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NYC, NEW YORK, USA
The Bellmore Theater, The Roxy Theater, Paramount Theater, Queens College
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BIOGRAPHY & DESCRIPTION
CLASSIC SOUL brought to you by THE FELLAS
The Fellas were formed in the summer of 1991. The group consisted of founding members, Joe Rivera III (lead vocals/1st tenor), Ricardo Wright (lead vocals/1st tenor) and Andrew 'Drew' Rhoden (lead vocals/2nd tenor) and Anthony Cooper, Jr. (lead vocals/baritone/bass), who proved to be a perfect addition to the group in July 1991. A pre-cursor to the Fellas was the group, Vision, founded by Luis Mercado, Ricardo Wright, Joe Rivera III & Andrew Rhoden.
The Fellas are patterned after the Temptations, whose style allows anyone to step out front and sing lead, without compromising the harmony. Not wanting to be known as an "oldies" group, The Fellas are also armed with original material catered to the adult audience. Artists that influenced The Fellas (besides Motown acts) are The O'Jays, The Manhattans, The Spinners, Rachelle Farrell, Marvin Gaye, Will Downing and Phil Perry, to name a few.
Today in 2011, original members Ricardo Wright and Joe Rivera III have reunited to perpetuate Classic Soul music, along with JoQuae DeVonish, a memeber of the latter lineup of the Fellas and Luis 'Blue' Mercado, a founding member of Vision. Classic Soul returns from Detroit, MI and New York City.
- JoQuae began singing at a very early age. At the age of 10 he sang with the group Soul Direction and had his first stage perfomance.As a young man, in the early 90's JoQuae met Joe Rivera through mutual friend, Anthony Warr in 1993. This was when he began to sing with the Fellas. So afterwards the members of the group went on to lead their lives and in 2009 The Fellas reconnected. JoQuae currently sings lead & first tenor.
- Roman got his first break in the industry as a member of Black & Latino Rap group THE MEAN MACHINE out of New York City. They were signed to the same record label as THE SUGARHILL GANG in the late 1970's. Roman brought his crooning skills to the group. In 1984 he and Joe Rivera III co-founded R&B band PERFECTION. During the group's 2 year history, PERFECTION was the houseband on the record 'Don't Let Them Starve' produced by Arthur Crier, Eugene Thompkins and Jay Siegel (lead singer of THE TOKENS of 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' fame). In 2011 Joe & Roman have reunited to bring back Classic Soul.
JOE RIVERA III
- Joe started his career in high school where he co founded an acapella group. After high school he played keyboards and sang lead in a few local R&B bands. In 1991, Joe cofounded The Fellas with Ricardo Wright. The group disbanded in 1993. Afterwards Joe went on to sing with NYC doowop group Earl Lewis & The Channels from 1995 to 2009. In November 2009, the Fellas regrouped with Joe doing leads and singing 1st tenor, 2nd tenor and baritone backup vocals. He also scores out all music for the group. Joe was inducted into the DooWopp Hall of Fame in 2007 as a member of Earl Lewis & The Channels.
RICARDO E. WRIGHT
- Ricardo started his singing career with his two sisters. Afterwards he moved to NYC to pursue an acting career where he was a member of The National Black Theater, touring across the USA and abroad in Asia. In 1989 he joined R&B band CLOUT where he was the lead singer and he met keyboardist Joe Rivera III. When the band parted ways, he and Joe co-founded The Fellas. In November 2009, Ricardo returned to The Fellas where he sings lead, 1st tenor, 2nd tenor and baritone background.
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