The initial idea of MASS KUNFUZION came about when Steve Hernandez and Dave Clark got together to form a band for a variety show at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. They had thought it was going to be a one time deal, but they had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
Steve, a drummer, and Dave, a bass player, weren’t new to being in a band for both had been in bands before but had never achieved the success or satisfaction they were searching for. They knew what worked and what didn’t work and how the wrong personalities could squash any attempt at success. So, they started naming names of who could be their lead singer. Now the story goes that the first person they called was Brian LeBlanc.
Brian had been playing acoustic guitar and singing with Steve and Dave at St. Paul’s Catholic Church since the early 90’s but had never been in a band, except for the one time when he played with the local group Alien Bubbas.
Now they were 3 but needed more.
Steve then called Tom Baroco whom Dave and Brian also knew from church. At the time, Tom was the music minister at St. Paul. They all got together and discussed the possibility of him (Tom) being the keyboard player for the band. Since Tom has played piano and organ since early childhood and has grown into a very accomplished composer and musician, he loved the idea of diversifying his musical talents. He immediately accepted their offer.
Now they were 4 but needed more.
The lead guitarist, probably one of the most integral parts of any band was still missing from the mix. Someone with strong vocals, talent, skill, and their own guitar and amp was needed. Since they couldn’t find anyone else who fit those requirements, Tom approached Mike Vogel (just kidding, Mike!). Anyway, Tom knew Mike from (yes, you guessed it) St. Paul where he was part of the music ministry. Mike had the voice, the talent, the skill, plus his own guitar and amp, and that was just what was needed. He accepted the offer and immediately volunteered another name to be considered for the band . . . Mark Whibbs. Mark, also a part of the music ministry at St. Paul (surprise, surprise) plays the congas as well as any other percussion instrument known to mankind. He not only brings his muscial talents to the band but also his high-free spirited energy. Thankfully, Mark accepted.
Now they were 6 but they still needed more . . . but just didn’t know it.
Something was still missing from the proverbial mix but they didn’t know what it was until neither Brian nor Mike, nor Steve, Dave, Mark nor Tom, could hit the really, really high notes. They began to toss around the idea of adding a female singer, which would solve the “high note” issue, but could also add a whole other musical dimension. Once again, Tom came up with a name . . . a name very familiar to him. You see, Tom has 3 sisters, 2 of whom sing beautifully, (yes, they sang at St. Paul’s, but then, you expected that didn’t you). One of the sisters had, well, let’s just say she had what it took to make the final piece of the puzzle fit like a glove. That’s how Angela Baroco became the seventh and final member of MASS KUNFUZION.
They played at Catholic High School in October 2005, a picnic at St. Paul in Novmber 2005 and that variety show in January 2006 and caught the musical fever. They knew they had something special and wanted to see where it could go. So, they decided to stay together and “ride the wave”!
In early discussions of what types of music they wanted to play, the one thing that became clear was that they did not want to stereotype themselves into a specific genre. They didn’t want to play too much country or too much rock n’ roll or too much pop. They just wanted to play music, but they wanted to play music that they enjoyed playing and play music that people wanted to hear. If you look at their song list, you will see the diversity.
Since then, they have been having a ball playing all over Pensacola, including the main stage for Sertoma’s 4th of July Celebration in downtown Pensacola, Bands on the Beach, Evenings in Olde Seville, Mardi Gras Balls, The Mall Ball . . too many other gigs to mention. Be sure to click on the Schedule link to find out where they are playing next!
Just as a bit of trivia . . . the name of the band comes from the group’s Catholic roots (attending and singing at weekly and Sunday Mass) and the fact that when they first started out, they were very CONFUSED and had no idea what they were doing. Thus the name . . . MASS KUNFUZION. The rest, as they say, is history in the making. Stay tuned cuz you neva know what’s gonna happen!
MASS KUNFUZION EMERITUS
While his career is in music, his primary job is that of husband and father (he and his wife have four children). Tom has served as a Director of Music for a several Catholic parishes for over 10 years now. ‘On the side’ (he’s a musician, remember?) he works with Pensacola Catholic High School’s Music Ministry program and serves as a Director and Designer for Pensacola Little Theatre. Speaking of Pensacola Little Theatre, Tom sat in the Director’s chair as he cast and directed a successful run of “Beauty and the Beast.”
Tom started playing piano as a young child, and took advantage of various piano studies over the years including classical performance, improvisation, accompaniment, and jazz composition. He spent his undergraduate years at The Catholic University of America, and has since completed additional studies in conducting, voice, choral direction and Liturgy.
He has collaborated with other artists in studio recording and arranging, most notably Doug Brummel (www.dougbrummel.com – a healthy proponent of families in today’s hectic world).
Only recently has he started working on his own recordings . . . Christmas Blessings. This album is filled with piano arrangements of some of my favorite Holiday songs. Tom was thrilled to have a guest violinist, Mary Ann Lane, play on 4 of these songs. The CD is an hour long, and reflects a mix of religious and secular pieces that hopefully include some of your favorites. In what he hopes will be a ‘Tom Tradition’ there are a few pieces that will be new to you as well: his own composition, Blessings, and today’s seldom heard Gregorian Chants Of the Father’s Love Begotten and Creator of the Stars of Night.
CLICK HERE to purchase Tom’s CD!
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM)
The American Guild of Organists (AGO)
Pensacola Little Theatre Artistic Committee
Angela Baroco Eddy
Angela was born on Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton, FL but she was raised in Pensacola. Like her MK counterparts, she started singing in church at the age of 7 and continues on today. She is the older sister of MK keyboardist, Tom Baroco.
She has been involved with music her entire life. She received vocal training in Pensacola, Nashville and Orlando and has appeared in over 40 musical theatre productions over the last 25 years. Her first lead role (at 13) was as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
Angie loves singing songs by Norah Jones, Melissa Etheridge, Elvis, and Colbie Caillet.
Angie is married to Scott Eddy and has a daughter, Michaela.
Steve & Dave, who knew Dave from previous adventures on the softball field, asked him to join their happy little band & lend his experience to their sound. He accepted & gradually worked himself into the fold.
His musical background consisted of guitar lessons when he was in grade school & teaching himself piano chords. But, in 1982 he joined Up With People & spent 4 years touring the world. It wasn’t long into his world tour that he discovered that the big board with lots of buttons & lights actually made sense to him. He spent a few months learning the concepts of mixing the band & vocals then became a true staff member and toured for the next two years as a sound mixer and a year as a stage manager.
His highlights of the mixing days were mixing a show for Pope John Paul II at St Peters in the pouring rain; Nothing like trying to keep 220 volts of electricity from coursing through your body in front of 10,000 people! His biggest US highlight was being in the sound booth at Super Bowl XX helping to send the Halftime show to NBC.
Seeing as Up With People was how he met his wife who was from Pensacola, he settled here, they raised a family, & now he gets to spend his free time with these guys. His favorite saying?: “Dave, you need professional help!”
He can sometimes be found playing second-chair kazoo at selected Mass Kunfuzion gigs!!!!!
While in fifth grade, Mark learned early that the piano wasn’t for him, so he took off on learning the trumpet. He then discovered the happy beat of the congas in the 90’s and studied under Kalani. His percussion entourage includes the clavas, the guiro, the nuggets, the snap sequence, the clap sequence, the wood bloque, the richocet, the antler, the drum stique, the chimes and coming soon: the bongos and the tap.
His favorite local band of old was Lazy Day when the TiKi was cooking on Sunday afternoons and the cover band at Kevin’s En La Playa – Wildwood.