The Julie Duke Band

 

THE JULIE DUKE BAND delivers an edgy, unrestrained blend of Blues from the Delta to Chicago, 1920’s through current.

The band features the vocals of front-woman Julie Duke, bass powerhouse Keith Pasculli, guitarists Jim Nardo and Chris Mills, keyboard player Van Bergen and the rhythmic styling of drummer John Lester.  The boys hold down a smoldering groove behind Julie’s sultry, bluesy voice and passionately energetic stage presence.

Their cover versions are choice and eclectic, including songs by Elmore James, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Koko Taylor, Freddie King and Big Mama Thornton.  They take a song, honor its origins, and then make it their own with drop-dead vocals and foot stomping, hip swaying rhythms.

THE JULIE DUKE BAND will get the staunchest of blues unbelievers tapping their toes and moving to the beat.  "The Julie Duke Band performed at our community dance and was so spirited and engaging that we had people on the floor enjoying themselves that hadn't been seen dancing in many years," said Kenneth Collins, Music Promoter for the Friends of Fort Flagler Summer Concert Series.

With their entertaining stage show, expert musicianship and unique sound, THE JULIE DUKE BAND has built a wide and devoted following, drawing crowds to shows at venues as diverse as the Coyle Community Center, the Bite of Seattle, Bainbridge’s Bloedel Reserve and the Seven Cedars Casino.

Julie Marie Duke - Singer

It had to be the blues.  Julie has been singing since before she could talk, in fact she used to sing herself to sleep as a child.  Then there was choir in high school, touring in her first professional band when she was nineteen, years as a singer/songwriter/guitarist playing in coffee shops and folk festivals, but it wasn't until she started singing the blues that it all came together.  Her influences had long been Etta James, Koko Taylor, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, however, she had never had a chance to perform her favorite songs onstage.  Once she did she knew she could never go back, "I put on that sequined dress, hop on stage and grab that microphone and for a couple of hours I am transported to a different time and place." says Julie.  "Friends who come to see me don't recognize me from the person they know off stage and they love meeting my other persona."  Splitting her time between Seattle and Clarksdale, Mississippi, Julie is the blues.

John "Drum Chops" Lester - Drums

John Lester

John has been playing classical, pop, rock, blues, soul, funk and almost every other type of music since the early 60’s.  The Julie Duke Band  is thrilled to  include the drummer considered by many to be the finest in the Pacific Northwest among it’s ranks.  A discerning listener can hear echos of Joe Morello, Neal Peart, Paul Notion and Carter Beauford every time he plays.  Drummers of all types would be well for themselves by contacting John for lessons.  A true professional who plays great.

Van Bergen - Keyboards

Van Bergen

Van Bergen has played keyboards in rock and blues bands in Pennsylvania, the summertime Jersey shore,   Colorado, Ohio, and Washington - nightclubs, ski resorts, posh hotels, corporate parties, large outdoor festivals, and road trips throughout the Rocky Mountain West. He has played everything from 1940’s blues to modern originals, classic rock to punk and new wave, country to disco and r&b and Motown. He was a session player in Colorado recording studios; while there, he recorded a complete album of original songs in “big ‘80s” style. The blues band Van was with in Ohio also recorded a complete CD of classic and original blues. But looking out at a dance floor full of happy people is still his favorite thing.

Jim Nardo - Guitar & Vocals

 

Jim began his guitar experience when he acquired his grandfather’s guitar in ’60 and hasn’t been able to shake it. He acquired his rudiments from watching a friend of his father’s that came to his house frequently to jam with his father’s clarinet playing doing various styles of music.  Always listening to the radio he would pick out a line or two from his favorite songs. After attending a high school dance he realized he should have been in a band but took his instrument playing through 4 yrs of Navy service and even attended some of the all night jams during the hippie movement of the early 70’s. During his military time he discovered the slide, or bottleneck style, while listening to the current players and later, the old roots players. He thankfully gives the British blues players credit for preserving and returning the blues back to where it came from, the good old  U.S.A.!   After coming home he hooked up with some other musicians including Clay Maxim, and played in a couple bands until ’79 to devote time to life issues, job, etc. but never really quit playing at his favorite pass time.  In the mid 80’s got together with other musicians including Tim Boulanger and played in a few bands, even on church worship teams and now appears with friends at various local venues. Jim began his guitar experience when he acquired his grandfather’s guitar in ’60 and hasn’t been able to shake it. He acquired his rudiments from watching a friend of his father’s that came to his house frequently to jam with his father’s clarinet playing doing various styles of music.  Always listening to the radio he would pick out a line or two from his favorite songs. After attending a high school dance he realized he should have been in a band but took his instrument playing through 4 yrs of Navy service and even attended some of the all night jams during the hippie movement of the early 70’s. During his military time he discovered the slide, or bottleneck style, while listening to the current players and later, the old roots players. He thankfully gives the British blues players credit for preserving and returning the blues back to where it came from, the good old  U.S.A.!  After coming home he hooked up with some other musicians including Clay Maxim, and played in a couple bands until ’79 to devote time to life issues, job, etc. but never really quit playing at his favorite pass time.  In the mid 80’s got together with other musicians including Tim Boulanger and played in a few bands, even on church worship teams and now appears with friends at various local venues. After a few years with his own band, the BoogieTrain Blues Band, the blues engineer stayed in the roundhouse only to get tuned up and joined with the Julie Duke Band where he currently hangs his railroad hat.

Chris Mills - Guitar

At a very young age Chris had a natural ability to draw, His artistic temperament lead him to a guitar that was left at his house. This drove him crazy till he figured out a scale and a few chords.  This started a life long pursuit to paint a picture with music.  At the same time Chris discovered martial arts, and so began an almost obsessive drive to practice and blend these three arts, Aikido, painting, and guitar.  Today Chris and his wife, Julie, manage The Island Art Center where for the last 14 years they have taught Aikido, Art, and music.   Chris’s musical roots range from classic rock and blues, to punk. He is a founding member of the “TheThirsty Leaches” and “Big Dave”, both with a long local following.  His guitar influences are as eclectic as his talents; Bach, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Albert King, BB King, Stevie Rae Vaughan, Robben Ford, and the list keeps growing. Most recently he was invited to sit in and is honored to have found a new home with the Julie Duke Band.

Keith Pasculli - Bass

Keith has been playing bass and guitar since the mid 70's, playing various styles of music including: Country Western, Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, R&B, Modern Worship music, singer/songwriter, and show band for local theaters. He received his AA in music in 1982 and has been a part of various recording sessions as a bass player and guitarist. 

Artists, Bands and Collaborations: HD Fusion Band: local original jazz fusion, also a contributing songwriter.   Christopher Brant Anderson: local singer/songwriter with a long list of notable associations.  Malo Castro Combo: local Latin jazz, R&B and rock.  Lance Demers: (Phil Keaggy).  Ed Kerr (Paul Baloche).  Kevin Veach.

JDB - A Quitter Never Wins

JDB - Help Me

JDB - Tore Down

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