A New Kind of Vocal GroupOne great thing about being an artist today is one has the ability to draw from so many varied influences that one can create a textured sound that cannot be pigeonholed and can be appreciated on multiple levels. Vocal groups have a diverse history and usually revivalists remain true to one of the many forms. Signatures combines the sounds of '40s style groups like The Pied Pipers and The Modernaires, the free jazz vocalizing of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, and pop groups like The Stylistics, The 5th Dimension, and Manhattan Transfer. This unique act also draws from the touching harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel, the country rock sound of Eagles, the fun spirit of Queen and the Beachboys, and the inventive and dynamic arrangements of Earth, Wind and Fire.
Rarely does a vocal group have four gifted soloists, each with the ability to step to the fore to lead, and then blend back into the ensemble to support the whole. This is one such group. Each one is a headliner in her own right, with her own unique signature.
Signatures has it all - solos, duets, trios, and lush 4-part harmony - along with an entertaining show that will leave you in a state of pure musical joy. These ladies love to sing and share that passion from the first song to the last for an evening you'll remember.
Don't miss the opportunity to experience Signatures.
-Tony Starlight, 2008
Barbara AyarsBarbara Ayars has been performing before audiences most of her life, either as a soloist or background vocalist. While in Las Vegas she was sought after as both a lead singer and vocalist for several revues, including the award-winning "A Bare Touch of Vegas". She provided background vocals for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme at Caesar's Palace, Diahann Carroll at the Dunes, and Donna Fargo at the Sahara, and was a featured soloist with pianist Esquivel. Barbara toured with both Bobby Vinton and Mary MacGregor, and has appeared on "The Tonight Show", "The Merv Griffin Show", and "The Dinah Shore Show".
Barbara has been heard on commercial jingles for Minnesota Tourism, Dairy Queen, and General Mills, among others. She has recorded with Bill Cosby, and appeared on the soundtrack for He Lived the Good Life, a Christian musical.
She was the featured artist on several cruise ships both on the Columbia River and in Alaska, and is now performing regularly at Tony Starlight's Supper Club and Lounge as part of Tony's Neil Diamond Show, the Tony Starlight Christmas Show, and the AM Gold 70s Show. Barbara and her husband, Bo, teach an on-going vocal performance workshop. It is their desire to keep classic pop music alive and active. They currently have 20 students who are given the chance to perform bi-monthly on stage with a trio. www.ax2music.com
Kat CogswellKat Cogswell studied jazz with Phil Mattson at Pacific Lutheran University for two years. She then traveled East and graduated from Hartt School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in 1992. While in New York City she sang in various cabarets and clubs including The Bitter End and The Bottom Line in the Village. She toured the Eastern Seaboard extensively with an a cappella group from 1995 to 1999.
When she moved back to the West Coast she joined a cool 'gypsy jazz' band in 2002 called Django's Cadillac. Since then, she has performed twice at the Portland Jazz Festival, The Bite of Oregon, and The Rose Festival with Django's Cadillac. She has also performed at the Crystal Ballroom and the Melody Ballroom with various jazz ensembles, as well as Timberline Summer Concert Series and at McMenamins's White Eagle. Kat is now the featured female singer with the Bureau of Standards Big Band, and appears at various nightspots in Portland with her duo and a trio. www.katcogswell.com
Suzette RodwaySuzette Rodway is a great addition to Signatures, with a unique vocal style. She studied music at Clark College in Vancouver WA, and performed in high school, college and community musical theater as preparation for her career.
Suzette played flute as a youth, and currently dabbles in piano and guitar. She is a sought-after wedding vocalist, and has performed the National Anthem at motocross races and corporate events, keeping her busy when not performing with Signatures.
In 2008, Suzette began singing with the Westside Singers, a swing choir based out of Beaverton, Oregon. She has been a member of the Ayars Vocal Workshop where she wowed audiences with her warmth, and beautiful voice. It is evident that Suzette loves being on stage - her bright smile tells it all.
Erin ParraErin Parra has been singing as long as anyone can remember, and recently decided to follow her dream of going to school for and pursuing a career in music. In 2010, she enrolled full time in the Clackamas Community College Music program as a vocal performance major. Erin studied both classical and jazz music under the direction of some of Portland's best musicians, Dave Mills, Tom Wakeling, Kevin Deitz, and choral director Lonnie Cline, to name a few. Additionally, Erin has been studying vocal jazz with Rebecca Kilgore since 2011.
These days, Erin can be seen and heard around Portland performing jazz, blues, Latin and vintage pop. Erin also sings classically with Unistus Kammerkoor with whom she is preparing for tours to San Francisco and Estonia in 2013 and 2014. She is very excited about a recording project she is currently working on with Randy Porter on piano, Tom Wakeling on bass, and Charlie Doggett on percussion. Erin is THRILLED to be the newest member of Signatures! www.erinparra.com
Bo Ayars - Musical DirectorBo Ayars is also a man who regularly wears many musical hats. At various times he has been Music Director, Conductor, Arranger, Pianist and Music Producer for numerous superstars including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Bill Cosby and Bob Hope. Bo is quite proud of his 13 years as Music Director for legendary showman, Liberace, contributing his conducting and arranging talents to both Lee's worldwide live performances and several TV specials. In his role as music director for the political satire group, the Capitol Steps, he was invited to performed at the White House and was honored to have accompanied such political figures as President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, Vice President and Mrs. Al Gore, former presidents George Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, Vice Presidents Richard Cheney and Dan Quayle, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, and Senators Patrick Leahey, and Ted Kennedy.
Bo has produced and arranged several pops "theme concerts" & has appeared around the country as guest conductor with the San Antonio, San Diego, Buffalo, Erie, Wichita, Kansas City, Youngstown, Hartford, Ann Arbor, New Haven, Tallahassee, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras. Other diverse musical clients include Butch Thompson, noted pianist on the popular radio and television production, "A Prairie Home Companion", jazz vocalist Banu Gibson, guest conducting his original compositions with community bands, and several TV jingles for General Motors and Hilton Hotels. www.ax2music.com
Sam Foulger - DrummerSam Foulger has been playing drums and percussion since his childhood in Poughkeepsie, NY. Although his focus is in jazz, he has developed a reputation for being versatile and reliable in a variety of styles, from rock and country to symphonic works and musical theater. Sam studied percussion and music education at Penn State University, and while in Pennsylvania had the opportunity to perform with the Altoona Symphony, Nittany Valley Symphony, Moscow Ballet, pianist Jason Newman, singer/songwriter David Stein and many others.
Along with Signatures, Sam currently works with Tony Starlight, as well as various Portland artists, including Ben Macy, Lisa Forkish, Jim Beatty and Noah Bernstein.
More information is available at his site: http://sam.foulger.net
Arick GouwerokArick Gouwerok grew up in the Seattle area and began studying clarinet at the age of 12. Throughout middle school and high school he was actively involved in his school music program as well as community youth orchestras. In college, music briefly took a back seat to his academic pursuits, but after completing an engineering degree he began to pursue a music degree. After nearly eight years at the University of Washington, he graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering and a M.B. in jazz studies and began his career as a professional bassist.
Arick came to Portland in 2006 with his wife, Janie, and has been active in the Portland music scene. He is currently working with the Tony Starlight Band, Signatures and subbing as a section bassist for the Columbia Symphony and Vancouver Symphony. Currently, Arick is studying with Oregon Symphony bassist Don Hermanns.