Cafe' Mars consists of an all-star line-up of Raleigh/Durham musicians, and can be found most any night of the week at area restaurants and clubs, or regionally at corporate and private events delivering a unique fusion of Top-40 hits from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and today - including everything from contemporary jazz to funk to bluegrass to rock-n-roll, all filtered through an unusually high-level of experience and musicianship.
Musically-speaking, this is not a cliche' wedding band . . . not even close. While they are regularly hired for high-end weddings and corporate events, it is because of the quality, versatility and uniqueness of their live sets, . . . not because of stereotypical expectations. If you want a band that can keep 'em on the floor dancing, . . . no problem. If you need them to create a more sophisticated "listening" environment, these guys can even deliver that as well, at a level unmatched by typical cover bands.
While some bands make a "claim" of versatility, it is usually at the expense of the music itself. With Cafe' Mars, "versatility" is delivered at an uncompromising level of musicianship and performance. A brief resume' of each member bears out the quality, experience and professionalism comprising Cafe' Mars. These guys are not only full-time musicians, but they are also music teachers and clinicians:
STEVE BAKER (trumpet/vocal) - currently lead trumpet and vocalist for Bull City Syndicate. Has performed with and managed many Grammy-winning and nominated acts over the last 25 years, including Andre Crouch, B.J. Thomas, PFR, Jars of Clay, Kool & The Gang, John Custer, Eddie Money, and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Steve is also in-demand as a freelance trumpeter and teacher.
CHARLOTTE GREGORY (vocal) - has performed with Trisha Yearwood, Ricochet, Ken Mellons, Rhett Akins, Rockin' Country (Myrtle Beach), Charlie Monk, and as an Opryland cast performer. In addition to other pageant titles, she was Majestic Mrs. North Carolina in 2000.
BEN PALMER (bass) - Ben has played the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland for several years, performing with Peter Cincotti, George Benson, and Jon Anderson of Yes. Additionally, he has performed with Blue Lou Marini of Blues Brothers fame, The Castaways, Kevin Van Sant, Martin Eagle, The UNC Greensboro Orchestra and Big Band, The Duke University Orchestra, Raleigh Jazz Orchestra, The Raleigh Symphony, and The Coasters, to name a few. Ben has taught guitar and bass, privately, since 1989.
DREW LILE (guitar) - has been performing professionally since the age of 15, including the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the North Carolina Theatre. He's performed or recorded with Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Feinstein, Sarah and Arlo Guthrie, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Platters, the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, Patti Page, Pat Boone, Larry Gatlin, Margaret Whiting, trumpeter Clark Terry, saxophonist Jessie Davis, the Ellis Brothers, and many others. He's been teaching privately since 1987, and in 1994 became a Staff Associate teaching jazz guitar at Duke University.
TODD PROCTOR (drums) - in addition to being the drummer for Bull City Syndicate, Todd is one of the most active freelance musicians in the State. He has performed with and shared the stage with a Who’s Who of recognizable artists, including: Mulgrew Miller, Christian McBride, Grady Tate, Maceo Parker, Edwin McCain, The Wailers, Yellowman, Third World, The Derrick Truck’s Band, Bobby Watson and the New Horizon, The Hartford Symphony, Triangle Chamber Orchestra, Gogi Grant, Amy Grant and Vince Gill, The John Brown Quintet, and The Duke Chorale.
Cafe' Mars can perform a full night of dance hits, or a full night of contemporary jazz and standards, . . . or both! Make no mistake, this is not a stereotypical, cliche, cheesy wedding band! For those who wish to avoid the "Macarena" and other line-dancing schlock at their special event, Cafe' Mars can deliver music for both the sophisticated music listener and those who wish to dance the night away.
For wedding ceremonies, they can also provide classical guitar, trumpet and vocal music to make your ceremony music extra special, . . . all part of a total package.
Our customers and event planners say it best:
"The guys were amazing; their performance was the highlight of our party. We've had dozens of rave reviews about Cafe' Mars from friends in and out of the music business. The band will DEFINITELY be a part of our next party plan!" --Donna Gregory - MSNBC Correspondent & Anchor
"Cafe' Mars is without a doubt one of the top performing groups in the Triangle. They're very clever with their song choices ranging from jazz, pop, soul & and even retro! With their powerful vocals and amazing trumpeter, this band is a must see." --Gigi Thigpen - Jazz Entertainment
Charlotte Gregory (Vocals),
Drew Lile (Guitars, Vocals),
Ben Palmer (Bass Guitar, Vocals),
Steve Baker (Vocals, Trumpet, Flugel),
Todd Proctor (Drums)