The musicians in Prime Time come from various backgrounds, but all share one common thread, the ability to play at a high level and their devotion to their craft. Each member lends their voice to the band, singing backup or lead on various tunes. Here is a brief synposis of each member's musical history.
Brian Bird is well known for his many musical talents not only in Syracuse, NY but throughout central New York for over 20 years. Having the ability to play all of the woodwinds and brass instruments as well as being a vocal powerhouse has made Brian very successful as a musician. Brian has been a key player in many of the successful bands locally as well as nationally recognized groups that have allowed him to share the stage with Nick and the Nice Guys, The Sharp Dressed Penguins, New Day, Atlas, John Puma and the Dangerous Horns, Afterfx and Primetime. He has also had the privilege to share the stage with nationally recognized groups such as; Edwin McCain, Debra Gibson, The Little River Band, Willie Nelson, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, The Whispers, Rocco Barbato, Modern English, Johnny Lee Hooker, The Temptations, The Drifters, Jimmy Cavallo, comedians Joe Piscopo and Gilbert Godfrey. Brian is also a highly respected band instrument repair technician and co founded and co owns Empire Winds Inc. where he has many pros come into his shop to have Brian do his magic on their instruments. For more info check out Empirewinds.com
Bassist Ric Brush has played with various Central New York groups over the past 25 years - from country to big band jazz. A lover of all styles of music, he says his favorite is the energetic Rockin' Soul/R&B music he grew up listening to.Some of the bands he's played with include: Phil Petroff & The Natural Fact, Pete Mc Mahan & The Super Naturals, Dirty Pool, The Miss E Band, Bernie Clark & The Rhythm Sharks, Built For Comfort, The Nasty Cats, and others. He was a member of the popular "nouveau country" band The Delta Rays and the glitzy country band The Jesse Derringer Show. Theatre work includes Bye, Bye Birdie and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Ric earned his degree in music at Onondaga Community College.
Tom Hillenbrand is no stranger to the area as a tremendous guitarist and all around nice guy. He has played with bands such as Classified, Sharp Dressed Penguins, Joe Whiting, and many others. He is a driving force in the band with strong rhythmic playing as well as tasteful lead and solo work.
Tom Machuga fills out the horn section with his trumpet (both acoustic and electronic) and is also the sound engineer for the band. Tom is a music educator in Watertown, N.Y. He has backed The Four Tops, The Smothers Brothers, and Martha Reeves. A graduate of Fredonia State, he has traveled the world playing in the Fredonia State Jazz Ensemble. When not playing or teaching, Tom can be found behind the console in his home studio recording demos for Prime Time or other local bands.
Drummer, Lenny Millano was born and raised in yonkers, n. y. At age 10 , lenny was the youngest member of the yonkers civic philharmonic orchestra. After moving to central n.y.when he was in high school, Lenny attended morrisville college where he studied music theory and performed with the jazz band. He has since gone on to perform, record, and /or has been a member of a wide range of popular Central NYartists including : Atlas,Danny Holmes, Tim Harrington, Dr. Killdean, The King Snakes, Jon Leibing, Llil' Georgie, Marc Macri, and grammyawards winner, Joanne Shenandoa. Throughout the 90's and through 2003, Lenny was with the popular Central NY blues/rock trio " Vinnie and the Butchers " which he co founded with guitarist and long time friend, Paul Angerosa. Also in the mid 90's he toured nationaly with E.M.I. recording artists " Bloodline ". Over the years Lenny has backed a diverse group of artists such as, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer- Laverne Baker, blues guitarist- Chris Cain, and former Hollies singer- Terry Sylvester. Along with prime time , Lenny keeps busy playing with local blues guitarist, Phil Petroff and Central NY based "Big Krush".
Paul Valentino has been a front man, lead vocalist, and percussionist in the Central NY area for over 20 years. Paul serves as the bands manager as well and is responsible for booking the band. In 1996 he co-founded Prime Time and since then his voice has been the foundation for the versatile play list that has kept Prime Time among the top party bands in CNY. Whether it's Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Racal Flatts, or Maroon 5, Paul puts every ounce of energy and passion into his vocal stylings. He credits the talented musicians in the band that provide the perfect soundtrack for him to croon to night after night. Previous to Prime Time, Paul was a member of the Critics, Night Magic, Nite Life, and The Four. During the day from September to June, Paul is a Physical Education teacher in the Jamesville-Dewitt school district. He tried to incorporate a fitness program for the band, but was met with much resistance. Nice Gob Juys!!!!
If you would like, Jennifer Covert is avaiable as a female vocalist with the band for Weddings, Private Parties or Coporate Events. Prior to Primtetime, Jen was the lead singer of a corporate rock band that played gigs in New York City and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has been singing and playing piano for over 25 years! When she's not rocking out with the band, Jennifer is a stay at home mother of 3.
Keyboardist Bob Caraher has been teaching music in the Syracuse area since 1980. A graduate of Ithaca College, he brings a talent to the group of taking ordinary songs and arranging them into the band's own unique sound. Bob has spent time playing with The Bernie Milton Band, Easy Street, Group Therapy, and Souled Out in the Upstate N.Y. area.