meet the band
Born in Chicago, Alvino began playing drums at 10 years old with the William Penn Elementary School drum and bugle corps. Soon after, he started playing for various local bands. At fourteen, he began traveling the country, working the club circuit. He was spotted in a club at age 17 and approached by blues legend KoKo Taylor to lend his talent. Around the same time, Bennett had opportunities to play with many other blues and R&B luminaries like Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Cash McCall, and Mighty Joe Young just to name a few.
In 1974, Bennett got a call call to tour with the late great songstress, Minnie Ripperton. This tour opened the doors for many other projects, such as working with Gong Show Guest, Jaye P. Morgan and the vocal group “The Originals”. In addition, he also worked with the family singing group, “The Sylvers” and recorded with other leading Motown artists.
Bennett hit on one of the biggest projects of his career in 1978, which was the million-unit selling R&B band, “L.T.D.”, of which he was a member for 5 years. Bennett's awesome reputation spread and he became a highly sought after drummer for such stars as Cheryl Lynn, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Kenny Loggins, Bryan Ferry, Robin Trower, Sheena Easton, Little Richard, Slash’s Blues Ball, Patrice Rushen, Little Richard, Bo Diddley and many more.
When he is not on tour, Bennett is writing and producing his own music as well as working with other artists.
KEYS / VOCALS
A Palm Springs, CA, native, Anthony Patler was born into a true show business family. He began playing professionally at age 6, fronting a trio with his brothers Kory (age 12) and Greg (age 13), and continuing his career by playing in several popular local bands during his junior high and high school years.
After graduating, Patler moved to L.A., where he quickly landed his first major recording gig, collaborating with the songwriting hall of famer, Lamont Dozier. In addition to co-writing several songs, he arranged and played drums, bass, guitar and keys on various albums. During the same period he also co-founded and played with the underground funk band General Caine, recording a number of albums.
In 1984, Patler began touring and recording with Chaka Khan, eventually becoming her music director (where he and drummer Bennett first played together). From this, he went on to record and tour with many well know artists including Michael McDonald, Janet Jackson, Patti Labelle, The Temptations, Was Not Was, George Michael, ABC, Michael Jackson, Rick Astley, Paul Young, Solomon Burke, and Smokey Robinson. Patler’s credits also include film soundtracks and co-writing songs for Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan & LTD, among others.
To Patler’s delight, a recommendation by long-time friend Alvino Bennett, led to him joining the Dave Mason Band in May, 2009.
GUITAR / VOCALS
South Florida native John Sambataro started playing guitar at the age of 7. Inspired by his father who was a musician and band director, as well as growing up in a musical family, his career path was an easy one to follow. His professional career started around age 16. Sambataro's musical talents are many - he plays guitar, bass, and mandolin, proficient Midi-sequencer and solid vocalist; song and jingle writer, producer, and engineer.
In the mid-70s, Sambataro began working at Criteria Recording Studios in Miami. There he was able to meet producers who used local musicians to create parts for their artist. Some of the artists Sambataro was fortunate to perform and record with are Andy Gibb, Barry Gibb, Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Terri DeSario, Meat Loaf, John Parr, David Coverdale/Jimmy Page and other various artists. His experience at Criteria gave him the opportunity not only to record but to tour with Dave Mason, McGuinn, Clark & Hillman (The Byrds), Firefall as their new lead singer/guitarist and Dion (Dion & The Belmonts).
Sambataro took his first touring leg with Mason summer of 1978 while still joining other various touring opportunities with McGuinn, Clark and Hillman, Firefall, and Dion. In 2001 the Mason band circled back to Florida, and Mason asked Sambataro to sit in on his DVD “Live At Sunrise”, recorded at Sunrise Musical Theater.
Sambataro admits that one of the most awesome things about playing with Dave on sage and in the studio is that, ever since he was a teenager he has always been a fan and still is. When he's not on the road, Sambataro lives in South Florida with his wife Cathe and has two sons Jason and Jarrad who are also musicians. Check out his solo album Me, Myself, and I.
Gretchen Rhodes has been singing for her entire life. The daughter of parents who both have their Masters in music, Gretchen grew up classically trained. Most of Rhodes' adult life she has fronted Rock and Blues bands. Gretchen has been a part of Mick Fleetwood’s Band for the last 12 years. Within that time the singer/songwriter has shared the stage with the likes of Pat Simmons, George Clinton and legendary musician Steven Tyler to name a few. Gretchen was featured on the song "Happy on the Hey Now" with Kenny Chesney on Chesney's album "Life on a Rock" which she performed with him for a sold out 65,000 person show at Patriots Stadium in Boston. She also starred in Chesney's "Wild Child" video which has been viewed over 11 million times.
Rhodes has a side electronica project with the Embassy of Joy. Embassy of Joy produced a track called "Addiction"; a remake of Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Says” which was the #1 Deep House track in the world for three months.
Gretchen is the newest member of the Dave Mason Band. We are so delighted to welcome her dynamic talent and Aloha spirit with us.
Check out these videos & Gretchen on social media:
Wild Child: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XIANQM3xm0
Embassy of Joy – Addiction: https://vimeo.com/112187053 www.gretchenrhodesmusic.com
Chris Curtis has a long history of musical production in his background. Born and raised in Southern California, Chris became interested in music as a pre-teen; he learned to play drums and started touring with bands as soon as he could drive.
Curtis’ talent for mixing sound led him to become a sound engineer in the late 1980′s, founding his own recording studio “Pacific Coast Recording” in 1990 located in Long Beach, CA. His client list included Eddie Money, War, Edgar Winter, Snoop Dogg and Keith Emerson, while getting gold and platinum recognition for Latin music artists Jenni & Lupe Rivera. His audio engineering talents also crossed into the multimedia world where he recorded and edited audio for movies and commercials which included the talents of Carol Burnett, Barbara Eden, Gary Sandy while working with companies like Burger King, Disney, Carl’s Jr., Medelsohn/Zien, Yamaha, Marvel films and most of the local Los Angeles radio stations.
After 14 successful years at his recording studio, Curtis decided to return to live sound engineering. Introduced to the Dave Mason camp by long time friend and keyboardist Bill Mason, Curtis has been with the Mason team since 2003. When not on tour, Curtis continues to produce and engineer in his studio, and also enjoys sharpening his U.S. History knowledge just for fun.
BUS DRIVER / ASSISTANT TO DAVE MASON
David Grubb was born and raised in Arkansas and comes from a musical family. His interest in playing music started at the age of 14, inspired by Stevie Ray Vaughn’s amazing guitar work. He started studying music, playing guitar and drums. Later, Grubb formed a band with three of his musical friends that ran is impressively still going today, over 15 years later.
Grubb started his career in the transportation business at the age of 18, and has worked in many aspects of transportation from DOT regulations, scheduling routes, customer relations and overseeing safety operations for some of the largest transport companies.. At age 32, he began operating his own trucking company, including being a contractor for the FedEx Corporation for 10 years. Grubbs career in the transportation and music industry has taken him all over North America. After many years of looking to further his career in the music industry, he sold his trucking company and moved to Nashville.
Now, you might find Grubb behind the tour bus wheel, or behind the merch table. When asked what it’s like traveling the country with the Dave Mason Band, Grubb replies, “It’s like being on a working vacation with your family. Everyone makes sure everyone is taken care of."
We know we are safe and cared for in his capable hands. He hails from decades of tour managing. We call him ‘the Oracle’ because he seems to know everything about everything, or at least knows how to find the answers.
Growing up in NYC, his mother worked for Robert Mellin Inc., a major publishing company in the heyday of “Tin Pan Alley” located in the 1650 Broadway building. He was instantly fascinated with music and the recording industry and got to see things being done at the Famous Allegro studios in the same building while witnessing up and coming music execs like Doug Morris & Bert Burns. At age 16 he saw his first live show. He snuck in the Fillmore East. Instantly taken by the energy of the performers and the workers, he went back many time, getting to see shows like the Allman Brothers, Delaney & Bonnie with Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Friends and Leslie West’s Mountain to name a few.
He moved to Los Angeles and made a few local friends who played in various garage bands. He become engrossed in the guitar and began playing, but more so helped friends with their band by moving equipment, doing sound, and repairing guitars. The consummate roadie was born.
Rick has worked with more than 50 bands over the course of 42 years including acts like Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Black Sabbath, Sammy Hagar and Van Halen. Of all these bands there were only 3 that he says he listened to as a fan prior to being in the business, and the longest being Dave Mason who he had been a fan of since 1967.
In 2013 when Dave called him to work he felt it an honor and a privilege to join a team that had its origins steeped in the beginning of the rock music revolution as it meant to Rick, personally. We feel we are very lucky to have him.
Winifred thinks one of the best parts about touring is being with all the people who show up. She works behind the scenes with Dave, but you’ll see her out front at all the shows, either at the merchandise booth or greeting our friends and fans.
Winifred blogs about experiencing yoga in everyday life on the road on her website www.winifredwilson.com. When she’s not on tour or teaching she’s writing a book called Downdog for Roaddogs and wondering if she will have the guts to publish it.