HistoryThe band began in 2011 under the name "True Fire Band" with TROZ guitar, Ewin Grace drums, Greg Avants bass and David Washington keyboard/lead vocals. This section is dedicated to past members who have played out with us. True Fire Band only lasted for one show and you can see videos of it here.
Ewin Grace | Drums
Ewin Grace, True Fire's drummer, is originally from Texas, where he cut his teeth playing Country in some of the same Fort Worth and Austin honky tonks and outdoor venues where Willie Nelson got his start. During college years, he was a Percussive Arts major at the University of North Texas, and minored in small combo jazz and also played in the North Texas Lab Bands. While studying at North Texas, he drove back to Fort Worth each weekend to play in a band with Ornette Coleman's blues-singing sister, pianist/trombonist Trudy Coleman Leach. He later moved to New York City where he studied privately for a year with John Coltrane's drummer, Elvin Jones. While in NYC, Ewin gigged extensively for over two years with a band composed entirely of Ray Charles band alums (including reedman Mack Goldsbury and Ray's feature trumpet soloist Day Kelly and others, as well as members of the New York Philharmonic). In California Ewin has done session work, and has played in numerous L.A. and Orange County jazz, rock, post-punk, alternative, blues, R&B, funk and fusion bands, including several with True Fire's lead guitarist, Troz. Ewin has also played on the Worship Team at Saddleback Church, as well as playing percussion for a well-loved R&B singer at the National Day of Prayer in one of CBS' larger studios, with approximately three thousand people from the entertainment industry in attendance, including actors, directors, screenwriters, producers and others. Ewin loves taking music international, and in the 1990's led a music group that played concerts in every major prison in Taiwan, Republic of China.
David Washington | Keyboards & Lead Vocals
David's musical career began with singing in choir around age 7. His young alto voice has matured into a medium-high tenor over the years. His keyboard experience began with piano lessons when he announced to his parents that he wanted to play gospel like the pianist in church. Those lessons only lasted three years before he discovered that he could easily pick out songs by ear.
David has played in several bands and performed in numerous venues and locations since the age of 16. He is strongest in playing popular rock and mildly progressive music and has been deeply influenced by Santana, Jethro Tull, Kansas and Sting. David is fascinated with making odd-time signatures easily listenable. David likes a good story and endeavors to write songs that make people think and feel deeply. Again, Sting leads the way in songwriting influence, along with Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Don Henley and countless others.
Greg Avants | Bass & Back up Vocals
Greg Avants started learning the trumpet at age 7 in Southern California. While performing at a Miss Universe pageant in Long Beach, Ca, he saw Dick Dale playing his Gold Metalflake Stratocaster in front of cheering fans. He knew that's what he wanted to do. He has been playing guitar and bass since. He has played in many styles from Surf to British Invasion, Psyhcedelic 60's, Hard Rock 70's, funk, jazz, blues and back to Classic Rock and Fusion jazz. Greg has played with several successful groups-The Emperors, X.S. Baggage, Trust, Susan West, The Mood Swings Big Band, Renavants Jazz Trio and now South Of Mars. He has performed with artists such as The Righteous Brothers, Bobby Cochran, Troy Walker, Pat Collins among others. Greg holds a degree in music from Long Beach City College.
Chuck Schmedeke | Drummer
Chuck Schmedeke has been playing drums since the age of three when he delighted his parents by playing his mashed potatoes. He has been pounding on various drum-shaped objects ever since and has done so all over the world. Touring in Panama, he was held at machine-gun point by Noriega's thugs as a member of Ralph and the Big White Phone. He rolled up the streets of Vegas for several years with country greats Killin' Time. He's played with such names as Bo Diddley, Firefall, Toby Keith, Keith Urban and others. He continues to hone his skills in an ever-ascending quest to find that universal groove, become totally harmonic with the ultimate enlightenment of the universe. A hundred bucks a night and he's yours.
Karen Zogg | Lead Vocals
Karen started performing at the young age of 10 and has spent much of her life in front of audiences. She has opened for such bands as Little Feat and can count the members as good friends. In addition to rock and jazz, Karen has performed with many classical singing groups from quartets and chamber singers to large Southern California Chorales.
Mike Myers | Drums/Vocals
Mike was born in sunny southern CA. back in the days of the covered wagon. He has managed to forge out and survive a life of drumming, playing and singing. He has performed with numerous artists which include Sting, The naked eye, Donvan Frankenreiter and Brenda Harp, just to name a few. His technical training begain when Mike was a mere 5 years old at Wallaces Music City in Lakewood CA. Mike's piano and vocal training was formed from church where he performed with a choir and contemporary worship team for many years. With this latest project Mike is holding down the position of drummer and vocals.