The Legendary Dukes are an exciting, high energy, hard driving band with a historical pedigree that few other band can claim.
In the fall of 1957 in the small town of Geneva, NY, Ron Alberts, Ralph Gillotte, and Wilmer Alexander Jr. got together to start a band. Wilmer sang and played saxophone, and the band was managed by Ebo Alberts, the father of the drummer, Ronnie Alberts, and the bassist, Monte Alberts. Something clicked not only with the band members but with audiences. It turned out to be just the right chemistry and The Dukes found themselves in constant demand performing for over capacity crowds. They had a busy schedule performing 7 to 9 times a week in some cases during the 1960’s.
Being one of the most popular bands in the New York state area gave them the opportunity to open for and/or to perform with some of the most popular national acts of the day. The Dukes shared the stage with such acts as; The Association, Screamin` Jay Hawkins, the Bellmontes, Johnny Cash, Dionne Warwick and Blood, Sweat and Tears. The band's first single was an original dance track by guitarist Brown called "Give Me One More Chance", and was released in the spring of 1968 recorded their 1st and only album, the self titled “Wilmer Alexander Jr. and the Dukes”. It got heavy play on stations in upper New York State, and was a top 40 hit in several East Coast markets. The song became an instant hit and climbed up the Billboard charts. Soon after, the Dukes started playing all over the country.
It was a unique time for bands and they were glad to have been a part of a great musical era, but times and the musical climate had changed. In 1974 Wilmer Alexander and the Dukes decided to disband. The members went their own ways to pursue their own lives and other musical endeavors. Fast forward to 1988, Wilmer was not in good health and Ron Alberts’ sister had the idea to have a reunion show to raise money to help with Wilmer’s medical bills. Two shows were booked and scheduled with a sell out crowd. The two reunion shows gave birth or to the band that lives today, now called The Legendary Dukes.
In February 1999, the original organist Ralph Gillotte, “The Master” of the Hammond B-3 organ passed away. Ralph was an integral part of the Dukes sound.Our second big crossroads happened in July 2004, Ron Alberts, the last remaining member of the original Wilmer and the Dukes, retired from active performing. Drummer and vocalist Joe Pizzo joined the Dukes and has since become a fantastic addition. The Legendary Dukes have been going strong since those first two shows and have gotten stronger and busier as the years have gone by. The Dukes are now fronted by two great vocalists/musicians bass player Eric “ Mitty “ Moore and guitarist Steve Lyons.The Dukes rythm section is one of the strongest around, and the Dukes three piece horn sectionis incredible. 2007 also marks the addition of our newest member multi-keyboardist Jason Muskopf.
The Legendary Dukes have recorded two more CDs since the reformation of the band. The 1994 effort "Committed To Soul” and the self-produced 2004 release "See The World From The Side Of The Road”.Both of which are available along with the original "Wilmer & The Dukes" recording.
The Year 2007 marks a major milestone for The Dukes, 50 Years of performing and being an incredible and still viable band in an ever increasingly fickle world of music. One thing remains constant that is the Legendary Dukes still perform with the energy that drew their first audiences 50 years ago.
Steve Lyons: Guitar, Lead & Background Vocals
Eric "Mitty" Moore: Bass, Lead & Background Vocals
"Smokin`" Joe Pizzo: Drums, Lead & Background Vocals
Nick Moses: Trumpet, Flugel-horn, Flute, percussion & Background Vocals
David A. DeWitt: Trombone, Flute, Piccolo, Percussion, Lead & Background Vocals
Bill Hooper: Sound-Tech, DJ
Jason Muskopf: Keyboards, Background Vocals
Christine Papp: Lead & Background Vocals, Percussion
Ken Foster: Saxophones, Flute, Flugel-horn, Background Vocals,& Percussion
James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Al Green, Chicago, The Temptations, Motown, Stax, Grassroots, Paul Simon, Robert Palmer, Etc..
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 120 - 180 minutes
The typical Dukes show consists of 3 one hour sets with 2 1/2 hour breaks, however this can be modified to work within the paramiters of any given event. Example - Two one & 1/2 hour sets. When performing at Weddings , we will modify the sets to best fit with the flow of the reception.
12' x 25' stage area
minimum 4 seperate 20 amp circuts
Two hour set-up/Load-in time before event begins
1) 4 - seperate 20 amp circuits are needed
2) Band must have Two hours before the event starts to set-up/Load-in
3) A space must be made available across from the band for the Sound-tech
4) If The Band is performing more than 2 Hours away from Rochester, rooms
must be provided.
5) Dinner will be provided for the Band (Please no Pizza or Deli Platters).
6) Please try to have atleast a 12' X 25' performance/stage space.
The Legendary Dukes cater each performance to each specific event and the audience attanding.
Past Booked Dates:
01-30-2010 — Saint Gabrielle`s Church 26th Annual Fund Raiser, Buffalo, NY
01-16-2010 — Blue Moon Ball @ The Corning Glass Museum, Corning , NY
11-27-2009 — Post Thanksgiving party @ Pineapple Jack`s - Rochester, NY
10-10-2009 — East Ridge High School Class of 1969 Reunion, Rochester, NY
08-23-2009 — Lyell Ave. Music Festival - Headline Act - Rochester, NY
07-25-2009 — Carpenter Wedding - Williamsport, PA
Available for Your
Anniversary Party, Awards Night, Bachelor Party, Bachelorette Party, Bar/Lounge, Birthday Party, Casino, Club/Nightclub, Concert Venue, Corporate Event, Dinner Dance, Festival, Fundraiser, Graduation, Grand Opening, Hotel, Launch Party, Private Party, Prom, Restaurant, Sporting Event, Studio Session, Trade Show, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Reception
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