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. Three lead vocalists in a 7-piece band are unique in Chicagoland, allowing 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.
Matthew was born and raised in Evanston, where his musical career started off at a very young age. Matthew graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Michigan State University and is currently in the Master of Music Education program at Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, IL. Matthew serves as the Director of Choirs at Niles West High School in Skokie, IL as well as the director of the College of Lake County Gospel Choir at the Grayslake campus. In 2015, Matthew made his professional theater debut in Chicago in the Black Ensemble Theater’s Jeff-nominated production of Men of Soul. In 2016, Matthew was featured as an ensemble member in the Jeff Award-winning production of Dreamgirls with Porchlight Music Theatre. He has also been named one of the north shore’s “Top talents, art influencers, and dazzling performers” in Modern Luxury NS magazine (2016) and has served as an assistant music director for the Musical Theater Intensive at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, IL. He was recently seen performing in the Jeff award-nominated production of “Godspell” by Stephen Schwartz at Theo Ubique in Evanston, IL. From national to international performances, from hip-hop dance troupes to baroque operas, Matthew brings a wealth of performing experience and musical leadership to the stage and the classroom.
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.”
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 like the Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, and Lincoln Hall. He has toured the country with indie bands, playing shows throughout the Midwest, as well as in Nashville, New York and the South By Southwest Music Festival. He leads and composes for a jazz quartet called Lucas Gillan’s Many Blessings, and played drum set with Blue Man Group from 2019 until the Coronavirus pandemic put the show on hold in March 2020. In addition to his performing activities, he directs the percussion program at Fenwick High School, teaches drum set at Wheaton College, and is the Director of Music and Arts at Naperville Covenant Church.