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Cheek To Cheek
is a jazz trio/quartet/quintet, that performs with a mixture of sultry vocals, harmonizing horns and swinging rhythms that always leaves audiences coming back for more.

Cheek To Cheek
In the News:

The Gazette:
Cheek to Cheek, Side by Side for Eight Years

NEW! University of Maryland's Between the Columns: Musician, Heal Thyself (appears halfway down the page)

 

came together in 1998, when Julie Parsons and Tom Ruggieri, two co-workers at the University of Maryland, discovered that they had a love of music in common. After years of playing in a variety of rock and roll, blues and society bands, both had a strong desire to start playing jazz. After many hours of rehearsal on a variety of pianos throughout the university campus, Julie and Tom met Eric Shramek, an up and coming jazz bassist, to round out the trio. They soon started getting jobs all over the university: graduations, retirement parties, awards banquets, which then branched out to weddings and events all over the Baltimore/DC area. In 2000, they were invited to be the weekly performers at Mulligan's, the university golf course clubhouse, where they continue to play weekly on Thursday evenings, from 5:30-8:30. With a weekly rotation of local musicians, a particular crowd favorite, Vince McCool, quickly became a permanent fixture. Vince continues to play with CTC as often as his schedule allows. Another regular performance spot is at the Hollywood East Restaurant in Wheaton and Calvert House Restaurant in Riverdale Park.

On any given night, other performers sitting in might include Nick Ruggieri, Jimmy Jones or Ian Sikora on drums; Chuck Underwood, Dan Hovey, Tom Mitchell, Rusty Bogart and Justin Lees on guitar; John Jensen on trombone; Pete Chauvette on vibes; Fred Foss on reeds; Jim Stephanson on guitar and vocals; John Previti, Dan Hall or Cheyney Thomas on bass, and many other talented local jazz musicians.


Julie Parsons: Piano and Vocals
Julie Parsons
Julie has performed in clubs throughout Europe and the Washington DC area for the past 30 years. In addition to her club gigs, she has showcased her original songs at venues such as The National Theater, the Smithsonian Institute Concert Series, and The Kennedy Center in Washington. Julie was nominated for a WAMMIE for best songwriter as well as won many awards including first prize in the Washington Songwriters Association National Song Contest and the New York Pro Am Song Contest. Julie recorded her first LP on the Atomic Label in 1977. It was distributed through out Europe and made the top 10 hit parade in Austria where Julie lived for 7 years. She won 3rd Prize in the Coupe D'Europe, an international vocal competition in Tel Aviv, with her original song. Julie also plays with several other area musicians, including blues artists Bobbie Smith and Wayne Smith. Julie has performed at the Baltimore Blues Festival, Main Street Blues, Full Moon Saloon, Iota, The Black Cat, The Bitter End and Folk City in NYC and The Point in Philadelphia amongst others. Julie is also a clinical social worker in the Mental Health Unit of the Health Center at the University of Maryland.



Tom Ruggieri
Tom started performing professionally in Orlando, Florida in 1974. After a 17- year layoff to start a family and a career, he started up again in 1992 with CPR, (www.cprband.com) a local rock and soul band, with whom he still performs. Tom has been a sideman for many local bands, including KINGSOUL, Nightlife, Second Nature, Confection, Thin Air, The Stranger's, and many others. Tom has performed at the Kennedy Center and Black Cat in DC, The Bitter End in New York, IOTA in Arlington, VA and many other performance venues. Tom is also a licensed social worker and has been the Director of the University of Maryland's Faculty Staff Assistance Program since 1988 and the father of three children.



Eric Shramek
A native of Maryland, Eric has been playing bass since 1978. During the late '70s and early '80s, Eric played electric bass with numerous Rock, R &B, and funk bands such as Eddie Kendricks' (of the Temptations) Golden Touch, Joshua Major Trio and Clout. Since 1990, Eric has worked primarily as a side man, playing electric and upright bass with J Street Jumpers, Rusty Bogart, Liz Briones, Tam Sullivan, Karen Gray, Michelle Walker and the Night & Day Big Band. Eric has performed at the East Coast Jazz Festival and many other local venues.



Vincent P. McCool
Vince was born and raised in the D.C area and graduated from Catholic University with a degree in Music Education. He studied in New Orleans at Loyola University and played professionally there for a year. He's been married for 20 years and is the proud father of one very musical son Myles. He has played professionally and taught music since the late 70's. He is a co-founder and trumpet player with the J Street Jumpers (www.jstreetjumpers.com), which has performed many times at The Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Jazz Café, at The White house for the Clinton's and the Governor's Convention, and many other venues locally and nationally. He has won, with four different bands, a total of 14 Washington Music Association Awards - seven years straight with the J Street Jumpers as "Best Big Band, Best Swing Band, and Best Traditional Jazz Group". Vince also plays with the Brooks Tegler Band, the Previty Monk/Mingus Band, the Wright Touch Big Band, and the Blue Rhythm Boys. He has also played with Jimmy Heath and Junior Mance, Charles Brown, the Grammy Awards Big Band, the Uptown Rhythm Kings, Jr. Cline and the Recliners, and at least 50 other groups in the past 35 years.