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Meet Napa Band "Disturbing the Peace"

This homegrown Napa group performs in Veterans Memorial Park Saturday morning at the finish line festival for the Napa River Rock & Stroll. Here's more about the band, its members and the "Danceable Edge" music they play.

Editor's note: The finish line for the Napa River Rock & Stroll, in Veterans Memorial Park downtown, is always a big party with food, costumed characters and music for dancing.

This year's finish line band is called Disturbing the Peace and is donating its performance to the Rock & Stroll cause, Cope Family Center.

Napa Patch asked the band to tell readers more, and here's what we heard back from Disturbing the Peace via guitarist Rob Celsi:

The band came to be in November of 2011 after meeting through Napa School of Music’s outstanding Garage Band 101 program headed by Peter and Victoria Sykes.

Though coming from completely diverse musical backgrounds, the band’s regular Thursday night practices and great instructors allowed their prior musical talents to jell. Their first gig at Silo’s cemented a friendship and motivation to continue a shared love for rock and roll and the thrill of playing music.

Today the band continues with an expanding repertoire, sharing with their growing audience an eclectic range of musical influences from Classic to New Wave to Punk to Contemporary Rock. 

“The Danceable Edge” is the band’s message to fans, and their point of difference is songs that are classic, but haven’t been played-out to the point of cliché. Even traditional tunes in their set have their own unique “take.”

Adds guitarist Rob Celsi, “Rock can be such a shop-worn medium. A lot of those songs, while great, are now in commercials or elevators. We want tunes with an edge, yet still accessible. There is a whole universe of songs out there that audiences will love, but they don’t hear because they have been ignored by generations of musicians.”

The band, all Napa locals, also have an affinity for helping out good causes.

"Music helps bring folks together and can provide a focal point to events,” says guitarist and keyboard player Jeff Hammond. “We like playing them because they are all about the community and the folks who live there.”

“We also get to be in front of audiences of families who wouldn’t ordinarily see us,” says bass guitarist Jenny Valassopoulos, who also teaches high-school English.

DTP is available for parties and events. Visit them at their Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/disturbingthepeacenapa

Band Members

Mike Dunn-Vocals: Mike is a winemaker in Angwin. Among his very first albums were Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, and The Beach Boys’ Endless Summer. He played trumpet in 6th grade and sang in jazz choir in 12th. He currently sings in a vocal jazz ensemble, Jazz@7. Mike loves to mountain bike, hunt mushrooms, and drink beer – in that order. He is tolerated by his wife Kara and his kids Alex and Taty.

Rob Celsi-Guitar: Guitarist, back-up vocalist Rob Celsi lives locally and when not dodging revenuers he can usually be found hanging out with his family in the nearby hills. He originally hails from Philly, which is a nice town somewhere back east.

Tom Gartner-Guitar: Tom grew up in Burlingame. He began playing guitar when he was 12 years old with the current bassist in his other band, Plan B (44 years). He claims to have made $25 as a musician so far. His guitar influences are Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Jeff Beck and Johnny Winter. Some of Tom’s hobbies include: golf, cycling, guitar, and still trying to figure out what he wants to do when he grows up. Tom is a Machinist/Mechanic in the wine industry and has been happily married for 33 years to his beautiful wife Kathy. He has a son, also Tom, so he can remember his name.

Jeff Hammond-Guitar: Jeff was born and raised in the Bay Area and has been a Napa resident since 1998. He is a former district attorney of Lake and Napa counties and currently is in private practice specializing in criminal defense, family and juvenile law. Some influences of Jeff’s are: The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, and Death Cab for Cutie. He is currently unattached and has three adult sons and two grandsons. Besides music and playing guitars with DTP, motorcycling, traveling, wine and fine dining are a few of his pastimes.

Jenny Valassopoulos-Bass Guitar: Originally from Vallejo, Jenny is an English teacher who has a passion for art and music. She runs a home bakery/art studio Sweet Babboo and delights in naming each sweet confection after her favorite songs. She plays piano and bass guitar. Her early influences are in soul and funk (Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament, The Brothers Johnson). She pays full allegiance to the genius of Patti Smith, but nothing gets her house cleaned faster than a little Pantera. She and her husband Grant have two amazing kids, Sebastian and Chloë , and three non-committal cats.

Jaimie Riggs-Drums: From Southern California, (Camarillo/Santa Paula), Jaimie Riggs has been drumming over half his life. Other bands he is affiliated with include Rude Intoxicant (punk), The Ripped Tides (surf), and Kinetic Feedback (alternative rock). Some of his early influences are Nirvana, NOFX, Pantera, Metallica and Faith No More. When he is not tearing it up on the drum kit, he enjoys attending concerts, snowboarding, wakeboarding, beer, and baseball.

Source: Disturbing the Peace

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David Ostwald September 22, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Call the cops!
Mark Mathews September 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM
I haven't heard any of their music as yet, but have to say that it is one of the best band names EVER! "Party-on Garth!"

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