Our guests this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break are Laila Garsys, Mike Trella and Pat Mannella of the band Short Sleeve Heart.
Laila Garsys (Lead Vocalist, songwriter, rhythm guitar, harmonica, tambourine). Armed with powerhouse vocals, slick harmonica and rhythmic guitar chops, Laila continues to seduce us by mixing blues, soul and gritty rock into a sultry style of her own. Practically raised in a theater auditorium, she was first inspired to perform by watching her mom direct local musical theater. She began singing in prestigious and select choirs beginning in 5th grade, which led her to participate in a number of local, state and national vocal competitions all the way up through High School. By age 15, she toured Europe as part of her select High School Choir, including performances at Carnegie Hall and Duomo di Milano. Laila has studied vocal composition in German, Latin, English, French and Italian. Before joining Short Sleeve Heart, Laila dabbled performing rock, soul and blues in a number of bands across the country. Currently, Laila resides in Los Angeles, maintaining an active life as Yoga Instructor/Therapist and Holistic Health and Wellness Consultant.
Mike Trella (Lead Guitarist, songwriter, producer). Mike has formerly been a songwriter and lead guitarist for a number of Washington DC and NYC-based soul-rock bands, including Politicks, Stella and the Fire and Bridge City Hustle. As a member of Politicks, Mike played with legendary artists, such as The Roots, Al Green, Lauryn Hill, and Blind Melon. He recently wrote the original music for the theatrically released feature film, “The Hornet’s Nest”. His theme song for the movie, “Chariots”, was short-listed for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category for the 2015 Oscars. He recently completed the score for the forthcoming feature documentary, “Citizen Soldier” and will shortly begin work on two more feature films.
Pat Mannella (Drummer/Percussionist) was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and currently lives in Los Angeles. He began playing drums at 10 years old, performing with bands by age 13, and studied amongst Buffalo’s top instructors. Over the years, Pat’s mastered various genres, not limited to, rock, gospel, jazz, progressive rock, indie, jam, musical theatre, to name a few. As former member of Free Henry!, they’ve opened for major acts including, The Guess Who, Foreigner, Blues Traveler, Steven Page, Rusted Root, Blind Melon, Better Than Ezra, We The Kings, Drake, Dr. John, Joan Osborne, and Shania Twain. Pat also has recorded on full length albums and toured up and down the east coast. Patrick’s rule of thumb: “Never stop playing.” Just as his old music teacher once said, “So that is what he does and will continue to do for the rest of his time here.”
Grace Rodgers (Violinist) originally from Detroit, now based out of Los Angeles, enjoys a varied musical career as a violinist spanning across genres from classical to pop. Grace is a member of both Hollywood Light Orchestra and Short Sleeve Heart (band), and often performs with other classical ensembles, and current musicians. She has participated in several orchestral and chamber music festivals such as Zephyr International Music Festival in Italy, Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, and the National Music Festival in Maryland, where she worked with renowned faculty from around the globe. Grace has also taken part in a number of recording and video productions (BØRNS, Megadeth, and others) throughout her career. Grace earned her Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Violin Performance from Wayne State University under Dr. Laura Roelofs.
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