Angelo Rose, born in Rochester, New York, began playing and writing music after a chance encounter with a wayward acoustic guitar when he was 12 years old. He immediately was drawn to jazz, which not surprisingly, was a staple in his household while growing up. His first guitar, a gold Gibson rip-off, was used proficiently during his formative years of lessons at T. Rizzo Music. Dan Schmitt, his teacher, provided indelible guidance and reverent patience while showing Angelo the ropes. Dan continues to play locally with his band, The Shadows, and is Rochester’s jazz proficionado Gap Mangione’s go-to guitarist. Angelo studied with Dan until he left for St. Lawrence University in the fall of 1986. Shortly before he departed for Canton, Angelo discovered that he could play the piano by ear. During his four years at SLU, he would often retreat to small, studio rooms in the basement of the University Center, where he would brood, craft his art and compose completely in the dark (he is not a proficient music reader). At one point, Angelo was offered an opportunity to pursue the study of music while at St. Lawrence, but refused such fearing it could interfere with the free-flowing style of his writing. He rarely played guitar during his 4 years in college, but consistently spent time in the basement boxes learning the intricacies of the keys.
From SLU, Angelo followed in his father and maternal grandfather’s footsteps and enrolled in law school at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. Again, he was drawn to the piano though he would have to drive 15 miles to the nearest facility to play. On his first day in Columbus, he met another student, Jason Cohen, who introduced Angelo to the likes of Big Head Todd and the Monsters, The Samples, the Freddy Jones Band and the BoDeans, all of whom became significant influences in his writing.
After graduating, Angelo returned to Rochester and began practicing law. Music remained a constant in his life, writing for friend and dance instructor, Pam Schickler, but was not pushed to the forefront again for several years. When his law school ally, Jason, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, Angelo’s drive to write, play and record (finally) his music was ignited.
Simultaneously, as a then-practicing yogi, Angelo was asked by Cyndi Weis, owner of Breathe Yoga, to play his first official “gig”—a one song, post vinyasa performance where he would sing an original song entitled, “Open the Door.” It is worth noting that in this particular yoga class was world-class legendary drummer, Steve Gadd, who regularly toured with the likes of Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Steely Dan and Paul Simon. The gig went well enough and Angelo’s journey performing his original music live had begun. His immediate goal was to write, engineer and record an album before he was to meet with his ailing friend, Jason (living in Baltimore, MD), in August of that year. This was quite an undertaking because he had no prior experience recording with present day DAW’s. Undeterred, he took out a loan, built a small room in his basement, purchased Pro Tools software and a Mac and set out to create Shadows, his first full studio album. Ultimately, the album was completed and pressed on July 4, 2007, weeks before his schedule meeting in Columbus with his friend, Jason. On July 22nd, Jason passed away, never hearing the album. Yet, on the day he passed, Angelo had unknowingly written the song that would soon be dedicated to his lost companion, “Go On Home.”
Over the next two years, Angelo wrote and then recorded his second album, Behind this Nonchalance, which was dedicated to his departed friend. Angelo’s music began garnering the attention of local radio DJ, Joey Guisto, who commanded an indy station in Rochester, WBER (the only station that matters). Joe, and his DJ partner, Sgt. Pepper, began putting Angelo’s music in regular rotation, most prolifically a song off Nonchalance entitled, “Threshold.” The exposure on WBER created significant opportunities for Angelo, including countless gigs and opening for national touring acts such as Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing). With the advent of increased web-based forums for sales and streaming, Angelo’s music began to get global exposure.
Angelo’s third album, a single entitled, Under the Mango Tree, was written in response to the 2010 powerful earthquake in Haiti. All proceeds from the sale of downloads and CD’s directly benefitted an organization and orphanage in Haiti, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos. To date, Mango has raised nearly $20,000 for the Angels of Light program in the ravaged country.
Around this time, Angelo began playing two-man shows with old friend and drummer, Jeff Pettrone. Jeff was a significant factor in getting Angelo’s music out there, always willing to write and try new ideas. After several shows, Angelo and Jeff were joined by stellar guitarist, Tom Bernacki, who’s background ranged from playing Zeppelin to The Clash and everything in between. In dire need of a bassist, friend of the band, Mike Borrelli was drafted into service though he had limited experience on the 4 string. The four friends emerged from the Happy Squirrel studio basement as indy rock, blues sensation, The Good Trip Band (GTB). Good Trip performed it’s first 10 song set to a packed house at Ravenwood in 2012, recorded it’s self-entitled first album, The Good Trip Band, in 2013 and continues to travel throughout New York bringing audiences into the funky groove (see goodtripband.com for tour info, merch, etc.).
Angelo’s last release was another solo effort, playfully dubbed, Meet Mr. Starliter, which is a nod to his nom de guerre on Facebook. Starliter was written, recorded and produced solely by Angelo at Happy Squirrel Studios. On this album, he was joined by old friend, Phil Yawman, who provided robust drums on several tracks. With the help of WBER and other indy radio outlets, the Starliter album continues to track consistently on download and streaming services across the world. Leading the pack off Starliter is the darkly joyful, “Im Leaving You,” which has become a fan favorite at GTB concerts.