George is a life long music lover, with mind and ears open wide to all forms of creative musical expression He enjoys rock, indie, jazz, classic hip hop, R&B, folk, blues, soul, pop, Americana and more. George has attend many local, regional and national concerts/events throughout the years. Recently retired from Dayton Public Schools after 45 years of service, he was the founder/teacher of jazz studies/history at Stivers School for the Arts for the past 23 years. He has been a downtown resident for 20 years and a passionate supporter of all things Dayton. (David Byrne photo by Chris Corn)
MIKE COOLEY (aka Cooley the curator)
Mike may look familiar if you frequent downtown Dayton's Omega Music store. He is the manager there, where he uses his role to elevate his status as a purveyor of fine funk. He's also the co-host of “Homegrown Hip Hop” Tuesday nights on WYSO 91.3 FM. He takes his DJ and curating skills on then road and also performs at local public & private events.
Sabrina adds a Dolly Parton sparkle to Dayton, Ohio! She is an all-star creative, entrepreneur and the owner / fashionista at Haus of Sequins, a retail art and fashion studio inside the 300 Front Street building at 2220 E. 2nd St, Dayton. Sabrina also is one of downtown's most influential tastemakers, advocates, and all around fabulous human being!
Hailed as one of Dayton’s true musical gems, she’s appeared on stages all over the region and beyond. One of her proudest moments came in 1999 when she released her self-titled debut album “Billi Nicol". Eight years ago, she added "Survivor" to her list of accomplishments. She’s become an advocate for the University of Cincinnati’s Neuroscience Institute, changing the “face” of brain tumors. Using her gift of song as a tool to raise awareness, she was the first featured vocalist in the Mayfield Foundation’s “Art & Science of Healing” annual event and sang the National Anthem at UCHEALTH’s Annual “Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure 5K!”
Juliet Fromholt is proud to be music director at 91.3FM WYSO, Southwest Ohio’s public radio that serves the community with news, music and storytelling. Juliet Fromholt began volunteering at WYSO while working at WWSU, the student station at her alma mater, Wright State University. After joining the station staff in 2009, Juliet developed WYSO’s digital and social media strategy until moving into the music director role in 2021. An avid music fan and former record store employee, Juliet continues to host her two music shows, Alpha Rhythms and Kaleidoscope, which features studio performances from local musicians every week. She also co-hosts Attack of the Final Girls, a horror film review podcast.
Madeline Hart is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Levitt Pavilion Dayton. They have their Bachelor of Science in Music Business from Murray State University and have called Dayton home for over 6 years now. They have been with the Levitt Pavilion since it opened in 2018 and love seeing people connect through the power of music. In their free time Madeline sings with the Dayton Bach Society, loves riding their bike on Dayton’s incredible bike trails, playing tabletop RPGs, and creating art.
Curt Hedberg is an audio engineer extraordinaire and the owner of Dayton Sound Studios in Kettering. Dayton Sound Studios is the proud title sponsor of Dayton Battle of the Bands for two years now, and they are excited about this opportunity and partnership! Curt is also a DJ who appears at exclusive events around the Dayton area.
Jamy Holliday is a legendary Dayton musician, known for rockin' out in bands including Haunting Souls, Luxury Pushers, and Mystery Addicts. He was also a state at Canal Street Tavern, the beloved stomping grounds for musicians in Downtown Dayton for decades. Jamy has also been a great friend and partner to The Brightside Music & Event Venue.
MARY KATHERINE BURNSIDE
Mary Kathryn Burnside is a business owner, event planner and patron of the local arts community. In 2011, Burnside opened Clash Dayton in the Oregon District, which has become a hub for new local talent of all varieties – print, fashion, handmade jewelry and fiber, just to name a few.
Eric Mahoney is a director / producer whose debut documentary, North Dixie Drive was called, "A perfect cinematic piece of cultural anthropology" by director Jim Jarmusch. He produced the global anthology film, Madly which won Best Actress at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and most recently directed and produced the documentary, Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero (2019 SXSW Film Festival). Eric hosts and produces the Kon-tiki Podcast, a film centric show. Locally, Eric is on the Board of Trustees at The Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs and runs Sonic Springs Booking, an entertainment promotion company bringing national music and comedy acts to the Dayton area.
Terry "izzy rock" Martin
Terry "Izzy Rock" Martin has given voice to the Dayton music scene for many years via The Gem City Podcast, where he has hosted storyteller episodes with hundreds of local musicians and bands of all genres. He was awarded for his efforts with the Best Dayton Podcast award in 2018, Daytonian of the Week, among other accolades. The Gem City Podcast is currently on hiatus, but Izzy has remained dedicated to Dayton's local music as an avid fan & supporter.
Evan Miller is a percussionist, lover of sound. He got his start in radio in 2012 at WWSU at Wright State University, where he was studying percussion performance. He followed through with both endeavors and eventually landed a lucrative dual career playing experimental music at home and abroad, and broadcasting those sounds to unsuspecting listeners Sunday nights on The Outside. Maintaining a connection to normal music, Evan also plays drums in bands, and hosts WYSO's weekday music show Excursions.
CHRIS "POPPY" POPADAK
Chris Popadak is the drummer for legendary Dayton rock band Hawthorne Heights and one half of the"2-piece rock 'n roll party" The Story Changes. Between both bands, he's been on countless world tours!
With his music partner MarkMcMillon,Poppy has been a touring manager and event promoter, hosting long-running local music showcases such as HoliDayton. He is owner of Little Monster Printing, which is our Partner Level sponsor this year!
Pucca Scotty is a super producer, musician, and DJ from Houston, TX. Currently she's located in Dayton, and has been making a big name for herself here the past 2 years. She has been innovative on progressing the sound here by curating large "Artist Showcases" with a variety of music genres.
She is also an audio engineer/producer at Heartland Creative Studios, one of the hottest studios in Downtown Dayton.
She has been in the music industry for almost 8 years and has an eye for talent and developing artists/musicians.
Rev cool Carter
Rev Cool Carter is regularly voted Dayton's Best Celebrity and all of that fame comes from his long running music show "Around the Fringe" on WYSO 91.3 FM. In addition to his work with WYSO, Carter was a reading teacher for Dayton Public Schools for 35 years before retiring. He began promoting music shows during his college days at Wright State and was president of his own record label, “I WANNA.”
Ron Rollins is a writer, editor, poet and artist who lives in Kettering, Ohio. Married to Amy, he has two grown children and two grandchildren. Ron is retired from the Dayton Daily News, where he was a staple since 1986. Ron has served on the boards of several local arts, cultural and social-service organizations, including: Dayton History, FilmDayton, House of Bread, Antioch Writers Workshop, and TEDx Dayton.
Writer and musician Don Thrasher moved with his parents and brother from small town Alabama to Dayton in the mid-70s. He has played music since the early 1980s with groups like Guided By Voices, Swearing At Motorists and the New Creatures. He has been drummer for Smug Brothers since 2008. Thrasher has covered music and arts since the early 1990s. He has written for media outlets such as Dayton.com, Dayton Voice, Impact Weekly, In These Times, Sponic, Treblephonic and other outlets. In April, he celebrates 20 years as a contributing writer with the Dayton Daily News.
Valentino "tino" halton
Cleveland, Ohio born and raised son of a preacher, TINO found his love for rhyming while attending college in the Dayton, Ohio. Since 2012 TINO has performed hundreds of shows across multiple states opening for Talib Kweli, Del The Funky Homosapien, Cappadonna and more as a solo artist, a member of band Sidekick Complex and half of hip hop duo Safe Money. He has released numerous projects both locally and internationally with he latest release, “La Pa Bavarde” - a Collaboration with French producer DJ Marrrtin. TINO, an 80s baby has a unique style which blends the Golden Era of hip hop with modern elements bridging the gap between the old and new school.
Lisa Wagner is the Executive Director for the Levitt Pavilion Dayton, hired in 2017 to build and lead the non-profit organization with the mission of building community through the power of music, one free concert at a time. Previously, Lisa spent 15 years working for the Victoria Theatre Association,
as the Vice President of Ticketing and Hospitality.
Lisa attended Miami University and she holds a certificate in Strategic Leadership for Non-Profits from the University of Pennsylvania and she completed the Senior Management Institute in a joint program with National Arts Strategies and University of Michigan.
David webb Sr.
David Webb is the proud CEO, Founder & Owner at The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center. He is also the host of the Dayton Scene Radio Show, that is syndicated around the country. David is a funk music expert, and we're thrilled that he is joining our judging panel in 2023!
Patrick Nugent is President and CEO of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. He loves the classical performing arts, but is also a seriously addicted jazz afficionado, loves Afro-Cuban and other kinds of Latin music, as well as Afro-pop and traditional Irish music. This is Patrick's first time judging for Dayton Battle of the Bands!
Eman Jones was the Hip Hop / Rap finalist in the 2022 Dayton Battle of the Bands! Jones is not only a talented emcee, he's a prolific songwriter who is making hits for major national recording artists across the country! Eman is an up-and-coming talent who is excited to share his insights with the next round of DBB participants.
Vibes is an avid supporter of The Brightside, a maker of instruments, and a self described synthesizer nerd. He has been involved with music his whole life, whether it be playing music, organizing musical events, or traveling with his dad to his various jazz piano gigs. He seeks to cultivate a community rich with musical ideas and collaborative exploration.
Mariah J, born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, spent her adolescent years deeply rooted in church, dance, and youth choir. She attended Stivers School for the Arts, where her focus was centered on dance and creative writing; however, her love for singing never left. While receiving her Bachelors of Science in Organizational Leadership at Wright State University in 2012-2016 she was still singing in her black campus choir. Mariah released her debut album, Unfolding, on June 24th of this year, and is now available on all streaming platforms. Mariah J is an artist disrupter who helps co-create the world we all deserve through art, culture, healing, and consciousness.
Greg Simms jr
Greg Simms Jr. is a veteran content creator and cultural expert who's worked for numerous digital publications over the years. He is currently a writing contributor to WYSO 91.3 FM. He's a resident of Greene County, but he's always aware of social-cultural events happening all over the Miami Valley.
Khrys Blank is a Dayton implant, who has found herself rooted deep in the Gem City music scene. Being a singer, songwriter, percussionist, dancer, & multi-instrumentalist, she can be found as an auxiliary performer in various groups around town, but her main musical focuses being the original band Solistic, and co-organizing The Gem City Mardi Gras Threauxdown. Her appreciation for rhythm and music spans across the genres, with most influential being that of blues, reggae, soul, funk, middle eastern, rock, jazz, & R&B, and has performed on stage with Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane) & Sean Finnigan (Gregg Alman Band).
Gary D King is an audio engineer, producer, musician and co-owner of Dayton Sound Studios. He studied Recording Studio Technology at the Institute of Audio Research in New York City. He toured the world with the iconic funk band, Sun (Capitol Records). He has worked with hundreds of artists and has decades of professional recording and music experience. Gary has Platinum and Gold album awards. Gary plays trombone with several Dayton area bands (including Jah Soul, Heather Redman, Nasty Bingo) After 19 years, Gary has retired from teaching the Recording Arts program at Stivers School for the Arts.