Band Member Bios
Gambiza performs in and around Boston, NYC, and throughout New England. Their music has been played on radio and on television's The Morning Show on NECN.
Rachel Gambiza was born in a tiny little town in Kansas, called Lindsborg. Throughout elementary school and junior high, the kids at school told her to "get a microphone," not because she had any particular musical talent, but because she was so quiet. She learned to play violin and saxophone at school, and taught herself how to play piano on her parents' very out of tune/ivories-falling-off upright piano. In the 8th grade, she bought her first guitar, an electric. Rachel sang classical music throughout high school and at her first college (Midland Lutheran in Fremont, Nebraska), where she also played alto sax (and briefly, tenor) in the college's jazz band.
After college, she lived in Salina, Kansas for a year, and then in Omaha, Nebraska for a year. She then moved to Boston with the plan to study jazz at Berklee College of Music. Once there, however, she quickly discovered that she couldn't sing jazz worth a crap. But by this time, she already had her microphone, so she decided to be a rock star instead.
Rachel is the lead singer/songwriter in theatrical rock band Gambiza. In addition to her singer/songwriter credits, she also produced Gambiza’s EP, Mr. Shiny Pants, as well as their debut full-length album, Gambiza, on her label, SHINY PANTS™ Records. One of Berklee's many dropouts, she left a couple semesters short of a B.A. in music, with a concentration in vocal performance. She continues to find the refrain to the Counting Crows' song, "Omaha" both hilariously amusing and hilariously true.*Rachel also wrote the music and lyrics to the original musical, BARBER FROM OUTER SPACE (book by Nicola McEldowney). BARBER premiered, as a staged reading, at The Planet Connections Theatre Festival in NYC in May 2014.
*Counting Crows' "Omaha" refrain: "Omaha, somewhere in middle America" [...] "I think you better turn your ticket in. And get your money back at the door."
With over twenty years experience as a professional guitarist and vocalist, Michael J. Johnson has been blessed to share the stage with artists such as Jon Secada (EMI), Lari White (RCA), Dawnn Lewis (A Different World), Take Six, Bob Dorough (Schoolhouse Rock) and Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live). In the studio, he has performed on numerous soundtracks and album projects, and his singing voice was heard on national television throughout much of the 1990's in the Orange Bowl halftime show.
Michael has also produced and engineered nationally distributed acts whose musical genres span from hardcore punk to hip/hop to classical. He is a nationally recognized composer and arranger, and an ASCAP member. He currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, and is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music in the Contemporary Writing and Production program.
As a native New Englander, Andy has been a professional musician for over two decades and has performed in genres ranging from classical to folk, blues to heavy metal, and jazz to country. Playing such a variety of musical styles has allowed him to branch out from his primary instrument, guitar, and explore the bass, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, and other instruments as well.
He holds a Master of Guitar Certificate from Berklee Music and was awarded the Berklee Music's Celebrity Online Scholarship from Paul Simon.
When he is not performing (or fighting crime in a bunny suit) he enjoys time with his wife, camping, golf, and sharing his gift of music with his private students.
Hailing from New Hampshire, Dave Jordan has been an active touring musician the last 5 years playing a number of genres ranging from metal to folk. Raised on a steady diet of classic rock, Dave was drawn to drums at a young age after listening to AC/DC's "The Razor's Edge" album. He quickly submerged himself in the history of the instrument and started learning everything and anything he could about the players, the history, and the gear.
After a few years playing in neighborhood bands and a project with his twin brother, Dan, he found himself working on a number of recording projects for local artists and learning more about his instrument working at Guitar Center in Nashua, NH where he met Gambiza's Bassist, Andy O'Brien, and later joined Gambiza as their drummer. He now resides in Millbury, MA and when not drumming with Gambiza he is rocking out with his brother in their project, The Violent Kind.