Sonic Playground
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Sonic Playground

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The best kept secret in music


"Sonic Playground @ Hard Rock Hotel Velvet Sessions, April 2004 Concert Review"

Classic Rock Revisited presents another concert review...

Glenn Hughes
Velvet Sessions, Hard Rock Hotel
Orlando, Florida
April 29, 2004

It was the last Thursday of the month, and time for another classic rock concert at Hard Rock Hotel's Velvet Sessions. This month was a gem, Glenn Hughes. Glenn has had a long, prolific career starting with Trapeze, Deep
Purple, and a short stint with Black Sabbath. He has continued putting out great original music with various collaborative (Hughes/Turner, Hughes/Thrall) and solo projects up to the present.

The opening band, Sonic Playground, started the night off well with their Rush tribute set, a mix of covers and their Rush-inspired original songs. The Velvet Sessions crowd rarely pays much attention to the opening band, but this one grabbed their attention from the very start. They were impressive with their choice of songs and display of musicianship.

Between bands, the hotel played a video montage of Glenn's past appearances at Hard Rock, spliced together with older footage of him playing with Deep Purple. They also included a video of a live performance by the Red
Hot Chili Peppers, in honor of Chad Smith's playing drums behind Glenn for the night's concert. It was the perfect way to get the audience revved up for the show to follow. etc etc:

entire review can be seen at:
- Classic Rock Revisited

"Band makes music their ‘Sonic Playground’"

Band makes music their ‘Sonic Playground’
By: Kat Coffin, Contributor

One of the most solidly booked bands in Central Florida has to be Sonic Playground. There isn’t a weekend on their schedule that isn’t full, sometimes even two shows in one day. There’s a secret to being so busy; Sonic Playground is actually three bands in one.

They are a cover band (a band that plays other bands’ hit songs), an original band (a band that writes and performs its own songs) and also a Rush tribute band under the name Toronto Airport.

Sonic Playground’s on-stage persona changes from gig to gig, depending upon the requirements of the venue and the crowd. They can be playful and comedic, or stoic, depending upon the type of show. They have an extensive list of cover tunes they perform, anything from the ’60s up to today’s chart toppers.

If a request comes in for a song not on their play list, they will usually try to wing it, often with interesting results. While it can stagnate a band doing so many cover gigs, it also allows them to keep working at what they love – making music.

Even though the band’s character changes from gig to gig, the high caliber musicianship does not, which is evident in every note. The band members work hard at perfecting their craft. All three band members have an extensive history in creative arts.

Drummer Reed Hayes has been in numerous bands since he was a teenager. He runs his own recording studio, Reedcording Productions, and an Internet radio station Chimpsy Radio. “I can’t live without creating music in my studio or with the band,” said Hayes.

“I do all kinds of recording by myself, and I know a lot of musicians that I do recording projects with. All kinds of things inspire me to want to write and record, anything from shopping to Lord of the Rings.”

Guitarist Sean Ghannam has worked in various branches of the entertainment industry. He graduated from UCF with a BA degree in motion picture technology. He started out with traditional and computer animation, later switching to live action production in television commercials, music videos, television shows, and feature films. After growing tired of the stresses of the movie business, he went back to working as a pro-level musician.

Outside of his work with Sonic Playground/Toronto Airport, Ghannam works with many other local musicians such as Craig Zavett and Jeff Coffey, and also gives private guitar lessons in Orlando. “I have always been fascinated by music and musicians,” said Ghannam. “It’s something that was in me as far back as I can remember. I used to watch ‘Hee Haw’ with Buck Owens and Roy Clark and see them tear it up on the guitars – that made a big impression on me at an early age. I also loved to watch the Lawrence Welk show with my grandparents. This really exposed me to many musical styles which I still appreciate to this day.”

Ghannam has his own recording studio, Sonic Playground Studios (founded in 1996), where he does freelance sound design and original music composition for video games, radio, and television. In 2001, Sean Ghannam also released a solo project, “Fusia,” an instrumental CD with a blend of rock and jazz fusion.

Lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboard player Chad Kulscar was a music major at UCF. He has a background in classical music, and was a French horn major in college.

“My earliest memories include music,” said Kulscar. “I can remember my brothers, my sister, and I jamming with invisible instruments along with old Def Leppard or Triumph albums while the parents were away bowling on Friday nights. Oddly enough, I was always the drummer.”

Their sound is often classed as progressive rock with jam band characteristics. The Rush influences are very prominent in their original music, while still maintaining it’s own flavor. “Sonic Playground is a mix of progressive rock, art rock, funk and jazz,” said Ghannam. “It’s a direct descendant of ’70s progressive rock and fusion.”

Sonic Playground is in the process of mixing their debut CD with award winning engineer/producer Steve Hardy, for release later this year. “We recorded our CD at our own home studios,” said Hayes. “It’s a very nice way to work. The three of us have our own recording facilities, so I do my drum tracks and give them to Chad; he does his parts then passes it on to Sean. So far it’s been working out great.”

The Internet has played a pivotal role in the band’s success sofar in their career. The band is not limited to just regional fans to listen to their music, and purchase their CDs.

“I think self-promotion has become a major part of being an artist because of the internet,” said Kulscar. “Individuals don’t necessarily have to rely on a big promotions firm or record company to push them. Also, a guy like me at his computer can spread the word all over the world. I have had people from countries like Japan, England, and Sweden email me inquiring about our CD because they heard a clip on our website.”

“I think we have a lot of growth ahead of us, I’m thinking more into the next few CD’s before we can really define our sound,” said Hayes. “But the musical path we’re on is exactly what I want. I really like the music we have now. I know we’re going to get better at this, that’s the exciting thing about being in a band, making even better music than you did before.”

You can check them out yourself this weekend – the band will be playing at Cheer’s in Lake Mary on Aug. 19 and 20.

To learn more about the band and to hear samples visit
- East Orlando publication


Sonic Playground is currently working on our debut CD with NYC based co-producer, engineer Steve Hardy. Steve has Platinum Credits, numerous Grammy Award nominations and has built an impressive discography, including multi-platinum records such as Carlos Santana's "Supernatural" and Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life, Vol.2" (both Grammy winners!). Also known as a creative rock and jazz mixer, Steve's work has been showcased on records by Cassandra Wilson, Ronny Jordan, and indie favorite Mars Needs Women. Steve's skill as a Pro Tools engineer has been put to good use by Prince, Whitney Houston, and Pink.

Sean Edward Ghannam "Fusia",

"Fusia" is an eclectic self titled progressive rock/fusion instrumental project released in 2001. "Fusia" receives radio airplay in many countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Iran and Tokyo on diverse non-commercial radio. "Fusia" is also getting radio airplay on various U.S. based college "underground" radio stations.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Sonic Playground consists of three serious musicians who balance their musical prowess with a silly sense of humor, carefree charisma and a unique character. Sonic Playground stays true to themselves as musicians, writers and performers while striving for perfection and creativity. Sonic Playground is influenced by many styles of music -from great songwriting groups like The Beatles to more eclectic jazz rock groove bands like Steely Dan and Frank Zappa. Sonic Playground is significantly influenced by the Canadian Progressive Rock trio, Rush.

The 3 members of Sonic Playground strive to be great players, songwriters and arrangers. What sets them apart from the most common bands today is their unique sound and style, their ambition for playing their instruments to the best of their abilities and their dedication to music as an art form. Sonic Playground is associated with the "jam band" genre and shares many of the same characteristics featured in that style of music.

Sonic Playground has performed literally thousands of shows and has opened for many famous national acts. Sonic Playground is gaining an international fan base due to the fact that they also double as a successful Rush tribute act named "Toronto Airport" (or YYZ). The Rush tribute band started in 1992 as "Rushour" and later "2112" which extensively toured the USA from 1993 to 1998. More recently, the Rush tribute band performed for the international Rush convention in Toronto, Canada for two years in a row. (

Sonic Playground reached the #1 spot on Sonicbids "Top Booked Artists" Chart and consistently stays within the Sonicbids "Top Ten Booked Artists" Chart.