HOW IT ALL STARTED
What we offer
It's our mission to make sure your special day is all that you hope it will be. A huge part in that is having amazing music to dance the night away. We've got that covered.
Whether it's a celebration, gala, private event, club/bar venue, corporate celebration or a fun party, TSE DOES IT ALL.
If you're celebrating a birthday, graduation, retirement or just throwing a party for fun, we've got the music to take you there...
Meet the Band
Al Santoro was born in Schenectady, N.Y. and has been playing professionally for over 36 years.
Al started his musical career as a principal percussionist with The Empire State Youth Orchestra, appearing with The Philadelphia Orchestra and performing for President Reagan as well as at national shows throughout the country. He studied with Don Bush, Principal Percussionist with The Pittsburgh Symphony and later had the opportunity to study with singer Al Jarreau, one of his early heroes. Al has played and sung with many of the top players in the area, including Leo Russo, Sal Maida, John Menegon, Ian Macdonald and Rick Delaratta and also had the opportunity to play with Liberty DeVitto, Eddie Gomez and The Drifters.
A cofounder of the TS Ensemble in 1980, Al is a peerless entertainer. Whether it’s from behind the drums or out in front of the band, his energy and unique vocal stylings help make The TS Ensemble one of the most sought after acts in the Northeast.
Carmen Lookshire is a singer/songwriter and actress from Albany, NY. She performs an electric mix of jazz standards, soul, and pop. Carmen is best known for her pure vocals and captivating stage presence. She performs and writes music by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones, and Linda Ronstadt.
Carmen Lookshire (Vocals) Carmen Lookshire is a singer/songwriter and actress from Albany, NY. She performs an electic mix of jazz standards, soul, and pop. Carmen is best known for her pure vocals and captivating stage presence. She performs and writes music by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones, and Linda Ronstadt.
Vito Speranza was born in Amsterdam, NY and has been performing professionally for over 36 years. Vito started taking music lessons at the age of 5 years old and pursued his music career while studying at the Berkley School of Music in Boston, Conservatory of Music – Salerno Italy, and Potsdam Crane School of Music. He’s performed with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Carnival Cruise lines, Discovery Cruise Lines and numerous Broadway productions at the Palace and Proctors Theater in Upstate, NY.He has also performed overseas in the RAI Television Network Studio Orchestra in Rome Italy. In 1996, Vito joined the United States Air Force Band making 1st Trumpet for the Jazz Knights at the United States Military Academy in WestPoint, NY. While there, he performed for numerous figures such as Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff, Jimmy Heath, Cloudio Roditti, Wycliff Gordon, Lady Gaga, and Terrel Stafford, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Vito has always been a TSE favorite since he played with the band in 1991.
Primarily a percussionist, Chad Lenig began playing guitar and singing in his high school years and continued his passion as he studied music education (percussion) with Dr. Kay Stonefelt and composition with Dr. Donald Bohlen at SUNY Fredonia. He later completed a masters degree in music technology from the college of St. Rose in Albany. In 2002, Lenig became a music teacher and the 7-12 Band Director at Fonda-Fultonville Central School district. Since then, he and his colleague, Mr. Greg Kowalczyk founded the Fonda-Fultonville Jazz Festival which is a large academic Jazz Festival for Middle School and High School Jazz Ensembles. Lenig also is an active recording engineer with a fairly large client list. Lenig's musical interests range from Stravinsky, Stockhausen and Varase to Jewel,Coltrane and Chick Corea. Lenigs compositions and electric energy energy brings a signature twist to the TSE band!
Tom Spakoski first started playing accordion and keyboard at the age of 7. Growing up, Spokoski played in a band with his brother which seasoned his love for music Spokoski is a seasoned keyboard player with a wide range of experiences from owning a recording studio, having original music in films and TV libraries to playing in over 2500 gigs. He has worked with artists across the United States and South America crossing paths with many well known artists. He is the newest member to join the TS Ensemble and his keyboard style is an amazing asset to the band.
Dino Ferrarese started playing bass at age 12. He joined a band called The Bicentennial Trio at age 13 and played with The Velvet Touch until age 17. He then decided to form his own band called Capri. Capri was one of the most popular wedding bands in the Capital Region for over 40 years. Dino and his wife Mary Anne were an integral part of the band, with Mary Anne providing vocals and Dino playing the Bass. He was also the co-founder of the original rock band – Cardiac Noose. He formed the band with some old friends in the capital region. They currently have four albums on YouTube. Dino has become one of the most valuable musicians within the band. His positive attitude and stage presence have become a great asset.
Joe Anagnostopulos also known as Joe Ag, is a saxophonist from the Upstate NY region. Has been playing professionally for 17 years . As a student, Anagnostopulos received awards for the most outstanding jazz soloist at the North American Music Festival in Norfolk Virginia, and was selected to perform tenor saxophone for the NYSSMA All- State Jazz Ensemble. He later played professionally with Stage Music big band out of Utica New York. He has toured with the Pretty Things Peepshow and has shared the stage with many great bands including Storm Front, Funk Evolution, Clean Street, and the Vibratones. We’re excited to have Joe be the newest member of the band. Joe’s ability to improv in many musical genres has been a great addition to the band.
Bruce has been playing professionally for 40 years. Bruce was a product of the Troy N.Y. music scene. He attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston Mass. He went on the road with various high level show bands. For many years Bruce worked with a talent agency known for generating the biggest book of business for the given genre of hotel/club work, Miles Bell and Limelighters out of Nashville Tenn. Bruce was fortunate enough to meet numerous talented artists while traveling on the road such as Sammy Hagar, Bob James, and the iconic Ella Fitzgerald.
After many years of travel he settled in Saratoga N.Y. Bruce taught private lessons at the Only Guitar Shop in Clifton Park N.Y. for 15 years teaching hundreds of students young and old. He recently played with Grand Central Station for the past 18 years prior to the TS Ensemble. Bruce continues to teach elementary music in Amsterdam N.Y.