Columnist
Sandy Gennaro was born and raised in NYC and currently resides in Nashville, TN. Sandy has toured and/or recorded with: Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Bo Diddley, Johnny Winter, The Monkees, Joe Lynn Turner, Michael Bolton, Benny Mardones, Craaft, The Mamas and Papas and John Paris. He has recorded several Top 10 singles and has performed for over a billion fans spanning his 50 year career.
Sandy has also made numerous TV appearances including The Tonight Show, The Grammy Awards, The American Music Awards, The MTV New Year's Ball and The Late Show with David Letterman among others. He is also a favored counselor at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camps.
Before his move to Nashville in early 2014 Sandy gave lessons, master classes and inaugurated the Music Business program at the Drummers Collective in NYC since 1987. He has spoken extensively to large groups regarding the Music Business for many years. Sandy has also served as a career coach to many.
Gennaro is also a corporate/academic inspirational speaker. He has spoken at FedEx, Belmont University, Pacific Hotel Management LLC, Sam Ash Corporation, the US Space and Rocket Center, The Collective NYC and the School of Rock, all with positive results.
Sandy proudly endorses DW drums, pedals and hardware, Zildjian cymbals, Hot Sticks, Remo drum heads and Rhythm Tech percussion.
Lisa A. Leitl - Columnist
Lisa has spent her life as a successful fine artist. In her early career, she worked full-time as a highly successful vocalist. With over 20 years of professional experience, Lisa knows first hand the pressure of performing in arenas with 18,000 people and the unique challenges of creating an intimate show for an audience of 8.
A career that is generally looked upon as risky, financially unrewarding or "impossible," she found herself continually pushing the boundaries of the music industry, taking her career to new levels of financial and personal success.
Today, Lisa's music has evolved to include guitar and flute studies, as well as continuing her academic studies in Music Theory. She is deeply devoted to the craft of songwriting along with producing live music shows, dynamic set lists and coaching fellow performing artists. Lisa's instincts and creativity are what set her work apart as she is able to draw upon her deep history as a performing artist.
In her private life, Lisa has taken on such challenges as competitive figure skating and running including full marathons.
Lisa has a deep desire to spread her enthusiasm, passion and dedication to music with everyone that crosses her path.
Lisa's motto: "Create and Live Life Out Loud!"
Jayme Lewis - Columnist
Jayme Lewis has been working for years as a sideman, an artist and a small business-owner residing in northern Los Angeles. He is a national touring bassist and studio musician, a record producer, author and music educator. Having discovered the bass guitar at the age of 7, he began to passionately pursue the instrument throughout his youth. After graduating in 2008 from California State University of Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Music, Jayme began a career as a sideman in L.A. and has played with numerous artists from around the country, as well as cutting his teeth in the studio tracking cues for Disney and Nickelodeon. In 2012 he began a career as an artist and released his first record, When Will Then Be Now? On top of teaching privately at the The Lewis Music Academy in Moorpark, CA. Jayme also runs his online bass school, L.A. Bass Lix and has authored Advice for the Modern Worship Musician and the comprehensive Music Theory and Ear Training Course Ignite Musical Training. As busy as he is, Jayme still manages to gig and tour, host a bass Podcast, and maintain his online businesses while producing artists out of his home studio.
Nathanimal Luttrell - Columnist
Jonas "Nathanimal" Luttrell is a self-taught guitarist and aspiring professional musician from Chattanooga, TN. Influences include, but not limited to Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Martin Barre, Johnny Greenwood and Michael Saint Leon.
Nate has been actively playing in rock bands for the past 15 years which has given him countless thousands of hours of practical experience playing shows, songwriting, production and recording. Highlights include the release of 4 full-length albums (2 of which were Grammy Selected), 3 EPs. He was honored by a group of his peers and voted "Chattanooga's Best Guitarist" in the 2009 Times/Free Press FYI Awards. An honor that he maintains is "…More embarrassing than anything else, because I had to accept it in front of at LEAST 5 better players than me." . "Nathanimal" has also been lucky enough to open for Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers and play alongside Mastodon at the 2006 Atlantis Music Conference.
His current band, PLVNET which he helped found in 2007, has recently garnered some interest for synch licensing opportunities. PLVNET did a month-long tour in 2015 that covered 5,300 miles from Chicago to New Orleans to New Jersey and earned more interest from the industry. PLVNET will be releasing a new set of songs called "Syzygy" in the Spring of 2016 Red Gorilla Music Festival and some other larger festivals this summer.
Aliyah Marie - Columnist
Aliyah is a full time singer-songwriter and live music performer from Southern Sydney, NSW in Australia. She is a firm believer that anything is possible for those who believe. And that putting in the hard work and effort will ALWAYS pay off in the end.
She will be sharing her personal and professional life with you, giving you an insight of what it means to follow your musical dream and make it a reality.
When Aliyah isn't performing live gigs or in the studio recording, she can be found at home in the suburbs as a loving mother of two. "Becoming a parent doesn't always mean you have to give it all up for your children, I am living proof of that" - Aliyah M.-
Deeann D. Mathews - Columnist
Deeann D. Mathews is an African American author, editor, speaker, and songwriter, living in San Francisco, California. She is the author of The Freedom Guide for Music Creators, a concise book explaining the basics of the music business. She is also the creative director of Praising Pilgrims Music, a growing publishing company of music and music-related materials based in San Francisco, California. Ms. Mathews is also active in several musical, educational, and community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, and with several choirs. She is the co-founder of the San Francisco-based Golden Gate Community Choir, which has performed all over San Francisco, including during the Fillmore Jazz Festival.
Raine Perkins - Editor
Music has been in her life since she took her first breath. Her Grandmother was the pianist at church and aunts and uncles also played when everyone was gathered at "Gramma Js". The piano is still in the family today and little ones sometimes play.
Many teachers both private and formal have shaped her creative thoughts. Her understanding of music theory and open mind toward new techniques as well as technology has helped her to appreciate many genres. She has been a writer since 1980 hence she will be helping us out as our Editor here at M.U.
Her private time is spent giving music lessons to local children and making music videos for fellow musicians from her photography studio Delicate Illuminations.