Mara & The Big Rock Stars
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Mara & The Big Rock Stars

Van Nuys, California, United States | INDIE

Van Nuys, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Cover Band

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Published: 10/22/2009
by Shaun Hague

Mara and the Big Rock Stars will be taking over The Lighthouse on Halloween.

On the heels of celebrating its fourth anniversary of playing The Lighthouse, Mara and the Big Rock Stars will be taking over the club on Halloween. Since its inception, the band has been building a great fan base in the South Bay and all over Los Angeles.

Singer and bandleader Mara was raised on Long Island and was heavily involved in musical theater from a young age.

“I started singing when I was 2 years old and starred in many school plays,” Mara said.

The idea of being a professional musician didn’t arise until she entered college at Binghamton University and took up the guitar. “I asked my parents for an acoustic guitar my freshman year of college,” she said. “I think they thought it was not going to amount to much, and go the way of cooking classes and horseback riding.”

Her final year of school took her abroad to London and Scotland where she would play for money out in the streets.

“The bar owners felt bad for me playing in the streets of Scotland, so they took me in and those were my first paying gigs,” she said.

Mara eventually made a name for herself in Scotland, where her songs were played on the radio and she was asked to partake in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Her travel bug continued to grow after school as she moved from New York to Los Angeles, staying with a cousin who went to UCLA. By day she was in advertising, by night she was playing as many gigs as possible in Hollywood. In 2002, Mara released her debut album, “It’s Who I Am,” on her own label, Fling Coaster Records. That record received a lot of buzz and a nomination from the L.A. Music Awards for Pop Album of the Year. Select songs from her debut were also featured in the MTV reality series “The Real World” and “Road Rules.”

As a solo artist, she has toured all over the world and has played at many high-profile events like South by Southwest. Mara also was signed by Barry Manilow’s management company, Stiletto Management, as she pursued a record deal. Unfortunately, she was never able to attain the highly sought-after dream of a big record deal and began to feel like music was no longer fun.

“I did everything right and it just didn’t happen,” she said. “My mother always asked me what my goals were in music and I always told her I would stop doing it when it was no longer fun.”

To make it fun once again, Mara decided to take her original band and play her favorite 1980s covers under Mara and the Big Rock Stars.

“It reminds me of why I got involved in music … It’s fun and people have a great time,” said Mara.

The band currently consists of Mara on lead vocals, Ante Novaselic (guitar), Pancho Burgos (keyboards), Joe Dileva (bass), Jon Poli (drums) with Josh Zeigler and Tiffany Schirz filling in. The band has become a favorite in the area, especially at The Lighthouse.

“Hermosa has become our home base,” she said. “The Lighthouse staff and audience is the best in the world,” Mara replied.

Mara continues to grow as a musician and enjoys writing songs for other artists instead of chasing the record deal dream. She is also a big supporter of breast cancer research, giving to charity and donating part of every album sale to fight the disease. The band will be at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach Saturday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 13.

For more information on Mara and the Big Rock Stars, visit www.marasong.com. - The Beach Reporter, California


Published: 10/22/2009
by Shaun Hague

Mara and the Big Rock Stars will be taking over The Lighthouse on Halloween.

On the heels of celebrating its fourth anniversary of playing The Lighthouse, Mara and the Big Rock Stars will be taking over the club on Halloween. Since its inception, the band has been building a great fan base in the South Bay and all over Los Angeles.

Singer and bandleader Mara was raised on Long Island and was heavily involved in musical theater from a young age.

“I started singing when I was 2 years old and starred in many school plays,” Mara said.

The idea of being a professional musician didn’t arise until she entered college at Binghamton University and took up the guitar. “I asked my parents for an acoustic guitar my freshman year of college,” she said. “I think they thought it was not going to amount to much, and go the way of cooking classes and horseback riding.”

Her final year of school took her abroad to London and Scotland where she would play for money out in the streets.

“The bar owners felt bad for me playing in the streets of Scotland, so they took me in and those were my first paying gigs,” she said.

Mara eventually made a name for herself in Scotland, where her songs were played on the radio and she was asked to partake in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Her travel bug continued to grow after school as she moved from New York to Los Angeles, staying with a cousin who went to UCLA. By day she was in advertising, by night she was playing as many gigs as possible in Hollywood. In 2002, Mara released her debut album, “It’s Who I Am,” on her own label, Fling Coaster Records. That record received a lot of buzz and a nomination from the L.A. Music Awards for Pop Album of the Year. Select songs from her debut were also featured in the MTV reality series “The Real World” and “Road Rules.”

As a solo artist, she has toured all over the world and has played at many high-profile events like South by Southwest. Mara also was signed by Barry Manilow’s management company, Stiletto Management, as she pursued a record deal. Unfortunately, she was never able to attain the highly sought-after dream of a big record deal and began to feel like music was no longer fun.

“I did everything right and it just didn’t happen,” she said. “My mother always asked me what my goals were in music and I always told her I would stop doing it when it was no longer fun.”

To make it fun once again, Mara decided to take her original band and play her favorite 1980s covers under Mara and the Big Rock Stars.

“It reminds me of why I got involved in music … It’s fun and people have a great time,” said Mara.

The band currently consists of Mara on lead vocals, Ante Novaselic (guitar), Pancho Burgos (keyboards), Joe Dileva (bass), Jon Poli (drums) with Josh Zeigler and Tiffany Schirz filling in. The band has become a favorite in the area, especially at The Lighthouse.

“Hermosa has become our home base,” she said. “The Lighthouse staff and audience is the best in the world,” Mara replied.

Mara continues to grow as a musician and enjoys writing songs for other artists instead of chasing the record deal dream. She is also a big supporter of breast cancer research, giving to charity and donating part of every album sale to fight the disease. The band will be at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach Saturday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 13.

For more information on Mara and the Big Rock Stars, visit www.marasong.com. - The Beach Reporter, California


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Mara & The Big Rock Stars
(Please see video for demonstration while audio clips are under construction. Thanks!)

Sure, every 80s cover band is going to play 'Don't Stop Believin', 'Livin' On A Prayer,' and 'Sweet Child o'Mine.' Because people LOVE those songs and because they're awesome. But how many will mix it up with 'Africa,' 'Eye Of The Tiger,' 'Final Countdown,' and 'Dr. Feelgood'? None.

Well... one!

Mara & The Big Rock Stars is the most fun, female-fronted, five-piece 80s party band you'll ever see and they are ready to rock your club or event. Together for four years with the same lineup, these pros love what they do, and the audience can feel the difference in the authentic excitement and joy they bring to the stage. What sets them apart is not silly costumes or schticky dialogue, but completely live instruments with five-part vocal harmonies, and a can't-take-your-eyes-off-her front-woman, most often compared to Janis Joplin and Nancy Wilson.

Audiences of all ages follow their roaming party from venue to venue all over Los Angeles, bringing the rock hits to clubs, festivals and private/corporate parties. Also available as an acoustic solo, duo, or trio for more intimate engagements.