BIOS

Jim Vignato  

Frontman/Lead Vocals  

....Some kids received an Atari for their 13th Birthday in the 1980s; “Jimmy” received a stage! Mr. Vignato has been professionally educated for "musical theater" performance and has has built his rock voice over the years in rock cover bands and other musical theater shows. He has starred as the lead character in many local and regional rock musicals over the course of his career tweaking his stage performances and building up his rock n roll repertoire. From his teen years through today, he's been playing in cover bands, he also plays bass, piano and drums by ear. As a Lead Vocalist Jim has an uncanny ability to totally assume the roles and antics of rock's greatest icon's. Combining his on-stage mannerisms and vocal tone, Jim mirrors Dennis DeYoung & Tommy Shaw's and delivers an exceptional version of the Classic Styx Sound. Mr. Vignato has a deep appreciation of STYX's musical phenomenon and is truly excited about the success of the tribute band, “Rockin the Paradise”. Wishing the very "Best of Times" to all. 

Michael Baranski
Lead Guitar & Lead Vocals

Cute Young Girl

 Started playing guitar at age 5! He was in 5th grade when he started a band. 

Throughout his years, Michael has played in many bands. He got to play with Trent Reznor right before his Nine Inch Nails days.

Michael got into a band with A&M Artist Glen Burtnik. They toured supporting his Heroes and Zeroes album. Glen then got the offer to replace Tommy Shaw, and later, Chuck Pannozzo in Styx. Through his referral, Michael got the gig of guitarist/vocalist/ songwriter with James Young from Styx in his solo project, The James Young Group. They did an album Raised by Wolves. Baranski also got the offer to tour with Styx as a backup singer.

Baranski later got a referral from Hank Horton, who had played with Dennis DeYoung of Styx to join Rockin' the Paradise. 

Baranski says "It's a great honor to keep the great music of Styx alive".

ELI PETE 
BASS/LEAD VOCALS

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Michael Whelan - Keyboards

"Melody walks through the door and memory flies out the window and nobody knows what they want 'til they finally let it all go But don't cut your losses too soon 'cause you'll only be cutting your throat And answer a call while you still hear at all 'cause nobody will if you won't" - Kevin Moore "Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say" - Roger Waters "Be true to yourself and confident in your talents. Push yourself out there and don’t be afraid to tell people, ‘Yep, I’m a chick and I fucking shred!” - Simone Dow

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Michael Gavrizescu- Lead Guitar

There’s no man on earth who bares as uncanny a resemblance in voice, stage presence, and guitar wailing to the mighty godfather of Styx, James JY Young, as Michael Gavrizescu. Michael is the singer and guitarist of the international-touring group Burning Red, and he has lent his talents to several tribute bands over the years. Michael is also a recognized music producer and audio engineer under the alias of Fanoti Productions.

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Mike Hetzel - Drums

Born in Milwaukee, WI in 1992, Mike Hetzel’s initial interest in music was sparked by his piano/organ playing father (also named Mike). Mike began his musical journey at the age of 3 playing the piano. At the age of 6, he discovered his true musical passion, drumming!!! His dad, banker by day, musician by night, was able to present him with many opportunities to play with experienced musicians in the Milwaukee area.

 

After attending a local drum competition in 1999 called “Thundering Drums,” Mike began taking private lessons from Bob Lalko. Mike entered the “Thundering Drums” competition the following year and took 2nd place in his division. After a year or so Mike switched teachers and studied with Jim Kube throughout junior high school.

 

Mike started going with his dad to wedding/party gigs when he was eight years old and became the de-facto sound man/“roadie.” This sparked Mike’s fascination with audio which eventually led to the Hetzel’s building a full-service home recording studio in 2004. Over the next several years they would record countless demos and EP’s with local Milwaukee artists, most notably producing two jazz LP’s with Rick Aaron, and two gospel LP’s with Elliot Hughes.

 

From grades 6-12 Mike took part in the percussion section in the school band program. In 2010 Mike was the recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz award from Menomonee Falls High School.

 

In 2010, Mike started a YouTube channel that features his drum cover/performance videos. Today that channel has over half a million views and several thousand subscribers.

 

Mike studied funk/R&B drumming with Jim Payne in 2012, as well as studying Pro Tools mixing and mastering with Jeff Baust through Berklee College of Music.

 

In 2013, Mike moved to Los Angeles to attend Musicians Institute where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Drum Performance. During his time there he also received the “Outstanding Student” award. Mike had the opportunity to study with Devin Kelly, Tim McIntyre, Jason Harnell, Rob Carson, Chuck Silverman, Ian Robbins, Russell Ferrante (of Yellowjackets fame), and many others.

 

While Mike was at MI, he became one of the go-to jury/recital drummers and played on 30+ juries during his 4 year LA residency, which allowed him the opportunity to play all styles of music with hundreds of different musicians.

 

Chris Iazzetta - Lead Guitar/Lead Vocals

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Performed, toured, and recorded with Dennis Deyoung for 23 years(1986-2009). He played bass and sang on  'Dennis DeYoung: The Music Of STYX' with a 40 piece orchestra live at the Chicago Theatre, which went double platinum. Performed on Soundstage(PBS) with Dennis and a 40 piece orchestra, and the DVD went triple platinum. Hank played bass and sang background vocals on the studio CD '100 Years From Now' as well. The title track went to number 1 on the adult charts. On the bonus track 'Goodnight My Love' on the live Cd, Hank sings with Dennis as a duet.

He also performed, toured, and recorded with James 'JY' Young from 1993-1998, and recorded the 'Raised By Wolves' Cd with him, and is featured on lead vocals on some of the tracks, as well as harmonies on all of the tracks. 

On the STYX album 'Brave New World, he is on of two guest bass players, recording "What Have They Done To You', 'Heavy Water', and 'High Crimes'.

He also has a history with Todd Sucherman, playing and recording with Todd and the band 'Another Language' from Chicago, which wrote and recorded the song that turned into a hit for Van Halen...'Right Now'.

Hank continues to write, record, and perform with some of the best players in the industry. Most recently finishing a second Cd with Donny Brown, drummer, writer and vocalist of The Verve Pipe fame. 

www.hankhorton.com

Having performed in over 40 states and 10 countries, music has brought Eli all over the world. With a vast range of styles from Metal to modern and classic country, his experience and stage presents make him an excellent addition to the energetic stage show RTP is know for.