Peter Cor and Gary Carpenter, the founding members of Helios, share the same musical roots from their independent early days playing with African musicians and Latin Fusion bands, such as Samba Ngo and Montaj. Add to that their considerable background for funk and R&B and their impressive talent for composition and you have a new ensemble with a uniquely appealing sound. Strong on melody, concept and execution, their collaborative effort, (along with Bay Area studio veteran drummer Chris Miller,) speaks to the smooth jazz fan who wants a little more substance to their groove. Helios' first CD of all original material draws from Latin, Groove Jazz, Funk and World Rhythms influences. The ensemble is dedicated to entertaining the audience with a level of musical sophistication that provides listening satisfaction and inspiration to dance.
Peter is known for his work with musical artists Tuck and Patti, Lee Ritenour, and Earth, Wind and Fire, for whom he composed the mega-hit “Getaway”. His music can be heard in film and TV including, Disney's "The Sixth Man", Touchstone's "The Muppet From Space", Howie Mandel's TV Special, "Later" with Greg Kinnear and A&E's "Live By Request". Gary Carpenter has played and written for top Bay Area bands including the popular World Beat/Latin Jazz ensemble “Montaj” and the R&B blues sensation “Sista Monica”. His original music has also been put to surf and other sports video, radio and TV spots.
Helios would like to introduce our new Rhythm Section members: Tracy Rose on Drums and Damian Erskine on Bass.
Tracy Rose Winner of the Ludwig Drum Competition pursued his interest in Jazz and Jazz Fusion and dedicated 6 years to study under the drum master Chuck Brown. He has been working as a full time drummer in the Bay Area with Frank Biner (Acoustic Music Records), Steve Wynn (Alto Records), and Pete Escovedo among many others. His televised sound tracks include music for CBS African wild life adventure show, "Terra Trek", and The "Know Zone".
Damian Erskine has been playing bass since he was just 6 years old! He has had the privilege of studying with such greats as Jaco Pastorius, Marc Johnson, Jimmy Haslip, Victor Wooten, Reggie Hamilton and Kai Eckhardt to name a few of the larger names in bass. He also studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA for three years. He focuses mostly on groove and funk while always borrowing from his jazz training and influence. He is also nephew of world-renowned drummer Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Maynard Furguson, and over 300 CD credits with a list of the who's who in jazz and pop). He has grown up absorbing music from playing with and touring with some of the greatest musicians of our time and is now currently living in the Bay Area doing what he loves. Playing great music with great people for a living!