Jim Vignato  

Lead Vocals  

....Some kids received an Atari for their 13th Birthday in the 1980s; “Jimmy” received a stage! Mr. Vignato has incredible vocal strenth and has been professionally educated for "musical theater" performance. He has built his rock voice over the years in cover bands and other projects and he has starred as the lead in many local and regional musicals over the course of his career tweaking his stage performances and building up his repertoire. From his teen years through today, Jim’s male masterful voice matured into a strong, versatile sound that truly is one of a kind. 

Jim has an uncanny ability to totally assume the roles and antics of rock's greatest icon's. In addition to his on-stage mannerisms, complimenting overall look, As the "styx tribute singer guy" Jim mirrors Dennis DeYoung & Tommy Shaw's voices and delivers an exceptional version of the Classic Styx Sound. Jim has a deep appreciation of STYX's musical phenomenon and is truly excited about the success of their tribute show, “Rockin the Paradise”. Wishing the very "Best of Times" to all. 

Michael Baranski

Lead Guitar & Vocals

Michael Baranski 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".

Michael Gavrizescu

Lead Guitar & Vocals

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 the sensational Mr. Michael Gavrizescu. The man of his own international touring act Burning Red, lends his unique talents to this tribute band for no other reason than that he is by-far the most qualified man in this world for the job of conquering the JY role. And because he is a never-yielding cannon blast of joy to play in a band with, to watch perform, and quite simply just to be around... Ok, I guess there’s actually a lot of reasons he’s in this band.

Dennis Atlas

Keyboards and Vocals

Dennis Atlas is known among his musical colleagues as “Dennis The Young” and is referred to by Lawrence Gowan, the very man himself, as his “keyboard-spinnin’-brother”. And while he wasn't actually named after Dennis DeYoung, nor is he actually Gowan’s fraternal twin brother (as far as we know), the massive influence of Styx came on very early in Dennis’s life, as he began to claim “STYX is my favorite band and I will never change my mind!” at 4 years old. He brought his Paradise Theatre on vinyl LP for show and tell in 1st grade, saw his first of 21 Styx/ Dennis DeYoung Band concerts when he was 6 years old, and at 13, asked his dad if he would help him build a spinning keyboard stand for his Bar Mitzvah concert. When he met Michael Gavrizescu in middle school, they discovered their great passion for using their greatly distinct voices to harmonize together, and soon founded a Styx tribute band in Dennis’s garage.

 

Dennis is also an accomplished actor, so you might see him on TV or in movies from time to time, and you might hear his music on the radio from his band with Michael Whelan and Victor Singer, Initiator.

We almost couldn’t

decide what position to put Michael in this band because he’s basically the best guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist known by... well, anyone who knows him. Not to mention he plays a mean mandolin, sitar, has a beautiful voice, he composes... and hey he’s not too bad looking either! But he holds one of the most important jobs in the band, locking in the bottom end groove, because having a great bassist is one of the keys to a band sounding not just good, but GREAT.

 

The band chemistry goes all the way back to 2010 when Whelan and Atlas started writing music together for what would end up becoming Initiator.

Michael Whelan

Bass Guitar & Vocals

 

Carmen Speizele

Drums/Percussion


Carmen has been a long time regular in the local music scene. He started playing drums at the age of 10 and has continued playing, practicing and refining till now. He, also, has a long past in the drum and percussion industry, he knows his stuff. 
He is known for his technique, power, groove, and speed (and a great voice besides) He's a flamadiddle away from Buddy Rich with the meter of the atomic clock. 
Carmen has a big personality and a big heart and it shows when you hear him play or in his personal life. He's no stranger to the big stage either, playing with members of Dennis DeYoungs band and James Young's group 
There is nothing better than hearing a solid strong talented drummer, and Carmen is the best.

*available by request 

Hank Horton

Bass Guitar & Vocals

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 1994-1998, 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