What do you get when you showcase a diverse lineup of original singer/songwriter/performers backed by a killer team of world-class musicians? An incredible evening of live performances consisting of nothing but hits!
Lance Hoppen is a bassist, guitarist, singer/songwriter and producer, best known as one of the co-founding original members of the band Orleans (“Still the One,” “Dance With Me,” etc.). At the SAMMYS, he will act as the Musical Director of Rock Unlimited. A native New Yorker, Hoppen moved to Nashville in 1989 to become part of the hit country act Baillie & the Boys. From there, he went on to tour with numerous acts and has played on the same stages as most of Nashville’s greats. He has also worked with dozens of his contemporaries, including Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals), John Cafferty (The Beaver Brown Band), Jimi Jamison (Survivor), Don Barnes (38 Special), David Pack (Ambrosia), Spencer Davis, John Ford-Coley and many more.
Jerry Riggs loves performing with the all-star lineup known as Rock Unlimited, but he has played guitar and recorded music for many other bands throughout his storied career. His first release was with the band Riggs in 1981 for the Heavy Metal soundtrack album, earning him a gold record. He joined the Pat Travers Band in 1983, recording three albums and touring extensively for 10 years. Having opened for bands such as Rush and Ted Nugent, he brings a variety of experiences and musical influences to events like the SAMMYS.
Turning “pro” in the mid-1970s, Charlie Morgan got into the session scene in the UK and very quickly became one of the busiest drummers in Europe, working with such diverse artists as Kate Bush, Tina Turner, Gary Moore and Wham! In the mid-1980s, he became Elton John’s regular drummer (a post he would hold for the next 13 years). He now works regularly with the classic rock band Orleans and records for clients all over the world, including Barry Manilow, Mexican superstars Manuel Mijares and Uri and Young Latin Grammy nominee Alexander Acha.
John Jorgenson has earned a reputation as a world-class musician and guitarist, collaborating with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt and Bob Dylan. In addition to acoustic and electric guitars, he is regularly featured on the saxophone, clarinet, bouzouki, pedal steel, mandolin and vocals. He has garnered recognition for contributing to numerous platinumselling and Grammy-winning albums. Legends like Elton John and Earl Scruggs and guitarists such as Tommy Emmanuel, Peter Frampton and Brad Paisley have sung Jorgenson’s praises for leaving a lasting legacy in the art of guitar performance.
Lane Hoppen has played with many well-known artists, such as Little Anthony, Gary U.S. Bonds, Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals), Leroy Parnell, Chris Barron (Spin Doctors), Jimi Jamison (Survivor), Joe Bouchard (Blue Öyster Cult) and Edgar Winter. He is a longstanding member of Orleans, along with his brother Lance. He doesn’t have far to travel to the SAMMYS, because he currently lives near Orlando. He is in high demand around Central Florida and is never short of opportunities to play.
Currently the bass player for 38 Special, Barry Dunaway is also known for his work with Swedish heavy-metal guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. In the late 1980s and 1990s, he performed on nine of Malmsteen’s albums—two of which, Facing the Animal and Alchemy, have a gold status in Japan. To his credit, Dunaway also has four world tours with Malmsteen. During his 40-plus years, he has also had the pleasure of performing with many other prominent musicians, such as Survivor, The Pat Travers Band, Joe Lynn Turner and Saraya.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Manuel Quintana is an in-demand drummer and percussionist based in New York’s Hudson Valley. His work ranges from acoustic minimalist to electronica and noise, from roots rock to Afro-Cuban and everything in between—blending styles and adding his own sound. Some of his current projects include drumming/ touring for Rachael Yamagata and writing and performing with instrumental exploratory groove trio NEQ. Manuel has performed with countless other acts over the years, including Robbie Dupree, Duke McVinnie and Orleans.
Jonell Mosser has provided backing vocals for a who’s who of performers, including Etta James, Delbert McClinton, Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna Judd, Kristin Chenoweth and Bruce Cockburn. When superproducer Don Was started his own project called The New Maroons with Benmont Tench (of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Ringo Starr and Mark Goldenberg, Mosser was his first and only female vocal choice. She has been packing in crowds for over three decades. Her latest release Fortunes Lost, Fortunes Told shows a woman at the height of her talent.
The top-of-the-line production of the SAMMYS wouldn’t be possible without the talents of those behind the scenes, including our seasoned production manager and the fully trained staff of Hard Rock® Live Orlando. These dedicated professionals make sure our visiting artists can put on a show like no other.
The owner and COO of Spotted Dog Live, LLC, Brian is a 25-year veteran of the live concert production industry. He began his touring career as Matchbox 20’s inaugural Front of House engineer, and has since toured in various capacities with acts ranging from Linda Ronstadt to The Chainsmokers. His experience includes working as a production manager, stage manager, tour manager, site manager and artist manager.
His event management experience includes 12 years with UltraFest and Road to Ultra, two years with AEG’s Panorama Festival and a Day to Remember’s upcoming Self Help Festival Series. Prior to establishing Spotted Dog Live, he was the technical director for Hard Rock Live Orlando, where he established himself as an innovative corporate event designer while overseeing more than 250 live shows and events a year.
SAMMYS veteran Marc Lewis brings 25 years of audio engineering experience. That includes tours and festivals, as well as production management and mixing for acts like Orleans and Rock Unlimited. He has worked with U.S. Presidents, toured in Iraq for the military, mixed NBA games in China and more. He has also spent over three decades as a professional drummer, recording and touring with groups including A Flock of Seagulls.
Colleen oversees the development, direction and implementation of live music events and brand partnerships for Hard Rock International in an effort to evolve Hard Rock’s live music programs and enhance its guest experiences. She joined Hard Rock in 2000 as Talent Buyer, where she oversaw the booking of Hard Rock Live Orlando. Prior to joining Hard Rock, she held the position of Booking Manager at House of Blues Orlando.