Mike Fleming - Guitar

Mike Fleming - Guitar

Lead gui­tarist of the children’s group, Mike Flem­ing, has played every­thing from hor­ror tinged punk rock to his own brand of roots and rock­a­billy. Ist­van and Mike orig­i­nally played together when Mike asked Ist­van to play drums in The Mike Flem­ing Spe­cial on their first U.S. tour. They went on to do a sec­ond tour of the U.S. and then a noto­ri­ous tour of the Nether­lands. A few years later Ist­van turned the tables and asked Mike to “play a few solos” on the children’s songs he was work­ing on. Mike came into the stu­dio and went way beyond Istvan’s request and added so much more to the Things I Like e.p.

Mike has the abil­ity to recall and play count­less songs of every vari­ety and will do so with­out hes­i­ta­tion until he is politely asked to stop. His style has devel­oped over the years into some­thing that leaves peo­ple smil­ing and cheer­ing and other musi­cians scratch­ing their heads in dis­be­lief. Mike is that rare com­bi­na­tion of huge nat­ural abil­ity and com­plete humil­ity. His par­tic­i­pa­tion makes the children’s band a reality.

 

Demi - Singer

Demi - Singer

Dimokra­tia, also known as Demi, is so excited to be the newest addi­tion to the Imag­i­nary Band. Demi grad­u­ated from Colum­bia Col­lege in Chicago with a degree in Musi­cal The­ater Per­for­mance. In addi­tion to singing she also works as a com­pany mem­ber for Imag­i­na­tion The­ater, a tour­ing the­ater troupe that teaches stu­dents about anti-bullying, and many other top­i­cal issues.

Demi loves work­ing with chil­dren! Other than music and the­ater she also works as a nanny, and that’s actu­ally how she met Ist­van. Strangely enough Demi had been friends with Mike Flem­ing for years but didn’t know he was friends with Ist­van. All three dis­cov­ered this when Demi came to Mike’s birth­day show. After the intial con­fu­sion they all decided that this was a sign that she should join the group.

Demi can be seen singing through­out Chiccago, includ­ing Davenport’s Piano Bar and Spec­trum Bar and Grill in Greek­town. You can join her mail­ing list to see where she’s per­form­ing next at mdimokratia@Yahoo.com and/or fol­low her on: www.facebook.com/dimokratiam

Bob - Bass

Bob - Bass

While the spot­light shines brightly and rightly on Ist­van, Mike and Demi, you can find Bob where most bass play­ers live — groov­ing in the back­ground and lay­ing down the low end.

Admired widely for his punc­tu­al­ity and good man­ners, Bob has known Ist­van since the lat­ter was a wee lad, play­ing odd com­po­si­tions involv­ing pup­pets and theramin solos.

Asked to step into the breach in 2011 after orig­i­nal bass slap­per Steven P. Slivka left for points south, Bob jumped at the chance to keep the rhythm sec­tion orderly and pro­vide a good exam­ple to the youth­ful aspir­ing rock­ers who form Istvan’s far-flung fandom.

When he’s not using Istvan’s tuner to keep that A-string in pitch, Bob spends his days dri­ving his many chil­dren to var­i­ous activ­i­ties and inter­rupt­ing band rehearsals to field their phones calls.

Ryan - Drums

Ryan - Drums

Ryan was introduced to Istvan by a mutual friend over 10 years ago. The two got along right away. They both loved drums and percussion and shared specific tastes in music that many of their peers didn't. They work well together both on stage and in the studio. They encourage and insult one another like brothers and ultimately bring out the others best.

Ryan loved music from a very young age and was one of those kids that would turn everything in his house into a drum set. He still loves everything to do with percussion. The wide range of people he's played with is proof: J. Davis-hip hop, Poi Dog Pondering-world, MOTO-punk, VEEDEE-psych as well as commercials, etc. 

Ryan started to take the recording process seriously a number of years ago and has since started his own recording studio, Berwyn Recording Service. The studio is in the long process of being built but while in the early stages he was able to record the Things I Like e.p. that set the whole kids band in motion. 

Rob - Drums

Rob - Drums

Robert Arendt has been play­ing drums since 1978. He’s been per­form­ing on bass and gui­tar pro­fes­sion­ally for the last 6 years. He is also an audio expert hav­ing cre­ated live and recorded sounds since his early 20s.Robert has been record­ing and per­form­ing with Linda M. Smith since 1989. He acts as tech­ni­cal direc­tor for her most recent show, “Tragedy to Tri­umph — the Story of Artemisia”, cue­ing video tran­si­tions and mix­ing sound while per­form­ing on bass, gui­tar and singing harmony.

Other recent works include; “Moby Dick”, a work in progress between Michael Smith and the Blair Thomas Pup­pet Ensem­ble, “The Snow Queen”, at the Vic­tory Gar­dens The­ater for it’s last two sea­sons, sound for Chicago Sum­mer Dance, tech­ni­cal direc­tor for “The Grapes of Wrath — a Folk Opera”, pro­duced by Linda M. Smith and Bar­bara Bar­row, music by Michael Smith and var­i­ous cre­ative and com­mer­cial voice-over, record­ing and editing/restoration projects.

Robert has been aware of Ist­van since Istvan’s days in “Woo Woo Stick” and couldn’t be hap­pier as an “Imag­i­nary Band” mem­ber pro­vid­ing “the beat that makes the lit­tle tikes dance around.”

Gina - Drums

Gina - Drums

Gina Tambourine-ah has been play­ing drum set pro­fes­sion­ally since she was 15 years old. She got her start play­ing in polka bands, and jazz trios…and as the word spread, she landed a full time drum throne with a pop­u­lar Chicago swing band. “I would play an aver­age of 10–12 shows a month, while in high school. My mom told me that I could keep the drum­ming job as long as I kept my grades up, and kept up with my hon­ors classes.“

In 2001 Gina went on to found The Gina Knight Orches­tra. The 8 piece big band played near and far to crowned kings and sul­tans of the sand. You can get her record You Say at iTunes or Ama­zon.com.

Like Ist­van, Gina loves kids and really loves per­cus­sion! She felt that this group was the per­fect fit! Besides play­ing live Gina is putting the fin­ish­ing touches on a begin­ners drum set instruc­tional DVD that's avail­able at: www.drumlessonsgirl.com