Anthony Paul, James Erickson, Ron Torina, Sean Minardi, Paul John Cruz, Robert Epstein
ANTHONY PAUL - LEAD VOCAL
Performing the role of Dennis De Young and Tommy Shaw is Mr. Anthony Paul. Anthony, a Styx fan ever since trying to catch and record off of AM radio “Come Sail Away” on a little AM/FM/cassette combo is a veteran of the Cub/Bar/Theater/ Festival/Town/Show/ Jones Beach Scene on the Island for over 20 years. You name the place and chances are he has performed there. The most notable amongst the bands he has played with during those years were the popular average joe, The Lucky Stiffs, Elton John Tribute Rocket Man and what many considered to be the most authentic sounding Rush Tribute of its time 2112. For many years he studied vocal techniques under Dominique Gizelle. Alongside Dennis DeYoung, Anthony cites a long, wide and varied list of inspirations, favorites and guilty pleasures… Steve Perry, Rob Halford, Adele, Freddie Mercury, Bruce Dickinson, Ray Gillen, Ann Wilson, Ronnie James Dio, Lou Gramm, Robert Plant, Geddy Lee, Carole King, Steve Marriott, Russell Hitchcock, Ian Gillan, King Diamond, Geoff Tate, Michael Sweet, Rik Emmett, Mickey Thomas, Randy Jackson, Kelly Hansen, Jimi Jamison, Arnel Pineda, Barry Manilow, Mark Boals, Tony Harnell and Deen Castronovo. Anthony also plays guitar, bass and drums, has a ton of experience as a live sound engineer and also owned his own sound reinforcement company. Anthony is super excited being the lead vocalist for Return To Paradise as the band brings great opportunity to sing for the masses so he can show the world his impeccable reproduction of the amazing voices of Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw!
JAMES ERICKSON - GUITAR
James Erickson has an active career teaching classical and rock guitar throughout the New York metropolitan area and Long Island. James is an adjunct instructor of music at Nassau Community College, LIU Post, and Suffolk County Community College. James holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music history and performance from Long Island University, where he was awarded “Outstanding Performance in Guitar Studies”. As a classical guitar soloist, James has performed on tour in the United States, Europe, and Canada in both solo and ensemble musical performances. As an electric guitarist, his studies have included lessons from jazz guitarist Howard Morgen and rock virtuoso Paul Gilbert. James has an extensive recording and performing experience and is currently involved in many diverse musical projects ranging from classical to rock. He has opened for many national acts including Taj Mahal, Arlo Guthrie, Saigon Kick and Twisted Sister. He has also performed the guitar parts for many theatrical productions including “Hair”, “Anything Goes”, "Camp Rock", "Fiddler on the Roof" and “Seussical”. James has also composed and recorded the soundtrack/score for several local independent films. His experience with tribute bands include the music of Johnny Cash, the “Classic Albums Live” touring band, and the music of George Harrison. A huge fan of the arena rock and progressive rock genres, James is thrilled to be joining “Return to Paradise” and performing the music of Styx.
RON TORINA - GUITAR
Ron began his musical journey as a child, having joined his first rock band at the age of 12. He is an established guitar player, performing both locally in the NY music scene, as well as appearing on stages across the eastern seaboard. Having experience in many different styles of music, he has contributed his guitar work in both live and studio settings, with projects in the Rock, Blues, R&B, Country, and Roots/Americana genres. In addition, he has provided guitar for numerous theater productions, as well as enjoying working as a guitar/music instructor.
Having been influenced by many of the great musical artists of the 60’s and 70’s, some of his favorites are Led Zeppelin, Beatles, The Allman Brothers Band and many more. Ron spends much of his spare time visiting guitar shops, as well as repairing, researching, practicing, and living all things guitar. “I am happy to be playing the great musical catalog of the legendary group Styx, with the stellar musicians in the Return to Paradise Band.”
SEAN MINARDI - DRUMS,KEYS,VOCALS
Playing the role of John Anthony Panozzo for Return To Paradise is a rare Lead-Singing Vocalist/ Drummer Sean Minardi. From Patchogue Long Island, and a musically talented family, Sean is a veteran of professional touring nationally and internationally and has done numerous recording projects. His influences are Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, John Bohnam, Keith Moon, Phil Collins, Max Weinberg and of course, John Panozzo and Todd Sucherman. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, he has cultivated the playing style and stage antics and pride of John Panozzo. Sean has been performing in the New York City/Long Island area since he was four years old. You will recognize Sean Minardi with Moving Pictures—A RUSH Tribute, The Wood Vibrations, Wax ‘R Back and Long Island Blues Festival Standouts Jacks O’ Diamonds. Sean hopes you will come and check out "Return To Paradise" to see what all of the fuss is about!
PAUL JOHN CRUZ - BASS, KEYS,VOCALS
Paul is a veteran bass guitarist for over 30 years with a college background as a music major along with an extensive history of live performance, studio recording, music teaching and songwriting. Paul, also a keyboardist, guitarist and drummer has training in audio technology and home studio recording. He has performed with opening acts performing with national acts such as Night Ranger, Fishbone, and G.E Smith. Paul has privately studied with many bass guitar legends such as the legendary Jerry Jemmott; who was the backbone of a consortium of the world’s greatest rhythm sections for artists such as Duane Allman, Herbie Hancock, and Bernard Purdie just to name a few. Jerry was also a longtime friend to the world famous jazz bassist Mr. Jaco Pastorious (Deceased 1987). Through private lessons, Jerry shared with Paul many musical documentations hand written by Jaco himself. Paul also studied with bass guitar virtuoso Randy Coven: performed with Brian Setzer, Alan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell along with many other famous artists. Paul has performed with groups over the years such as Nova who aired on MTV along with several tri state cable television network interviews with a tour of the east coast from Boston to Florida ending with an opening concert for the band Fishbone at the China Club in NYC. Paul also has an extensive history as a musical director and band leader for several projects over the years. Paul quotes, “ I love many genres of music, but I have always been a big fan of classic rock. When Arena rock began with such bands as Journey, Boston, Genesis, and Styx, they brought lots of vocal harmony to assist the lead singer. This created a vocal wall of sound that changed rock and roll forever. Styx brings such a wide variety of vocal harmony, emotion and dynamics to their music. It is a real honor to be performing with these world class musicians performing the music of Styx and I am very proud to be the bassist of one of the best Styx Tribute bands in the country “Return To Paradise”.
ROB EPSTEIN - KEYBOARDS, VOCALS
Rob Epstein joined his first band at the age of 12 playing the music of the Doors, Stones, Who, ect. and a variety of originals. After g High school, Rob graduated from Berklee College of Music with degrees in Music Synthesis and Music Education. While teaching music, Rob was fortunate enough to cut a CD with original progressive project Strange Embrace. Following this, Rob became a member of the Frank Zappa tribute Band Cosmik Debris and gigged with Zappa front man Ike Willis.This led to the opportunity to join the Genesis tribute band Project Genesis. Rob has played live for the past 40 years all over the New York area. Rob states, “I couldn’t be more excited to be a member of Return to Paradise. I have always loved the music of Styx and look forward to keeping Dennis DeYoung’s amazing keyboard playing alive.”