Tenor sax & vocals
As a child, Jim Richmond entertained the neighborhood kids by imitating Elvis on his front porch. After listening to his father's gospel group rehearse weekly in their living room and at the urging of his mother, he was inspired to take up the saxophone. While still in high school, he led his own band, The Echomen, and then went on to major in music at SUNY Fredonia. Sugar Hill signed his band, Mother Freedom, in the late 70s and released one album. Like his sax playing, Jim's serious vocal, songwriting, and arranging talents have kept him in demand over the years.
He's written songs with people like Kim Stone from the Rippingtons and former Spyro Gyra member Chet Catallo, performed on national commercials for such clients as Buick, was hired by Disney to be the singing voice of “Munch” at Chucky Cheese’s throughout the country, and shared the stage with world-renowned acts including Tower of Power and George Benson. He’s been hired by and performed with The Temptations and the Four Tops, former Foreigner lead vocalist Lou Gramm, and former Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish. Jim also wrote many of the songs, as well as horn and vocal arrangements, for PTF CDs Ready and Willing and Hear and Now. Music director for his church, he also music director for the Rochester Music Hall of Fame’s annual Induction Ceremony at Eastman Theater.
Drums, percussion & backing vocals
Dave Cohen began taking drum lessons at age 10. Inspired by drumming legends Buddy Rich and 'Philly' Joe Jones, he went on to study with famed jazz drummers Vinnie Ruggiero in Rochester, NY, and Ed Soph at the University of North Texas. In the 80s, Dave co-led a rock band called Backseat Sally that released a self-titled album on Atlantic Records, along with an MTV video. Other studio credits include albums by CMD, The Dinner Dogs, Glenn Medeiros, Anthony Watson, The Rockin' Rebels, Vic Cottengim,The Lawnmowers, as well as soundtracks for HBO, CBS, and TVKO. Dave has also performed with Gary Wright, Steve Stevens, Gap Mangione, Joe Locke, Pee Wee Ellis, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Christian McBride, Gene Cornish, Felix Cavaliere, Randy Bachman, Pat Travers, The Cowsills, Paul Shaffer, David Clayton-Thomas, The Mambo Kings, Bat McGrath, Barry Kiener, Sax' Gordon Beadle, Rodney Dangerfield, Russell Malone, Francine Reed and Sherman Robertson (at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Club in Paris, France), BillyBang, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Dave also performs regularly with jazz trio CMD and the groups Blu and Soul Passenger and is a busy private drum instructor and drum technician.
Besides playing with PTF, Andy Calabrese leads his own jazz trio in Rochester, New York. As president of his own music production company, he composes and produces jingles and film soundtracks, recently producing tracks for The Stylistics, Danny and the Juniors, and Jay and the Techniques. He's in demand as a sideman as well, having performed with well-known jazz and pop artists such as Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin, Paul Anka, Chuck Mangione, Pepper Adams,Joe Romano, Sal Nistico, Chet Catallo, Nancy Kelly, Jeff Tyzik, Doc Severinsen,and Kenny Rankin. He also played the National tour of Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera. Andy studied piano at Shenandoah Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music. When he's not gigging, composing or producing, Andy is usually teaching jazz and classical piano.
Joe Chiappone’s desire to play an instrument began at age five during a family jam session. He began guitar lessons when he was eight years old, and went on to study with jazz guitarists Dick Longale and Tom Rizzo (MaynardFerguson/Doc Severinsen). Joe also majored in Jazz Guitar at the University of Miami and studied Jazz Improvisation with Ray Ricker at the Eastman School of Music. Besides owning and operating Northfield Music Studios, a popular guitar store and music school in Pittsford, NY, Joe is in demand as a studio musician and side man. He’s also performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Broadway touring shows, and many well-regarded regional bands.
Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Ron D'Angelo was born in Philadelphia, raised in Pottsville, PA, and has been living in Rochester since 1988. He has recorded numerous radio/TV jingles and has played lead trumpet for Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, The Four Tops,The Temptations, Gap and Chuck Mangione, The O'Jays, Bobby Vinton, Connie Francis, Martha & the Vandellas, Josh Groban, Joan Rivers, the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, and Royal Cruise Lines. He has also performed with Natalie Cole, The Woody Herman Orchestra, David Clayton Thomas, and Frank Sinatra, Jr., and played the jazz trumpet chair on the PBS special, An Evening with Michael Civisca. Ron holds degrees from the University of Rochester and Syracuse University, and attended Berklee College of Music.
Tenor, Soprano, & Baritone sax, flute, EWI (Electric Wind Instrument) & violin
Michael Edwards has been playing and teaching music in Upstate New York since he graduated from the Crane School of Music in 1990, where he was the winner of the 1998 Concerto Competition. He has shared the stage with numerous big bands, jazz groups and party bands, and has appeared with artists such as crooner Vic Damone and Wessel Anderson, saxophonist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Michael currently teaches out of his private studio in Brighton, NY, and has students of all ages and levels on saxophone, flute, penny-whistle, clarinet, violin, guitar, and piano.
Trumpet & flugelhorn
Derrick Lipp has been a member of PTF since shortly after the release of the band’s debut CD, Ready and Willing. Derrick has performed with Nick Brignola, Joan Osborne, George Caldwell, The O’Jays, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, The Temptations, Paul Schaffer, Kathy Sledge, David Clayton-Thomas, and The Four Tops. He has shared the stage with acts including Mark Anthony, Tito Puente, The Airmen of Note, Woody Herman's Thundering Herd, Jiggs Wigham, and Bruce Hornsby. His playing can be heard on radio and TV spots for Chevrolet and The United Way as well as on numerous CD recording projects. Derrick continues to compose music and arrange charts for a variety of horn sections, some of which are featured on PTF’s second CD, Hear and Now.
Dean Keller is the band’s new baritone saxophone player. He’s traveled the world performing with The Glenn Miller Orchestra and aboard Royal Caribbean’s The Grandeur of the Seas, where he performed with Ben Vereen and many other well-known entertainers. Dean is also an active studio musician, having recorded for television, film, and national recording artists Phantom Planet. Since returning home to Rochester, Dean has free-lanced with many touring groups including Tito Puente, The Temptations, Bobby Vinton, Little Anthony & the Imperials, and Frankie Valli. Dean currently records and performs with The Dave Rivello Ensemble and leads two of his own projects: The Rita Collective and Dean Keller’s Soul Jazz Joint.
New on bass is Mark Terranova, who began his love affair with music at the age of three, after watching his father play bass in various bands in the late 70s. He officially took up the bass at age 10, when he joined his school’s orchestra. He feels very fortunate to have studied with the late, great Mark Manetta as well as Fred Stone – two “heavyweights” on the Rochester music scene. Mark has played in a wide variety of musical groups throughout the years ranging from metal, punk and progressive rock, to country, Americana, jazz, R&B, soul, musical theater, and many more. In addition to being a sought-after side man for live shows, Mark is also an in-demand studio bassist, playing on jingles, television pilots, and independent artists’ projects.
New on lead vocals is Shawn Powell, a well-known Rochester singer, songwriter, musician, and producer. He started in the music business at age 14, playing keyboard for his family’s gospel group, The Powell Singers. In the 90s, he signed a recording contract with a production company based out of Rochester’s former Dajhelon Studios, where he honed his music production and vocal arrangement skills. Over the years, he’s been blessed to have worked, recorded, or shared the stage with Devante Swing (Jodeci); Ginuwine; Fred Hammond; Musiq Soulchild; Alicia Keys; Maze featuring Frankie Beverly; and Earth, Wind & Fire. His voice had been featured every Monday through Thursday at 10 PM for the past 20 years on 103.9 WDKX’s “Quiet Storm Interlude” by Grammy-nominated saxophonist Jimmie Highsmith, Jr. He also co-hosted a weekly R&B radio show, Rhythm & Groove Radio, on indie station 100.9 WXIR with longtime friend Anthony “Grand Tone” Simmons. Currently, Shawn is Worship Director at New Life Fellowship Ministries and performs with SHINE, a party and special events band.
“Backed by the tremendous house band Prime Time Funk, David Clayton-Thomas and Paul Shaffer rocked the Eastman Theater with ‘Spinning Wheel,’ ‘God Bless the Child,’ and ‘You Made Me So Very Happy.’”
--Jeff Spevak, Democrat & Chronicle
“Prime Time Funk picks up the pieces and pulverizes them. With its attention to funky grooves, no concern about what dancing to them may do to your spine, and a horn section that comes on like a brass-powered blitzkrieg, Prime Time Funk will wear you out. Good luck."
--Frank DeBlase, CITY Newspaper
"Prime Time Funk has the tightest and funkiest horn section in Upstate New York... Fronted by vocalist Ronnie Leigh, the band includes top Rochester musicians: drummer David Cohen, keyboardist Andy Calabrese, and saxophonist Vince Ercolamento. One listen to Ready and Willing, produced by Jeff Tyzik, is all it takes to know that …This group can tear it up with the best of them."
"PTF is an air-tight funk band. There’s no doubt about their status in Rochester, but PTF has also conquered lands beyond with two appearances at Lionel Hampton Jazz Club in Paris. Warning: not a good choice if you like to sit still.
About Ready and Willing: This recording, simply put, is good music. Amazon.com gives you the option of listening to some of the tracks before you purchase. Definitely check them out. Once you do, you'll want to buy it, I guarantee."
--John Harper, Amazon.com review
“Prime Time Funk are a definite must-see in this
--Michelle Picardo, Freetime Magazine
We are grateful to photographers Clay Patrick McBride, Patti Battista, Aaron Winters, and Kurt Brownell for their images on this website.