Led by vocalist Heidie Malnassy, Velocity performs an expansive repertoire, including jazz standards, R&B, Soul, Motown, Classic Rock, Contemporary Top 40, and everything in between. The band features world-class talent who have performed alongside Chaka Khan, Common, Wynton Marsalis, and Diana Krall! The inclusion of 3 lead vocalists in a 7-piece band is unique in Chicagoland, and it allows Velocity to perform with uncommon versatility. The band can be expanded by adding horns and violins as well. At any size, Velocity is a perfect choice for your special event!Read More
Heidie Malnassy has been belting out tunes since the age of 11. Since moving to Chicago in 2008, she has been a lead vocalist in several Top 40 bands, as well as lead her own original music projects as singer, songwriter and producer. In 2015 she wrote and co-produced her debut EP entitled “No Love Like Our Love” which she was able to release with the help from a fully funded Kickstarter campaign. Her versatile tone and attention to detail have made her a highly sought after vocalist in the Chicago music community. She has performed alongside several highly acclaimed musicians including Paula Cole, Jim Lauderdale, Charlie Sexton, and Todd Rundgren. When she’s not performing, you can catch Heidie as a full time vocal Instructor and Music Director at the School of Rock Oak Park, where she loves to inspire and encourage kids and adults to access their inner rockstar. Heidie received her Bachelor’s of Music from Columbia College Chicago in Contemporary Urban and Popular Music.Read More
Brien is Velocity’s guitarist, and an accomplished musician in all types of pop and jazz styles. He has performed with nationally recognized artists such as Gerry Mulligan, Tito Puente, James Moody, Clark Terry, James Morrison, Wayne Bergeron, and Jeff Coffin. Brien has a Bachelor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and a Masters of Music degree from Northern Illinois University.
While performing regularly in the Chicago area, Brien also teaches at College of Lake County, and Moraine Valley Community College.
Well-versed in rock, pop, R&B, and jazz, Erik Martinez is thrilled to be a part of the Arlen Music family. He has performed all over the United States at many of the finest venues from Los Angeles to New York with artists such as Kurt Elling, Fred Hersch, Norma Winstone, Darmon Meader, and Bobby McFerrin. He has performed in 80’s bands, funk bands, and party bands and has 15 years’ experience as a professional singer. Before singing professionally he received a Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University and toured with the acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company all over the United States and abroad. He has also been seen entertaining audiences in Mexico, the Bahamas, Spain, South Africa, and Turkey. When not singing Erik enjoys working as a Physical Therapist, coaching baseball for his twins, and running ultramarathons.
Carya Holmes is a versatile vocalist with over 20 years of experience. Carya has been honored to open for Chaka Khan at the Taste of Chicago, serenading the crowd with the National Anthem. She's appeared as a guest vocalist in Regina Taylor's play, Crowns, and she can be heard on music tracks with artists including Common and STAIND. Her soulful, melodic tone is a perfect match for Velocity!
Dan Murphy is a versatile keyboardist. He feels equally at home in all styles of popular music from jazz to pop. Dan’s debut jazz album on Armored Records entitled Undisclosed Location includes five original compositions, each offering a musical commentary on society. His second album of all-original jazz trio music, Snare of the Waltzer will be released soon featuring bassist Patrick Mulcahy and drummer Jon Deitemyer.
Dan performs regularly with many top jazz artists and singers in Chicago including Elaine Dame, Rose Colella, Paul Marinaro, and Alyssa Allgood. He is a member of the New Standard Jazz Orchestra, a 16-piece big band in residence at the Jazz Showcase. Residing in Chicago, Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Jazz Theory/Piano at the University of Illinois Chicago and is proud to be performing with Ken Arlen’s “Velocity.”
Since moving to Chicago from Florida in 1993, Tim Fox has established himself as one the most in-demand bassists in the city. Tim has performed with Chris Siebold & Psycles, M13, and has enjoyed long standing chairs in Rob Parton's JazzTech Big Band, the Illinois USO Troop, and Jeff Newell's New-Trad Octet. He was also the bassist for Chicago's record breaking six-year run of the musical Forever Plaid. Tim has toured in the U.S. and Europe, and often appears with artists passing through Chicago on tour, such as Dick Oates, Dave Berkman, George Garzone, Uri Caine, Ralph Alessi, Don Byron and Jim Black. While living in Florida, he worked regularly with Nat Adderly, and Buddy DeFranco. Tim has degrees from Florida State University and DePaul University, and has taught at Lake Forest College and Maine East High School. He currently resides in Crete, IL, with his wife and two children.
Drummer Lucas Gillan originally began making music in his hometown of Tucson, AZ, where he performed in punk rock clubs, churches, all-city jazz ensembles and youth orchestras. Since moving to the Chicago area, Lucas has enjoyed an active freelance career, regularly performing at venues including the Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, Lincoln Hall and Constellation. He has toured around the Midwest, in New York, and at the South By Southwest Music Festival. He leads and composes for a jazz quartet called Lucas Gillan’s Many Blessings, and is a member of the popular soul/R&B band The Right Now. We’re delighted to have him as a part of Velocity!