In The Groove



"Who is In the Groove," you might ask.

In the Groove is the backup band that performs with Robby Bright when he performs live and often backs him up on his recordings. It is made up of some of the hottest musicians in the Midwest. Individually the members of the band have performed all over the world with such artists as Lena Horne, Yolanda Adams, Reggie Calloway, Jamie Foxx, the Goodie Mobb, and Black Pearl. Collectively In the Groove has shared the stage with such artists as Kim Waters, Eric Benet, Melissa Morgan, Oleta Adams, Allen & Allen, Gerald Albright, Boney James, and Jeffrey Osbourne. They have performed before more than a half million people throughout the United States

  • Bass Guitarist Jonathan Michael Cobb

Jonathan Michael Cobb has spent most of his quiet yet productive musical career as a producer, arranger, composer and writer for aspiring artists in the Cincinnati music scene with influences ranging from trial and error to 'Hmmm, let's see what this button does.'

    A natural '70's-style Funkybassist through GOD's gift, he joined In The Groove after being lured out of retirement as a performing musician through prayer, which ultimately resulted in a call from Mr. Robby Bright himself (and the rest is THEIRstory....). When asked about his influences as a Bassist, Jonathan Michael simply states "Oh, that is a simple question....GOD's sacred gift of the musical ear, years of hearing 'Turn that loud thing down!!!!' the 'You can't's and the 'You will never's as well as inspiration from my dear and loving parents and my brother (#1 fans), [my cousin] Kevin Wooten, Prince, the Grover Washington, Jr. (Rest his soul) Winelight CD (with Marcus Miller performing the Bass licks), Stanley Jordan, Me'shell Ndegeocello, Bootsy Collins, Victor Wooten, Terry Lewis, Steve Washington, C.C. Thomas, Chris Walker, Carey Jaquish, life's humbling experiences, much creativity and a vivid imagination."

  • Gospel / Jazz Keyboardist Maurice Ellis

In his 12 short years, Maurice Ellis has enjoyed more success in his musical career than most career musicians do in a life time. By age 10 Maurice was blessed with the opportunity to perform in front of over 100,000 people. Just after his 11th birthday he opened a show with Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Robby Bright for legendary crooner Jeffrey Osborne in front of a crowd of over 40,000 people. Maurice has captured the attention of many well respected individuals in the Music Industry. His uncanny ability to play the keys with no real formal training has placed him in high demand for performances in his community and all the while still playing in Robby Bright’s backup band. While Maurice is at home performing live he has also been blessed with an incredible ear for composition. He is currently working on writing and producing material for his forth coming album which is scheduled to be released in late 2002 on the 13th Floor Productions label.

    Maurice has truly been blessed with the gift of music but that does not keep him from leading the life of a normal 11 year old. He is very gifted soccer player and student as well. While the Piano is his 1st instrument he also has the ability to play both the drums and the trumpet quite well.

    You can expect to hear big things from Maurice in the not too distant future and for a long long time to come.

  • Smooth Jazz Keyboardist Marc "Keyz" Ellis

Born into a musical family, Marc's destiny was predetermined. Every one of his seven brothers and sisters was involved in music and of course Marc would be no different. Marc became interested in music very early in life. Marc still recalls the "early years" when he would sit on his mother's lap and bang out songs on the Piano before his feet could even reach the pedals.

            Marc has always been known for his musical versatility. Not only did Marc play the Piano but he also played the Cello, the Trumpet, the Melophone, the Baritone, and the Tuba in various bands throughout his academic career. But it was outside of school that Marc's musical talents were given the room to flourish. Marc played in numerous bands covering everything from Top 40 to Gospel. It was not uncommon to see Marc playing the Piano in his father's church or even hear him singing Baritone in the choir. Marc capped off his high school career when he was awarded the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, which was awarded by his peers in recognition of outstanding achievement by an instrumentalist in the field of Jazz, as demonstrated through superior musicianship, character, and individual creativity.

            After graduating from high school, a time when most people's musical journey would come to an end, Marc's journey had only just begun. Marc continued his work on the instrument that first called him to the World of Music, the Piano. Marc studied the Piano in college for a few years where he was exposed to Classical recitals, and Music Theory. Marc's collegiate career was peppered with standing ovations at solo recitals where he regaled the listeners with concertos from Beethoven and Bach. But Marc did not find the challenge that he longed for in the world of Hayden and Mozart. Shortly after leaving school Marc believed that the music had stopped and he had taken his last bow. Marc married his college sweet heart and began to focus on their life together without music. But he could never really walk away from the keys.

            Shortly thereafter Marc was approached by his nephew, Robby Bright. Robby was a young saxophonist who was trying to break into the Music business. Robby wanted Marc to play Piano for him on his demo. In November of 1994, after a few short weeks of practicing, Marc and Robby made their first trip to the studio. The fire was back! Marc found that challenge that the Classical world was unable to provide.

            Marc and Robby teamed together to become a writing duo that rivals the likes of Jam and Lewis and L.A. and Face. Robby credits Marc with writing some of the strongest material on both of his album releases 'Risin' 2 the Top' and 'Sometimes You Just Know'. Marc's songs 'Just Out Jammin' and 'Risin' 2 the Top' peaked in the Top 40 on the Smooth Jazz Charts on the famed Internet Site MP3.COM as recently as June of 1999 and are still there today.

            Marc still plays with Robby in his band In the Groove and is constantly working on song ideas for not only Robby's projects but also his own album. Marc also enjoys playing with his young son Maurice, age 10, who many have already labeled a natural on the keys. If you’re lucky maybe you’ll catch both Marc and Maurice live in concert sometime.

  • Drummer David-Jerome Alan Burel

David-Jerome Alan Burel (AKA DJ) has been involved with music his entire life. DJ’s first professional “gig” was with the legendary Lena Horne. After winning numerous awards in high school and participating in varied ensembles with the Toledo Symphony and the Toledo Youth Symphony Orchestras, DJ furthered his study of music, in college. DJ attended the prestigious College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a bachelor’s in Music Education.

Shortly after Ms. Horne came a run with R&B Diva Shirley Murdock. The early days provided a sound foundation and appreciation for all types and styles of music. Whether on tour with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, jazz guitar great Wilbert Longmire, bringing the funk with Bootsy Collins or holding the groove with TVT recording artists RAM-Z, DJ is always “in the pocket.” Other musical performances include Kenny Lattimore, Jamie Foxx, Melba Moore, Andrae Crouch, Louie Bellson, Robby Bright, and trumpeter, Mike Wade (Jazziz Magazine’s 1997 pick as one of the country’s top ten unsigned brass players.) DJ’s stage performances are not only limited to concerts, he has been involved in many musicals and stage productions. From set drummer to a pit player, flexibility and consistency are two of his greatest assets. Those assets were further developed as a member of Disney’s All-American College Band in ’91.

His recording career is again, broad and varied. He can be found on recordings with Pharez Whitted (Mo Jazz), the CCM Wind Ensemble (Ranwood) and currently DJ is working with many R&B artists which have projects scheduled for release in 2002 – 2003. Some of which include the Goodie-Mob and CeLo’s (of the Goodie Mob) solo project.