Oak & Ash
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Oak & Ash

New York, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

New York, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock




"Newsday’s Battle of the Bands winner, Oak & Ash, to open for Bon Jovi at MSG"

Looks like the right band won the battle as Newsday’s 2016 Battle of the Bands champion Oak & Ash captured another victory.

The group, whose lead singer, Rich Tuorto, comes from New Hyde Park, scored an opening slot on night one of Bon Jovi’s two-night stand at Madison Square Garden next month.

Promoter Live Nation and Bon Jovi’s management chose Oak & Ash (April 7) as well as Dylan Rockoff of Boston (April 8) from thousands who applied for the contest on Bon Jovi’s website (bonjovi.com). The band has been running similar contests for other communities on its “This House Is Not For Sale Tour.”

After the results were announced, Oak & Ash released the following collective statement: “This is easily one of the best moments of our lives. Musicians only dream of having an opportunity like this and we feel so truly blessed to have been recognized among all of the other incredibly talented artists. Thank you to Bon Jovi and to everyone else who was involved with this contest. We won’t let you down!”

This is not the first band with Long Island ties to win a contest to open for Bon Jovi. Back in 1995, the teenage band Stage, featuring Ryan Star of Dix Hills, was the support act for the New Jersey rock band at Jones Beach Theater.

In the Newsday contest, Oak & Ash’s song “Golden Gates” stood out among 80 other artists in August. The band won a Newsday-produced music video for its song, “Step Into the Light,” which was shot at The Paramount in Huntington in September. - Newsday

"Oak and Ash Wins Newsday Battle of the Bands Contest"

Rich Tuorto, the singer of Oak & Ash — the winners of Newsday’s Battle of the Bands contest — has learned to take his parents’ advice.

After all, it was Betty and Richard Tuorto’s idea for their son to audition for “American Idol” when the show came to Nassau Coliseum in 2014, leading to him progressing to the Hollywood Week round.

“My dad is my biggest supporter,” the younger Tuorto says. “He said, ‘I know this kind of show isn’t your thing, but could you go out and try for me?’ So I did.”

It was also his parents who suggested that Rich Tuorto’s band, Oak & Ash, enter Newsday’s Battle of the Bands contest this summer. Ultimately, the band’s song “Golden Gates” beat out 80 other entries. (The field was narrowed to 10 by readers; then the winner was selected by a group of judges.)

“We’re very excited about winning,” says 26-year-old bassist Paul Gramigna, sitting around The Breslin eatery in Manhattan, with bandmates Rich Tuorto, 26, his cousin guitarist Chris Tuorto, 27, and drummer Bryan Garbe, 25.

“It’s a big chance to show more people what we can do,” Rich Tuorto adds.

The band plans to use its prize of a Newsday-produced video to launch its new single, “Step Into the Light,” in September. Rich Tuorto says the upbeat, dance-oriented song came to him quickly because it was born of his own experience.

“A lot of people wonder why we do this,” he says. “They wonder why does that kid do this? He must be so stressed out all the time. But they have no idea what performing feels like, how it feels to connect with people. We do it to feel that just for one moment.”

Garbe recalls a moment at an Allman Brothers Band concert at the Beacon Theatre where he thought, “I want to do that.” Gramigna remembers having that moment when he first saw Primus’ Les Claypool play.

For Rich Tuorto, though, that moment didn’t really come until after his “Idol” experience. He remembers his dad playing the Allman Brothers Band for him as a young kid and he would “start running around in circles getting pumped up,” but he didn’t really know what to do with that energy.

“Can you believe we didn’t even know he could sing until college?” Chris Tuorto asks, laughing.

However, after Rich Tuorto got the approval of the “Idol” judges for his acoustic guitar version of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” he decided that singing was for him.

He began playing music with Gramigna, who had been playing with Chris Tuorto for years in a band called The Lamping Shades. However, at that point, Chris Tuorto had just finished another Fox reality show called “Utopia” and was thinking of moving to Los Angeles to see where his TV experience could take him.

“There was one grand meeting with the three of us,” Gramigna says.

“That’s when we convinced him not to move to L.A.,” Rich Tuorto adds.

And with that, Oak & Ash was born — with dreams of combining their love of classic rock and jam band music with pop.

Chris Tuorto and Gramigna call Rich Tuorto “Pop Machine,” because whatever rock songs they write, he manages to make them more accessible. The band says they are banking on that combination to advance their careers.

“We know that it takes years for a band to hone their sound,” Rich Tuorto says. “We’re ready to do that work.” - Newsday

"The Slightly Reckless Oak & Ash"

Being one of the cultural melting pots of the world, New York has produced a lot of various musical talents: individuals, groups or bands. 
Oak & Ash is one that is definitely worth giving your time for. Rich and Chris Tuorto alongside friends Paul Gramigna (bass) and Andrew Marsh (drum), are here to offer their strong pop-based music mixed with soul/R&B sound.

Browsing their YouTube channel, I found videos of covers as well as their own songs. They did a cover a Tavo Lo’s Talking Body (which I personally think is better than the original – topless Rich aside). Seeing quite a lot of cover songs that they’ve done, I was curious to know if that’s how they started – by doing covers. “Oak & Ash started and will always be focused on our original music. The music landscape is so saturated with covers at the moment and as solo artists, we all explored that at some point but are determined to find our own sound and allow people to fall in love with our music instead of falling in love with our version of someone else’s music.” says Rich. The songs that they do write are all quite romantic. Is it because they’re romantics in real life? “Absolutely. I think all great artists and musicians are. Beautiful women in our lives (and ones we have yet to meet) inspire us.”

Before coming together under the Oak & Ash flag, each member had quite a colorful background. Rich, for example, entered the well-known talent show “American Idol” (RIP) circa 2011. Safe to say that the “Idol way” didn’t work out for him, but if it did, would O&A still have happened? 
“Honestly, probably not. It was a true blessing in disguise. American Idol acted as a platform to motivate me to want to create this group and to pursue a career in music. Looking back, getting eliminated at the point I did was the best thing that could have happened. I think there is something to be said about making your own way in life that just feels a bit more satisfying.” 
Well, in that case, I’m glad it didn’t work out for him then.

While his cousin, Chris, took part in a reality show called “Utopia” – which got cancelled. Would I have heard of a Chris Tuorto, maybe, as an actor (or at least a reality show star) if the show hadn’t been cancelled? “Who knows? Chris and I each promised each other before our respective TV show experiences, that we would meet up afterwards and pursue a career in music. After Chris’s reality show ended, he visited New York and explained his plans to move to LA. Paul and I were thankfully able to convince him to pursue his true passion … music.”

While we’re at it, I managed to watch a couple of YouTube videos of the show. Enough to know that Chris’ hashtag was #ChiliCharmer (I know right?). At first I thought because he was so “hot and charming” (what?) but apparently, according to Rich the reason was because, “His father started a dry hot sauce company named “Vesta”, and he had a big hand in helping support that business (thus the Chili part). The charmer part – well you guys will just have to find out for yourselves I guess.” - Outlet Mag

"POPULAR TV - 21 Questions with Oak & Ash"

In our latest edition of our playful game, we asked up-and-coming band Oak & Ash to get a little bit intimate with us. Hailing from New York, the soulful band that falls in between rock and pop started back in 2014. Influenced by Kings of Leon, Maroon 5 and Coldplay, the band has amassed over 40 live performances in the past year. This past July, the four piece—Chris Tuorto, Rich Tuorto, Paul Gramigna and Andrew Marsh—released its debut EP Slightly Reckless. The band anticipates a full-length coming in 2016, but you can enjoy their anthemic EP in the meantime.

Stream the band’s EP below.

1. What gets you up in the morning? On a good day…my alarm clock. On a better day… last night’s date. (Chris Tuorto)

2. What’s your personal life philosophy? Think positive. Stay positive. Do positive. (Chris)

3. Your biggest virtue? My biggest virtue would be my ability to devote my time and energy towards the things that make me truly happy. Whether it is music, the gym, watching a movie, or seeing family and friends, I always make time to do the things that are most important to me and to do things for others that I know are important to them. (Rich Tuorto)

4. Your biggest vice? My biggest vice is that I can be very stubborn. I have a tendency to be passionate about doing things a certain way or for a certain reason and have trouble trusting in other people’s opinions. I’m working on it. (Rich)

5. Do you have a party trick? Well, let’s see. I can open a bottle with just about anything. I’ve also traveled nowhere but can name all of the countries in the world. The first one is way more useful at a party though. (Paul Gramigna)

6. How would you describe your style? Dark jeans, black or white tee shirt, and Converse: clean and simple, (Rich)

7. What would constitute a perfect day for you? Wake up at 10 AM, after getting a full night’s sleep, next to a beautiful woman. Roll out of bed with that perfect bed head hair and drink a cup of authentic Italian espresso that is just waiting for me on a golden tray next to my piano, with The New York Times under it. The headlines of The New York Times would read, “Oak & Ash – The Next Big Thing”. I would sit down at my white baby grand piano, write the most epic song of all time, and immediately invite my band and a few close friends to the recording studio to get all my ideas down. We would all meet at the studio (Chris would be 25 minutes late but we still love him), and I would show them the track. One by one everyone would start laying their ideas down while simultaneously taking shots of Jack Daniel’s. Three hours later, the song would be done and all of our family and friends would listen to it for the first time. As the last note would be played, we would all raise a glass and scream “SALUTE”. Then we’d call our private jet and have 10 of our closest friends fly with us that night to party somewhere awesome (we would put 10 countries in a hat and draw one to decide). We’d then end the day by adopting a Labrador puppy. BOOM! Perfect day. (Rich)

8. Knowing what you know today, what advice would you give your younger self? Learn Spanish. I spent a couple years surfing in Puerto Rico and I really wish I took my hot Spanish teacher more seriously in high school.(Chris)

9.What would your very last meal entail? Just a good home cooked meal with my friends and family. It would be really cool if it were in a tree house though (Paul)

10. Three people—dead or alive, real or fictional—that you’d like to invite to dinner? 2Pac, DJ Dirty D, and Pinky the porn star (Andrew Marsh)

11. If you were a song, which one would you be? I would be that song that makes your feet move around, your heartbeat pick up, and puts an uncontrollable smile on your face. It changes day to day, but today that song is “Friend of the Devil” by The Grateful Dead (Paul)

12. If a movie were made about you, who would play you? Mike Epps (Andrew Marsh)

13. Turn ons? Confident eyes, small wrists, black leather jackets, blonde hair, tattoos, and having necklace game. Oh yea…and accents, (Chris)

14, Turn offs? Girls who complain, lame stories, girls that say they’re a model five times (ones enough, I get it). (Chris)

15. Your spirit animal? My spirit animal would be a wolf because it shows leadership, strength, loyalty, and intelligence. It can be aggressive, protective, and assertive but is also calming and badass. (Rich)

16. Your favorite flower? There are different reasons to like different flowers. Angle Trumpets have one of my favorite smells, but when it comes to looks, I’m into lilies. (Paul)

17. Tell us a secret. I still think about my ex. Comparing just about every girl to her is not helping, (Chris)

18. Your favorite quote? “When Josie comes home, we’re going to park in the street,”- Steely Dan (Andrew)

19. What is your current state of mind? My current state of mind is “strike while the iron is hot.” Being surrounded by so much creativity and so many talented people all of the time helps inspire and motivate me. It shows me the potential in myself and my peers, which feels pretty powerful and humbling at the same time. I am also feeling pretty hungry. (Paul)

20. An embarrassing moment? Passing out in a strip club. (Andrew)

21. Your proudest moment? Playing a sold out show at the Gramercy Theatre and hearing the entire room chant “one more song.” (Rich) - Popular TV

"PopDust Presents - Oak & Ash: your new favorite band and their brand new single "Step Into The Light""

"Tell me this isn't the most awesome feeling you've ever felt in your life."

That's how Rich Tuorto, lead singer of Oak & Ash, explains the sensation of performing live on stage. With their new single "Step Into The Light," out now and available here, the band seeks to immortalize that feeling with music. And damn, they do a nice ass job of it! Just check out the music video for the single, HERE.

"From the outside looking in, doing music, it looks like too much work. People are just constantly coming at us like, 'I can't believe you have the stamina to do that... Isn't it tough? Isn't it so hard to be successful in music?' " Tuorto recalls.

As a musician that's had the honor of watching Oak & Ash perform unplugged at PopDust (clips below) and even shared the stage with them, I can attest: these guys put in the work. The music is phenomenally tight, articulate, fun-yet-serious, and packed with stellar melodies that go way beyond what you'd expect from your typical "pop rock" group. Plus, just look at the torn jeans and bushy beards. They look like they chop down trees and spear mammoths just for fun before sipping single malt, artisanal whiskeys in cool bars I'm not allowed in.

Despite their success and kickassery, the knights of Oak & Ash are humble and a blast to be around. They took no offense and even kept the joke going when I suggested during the interview that they beat 200 competing bands and won the 2016 Newsday Battle of The Bands not on musical merit, but by putting ants in the pants of their rivals. That's my kind of interviewees.

So get your O&A-branded face warmer beards on and kick back with the music and words of New York City's next-top-pop-rockers! - PopDust


In the modern era of Rock-n-Roll, there are only a handful of active artists who can sell out stadiums, among the select few are U2, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, and Bon Jovi. Out of The Garden State of New Jersey, Bon Jovi became a success out the gate with their 1984 self-titled debut album, but it would be 1986’s Slippery When Wet which would launch them into mega star status. Transcending the era of Glam Rock, Bon Jovi has sold more than 130 million albums worldwide, performed thousands upon thousands of concerts all over the world, and are without question one of the most successful bands of all-time.

Still adored by fans of all ages over three decades later, a mostly intact lineup of Jon Bon Jovi on vocals/guitar, David Bryan on keyboards/pedal steel guitar, and Tico Torres on drums, along with Hugh McDonald on bass, plus Phil X on lead guitar/talkbox take to the road again in 2017. The band’s first full-fledged tour since 2013’s Because We Can World Tour, 2017’s affair, This House Is Not for Sale Tour, launched back in February, visiting arenas coast to coast. A run in support of the band’s 2016 effort This House Is Not for Sale, with an additional twelve records of back catalogue material in hand, Bon Jovi had plenty of ground to cover.

Up for the challenge, recently turning 55 years old, Jon Bon Jovi and company were fired up, ready to deliver a night of music no one would forget as they reached the final stretch of shows when they made their way to New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Thursday, April 13th. The first of two shows at the world famous Garden, both were re-scheduled from the week prior due to the bronchitis Jon Bon Jovi was fighting. A difficult decision to make, it was made with fans best interest in mind so that Bon Jovi could deliver the high octane performance they are historically known for. That all said, the house that has held some of the most legendary events in the history of entertainment was ready to rock.

Adding more intrigue to the show, the entire tour’s opening acts were local artists of the cities visited. Independent, hungry, young artists entered a contest run by Bon Jovi, and the lucky winner had a chance to represent their home in front of thousands of music lovers. A dream come true, New York City’s support would come from a local talent by the name of Oak & Ash. Coming together back in 2014, Oak & Ash have performed at New York’s most well known venues such as Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theatre, Webster Hall, and Long Island’s The Paramount.

Consisting of Rich Tuorto (vocals), Chris Tuorto (guitar), Paul Gramigna (bass), and Bryan Garbe (drums), the band took to the stage of Madison Square Garden full of confidence. Filling the air with colorful mix of Pop Rock, they played a set of original tunes including the danceable “Step Into The Light.” Catchy and stylish, the guitars were smooth while the vocals were soulful and tingling with R&B textures. Humbled and excited for the chance to perform such a show, it was an experience Oak & Ash will not soon forget, but judging by their music, they may be back again someday soon.

Settled in and packed to the brim, The Garden was filled with a buzz as everyone anxiously awaited Bon Jovi to take the stage. For many, it would not be the first time at a Bon Jovi concert, and it certainly will not be the last, but thanks to the band’s friendly demeanor as well as lively performances, the evening would be filled with special moments.
With the lights going dark, howls and whistles filled the atmosphere before the drums kicked while a transparent curtain draped the stage as the band launched into “This House Is Not for Sale.” Modern and toe-tapping, just a minute into the song the curtain would raise and each member of the band was in full view. From here, it would be another new tune called “Knockout” before everyone’s voice chimed in for 1986’s hit “You Give Love a Bad Name.” An exhilarating moment, the band settled in with some newer generation tracks including the uplifting “Lost Highway” and the more mellow “Whole Lot of Leavin’.” No less crowd rousing, Jon soon took a breather, making the time to recognize his bandmates. Briefly talking about the band’s longevity, it was a fitting segue into new single “Roller Coaster.” A slow build to an epic chorus, once it kicked in, the room was bouncing with Jon as he rose his hands to the air enticing more crowd interaction.

Keeping with more present material, 2009’s “We Weren’t Born to Follow” came before 2007’s “We Got It Goin’,” sandwiching in 1993’s “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.” A diverse mix of easily recognized Bon Jovi radio hits, igniting a massive response was the Country Rock tingling “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” leading into the anthemic “It’s My Life” where everyone sang along. Sending shivers down the spines of all, Jon sang his heart out all while exchanging smiles in between breathes as he glanced out into the sea of people. Then it became even more personal as Jon broke down the story behind This House Is Not For Sale with the album’s artwork behind him, stating how he came across the picture back in 2015, immediately finding inspiration in it as a reflection of the long journey the band has been on. Going on to touch on the the work that went into the album and the foundation of a new chapter in Bon Jovi’s story, everyone was all ears before “New Year’s Day.”

Now given a touching and sincere look into the band’s past, present, and future, the music continued with more insight. From there it was more rocking as the entire band were as tight and on point musically as could be as they move on into “We Don’t Run,” “Scars on This Guitar,” and later on the Gospel-like “Lay Your Hands on Me.” Already covering a generous amount of material, the set began to reach its peak with older favorite “Born to Be My Baby,” newer favorite “Have A Nice Day,” the Metal leaning screamer “Bad Medicine” where Jon actually entered the crowd, and finally the arena-made “Keep the Faith.”

Briefly exiting, the band returned to the stage and Jon playfully led a brief chant of “Let’s Go Rangers,” no doubt in recognition of the team’s game one playoff win against the Montreal Canadiens the night prior. Even sporting a New York Rangers shirt, in a flash, the classic synth fired up and “Runaway” sent the crowd into a frenzy. As everyone’s heart raced, just like that, they were brought back down as Jon broke out the acoustic guitar to open 1988’s “Blood on Blood” before the entire band joined in, full backing vocals and all for a powerful, emotional rendition.

Keeping the acoustic guitar strapped on, Jon waited a moment as the rest of the band kicked into the signature western melody of “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Smiling as everyone began to sing along, before he could even get a word in, he then joined in and everyone sang together. Sweating, but without lack of energy, Jon and company saved the best for last as Phil X started the famous talkbox for the legendary “Livin’ on a Prayer.” A track that nearly everyone can relate to in some shape or form, it was a moment frozen in time as hands raised to the sky as everyone chanted the words as one.

What can one say about Bon Jovi’s live performance besides it was nothing less than pure energy. Showing no little sign of age, sure Jon is a little more gray, a little less agile, but this man and his band are all heart. Sincerely loving what they do, Bon Jovi do not just play hits like a jukebox, they offer life and hope in their shows. Now that the North American leg of the tour is all but concluded, after some much deserved rest, the guys will be back at it to play Endicott, New York come August before visiting Rio de Janeiro come September. Whenever they may go, Bon Jovi will always capture the souls of their audience, making them one of the best live bands out there. - Cryptic Rock

"Oak & Ash - 'Step Into The Light'"

Hailing from New York City, Oak & Ash is an alternative pop-rock group who is sure to spark attention in the music industry. In a short time, the group has taken the stage at renowned venues such as The Gramercy Theatre, Irving Plaza, The Paramount Theatre and Webster Hall. Members of the band include: Rich Tuorto, lead vocals and guitar; Chris Tuorto, guitar; Paul Gramigna, bass and Bryan Garbe on drums. In July 2015, the band released its debut EP titled ‘Slightly Reckless’ and is set to release a second EP that will include their newest single "Step Into The Light." “Step Into The Light” is a great way to step into the talent of Oak & Ash.

“Step Into the Light” opens with single chords strummed over light and melodic electronic nuances and a steady drum beat. Soon the percussion leads into a jamming track full of energy . Rich Tuorto enters on the first verse with pop-rock-perfect vocals (similar to Adam Levine) clear and bright above the mix. In the chorus, some light digital vocal effects add a great pop flavor to Rich’s timbre. The bass and percussion are tight and in–the-pocket yielding a contagious groove. A nice mid-section commences with ooo’s and oh’s against a snapping percussion that builds showcasing Oak & Ash’s strong songwriting skills. Overall the song is completely infectious and can rival any pop-rock song on the market today. It's chart ready and radio ready.

“Step Into the Light” is an amazing song displaying the diverse talent of Oak & Ash. There is no doubt, after experiencing this one tune, that Oak & Ash are ready to step into the big lights. Their music is available on iTunes. To learn more about the band, visit them on their website. - Indie Spoonful


Slightly Reckless EP - 2015



Oak & Ash is an American alternative pop/ rock band originating from New York. The group consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Rich Tuorto, lead guitarist Chris Tuorto, bass player Paul Gramigna, and drummer Bryan Garbe. The band formed in late 2014 and set out to change the landscape of the Pop/ Rock scene with a variety of soulfully written and performed original records. Their dancy beats, soaring guitar solos, and soulful vocals has been compared to a mix between Kings of Leon, The 1975, and Maroon 5.  

Almost three years after its formation, the group has booked renowned venues such as The Gramercy Theatre, Irving Plaza, Webster Hall, The Paramount Theatre, and most recently Madison Square Garden where they had the opportunity to open for Bon Jovi. They have also received recognition from groups such as Popular Magazine, PopDust, and Newsday. The band was recognized as "Long Islands Best Band" after winning Newsday's 2016 Battle of the Bands contest. In July 2015, the band released its debut EP, titled “Slightly Reckless” and is set to release a second EP in late 2017.

Band Members