BRUCE HARPER: Bruce’s love of the drums began around the age of five when he heard his first record. While attending North Texas University Bruce played with several big bands: Bob Crosby, The Ray McKinley Orchestra, Warren Covington’s and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
In Las Vegas Bruce has played with the prestigious Bill Rogers’ Relief Band, covering the main showrooms of the Lido De Paris, Folies Bergere and City Lights. He’s drummed for the famous ‘Sorta Dixie Jazz Band, toured the US with Stan Mark’s Jazz Band and worldwide with the Tenth Avenue Jazz Band. Inspired by Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Mel Lewis, he formed his big band in 1980 playing in such Las Vegas venues as The Smith Center, The Starbright Theater, and the Italian American Club.
ELISA FIORILLO: When you’re speaking of someone winning Star Search, performing on Broadway and touring with Prince, you’d probably be talking about three different people, unless you’re talking about Elisa Fiorillo. Adding numerous albums with hit songs and a perfect pairing with the Bruce Harper Big Band, of which she is co-leader, this might be describing a room full of artists.
Music was always a major part of Elisa’s life growing up in Philadelphia. She experienced her first paying gig at age 11 and was performing on Broadway at 15. After winning Star Search, she released three albums, landing her on the Billboard Charts with a #1 dance hit “Who Found Who.”
Later turning her musical taste to singing and writing jazz, Elisa released her album Labor of Love. This album so impressed Prince that he asked her to join his band, the New Power Generation, on their world tour.
Elisa proclaims that singing songs from the Great American Song Book with the Bruce Harper Big Band is “exactly” where she belongs.