Meet the band behind the music
Karen and Richard Carpenter often kept things simple on stage, performing as just a duo. But to create the full, rich sound we all love on their albums, they had several additional musicians join in, making lush arrangements and creating unforgettable music. To bring you that same sound, Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters features Lisa Rock on lead vocals with her 6-piece backing band.
Considered one of the best vocalists of all time, Karen Carpenter captured the attention of a generation with her unabashedly catchy pop music. The Carpenters’ beautiful, memorable love songs topped the Billboard charts with more than a dozen number one hits. Close to You: The Music of The Carpenters brings these classics back to the stage with spot-on renditions performed by singer Lisa Rock and her 6-piece band.
Lisa Rock has been performing to sold-out crowds for years. She’s written more than 15 original concerts and cabarets that have been seen across the country. Now, Rock has arranged a 6-piece band, complete with back-up singers, and together they are dedicated to creating a Carpenters experience like no other. Rock’s amazing four octave range allows her to sing the hits like “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays” in their original key, keeping the songs genuine and more recognizable for the audience. “When she hits the lower range of her marvelous voice,” notes critic Alan Bresloff, “if you close your eyes, you can see Karen Carpenter’s face.”
Eric Engelson (drums) A self taught musician since the age of 3, Eric turned his passion into his profession five years ago. Though his home is typically that seedy underbelly of the Chicago theater community known as the musicians' pit, you can occasionally see Eric with Alien Queen or as a sub musician for Million Dollar Quartet. Eric has been fortunate to work on productions with Chicago Childrens' Theater, House Theater, Stage Door Fine Arts, Bailiwick Theater, Studio BE, Circle Theater, Strawdog Theater, Columbia College, The New Colony and of course, Redmoon.
Justin Boller (bass/guitar) has performed extensively throughout the Chicago area in numerous rock bands, brass quintets, orchestras, musical pits, Polka bands, jazz and Dixieland combos, and New Orleans “second line” groups. Some venues have included the Metropolis Theater, Genesee Theater, the United Center, Fox Theater in Boulder, CO, House of Blues, Crobar, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, England, various parades and beer tents, and even the Jerry Springer show! When he’s not performing on tuba, guitar, or bass he works at a Chicago-based microphone company by day. Justin also enjoys cycling, grilling, starry nights, and long walks on the beach.
Amy Malouf (backup vocals/percussion) is extremely honored and excited to be a part of Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters. She has been seen as an actress and singer all over the Chicagoland area and just spent the holidays performing in Shedd Aquarium's A Holiday Fantasea. Other recent credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Pump Boys and Dinettes and Baby at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. Amy holds a B.A. in musical theatre from Illinois State University and is a company member at Northbrook Theatre for Young Audiences. Singing great music with great people onstage—it doesn’t get much better than this!
Ken McMullen (piano) is a professional musician in the Chicago area performing theatre and cabaret shows for numerous venues such as Theatre at the Center, Drury Lane Oakbrook, the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Davenports and various other community theatres in this area. He is also the principle pianist at the Lincolnshire Academy of Dance, and teaches private piano and voice. Ken is honored to be part of this great band.
Dave Orlicz (woodwinds/EWI/harmonica/keyboard) performs regularly throughout the Chicago area. He plays primarily with jazz and theatre groups at venues that include Jazz Showcase, Fitzgerald’s Nightclub, House of Blues and Drury Lane Theater. During the day (and a lot of evenings) David is the Assistant Band Director at Hoffman Estates High School, where he has worked since 2003. When not performing or teaching, he serves as a founding member of the Board of Directors for Normal Moments, Inc., a non-profit that provides support to parents of critically ill and medically fragile children.
Micky York (backup vocals/keyboards/harp/drums) is an award-winning musical director, composer and designer whose work has been seen in theatres throughout the Chicagoland area, as well as regionally in Des Moines, Kansas City and Atlanta. He is currently the resident musical director at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, IL and an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago. Micky also regularly performs with Lisa and Amy as one third of The Wine Trio and has been known to sneak Kelly Clarkson songs into cocktail hour when playing the harp at weddings.