Straight Up / Mario Jose
Straight Up is an r&b/hip-hop band that plays old-school covers from the '70s to the early 2000s and original music. Members of the band are Doneil Curwen, Matthew Hines, Paul Jefferson, Andy Merrill, Evan DiGiambattista, Massimo Buonnano, and front man Brandon H. Allen. The group loves the messages and the "soul" of older music before the industry became too much like the fast food industry. They excel at taking the audience through the past with their repertoire and making the audience dance and reminisce on younger days. Most members of Straight Up have already been playing music with each other previously in the student-led Prince Tribute Ensemble, and because of this, there is a great chemistry between the band members. Straight Up wants to keep the old-school music ever present in the consciousness of the people because they know they wouldn't be the musicians they are and current music couldn't be what it is without the old-school jams.
San Francisco Bay Area native Mario Jose has been singing and performing since he was just a little guy. Now at Berklee College of Music, Mario has been performing all over Boston. He is in Pitch Slapped, a student run a cappella group that performs all over the New England area. He has performed in Maggie Scott's Vocal Jazz Series (fall '08, spring and fall '09), Berklee's New Music Festival, Berklee's Pop/Rock Showcase (spring '09 and spring '10), and several senior recitals. Mario also has had the honor to share the stage with music legends. He has performed in the African American Composer's Concert with Patrice Rushen, the American Idol Vocal Clinic with Dorian Holley, Shining Stars: The Music of Earth, Wind & Fire with special guest Philip Bailey, the Great American Songbook: The Music of Motown, Berklee's Encore Gala, Berklee Meets Don Was featuring Don Was, and Singers Showcase (spring and fall '09, spring '10), where he shared the stage with Paula Cole, Darcel Wilson and Lalah Hathaway.