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Miami, Florida, United States

Miami, Florida, United States
Band EDM Adult Contemporary


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"Boss Groove has expanded, regrouped"

Boss Groove has expanded, regrouped

By Bill Meredith, Special to The Palm Beach Post

Friday, May 7, 2004

Stuart-based band Boss Groove was formed by saxophonist Tom Hoffelder and trumpeter Bill Bedwell so long ago that I remember subbing for the group's original drummer in the mid-1990s. The initial lineup was five-piece, and the horns anchored the front line on material from Sam & Dave to early Chicago.

Nearly a decade later, the band has grown to seven pieces with the additions of lead vocalist Charles Jones, guitarist Wade Jackson, saxophonist/trombonist Mark Thomas, bassist Andre Boucher and drummer Joe Wikowski. Boss Groove is now a festival favorite in Martin and St. Lucie counties, proving a tough act to follow for national acts like Little Feat and Blood, Sweat & Tears. But to quote the Grateful Dead, what a long, strange trip it's been.

Four years ago, Hoffelder and Bedwell teamed with Boucher, Wikowski and former Fabulons lead vocalist Richie Ciani to form a new Boss Groove lineup. Catering its song list toward Ciani's smooth voice and pop expertise, the group developed a loyal following before the next personnel change, necessitated by tragedy.

In January 2003, Ciani and his wife, Grace, were murdered by their daughter's boyfriend, who took his own life the following day. Without its vocalist and at a crossroads, Boss Groove recruited several other bands for a concert at Jupiter's Abacoa Town Center to benefit the Ciani family.

"We did some instrumentals; Charles sang a few with us, and we had some recordings with Richie singing," Boucher recalls. "We raised close to $7,000 for the family. We had the Fabulons, Barracuda and some other bands from up here. Charles was with The Jazzernauts, who came because they knew Richie. After the benefit, Charles said he'd like to join us. Wade came on after Charles, and Mark's been with us for the last few months."

Jones' wide vocal range covers everything from Stevie Wonder's R&B classic Sir Duke to the James Gang's rock hit, Funk #49. Jackson's guitar solo on Steely Dan's Peg echoes the epic original by Jay Graydon. The versatile horn section shines on old-school Tower of Power, more recent swing by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and originals like Melinda.

Thomas' ability to play both sax and trombone allows Hoffelder to switch from sax to electronic percussion, and Bedwell from trumpet to keyboards, to suit the song.

Everyone in the band is a competent singer, which helps the harmonies on pieces like Chicago's Beginnings, and the rhythm section eases through classic rock chestnuts by Jimi Hendrix and Paul Simon, plus alt-rock by the Dave Matthews Band and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Boss Groove, with an almost completely overhauled song list, sounds rejuvenated.

"Each person in the band dealt with the loss differently," Boucher says. "There was certainly a hiatus period, but we all had a good relationship together, and all of it came together as Charles and Wayne came on. We still have mutual friends of Richie's that show up, and that following has had a bonding effect on us."

See Boss Groove ( from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. today (May 7th) and Saturday at The Ashley Restaurant, 61 S.W. Osceola St. in downtown Stuart. Phone: (772) 221-9476.
- The Palm Beach Post


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Boss Groove

The name implies “being in charge of the deepest rhythm”, a phrase that aptly describes this accomplished local group.

We’re talking about a show band here.

A seven piece wall of sound,
which tips the hat to legendary bands such as
Tower of Power, and Earth, Wind & Fire to the new sounds of the Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Local to the Treasure Coast, the band has been on a straight shot towards regional fame and exposure, maintaining some local club dates and playing larger venues from Vero Beach to City Place to Boca Raton.

Annual festival participation including “Jensen’s Seafood Festival”“Jensen’s Pineapple Festival” and “Stuart’s Dancing in the Streets”
often place the band as a headliner, bill-mate or opener for such national acts such as “Blood Sweat and Tears”,“Little Feat”, "Georgia Satellites" and “Bad Company”.

Boss Groove always delivered the goods.

Early 2003,
the band suffered a tremendous and tragic loss of our lead vocalist. The incredible support for the band and the massive media coverage created an opportunity to rally emotional and financial support for the family of our comrade. Boss Groove sponsored a charity event with several local, regional and international acts, raising thousands of dollars as the least of what we could do as a band of brothers.
Through the stages of loss, the decision to move on became apparent, and the luck that favors the prepared came in the form of
a talented lead singer,
a guitarist extraordinaire and
a smokin' addition to the horn section.

Strengthened through our history together and fortified by talent,

Boss Groove is back and Badder than Ever!

Band Members