Cole DeGenova is a pianist, vocalist, songwriter, percussionist, and poet from Chicago. He began studying music at 4, and was working as a professional musician by 15. He studied classical, jazz, blues, Cuban, and Brazilian percussion, but was also influenced by neo-soul and hip-hop. He has performed with or opened for some of Chicago's top artists, including Kurt Elling, Patricia Barber, Jon Faddis, and Corey Wilkes. DeGenova was chosen by the Jazz Institute of Chicago to perform at the world-famous Auditorium Theatre, and, in 2005, performed with the Illinois Music Educators' Association’s All-State Honors Jazz Band. Now attending Berklee, DeGenova is spreading his music to a wider audience. He toured the Midwest with Hal Reed and the Mob, and in Switzerland with his original funk/r&b band Apollo Jones. His latest project is a funk, neo-soul, blues, and jazz group called the People's Republic. The group plans to release its debut EP this summer.