BAND/HISTORY

The 180 Band is a group of dedicated musicians from the Charlottesville Virginia area; performing in Central Virginia and surrounding states for over 18 years. 180’s musical influences include Elvis Presley, The Temptations, Van Morrison, The Eagles, The Beatles, Santana, Lynard Skynard, Pat Benetar, Rod Steward, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Buffet, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and many many more.

Having both female and male lead singers gives 180 the opportunity to play a wider range of material. Our vocals combined with a dynamic rhythm section, electric and acoustic guitars, electric cello and keyboards, creates a powerful musical combination. It gives 180 the diversity to play many different styles to enhance any event including Weddings, Barmitzvas, Special Parties and Birthdays. 180 is your favorite dance band of choiceBand History—->

Jim was born in Louisville, KY, in 1955. He began studying drums at age nine and started playing in neighborhood bands shortly thereafter. By high school, Jim was performing every weekend with some of Louisville’s most popular dance bands, and spent several formative years studying with famous jazz drummer John Roy and percussionist James Rago of the Louisville Orchestra. He continued to perform throughout college until 1978, when He moved to San Francisco to further my musical career. After several years of musical frustration trying to break into the music scene in San Francisco, Jim left drumming to pursue a PhD in Materials Science at UC-Berkeley, which eventually lead me to Charlottesville, VA, where he teach and perform research as a professor in the Department of Materials Science at the University of Virginia. Jim returned to drumming in 2007, when he started sitting in with organist George Melvin at the South Street Brewery. Jim eventually became George’s regular drummer in his popular B3 Quartet featuring Jamal Milner and Dave Sanford, as well as in ACME Swing Mfg. Co., the Bennie Dodd Band, and several other Charlottesville-based groups. I have furthered my drumming technique by studying with local great Robert Jospé and making occasional trips to visit legendary Ronnie Free at The Homestead. I currently play with the Sentimental Journey Big Band, the 3JM Jazz Quartet, Vince Lewis’s Sophistication, The Jazz Engineers, the Jim Howe Jazz Ensemble, and as a sideman in a variety of musical situations in the Charlottesville and surrounding areas, including Nursing Homes Swing! (thank you Jackie Hostage and Mary Beth Revak!), Lew Morrison’s Wednesday Night Jazz at the Mill St. Grill in Staunton, every first Wednesday each month with Lesly Gourdet and Friends at the Whiskey Jar in Charlottesville, and the first Thursday with the Dick Orange Quintet at Tavern on the James in Scottsville. ​ My favorite format is a small ensemble, e.g. trio/quartet, and I have had the pleasure of performing with such local (and international) greats as Hod O’Brien, Stephanie Nakasian, Veronica Swift, Royce Campbell, Bert Carlson, Vince Lewis, Randy Johnston, Dwight Spencer, Charles Owens, Bobby Read, Mike Elswick, Jeff Decker, John Jensen, Lew Morrison, Bob Bowen, Chris Dammann, Pete Spaar, Bob Bennetta, Dick Orange, Susanna Rosen, Jonah Kane-West, Trevor Williams, Haywood Giles, Lesly Gourdet, Bill Edmunds, Bob DuCharme, Audry Goldsmith, Larry Bisgaier, Jason Lyman, Larry Swift, Katherine Shaver, and so many others, including all the fantastic musicians I play with in Sentimental Journey (Ray Hoaster, director/arranger, and a dedicated sound engineer Doug Campbell). Although I consider myself a jazz musician, I love playing other types of music, particularly soul and funk, and appreciate the unique challenges and appeal that they offer. In this regard, I recently spent several years playing with the Marla Palma Band (http://www.marlapalmaband.com) and just started with 180 Band . At the other end of the musical spectrum, I equally like the challenge of reading music and punching the horn section in a big band like Sentimental Journey and am continually working on improving these skills. Please check out some of these great performers/groups in the videos and recordings posted in Music and Video, and in the Drummer's Corner. More information can also be found on my Facebook page In addition to the great musicians above, I have had the honor of recording as a session drummer for the very talented musician/composer Bob Mete of Redd Productions. Some of these sound tracks can be heard on well-known shows such as ABC’s Nashville, the series Graves featuring Nick Nolte, the movie About Scout featuring Jane Seymour and Danny Glover, CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and even for Whole Foods ! I also have the pleasure of being represented by Chris Munson of 20 South Productions , who has been making music happen in Central Virginia for many years. I also want to thank Gary Funston of WTJU and the Charlottesville Jazz Society, who do so many great things to promote the jazz community here in Charlottesville that it’s simply hard to enumerate.
Originally from New Jersey, Ken was introduced to music at an early age of 7. He started taking accordion lessons and played in the music school band. At 13 years old he made the transition from accordion to organ and piano. He was in various bands throughout his high school years. After attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Ken became proficient in multiple keyboards, performing in various music projects including some recording studio work and touring cross country. As time went on Ken met his wife, Maureen, and decided to settle down moving on to his next passion with computers as a software engineer. He continued his musical interests serving as a church pianist/organist for various churches in area. In 1994, Ken with his wife, Maureen and their two children, Crystal and Craig relocated to Charlottesville. Ken continued to utilize his keyboard skills in the local church and played in a variety of musical events in the Central Virginia area. Ken is thrilled to have met and now be a part of the fine musicians that make up the 180 Band.
Alanna a Crozet native, collective multi-medium artist and performer, is thrilled to be back in her hometown performing with 180! Alanna has been apart of several local performing arts projects including Ash Lawn Opera, Live Arts, concorDance contemporary, TomTom Festival, Wildrock and several others. She trained with The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz/Contemporary Trainee program, The Hip Hop Conservatory, and The Institute For American Musical Theatre, where she trained under the vocal styles of Andrew Drost. Alanna grew up in a family of singers and musicians, where every family get together was full of traditional Irish/Appalachia singing & music. She looks forward to sharing the stage with the guys and sharing a groovin' good time with the audience!
Kevin has been playing guitar since his early 20's, influenced by the great rock bands of the 70's. Kevin played in a number of small pickup bands with friends until he joined up with the original formation of 180 (formerly known as Metanoia). His wife, Susy, an alumnus and original member, played violin with the band for a number of years. That's probably why he is allowed to keep playing in the band despite having an active family with kids in swimming, travel soccer games and more! Even so, Kevin also plays in the popular Full Moon Saloon band. You can catch Kevin on facebook.
Robert was our first sound engineer and kick butt rodie! He makes sure we always have enough power for the gigs. He carts and sets up our equipment everywhere we play. After the initial setup he'll get our sound check going and monitor us though the show. He has to put up with a vocal group of performers wanting to hear "more me!" most of the time.
Jim Smith joined the band during the summer of 2005. Jim started out as a guitar player back in grade school. After some inspiration from his next-door neighbor and his piano-playing son, Jim decided to learn the bass in 1999 and has hasn't looked back since. Jim has been happily married for more than 20 years, and his wife somehow manages to understand why he needs each new amplifier, guitar, speaker, etc. When 180 plays their first Grateful Dead song, you can thank (or blame!) Jim. You can catch Jim on facebook. Also, check out the great work Jim has been doing with bringing clean drinking water and jobs to those in need. Catch up on this important work called "Pure Madi" on facebook.
Mike, a self-taught musician, has been playing guitar since the tender age of 12. He was turned on to the instrument one year at summer camp when, in the evenings, one of the male counselors sat around the campfire playing tunes. Mike couldn't help but notice that the female campers (and counselors) were drawn to this guy like a magnet! Thus, one was acquired shortly after his return home (a guitar, not a girl). Thanks to a grandmother in Florida (Granny Ruth) who owned her own record shop and kept him supplied with a fresh stack of hot wax 45's every other month or so, Mike was exposed to a variety of musical influences ranging from Elvis to Led Zeppelin [yes, Mike is older than Yoda!] The journey toward Metanoia began quietly and humbly when Mike and Frank Squillace played a couple of songs for a church talent show after which the two looked at each other and said "ya know, we oughta do this more often!" The seed was planted. Years later....ladies and gentlemen...Metanoia! Mike happily resides in Afton with his most devoted fan, groupie, publicist, critic, and oft-times roadie, Liz (did I mention wife?) and their two daughters, Lauren and Julia. Mike also plays in the the popular Full Moon Saloon band. You can catch Mike on facebook.
Frank was the founder of 180 (formerly known as Metanoia) in 1998 and continues to be overwhelmed at the response of the community. "People are looking for good, clean, classic rock and roll to enjoy with their families - I think we're filling a niche!” Frank is happily married to his wife Jane and is the father of Leia and Joe and stepfather of four who enjoys spending time with all of them, friends, baseball, and music. He has played the cello for 40 years and considers himself, "the finest rock n' roll cello player north of the James!”