A lifelong Chicagoan, Gary is classically trained. He studied at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and privately with current and former members of the Chicago Symphony, as well as other noted professionals such as Warren Benefield, Joe Guasafeste, Jim Palacek, Brian Ferguson, Jack LaSpina. Early in his career, Gary performed in the Chicago Lyric Opera, Basically Bach, a number of the local symphonic orchestras, and various jazz groups, as well as in the pit for many of the musicals that came through Chicago's top-rated theaters. Compass Rose is his return to regular performances in the Chicago music scene. CRq’s array of ethnic musical influences encourages him to draw upon the full range of his musical background and to indulge the joy of music that has brought so much to his life.
Born and raised in Boston, Dave played drums for ten years before the urge to write songs led him to the guitar at age 18. He studied with a variety of mentors: guitar & theory with Ian Buchanan, Alan DeMause, & John Berenzy, and composition and guitar at the Berklee School of Music, and songwriting at the Songwriters Workshop in New York City. In 1977, Dave and current bandmate Larry Howe won second prize in the C & W category of the American Songwriters Festival. Dave’s performing credits include numerous venues in major American cities: in New York fronting the Dave Effgen Band, and The Chairs, and as a sideman with Cindy Peress; in Houston with Buxdelux; and in Chicago with The Explorers, in the band accompanying the Pilgrim Church Gospel Choir, and in the pit of CAST and the Open Door Repertory Theatre. He draws on all of this experience in his writing, arranging, and improvising with Compass Rose.
Larry came out of musical retirement when he helped form an earlier version of Compass Rose, called Hip Fetish. In the 1970s, he had fronted a variety of bands playing blues-based music--from country to R&B to jazz--in the college and club circuit in and around Boston. Between gigs, he studied guitar and theory with Steve Cantor and Will McFarland. In 1980, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he took up other kinds of cultural study. Fifteen years later, his academic career brought him to Chicago, where he reunited with his old friend David Effgen, and began playing the mandolin in 1998. After 30 years on the guitar, he found this new instrument to be an avenue to new musical possibilities, influenced by David Grisman, Don Stiernberg, Ry Cooder, David Lindley, and Bill Frisell. Playing with Compass Rose has helped him grow as a mandolin player, but especially as a writer and arranger. He's happy to report he's having the time of his life.
Atiba joined Compass Rose for their first performance and has been an integral member of the band ever since. His career has been a long and varied one. In addition to playing with CRq, he leads BUSA--an African drum, dance, and storytelling ensemble. Atiba is a master drummer, performer, and teacher of various African instruments including the djembe, kalimba, bataphone, berim-bau, shekere, yidake, and harp. He has performed and conducted workshops on the history of African music in schools, libraries, museums, and community centers throughout the Chicago area. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Atiba has also recorded extensively on guitar, bass, keyboards, and saxophone, as well as the full range of percussion instruments. As the owner of Sound Creations recording and production studio, he has produced and composed music for local artists, television, radio, theater, and independent film. His latest solo percussion CD is titled "Karibu", available from:Sound Creations
PO Box 1101
Oak Park, IL 60304
773. 626. 6088.
A long-time Chicago resident, Andy was raised in a musical family. He took up the violin at age 8, studying over the years with Susan Starrett and Angel Reyes. His classical beginnings laid the foundation for wide array of musical experiences, playing at different periods with the St. Olaf College Orchestra, the classical quintet FÜnf, and the urban-folk group Fate Saved Us. His violin has taken him to the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, as well as contemporary music venues like Schuba's and Fitzgerald's. Andy draws his musical inspiration from a similarly broad range of influences: Mozart and Mahler, Coltrane and Django, Sonic Youth and Yo la Tengo. This musical variety complements the life he enjoys with his wife, Cheryl and daughter, Eva.