From Norristown, PA, Sheppie has been a driving force behind the drum kit ever since taking the original drummer's place back in the very late 70's.
We would like to welcome back vocalist, Aaron (AC) King to the Wildflower family. Aaron has performed all over the world as an accomplished vocalist, as well as sax and bass player.
Joe Marcinek - Sax, Vocals
Carmen Tornambe - Trumpet, Congas, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Carmen Tornambe is originally from Norristown, Montgomery County, PA. He started
playing accordion at age 9 but quickly moved to trumpet, Al Hirt being a big influence.
Soon he started taking private lessons from local music teachers at King’s Music
School and in grade school. He was given the opportunity to sit in with the summer
symphonic band at the former Bishop Kenrick High School at the age of 12, sparking
his love for the continuance of music. Upon entering high school he became involved
in the symphonic and marching bands. This is where he joined with other musicians in
ninth grade to start a soul band called The Mystics which played dances and private
parties. He soon joined a group called The Avengers which won the 1969 local and PA
state Battle Of The Bands and placed in the top 10 in the nation in Raleigh, NC, in the
National Battle Of The Bands. He appeared on the nationally syndicated Sunday night
TV show, the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, on the Ed Sullivan stage, CBS studios, NY, The
Jerry Blavat Show, as well as playing along side entertainers such as: B. J. Thomas,
Philadelphia's own Intruders, The Delfonics, Blue Magic, Chuck Berry, The Duprees,
Bobby Rydell, Archie Bell & The Drells, The Blue Notes, The Soul Survivors,
The Buckinghams, members of Tower Of Power, and more. Other bands from his high school days were Patchwork, and also The Roamin’ Empire which was an original material band as well as making a few TV appearances in its career. He received a music scholarship from Widener University upon graduating high school, and studied performance at Philadelphia Musical Academy which is now University Of The Arts.
His time with the original Wildflower consisted of playing mostly on the east coast and as far west as Chicago as well as being signed by H&L Records from NY. After Wildflower, he played for a short time with a Philly band called Sundance, and also learning to play acoustic guitar during that time, until he decided to pursue some time in Biblical research, which gave him the opportunity to travel parts of the USA: Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Nebraska, Colorado and New Mexico. Upon graduating from Way College of Biblical Research in Kansas, where he also played trumpet in the jazz band and guitar in a college band, Called Together, he moved back to Pennsylvania and formed a group called, Fully Persuaded, which was an original material band that had recorded two albums. In the mid 80’s he performed and recorded in an international orchestra with two Tower Of Power members, David Garibaldi (drummer) and Danny Hoefer (guitar). “With my background in Wildflower, playing with these two guys was a real blessing and a treat, to say the least”.
In 1998 Carmen moved to Minnesota and became heavily involved in helping a church organization with its music program. He instructed and conducted a 13 piece orchestra, mainly helping the youth of the church. He also was part of a blue grass group where he played guitar and mandolin, and also sang in a men’s quartet. Carmen moved back to Pennsylvania in 2010 where, musically, his first project was in the re-organizing of Wildflower. He is also a trumpet instructor at Music and Arts, a chain of music stores and music lesson studios, as well as teaching for Musika based in NY. Carmen is trumpet player for the Grammy award winning Trammps, since May of 2013.
Influences in music are numerous. “I like to be well-rounded as a musician and therefore, my musical influences in life are very numerous, starting with my father who played mandolin”.
As a child, Wendell Davis developed a profound interest in “good sounding” music. At the
age of 15, he began learning on his own, how to play some of the “good sounding” guitar
rhythms that he heard on songs played over the radio. He soon received tutelage from his
cousin, Larry Holmes who remains a great rhythm guitar player and just happens to be the
son of the late great world renown organist, Richard “Groove” Holmes. Wendell developed
skills to play R & B and Funk rhythm guitar.
While serving in the U.S. Army during the late 1970’s, Wendell Davis participated in a few
musical projects. Free Spirit was among the bands in which Wendell performed during his
2 ½ - year assignment to Germany. After leaving the Army in 1979, Wendell began working
very closely with his brother, Gary Davis and their cousin, Larry Holmes; they formed the band, Sanction and recorded the song, “Gotta Get Your Love” with Clyde Alexander. In 1982, Wendell, his brother Gary Davis, and the rest of Sanction recorded a different version of “Gotta Get Your Love” on Chocolate Star Records without Clyde Alexander. Among other songs Sanction recorded on the same album were “Gee Dee,” “Stay With Me,” “Last Night,” and “The Time For Love Is Now.”
In May 1984, Wendell decided to adapt his guitar playing skills to the keyboard. His goal was to be able to play in a manner that he always wanted to hear from a keyboard player in a Funk/R&B band. By December of the same year he became the keyboard player and music director of a band based in Camden, N.J. called Side One. Wendell continued developing his overall music ability, which included sound production, sound reproduction, and recording. In 1987, he revived the band, Sanction and occasionally performed between 1987 and 1998.
In June of 2000, Wendell Davis changed directions and joined the Len Fennessy Band, which was a Rock and Blues band based out of Buck’s County, PA. In 2002 and 2003, he performed with Tunnel Hill, a Rock and Blues band from Phoenixville, PA. Between 2001 and 2006, Wendell served as the keyboard player and music director of Lowdown, a band that started out as a rock-n-roll, blues, band that played a little soul music and evolved into a band that plays primarily Funk and R&B songs from the 1970’s and 80’s.
In May 2006, Wendell assumed the role of keyboard player with DejaGroove. His overall knowledge and years of musical experience has had invaluable application as they enabled him to contribute a fabulous sound to DejaGroove thus making him an asset to an already marvelous band.
In August 2008, Wendell began performing in Pennsylvania, New York, Washington D.C. and Saint Louis, MO with Tony Strong and The Phyllies Intruders assuming the role of music director by the end of 2009. Since 2011, he has also been performing with Love's Magic, a singing group with a band consisting of a rhythm section, a violin section, and a horn section.
In 2012, Wendell Davis performed with Wildflower horn players, Carmen Tornambe and Bill DiMino, backing the singing group from Norristown, PA, The Avengers. Within a few months, Carmen and Bill invited me perform with Wildflower.
Scott Lerner- Guitar
Alan McCouch - Bass
Originally from Norristown he started out his music path on accordion in grade school. Right
before entering high school the bass guitar became a favorite and was the instrument of
choice to the present day. In high school Alan continued with instruments accentuating the
lower register, he was also a member of the symphonic and marching bands. It was during
the early high school years that he became part of the early Norristown rock scene playing
in bands performing songs from the early art rock bands of that era.
In 1971 he became part of the original Wildflower playing with several classmates and forming one the early horn bands in Norristown. This experience opened up a whole new appreciation for the highly rhythmic style of music that was the basis of R&B and funk. At that point, he was becoming increasingly interested in Jazz and several years later left to explore that style.
From 1976 on he focused primarily on jazz and also started studying the upright/acoustic bass. During that era he studied with Jazz guitarist Chuck Anderson and one of Philadelphia’s premier jazz bass players Al Stauffer. Alan was also accepted into the Berklee College of music but decided to stay local and continue studying with Chuck Anderson and Al Stauffer. During this time he was also studying Engineering at Drexel University and was part of the Drexel symphony. He also did several seasons with the North Penn symphony.
Alan continued playing with many area bands in the club and wedding scene. In the early 80’s he did a long stint with local Jazz fusion guitarist Doug Markley. “The resurrection of Wildflower has proved to be quite interesting and it is good to see so many of the original and new players continue their passion for music”.
Wendell Davis - Keyboards, Vocals
Bill DiMino - Trumpet, Sax, Valve Trombone, Vocals
Born and raised in Norristown, Pa., Bill began playing trumpet at age 9, playing in
marching and symphonic bands in grade school and high school. His early
influences were Al Hirt , Louis Armstrong, and Maynard Ferguson. In 1971, he and
7 fellow musicians/classmates formed the dance band, Wildflower. Around this time,
he taught himself to play valve trombone. In 1973, Bill entered pharmacy school.
As Wildflower increased in popularity and appeared more frequently, he was forced
to make the difficult decision to leave the band to pursue his studies. While
determined to focus on school, Bill also continued to play with part-time area bands.
In October 1976, he joined Half Moon, remaining with the group until June 1978 just as the group was breaking out of the local scene for the first of several tours to Canada, where they became one of the top club bands. After leaving Half Moon, Bill further expanded his versatility by teaching himself to play tenor sax. From 1981 to 1994, he performed with one of the area’s most popular wedding groups—The Eve Band. He also worked with The Midnight Orchestra and Jumpstreet at local weddings, private events, and clubs. Finally, in mid 2010, Bill came full circle when he and 7 other musicians, including 6 original members, reformed the band Wildflower. Bill met his wife in 1974 while he was in Wildflower and married in 1978. In 1986, at the age of 31, Bill was able to go back to school full time and is today a practicing eye doctor in East Norriton, PA.
Joe is originally from Norristown, PA. Since early childhood he had a knack for music and
rhythm, and his music lessons were influenced in part by his father’s interest in big band
swing and his own interest in bands such as The Beatles, The Crusaders, Grover Washington, Jr.,
EWF, and Chicago. He began private guitar lessons at the age of nine at DeFelice Music in
Norristown, and eventually became a member of the first group to play guitar masses at his l
ocal church. Later he attended Bishop Kenrick High School, and having always enjoyed the
wail of saxophones, joined the jazz, symphonic, and marching bands. It was during this time
that he first met some of the members of Wildflower.
He officially joined Wildflower in the summer of ’72 and went on to play with them until the spring of ’79. They quickly progressed from local dances and parties to proms and nightclubs, mainly in the Delaware Valley and South Jersey area. The band’s high energy performances eventually took them to venues as far as Chicago, IL and Fort Lauderdale, FL. During this period he also studied other instruments, such as the flute, adding further variety to the band’s repertoire. They later went on to do recording work in several studios, and appeared on a local Philadelphia TV broadcast with a celebrity DJ.
Over the years Joe has continued to celebrate his love of music, playing with local bands such as Main Street, The Eve Band, The Midnight Orchestra, and One-Eyed Willie. Now he’s back in action with “The Horns That Deal”, and looking forward to a new chapter in Wildflower history.
Aaron (AC) King - Lead Vocals, Sax, Percussion
Sheppie Fitts - Drums, Vocals
A lifelong Cherry Hill NJ native, Scott started playing guitar at the age of 10, inspired by
such classic artists as Led Zeppelin, Cream, and Jimi Hendrix. Throughout his teen
years, his tastes and influences expanded into more progressive music such as
Steely Dan, Return to Forever, Allan Holdsworth, Weather Report, and Jean Luc Ponty.
From there, it was a short jump into hardcore jazz. This love of jazz pushed Scott to
attend and graduate from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in 1990.
While at Berklee, Scott developed his unique style, a blend of jazz, rock, blues, funk,
and r&b. He immersed himself in the music of such artists like Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, John Scofield, Scott Henderson, and Robben Ford to name just a few.
After Berklee, Scott played in a number of Philadelphia and AC area wedding and party bands. In 1992, a business opportunity to partner in his father’s business put being a full time professional musician on hold.
Since then, Scott has gigged and taught locally, as well as appearing on the 2005 CD release “Fresh Blood”, a compilation of undiscovered guitar talent. An avid electronics tinkerer, Scott also has been involved with several equipment manufacturers in voicing guitar tube amp and pedal circuits. He has been a NAMM convention demo artist for over a decade, as well as recording demo sample clips for various manufacturers.
Playing with Wildflower is the perfect gig for Scott as their funky soulful sound is an ideal fit for his sophisticated fusion style, and his ability to effortlessly shift between genres.