Bios

Ken Clark - Hammond organ, vocals

Ken is internationally known as one of the world's greatest jazz organists. He has also been *Winner of New England Blues Society, Keyboardist of the the Year* in "2006", "2009", "2011" & "2015". Ken's technical ability joined with his natural feel for funk and soul makes a night with the KKOT an authentic, special one indeed.

Ken Clark has toured and recorded with Bernard Purdie, Melvin Sparks and David "Fathead" Newman among others.


Steve Chaggaris - Drum kit

"I well remember the first time I met Ken Clark. It was early 2000, and we were booked together on a gig in Newburyport. I'd been looking forward to it, as Ken and I had played on a few studio records together, but as those things go - our tracks were done separately. So we hadn't actually met or played together in person. Incidentally, that first show was also the first time I'd performed live with an organist who played the dual-role of bass and keyboards. That night, the band 'warmed up' the room by playing a couple of songs up front before welcoming up the featured vocalist. By the first chorus of the opening tune, I knew it was going to be a special night. Hooking up with Ken in the rhJody Blackewell? She isythm section was effortless. It was clear to me that he was a big fan of bassists, and that we'd likely listened to many of the same records. I guess the feeling must have been mutual, because it was soon after that gig that Ken started calling me for gigs with his own trio. And it was on that first KCOT gig in Salem where I met Mike Mele, and my mind was blown all over again. If there's such a thing as a 'unique amalgamation', Mike is it. Grant Green/Kenny Burrell/Pat Martino/Wes Montgomery and many others... I hear elements of all the masters in Mike's playing, yet his voice is absolutely his own, and his tone is the perfect counterpart to Ken's Hammond. Getting the opportunity to play with both Ken and Mike has been one of the great joys in my life, and I'm grateful to count that blessing!"

Steve Chaggaris is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. He studied privately with Bob Gullotti, Dave Mattacks, Ian Froman, Alan Dawson, and Fred Buda.

Steve has amassed an extensive performance résumé, with appearances throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. In addition to his longstanding tenure in the Ken Clark Organ Trio, Steve has performed and/or recorded with a variety of artists, including Amy Fairchild, Doug Hammer, Jody Blackwell, The Soul Band, Chris Stovall Brown, David Maxwell, Michelle Willson, David ‘Knife’ Fabris, and Ran Blake.

www.stevechaggaris.com


Mike Mele - Guitar

Guitarist Mike Mele graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1990 (Cum Laude), where he studied with John Damian and Al Defino. He’s a former student of the late distinguished music educationalist Charles Banacos. Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, and Wes Montgomery are some of the artists that have most influenced Mike’s melodious style and approach.

Mike has spent the last twenty-five years performing with many jazz and blues greats, including Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Tony Monaco, Bill Pierce, Joe Hunt, Barry Ries, Marty Rowen, Melvin Sparks, Myanna.Mike has been a member of the Ken Clark Organ Trio, and recorded the albums Eternal Funk and Mutual Respect for the distinguished Severn Records label. Mike was also a long-standing member of Michelle Willson’s Evil Gal Festival Orchestra, toured North America and Europe, and released the critically acclaimed album Wake-Up Call for Rounder Records.

Mike is also a prominent educator, and has taught guitar lessons through The Music Emporium in Lexington, Massachusetts for over twenty years.