History

J.C Barnes

Ohio native J.C. Barnes first received minor attention in the late ‘70s as part of the band Cincinnati Sunset. However, it was a 1980 demo tape on which he sang that became his unexpected career boost. He cut the demo of “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight”, a Barry Mann/Carole Bayer Sager composition that was being delivered to Al Jarreau for possible inclusion on Jarreau’s landmark album “Lip’Sync”. Jarreau not only liked the song, he liked the singer on the tape and invited Barnes to provide the vocals to both “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” and “One Hundred Ways (To Love You)” on “Lip’Sync”. Of course, “Lip’Sync” became an international smash and both Barnes cuts rocketed up the adult contemporary charts, ultimately landing Barnes a Grammy Award for best MOR vocal performance.

Barnes’ debut album, “Talk to My Heart”, was released to great anticipation, and it didn’t disappoint. Led off by the Michael McDonald-esque smash hit “Our Love…(That’s Why)”, ‘Heart’ was perhaps the best album of the early Fall of 1983 and boasted the most strained ballad of that year, “(Sometimes) The Hardest Way, Is The Only Way To Your Heart”. Most of that album was also included on Barnes’ 1995 greatest hits disc, “Just Barnes”, which is an essential album for every waistcoat-wearing music lover the world over.

The next decade saw Barnes work predominantly in the world of film soundtracks. During this time he struck up a solid and uninspired working relationship with euro synthesiser pioneer, Jan Hammer. The pair churned out cinematic sound-scapes at a staggering rate but remain best remembered for their more rudimentary work on the Oscar nominated movies: “Cop and a Half”, “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” and “Silence of the Lambs”.

Barnes’ own solo career tailed off somewhat in the ‘90s due to misguided promotional direction and an ill-judged comment about Gregory Hines on the “Arsenio Hall” show in 1992. Despite this, Barnes continued to write chart material for stars such as Kenny G, Curtis Stigers and Shanice throughout the decade. After a six year hiatus, Barnes released “Forever Barnes: The Complete Works” in 1999, which included re-recordings of some of his biggest hits along with some lesser new material. He also appeared as a guest vocalist on Jim Messina’s “That Time of Year” holiday album in 2001.

Barnes has continued to provide guest vocals for a number of artists and has been a regular participant in cable TV telethons since 2002. He’s recently written a children’s musical based on the life of dancer Debbie Allen called “Nite-Moves” and intends to write a follow up with Pat Benatar in between present commitments. It’s this flexibility that recently led Jim Break to admit that when was looking for someone to carry his new stage show – Spring Break – the only man in the running was Barnes.

Kendrick Berrera

Kendrick Berrera was born in 1961 in Oakland, California. He spent the first few years of his childhood in a camper with the rest of his family following his musician father, Bobby “Yogi” Berrera, from gig to gig until finally settling in Sacramento, where his father was a musician in the house band of a local club.

As a child, he first took tap-dance lessons and, aged ten, finished second to a rock band in a local talent competition. This caused him to give music a look. The first musical instrument he played was violin, followed by trombone and acoustic guitar.

At 16, Berrera and some friends formed a rock band called Hot Touch. They later switched to country-rock and changed their name to The Easy Feels. They had quite a following in the northern California area, opening for such acts as Peter Frampton, Three Dog Night and Grand Funk Railroad. The Easy Feels released their only album, “Gentle on My Mind”, in 1978 and split soon after in the face the album’s muted reception.

Berrera immediately fell into high profile work however, replacing Timothy B. Schmit in Poco when Schmit left to join The Eagles. This led to Berrera doing some session work with Glen Campbell. That gig came to an abrupt end though when he openly criticised Campbell’s lifestyle choices at the time. Downcast, Berrera relocated to New York and a short stint with the Saturday Night Live house band. It was here that he first met Christopher Cross and began a highly successful period of session work with the doleful singer/songwriter.

Berrera has flourished in the field of session work and his credits include performing on more than 100 gold albums. His theme music credits for TV and films include “Against All Odds”, “Who’s the Boss”, “Hill Street Blues”, “the Golden Girls” and “Alf”. The latter was a theme he composed with Hilton Burbank. Though not credited on the record, it is widely believed to be true that Berrera contributed the line, “That a change will only come, when we stand together as one” to “We Are the World”.

While working on the soundtrack to “Three Men and a Little Lady”, Berrera was the victim of a random gun attack whilst onstage with the Bangles at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd in 1990*. The bullet shattered his vocal cord and caused significant nerve trauma, but through intensive therapy and a positive frame of mind Berrera recovered to continue to thrill music fans the world over with his shrewd, no-frills approach to guitar playing which is now back where it belongs: centre-stage beside Burbank’s bank of synths.

*Despite the attack, Berrera remains a full member of the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and frequently lobbies congress on their behalf.

Jim Break

Keyboards, Vocals and Percussion

Younger brother of renowned drummer Marty Break, Jim Break was born in Hartford Connecticut at the tail end of the Indian summer of 1960. Being the son of legendary composer and conductor Stan Break, he got a taste of great musicianship at an early age as he practically grew up in Hollywood’s recording studios in the ‘60s after the Break family relocated there in ’62.Jim, the youngest member of the musical family, first became enamoured with drums after watching Hal Meyer play on a session for the Sting Rays. Father Stan decided that one drummer was enough for any family however and persuaded his son to pursue keyboards rather than drums. Break took his father’s advice but also received tutelage from percussion player Philippe Benitez whenever the celebrated Cuban was in town.

Break immediately began to develop an unusual style on the keyboards and it is one that still has critics, fans and musicologists alike searching for an apt description to this day. He himself refers to his playing style as: “like the last day of school man – anything fuckin’ goes, you know?” Break found himself in favour as a session man in the mid to late ‘70s when he was still a teenager, as his ability on both keys and percussion meant only one man had to get paid instead of two.

Though his ability was never in question it is widely believed Break never truly realised his potential due to a mixture of unreliability and attitude. On the occasions he actually did turn up for recording sessions he was always late and often drunk or high. In one instance he tried to assault Carly Simon during the recording of “Nobody does it Better”, when Simon refused to arm wrestle him for money. His brother Marty was playing drums on the session and was so appalled by his siblings’ behaviour that he didn’t speak to him for over 20 years.

Because of his personal problems – alcoholism, drug dependence and a string of failed marriages – for which he never blamed himself, Break found big time jobs hard to come by from the early ‘80s onwards. He turned to writing music for pornographic films throughout the decade in an effort to make ends meet and once attempted to perform in one adult movie but got involved in a punch up with the leading ‘actress’ before the cameras even started rolling.

Break quit music in the early ‘90s and became a New York City cab driver. This ended with a short stint in prison in 1997 however when he had his licence revoked for driving under the influence of narcotics. It is believed that Break lived on the streets of Cleveland for a period after his release though he neither confirms nor denies this.

Break has turned his life around since entering rehab at the insistence of a North Dakotan court in 2002. A recent reconciliation with his brother Marty has led to him returning to the music business with Spring Break after a 15 year absence

Hilton Burbank

Keyboards, Piano, Programming and Vocals

Though born in Detroit, Hilton Burbank relocated to Los Angeles, where he has been among the city’s most prolific session musicians for over 25 years. A solo artist, producer, and composer who enjoyed success in both the secular and CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) arenas, Hilton Burbank first surfaced during the early ’70s as a top session keyboardist, playing on albums by artists ranging from Emerson, Lake and Palmer to Yes to Loggins & Messina before making his solo debut with 1976’s solo, “A Night at the Hilton” album.“A Night at the Hilton” went on to win 3 Grammys that year – including best vocoded scat – in the instrumental electro-jazz category which ran for a short time in the mid to late ‘70s. The category itself was seen as a tip of the cap to Burbank whose spatial, synthesised textures and lyrical flirtation with existential and metaphysical themes were so unique as to redefine the parameters of genre identification. Amazingly Burbank’s follow up in 1978, “Take that to the ‘Bank” – which features art work as controversial today as it was upon its release – was an even bigger commercial and critical success than its predecessor.

It was around this time that Burbank established himself as more than just a songwriter and musician as he moved away from the avant-garde domain he himself had created. He quickly graduated to the top ranks of producers through his work with singer/songwriter Christopher Cross, collaborating on a series of hits including the Grammy winning “Sailing”, “Ride like the Wind”, and “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)”. It was through his work with Cross that Burbank first jammed with an up and coming session guitarist called Kendrick Berrera.

Burbank continued to work extensively as a session musician throughout the ‘80s and is credited with introducing Harold Faltemeyer to his friend and fan, Steven Berkoff. It was at Berkoff’s insistence that Faltemeyer’s song “Axel F” was used as the theme to the sensational Eddie Murphy, racial role reversal romp, “Beverly Hills Cop”.

The following year – 1985 – was a significant one both personally and professionally for Burbank as it was in January of ’85 that he was infamously asked to leave the recording of “We are the World” when Berrera, Billy Joel and Huey Lewis accused him of not leaving his ego at the door and also of stealing Kenny Rogers’ can of Tab cola. Though Burbank refuted the allegations he found work hard to come by over the next decade and a half.

During this period Burbank earned an income mainly from sound effects work for TV shows and minor sci-fi movies. He wrote a still to be performed opera, “Cyberlife: The Cosmic Ballet”, with his ex-wife Belinda Kinkle in 2000. Last year saw Burbank reconcile his differences with Berrera when they played together for the first time in 20 years in aid of the SMLA Trust – an association set up to help Los Angeles’ session musicians who have fallen on hard times. That night is widely regarded as the rebirth of Hilton Burbank who now plays with Berrera full time in Spring Break.

Teri Campari

It is thought that only two people know how old Teri Campari actually is: Teri herself and her ex-husband Peter Cetera. Years matters not for a singer of Campari’s calibre however. Indeed, age ain’t nothin’ but a number when your voice is a time machine; evoking the memories of yesterday whilst realising the dreams of tomorrow.Campari – real name Ruth Horowitz – was born of upper middle class Polish immigrants in Harrisburg Pennsylvania and displayed a flair for performance, and particularly singing from an early age. Her father’s job with the Federal Reserve saw Campari move city every two years, exposing his daughter to diverse styles of music that combined to make her a recording star.

Throughout her period of study in Harvard, Campari combined her love of music with her burgeoning love of politics. A member of the university’s senior council of the Young Republicans, the conservative chanteuse staged many pro-Vietnam rallies and demonstrations and cut her now infamous anti-civil rights album, “Rights and Wrongs” shortly before graduation.

Though the album’s content was at odds with the nation’s prevailing sentiment, Campari’s sassy tone, bawdy intonation and gung ho timbre gained her instantaneous recognition. Bands, songwriters and producers across the country found themselves having to book months in advance to secure her distinctive voice for their records.

A buzz swept the industry: here at last was a woman candid about her vocal interpretation of subject matter; someone unafraid to perform in a brassy style, hitherto unseen in the patriarchal business that was hit-making. After five years working as a session singer in Los Angeles in the late ‘70s – most notably with Linda Ronstadt, the Dirt Band and the Doobie Brothers – Campari temporarily left the recording business to serve as the Reagan administration’s adviser to the United Nations.

Campari was tempted back to recording work following a phone call from her friend and film producer Harvey Myerovich in the fall of 1986. Myerovich wanted Campari to help with the recording of original material for his latest project; Dirty Dancing. Drained by her diplomatic exertions in the wake of the Iran/Contras scandal Campari was glad to turn her back on the political world and return to the recording studio.

Campari co-wrote and constructed the vocal arrangements for Time Of My Life, Hungry Eyes and She’s Like The Wind on the soundtrack to the hit Jennifer Grey film and was delighted to see her good friend the late Patrick Swayze earn a Golden Globe nomination for the role of Johnny Castle.

Campari married Peter Cetera in 1991 and enjoyed continued success throughout the decade, writing and arranging hits for Cher, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion and Michael Bolton. The industry legend first performed with Spring Break at the 2004 ‘Hope Foundation’ Christmas fundraiser and now joins them on stage to perform a couple of her numbers when commitments allow.

Spring Break are always delighted to perform with the singer and long time colleague, and run through some of her hits whenever they can. As Kendrick Berrera says: “It’s an honour and a pleasure. Without her there would be no Cindy Lauper, Kim Carnes or Toni Basil.”