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|Glenn M. Taylor, guitar, keyboards, vocals *|
Bob Cianci, drums, vocals
Peter Scance, bass, guitar, vocals
Chris Roselle, guitar, harmonica, vocals
Russ Crapella, guitar, vocals
Dave Hirschberg, drums, vocals
Joe Coghlan, drums, guitar, vocals
|Jeff Guenther, guitar, bass, vocals|
Mike Garner, bass, vocals
Rhonda Grindell, drums, vocals
John Frondelli, drums, guitar, vocals
Pepe Hernandez, bass, vocals
Sean Jenness, guitar, vocals
|Christopher Bolger, guitar, bass, vocals *|
Joe Alexander, guitar, vocals
Ray Longchamp, guitar, mandolin, vocals
Al Egizi, guitar, vocals
Keith Theall, bass, vocals
Gary Evans, keyboards, harmonica, guitar, vocals
Jerry DeLisio, saxophone(s), flute, vocals
Brian Wiley, bass, vocals
Lenny Kirk, drums, vocals
Don Guinta, drums, vocals
Paul 'Swami' Simeone, keyboards, accordion, vocals
Scott Calvert, saxophone(s), woodwinds, vocals
Andrei Koribanics, drums, vocals
Tom DePalma, saxophone(s), woodwinds, vocals
Ethan Maayan, drums, vocals
Bill Winters, guitar, trumpet, vocals
* Indicates original Kootz / OMJ band-member; (see history)
Pepe Hernandez - bass, vocals
Pepe Hernandez's journey, that eventually brought him to 'The Kootz'-band was a literally just-that... It was a 'voyage', in fact.
You have to set the 'way-back-machine' to the year 1955, in Cuba, to trace the 'humble-beginnings' of this gentleman. Pepe's early-years were spent in Havana... a land that really hasn't changed all-that-much since he departed for Hialeah, Florida and a new-life in The United States in 1962, at age 7. It was under the threatening-guise of the 'Cuban Missle Crisis', that he set-out for his new 'home-turf', before the danger was ultimately-averted.
After a year in Florida, Pepe's family headed-north, settling in the Ironbound-section of Newark, NJ. It was here that young Pepe began to show an affinity for music, although not really 'channeling' the interest, immediately... However, after graduating from Newark's Eastside High School in 1969, Pepe began to gain more 'serious' musical-inspiration, hanging-with his cousin, Jesus Alvarez, who had the good-fortune to have hit-records in the early-70s, with his band 'Shirley & Company', releasing "C'mon Baby Let The Good Times Roll" and later "Shame Shame On You" (which broke Billboard's Top-100), on Platinum Records, headquartered in Englewood, NJ.
Pepe was 'starstruck' with his cousin and the stories of his band touring with the likes of Elton John and Gilbert O'Sullivan along with many popular TV-show appearances. It inspired him to take-up singing himself, adding bass-guitar to his musical-arsenal, later on.
He formed his first 'real'-band, 'The Wildcats', along with long-time Kootz-friend 'Electric'-Hector Masot in the mid-70s. Shortly-thereafter, another effort followed, this one called 'The Nightowls', which blossomed into a major-act on the Northern-New Jersey 'circuit', booked by the notable DC Productions agency. The 'Owls' performed a variety of rock, r&b and 'blue-eyed-soul'-music, including tunes-by Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire and Hall & Oates, to name a few.
Through the 1980s, Pepe was in full-swing as a sought-after bassist and vocalist, working with the band 'Starflight'. This band continued into the 90s and had the good-fortune to book many high-visibility shows, opening for such established-artists as Soupy Sales, as well as several oldies-acts; The Tokens, The Coasters and The Belmonts.
After a seven-year 'run' with 'Starflight', Mr. Hernandez channeled his multi-musical-talents to the 'drum-chair', in a stint with Jimmy Miller (a cousin of Jackie Wilson), touring the 'oldies-circuit' for over three-years.
As Y2K approached, Pepe felt the 'calling' of the bass-guitar once-more, and formed a band called 'Cruisin', an r&b-act that lasted over ten-years.
In 2001 Pepe remained commited to music... but also added the 'commitment of marriage'... as he and his soon-to-be wife, Gina formed 'Splash'! The group became the regular 'house-band' at the old "Fellini's Lounge" in Fairfield (also an early-Kootz-venue). Fortunately, the marriage has outlasted the shelf-life of 'Splash', which lasted until 2005.
Once they were married, Pepe and Gina continued their 'musical-marriage' in the form a 'perfect union', called "Invited Guests"; an act that 'to this day', still tours the NJ dance and club circuit!
Now... There WAS a 'Kootz-Connection' for Pepe, well-before he came on board; He'd worked-previously with a couple-of-Kootz... Russ Crapella (who filled-in on guitar with 'Splash') and Mike Muro (subbing on guitar with 'Jukebox Gold'). Both 'Kootz-Guitar-Men' raved about Pepe's vocal and bass-talents... which ultimately led to his 'joining our family' in late-2017!
Pepe is happily-(still)-married and lives with his family in Bergen County, New Jersey. He's definitely adding some-'spice' to the band's lineup! Be sure to catch this "Kaliente-Koot" at one of our shows... Soon!!!