- CLIFF WILLIAMS - CARMELLA FERRARA
Cliff Williams was born in Orange, New Jersey and started music when he was eleven years of age. He played clarinet and guitar and he loved music. He started playing professionally at the age of sixteen with the Magnums. One night the Bass Guitar player didn’t show up for the gig and the leader of the band asked Cliff if he would play Bass Guitar. History was made, Cliff became a permanent Bass player and over the years he performed with many bands; such as Everyday People which recorded an album in 1972, Larry Lacaster and the Pacesetters, Jimmy Gater and the All Stars, and the XL Band which was formed by Cliff with the intention of playing original music.
They released a CD in 1999 entitled “Shades”. Cliff also performed with Cissy Houston and Tasha Thomas in venues such as Carnegie Hall and The Ice Palace to name a few. Some of his idols include Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, and Victor Wooten. His influences are Rock, Jazz, and Funk .His favorite quote is “Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all”. His most recent group is CARMA which he created with his wife Carmella Ferrara. All the music is written and arranged by CARMA. This was their dream to create music they loved performing and wanted to share with the public. Their latest project is “TWO CAN’S AND A STRING”, which was released in July of 2012.
Carmella Ferrara was born in Newark, New Jersey. She started music lessons when she was eight years of age. She was immediately drawn to music and knew she wanted to be a music teacher. She gave some music lessons while she was in high school, and now teaches private lessons professionally full time. She participated in many competitions over the years and now she has been asked to adjudicate the MAMTG competitions every year. She went to Fairleigh Dickinson University where she holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education and was a honored member of the Manchester Who’s Who in 2006 and 2007. She grew up performing Classical music and listening to Heavy Metal. When she was nineteen a friend took her to see the Morris Nanton Trio and she fell in love with Jazz. Some of her idols are Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock and Spyro Gyra.
She started playing professionally in her twenties and performed with the High Class Band for a few years and did some backup keyboards for Vanessa Franklin and Leon Neal at several concerts. She was also part of the XL Band where the title of the CD “Shades”, was one of her original songs.
Carmella feels “TWO CAN’S AND A STRING” is one of their most exciting projects to date. The music is fun and funky and there’s nothing better than taking an idea and turning it into a song.