Rock - Singer/Bass - Born
in Roseau, Dominica before the Bob Marley days of reggae, Brian
Rock grew up listening to the exotic sounds of local musicians
from the streets and
beaches of his homeland.
As reggae developed and soon became popular, Rock was already
playing any instrument he could land his hands on. Writing, composing
and arranging music was what came next.
was always eager to learn how to play music, different types
of music, then different instruments."
Rock began singing and performing in the US with several bands
in the 70's and was doing odd jobs during the day to make ends
meet. The gigs started coming more often, and the drive to make
it professionally took over.
Working as an accomplished bass player and singer
enabled Rock to work with: Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones,
Culture, Moja Nya to name a few. "The
70's was a wicked time to be playing"
Rocket was touring with Moja Nya at the time, playing gigs alongside
Dallol, which housed Ruphael, Asrat and former Gizzae
Eventually Dallol split up and started forming
a Chicago based band named Gizzae. Rocket was asked to come and
play drums and
to possibly sing. As it all worked out it was Rock moved over
to bass and was singing the lead. He also has written most of
Gizzae's original music, but he would never tell you that. "It
all just came together"
Rock has been pulling double-duty singing and playing bass for
the last 7 years with Gizzae and wouldn't have it any other way.
Asrat Selassie - Drums/Percussion/Vocals - A two time Grammy® award winner (Ziggy Marley Best Reggae
Album, One Bright Day and Conscious Party) Asrat
pretty much his whole
life. On the road with (Dallol) Ziggy Marley, sharing stadiums
with Bruce Springsteen, Guns N Roses, INXS has given Asrat a
taste of our world. Any part of Europe, the Caribbean, The US,
Canada, Africa, Australia, he has been there.
thing that I have noticed in all my travels, is that outside
big city, people are similar across the world. The farmers of
the world seem to have the same basic values of family first
and a strong sense of faith."
Asrat was born in the desert lands of Ethiopia where people
would share space with lions along with black mambas and all
the things we would run screaming from.
A truly humble and spiritual person, Asrat has managed world
tours, a thriving night club, family and still maintains his
calm presence. He is also a graceful classical pianist and capable
Buy him a cup of coffee and ask him about his homeland.
His stories are engaging, entertaining and educational. Asrat
is truly a man of the world.
Ralph Mote - Keys/Vocals - Ralph is a long
time reggae veteran and has jammed with some of the biggest
names in reggae. He has
music and will jam with anyone that wants to play.
Ralph adds an entirely new dimension with
his style of keyboarding. Sometimes jazzy, sometimes funky,
Ralph's harmonic textures have
further helped to form the "Gizzae Sound". Ralph has
surely made his mark on the band and is a welcomed addition.
Ralph also continues to write and produce
for his company, Clear Vision Music. He has produced many "spots" for
TV and radio, as well as collaborate with many new and aspiring
Ralph is a true wonder to see live coupled with the already
great chemistry and talent Gizzae has. Come check him out some
Clem Julien - Guitar/Vocals -
Clem was born in Marigot, Dominica into a musical family. His
Father was a singer
also was a musician.
Clem started playing professionally at age
19 with a popular band named "Ignition" where he
toured the Caribbean islands for about 5 years.
A trip to the US landed Clem the lead guitar spot with Bell
Combo back in the late 70's and early 80's.
From there he hooked up with a very big band
Stars" for a few years in the 80's, and that is where he
and Rocket crossed paths again. Clem went back to play for Mighty
Arrow and Mighty Baron in Trinidad and Martinique for the next
He finally found his way back to Chicago and met up with Rocket
and what was left of Dallol where they all formed Gizzae. Clem
brings some phenomenal licks and harmony in the band. Some say
his playing is Santana like. Most would agree.
Clem also plays and records contemporary jazz at
his newly built home studio in his downtime. Clem has 2 daughters
Nicole and Jamilah.
Influences were/are: Bob Marley, George Benson,
Earl Klugh, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarron, Larry Carlton and Wes Montgomery
name a few.
Ruphael W. Mariam - Drums/Keys/Vocals - Two time Grammy award winner Ruphael W. Mariam was born in
large family of
2 brothers and 7 sisters.
Being one of the youngest made Ruphael realize that there are
myriad paths that can be taken in life. "Ever since I can
remember, I knew that my life would be dedicated to the Arts" Ruph
has never looked back and has had a lasting and prosperous career
as musician and artist.
Ruph began drawing and painting by the tender age of 4. Through
the years his teachers noticed that he had talent, not only with
painting and drawing, but also as a musician. He enrolled at
an art school at night while he attended high school during the
day. The schedule was soon flip-flopped to accommodate his yearning
to become a professional musician and artist.
Already a capable guitarist and bassist,
Ruph was also becoming an accomplished drummer. Coincidentally,
a local band was looking
for a drummer to play Top 40 hits for the local hotels. That
was it. Ruph had begun playing professionally at the age of 14,
and was fast becoming hooked on the emotion of it.
way the music affects people and knowing that I'm helping create
that, it's gratifying. It's been an experience that is difficult
to put into words"
Ruphael moved to the US in 1979. Asrat also came over after
leaving the popular band The Sensations, to explore other music
opportunities. Together, they started a band called Dallol with
several other mates from Ethiopia. Rita Marley noticed their
progressive sound and conscious lyrics and signed them to a record
deal. Soon Dallol was on the road with Ziggy Marley for several
World Tours from 1986-1990, opening for such acts as: U2, Bruce
Springsteen, Gun's N Roses, Phil Collins, Iggy Pop, Boy George
and many others.
"What an experience, just incredible.
I've seen so many extraordinary places and met some unforgettable
a ride it's been so far"
Winner of 2 Grammys® for best reggae album with Ziggy Marley
(One Bright Day and Conscious Party) a gold and a platinum record,
Ruph is still bringing it strong with Gizzae now playing keyboards
and occasionally drums. Ruph also played drums in the last few years for
Ziggy Marley on his World Tour.
Some of Ruphael's artwork is proudly displayed
at the Wild Hare, which he co-owns as well. He has also done
all of the logos
for Gizzae and artwork for several musicians.
played with a lot of groups, and it's been great, but the music
we are creating now with Gizzae
is some of our
best work collectively and personally. We incorporate our experiences
and backgrounds into our sound and I'm very proud of what we
Evans Atta-Fynn - Drums/Keys/Vocals - Evans was born in the twin cities of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, Evans is a fine example of a musician who’s musical talent emerged early in his childhood as he picked up the drums at the age of eight by playing the congas at church in Ghana. At the age of 15 he began dividing his time between school and his grandfather’s band “Osamarima” where his father played the guitar in the late 80’s and early 90’s. In 1991 officially he became the Osamarima band’s percussionist.
In 1992 he joined the Western Diamonds, Ghana’s best known Hi-Life band, recorded 3 albums and toured the United States, the United Kingdom, various African countries as well as Europe.
Evans moved to Chicago in 1997 with the Western Diamonds and has been a member of Dansika and Hydro reggae band, and has backed up many artists national and lnternationally such as the legendary Sony Okuson, Sammy Okposo, Daddy Shokey, all from Nigeria, Africa, annd Bushman from Jamaica.
Evans loves to pound the skins and can easily be persuaded into a drum solo that will leave you slack-jawed.