Together, the following performers make up The Dennis Keith Experience

Dennis Keith Johnson
Bassist, Vocalist and Leader of The Dennis Keith Experience

In addition to all of his leading responsibilities, Dennis has performed and/or recorded with bands and artists such as: Chase (Epic Records), Survivor (Scotti Brothers Records), Software (Head First Records), Dennis DeYoung (A & M Records), Jerry Butler (Motown Records), B.B. King, Jim Peterick (Epic Records), and Steve Dahl; in venues that include the Tonight Show, Newport Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Budukan (Tokyo), Chicagofest, Radio City Music Hall, Summerfest (Milwaukee), Poplar Creek and Holiday Star Theater.  Dennis may also be heard playing on hundreds of TV/radio jingles such as Sears, State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, McDonald's, 7-11, Miller Beer, Busch Beer, Old Style Beer and Nintendo.

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Cherryl Fonfara
Vocalist and Co-Leader of The Dennis Keith Experience

On top of being a vocalist with The Dennis Keith Experience, Cherryl has performed and/or recorded with a variety of artists including Sweetening, Angela Bofill, Michael Bolton, Vic Damone, Patti Austin, Morris Chorus, Spunk, Freda Payne and Wayne King, as well as performing with her own group Cherryl Fonfara and Company at venues like Chicagofest.  She has also sung jingles for products such as Illinois Bell, Sears, Kellogg's, McDonald's, Old Style Beer, Henniger Beer, Busch Beer, Illinois Lottery, and RCA; and has performed as a television and radio voice-over for products such as Betty Crocker Easy Delicious Desserts, Mutual of Omaha, Thorspring Mineral Water, Great Frame‑Up, Village Saucerie, Safeway, Ford, Cash & Carry, Westin River North, St. Paul Federal, and US West.

Jeff Dewbray

Jeff is known for his work with the bands Dartagnan and Vishusgruv at Metro, Toto's, and China Club.  He has performed/or recorded with various artists including the Spencer Davis Group, Night Ranger, and Jeff Murphy of the Shoes.

Allison Orobia  

Allison has been on the Chicago scene for almost 9 years.  She has a bachelor’s degree in music education and jazz voice from the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University   At CCPA, she was a member of the Downbeat award-winning vocal jazz ensemble, New Deal, sang with the University Chorus, and was a member of the Grant Park Symphony Chorus.  Her stage credits include The Wiz, Bye Bye Birdie (Rosie), High School Musical (Cheerleader), Miss Saigon (Kim), West Side Story (Maria, Rosalia), Mame, Tommy, Guys and Dolls, and The Wizard of Oz to name a few.  Allison also teaches private piano and voice lessons to children and adults at Backbeat Music Instruction in the Lakeview area of Chicago and she also teaches developmental gymnastics and dance at The Little Gym of Chicago to children 10 months to four years old.  

Lester “Jay” Jenkins  

Lester “Jay” Jenkins, who begun singing at the age of 5 in various church choirs and gospel groups, has performed in venues that include: The Maywood Sound Stage, Olive Harvey College, The UniverSoul Circus, The Premier Entertainment Center, The Taste of Entertainment, etc.  Lester’s has recorded with producer  Marcus Mister a.k.a. Mr. Mister for the Il Entertainment record label.  In 2006, Lester joined forces with what was labeled as “Columbia’s All-Stars” in Blues (under the direction of Fernando Jones) and formed the Down and Dirty Blues Band, which have performed at such venues as Kingston Mines, Buddy Guys, Lee’s Unleaded Blues Club, The Checkerboard Lounge, The Green Dolphin, and Reggies Rock club.  He has also made television singing appearances on Channel 19, Channel 5 NEWS, Power 92 Chicago, and FOX.  Lester is currently finishing a long awaited solo EP.  Check him out on his website!!

Joe "Cool" Cropin

Joe’s credits include the Spies, Night Beat, Eric Scott, Jimmy Damon, Felix & the Cats; Joe can be heard on Pop Staple's Grammy winning record "Father, Father".  This steamin’ guitarist likes to cool down bass fishing – this September he got to fish during a break and caught a huge bass – all in 15 minutes!

Steve Gillis
Drums & Percussion

Attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music.  Can be heard on recordings by Filter (Title of Record, The Amalgamut).  Has also performed with Inner City, Sugar Blue, Dion Payton, Henry Johnson, Ken Chaney, MVP, Sumo, Bomb Pop and Eternalux.  Has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Last Call with Carson Daly, MTV’s The Rock Show, Late Night, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman. Check Steve out at

Donald Neale
Pianist/keyboardist and Composer

Donald has performed with Dennis DeYoung (of Styx fame), Smokie Robinson, the Black Music Repertory Ensemble, Ars Musica, Lakeshore Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Springfield Ballet, Joe Kelly, Lynne Jordan, Cyrus “Harmonica” Hayes, Mexican superstar Nelson Ned, the Ken Gueno, the Frontline Latin Jazz Ensemble, Suenos, La Confidencia, Orquesta Libertad, and Northstar.  He currently leads his own tipico charanga ensemble, Nueva Charanga  Donald is on the faculty of Columbia College where he teaches piano.  He also was nominated for Song of the Year by the Black Theatre Alliance for his original gospel song “Weep No More”.  He has released two compact discs of solo piano music, “For the Piano” (1993) with compositions by Beethoven, Debussy and himself, and “Pieces of Night” (1998) featuring the music of the legendary Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, and more recently two discs of original chamber music with his world chamber music group Lingua Musica entitled “The Latin American Suites” (2001) and “One World, One Language” (2003).

Michael Levin
Saxophone/flute/clarinet/wind synthesizer

Michael has performed with Bernard Purdie, Barrett Deems, Jerry Goodman, The Temptations, Fireworks Jazz, Henry Johnson, The Four Tops, Clark Terry, Rude Guest, Oscar Brown, Jr., Sumo, Myron Floren, Charlie Musselwhite, Jim Post, Jonita Lattimore, Ivan Neville, Mothra, DJ Jess, The Supremes, Hamid Drake, Dick Contino, Nash Kato, Mark Bandy, The Chicago Bop Quartet, Bobby Vinton, David Amram, Diane Schuur, The Mills Brothers, Claudia Schmidt, Steve Cole, Waterhouse, Lance Brown, Loud Thoughts, David Bromberg, Issa Boulos, Michael Manson, Nell Carter, Sueños, The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Lingua Musica, Cerqua Rivera Art Experience, Natya Dance Theatre, Doug Lofstrom and the New Quartet, The Revolution Ensemble, Conjunto, The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Ethos Chamber Orchestra.   Solos by Michael Levin are featured in recordings by producers of Chicago House Music such as Terry Hunter, Jere McAllister, Mark Grant, Glenn Underground, Vic Lavender, and Paul Johnson.  His numerous appearances at clubs and festivals include performances at Ravinia, Chicago Fest, Taste of Chicago, The Jazz Showcase, South Shore Jazz Festival, The House of Blues, Lake of the Ozarks Jazz Festival, Buddy Guy’s, Rockford Jazz Festival, and the Chicago Jazz Festival.  Mike Levin has played music for theatrical productions including works at Northlight Theatre, Drury Lane, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Royal George Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, The Goodman Theatre, and Steppenwolf Theatre. He is featured on many commercials and industrial productions including tracks ranging from spots for Sea World and Ameritech, to soundtracks for shows at the Adler Planetarium, to specials for PBS, to station ID packages for radio stations including WNUA 95.5 Chicago, Kiss 104.1 Atlanta, and WJQT Miami.  Check him out:  

Danny "DB" Barber

Danny is known through the music world for his Sound, Power and Musicality.  Danny has appeared as the lead trumpet player and/or featured jazz soloist with noted bands and artist including the Tommy Dorsey Band, the Maynard Ferguson band, The Count Basie Band, Clark Terry, Tony Bennett, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, Dennis DeYoung and Styx.  His Chicago show credits include “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Les Miserable”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “West Side Story”, “Chicago”, “Annie”, and  “Grease”.  Danny’s recording credits include Maynard Ferguson’s HOT; Styx’s Paradise Theater; Sophisticated Ladies’ A Miracle; Jazz Members Big Band’s Diggin’in; Chicago Jazz Orchestra with Clark Terry, Porgy and Bess; Peter Brown’s Chicago, SNAP; “A League of their Own” soundtrack; as well as 2000 radio and TV commercials/jingles.  Check Danny out at

Hary Kozlowski

Hary has toured as featured soloist with Tommy Dorsey Band. Live/recording credits include the Temptations, Deitra Farr, the Four Tops, and the Booze Brothers. Hary is a gourmet chef!! While the Dennis Keith Band was working in Paris, he spent his off time looking for the perfect knife!

Robin Simone
Vocalist (Limited availability, on request only)

Singer-songwriter Robin Simone also enjoys success as a studio vocalist, working in sessions at top studios in the Midwest, LA and Florida.  She performs with musicians throughout the nation, winning numerous talent competitions, including Ed McMahon’s Star Search.  Robin has charted several dance hits on Billboard Magazine including “You Turned the Tables," which reached No. 5 on the Billboard "Hot Dance Club Play" list.  Check Robin out at

John Lewis
Guitarist/vocalist, Senior Composer

John has a Masters/Jazz Pedagogy, from the University of Miami.  Besides writing & playing on many TV/radio jingles, he has appeared on the Oprah Show with Jennifer Hudson, performed at Bill Clinton’s Presidential Inaugural Ball, toured England with The Tom Fuller Band which included performances at The Cavern in Liverpool and Metro in London.  John has published many compositions both as a songwriter (“Christmasland” & “The Story Behind the Song” with Tom Fuller) and composer of contemporary instrumental music (“Happenstance” & “Now You Know” for Steve Hashimoto`s band Motha).

Francisco "Patch" Paz
Percussion, Drums and Composer

Can be heard as a composer for "Real TV," "Hard Copy," "Entertainment Tonight," and "The Howie Mandel Show," plus many video games by Williams Electronics.  His CDs, released in Costa Rica: Pachi Demos, featuring the singles "Siente Mi Ritmo" (#1 on charts) & "Dime," Pachi Paz, featuring "Solo Pienso en ti" & "El Golazo" (also #1 on charts).

Check Patch out at

Zac Johnson
Vocalist, Rapper, Crew

Zac brings the house down every time he gets on stage! He attends Elmhurst College and is currently working on his original tunes with his new rock group.

Amanda Shane

Amanda has worked with many producers and artists such as world recognized DJ/producer Terry Hunter, producer Steve Huff, singer/actress Cristina Milian, and producers/rappers: Kanye West, No ID, Swizzbeats, Dr. Dre, and countless others.  She is featured on projects such as, Ramsey Lewis's jazz album "Urban Knights V," rapper Rhymefest's album "Blue Collar," and is featured on and co-wrote song "Liquor Junkie" which is on  She has added backgrounds to Chicago artists' Terisa Griffin's, and Maurice Mahon's shows, at "African-American Film Festival" honoring Sidney Poitier, and opened for Teena Marie at "Taste of Chicago.  She regularly works with "Slang Music Group", alongside famous House producer Vince Lawrence, producing vocal sessions and vocal arrangements and singing backgrounds in the studio.  She co-wrote "Superstar" on "The Chicago LP" album which was nominated for a Grammy award.  She also co-wrote, House song "Touch Me," performed by supermodel/artist Eha, which won second place in Billboard Music's World Song Contest. 

Tommy Sullivan

 (Limited availability, on request only)

Tommy is noted for his vocal performances with the band Funk House, who had electrified audiences throughout Illinois, including Northern Illinois University (DeKalb) and the Rockford River Fests. Funk House was well known in Chicago for their performances at the China Club, Excaliber, and Traffic Jam; he also has sung jingles for Nissan and Ace Hardware….this man LOVES to perform!

Stefan Benteler
Crew Chief, FOH Mixer

Hugo Hernandez
Crew, Lights technical manager




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