Billy Cioffi and the Monte Carlos


Internationally-known musician and bandleader Billy Cioffi leads professional musicians in backing up regional headliners and performers in each Songwriters’ Showcase concert. These musicians, coupled with the benefit of professional technical support, provide the Songwriters' Showcase performers with exceptional experiences they will remember for a lifetime. 

Monte Carlos

Billy Cioffi Music Director 
Billy Cioffi broke into the music business touring the East Coast corridor with The Grey Things, the opening act of many 60s and 70s musical icons such as The Allman Brothers, The Velvet Underground, The Byrds, The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Rascals. 

Cioffi later formed the Monte Carlos, who, with Cioffi as its guitarist/leader, toured and recorded with the greatest of Rock’s legends, including Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Ben E. King, Lesley Gore and the late Del Shannon, performing on some of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s last recordings. Cioffi played guitar, helped out on production and sang backgrounds with the likes of Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynn and The Smithereens; performed as a guitarist for numerous Turtles gigs; and played guitar in concerts for Mitch Ryder, side by side with guitar legend Steve Hunter. Photo by Skip Neeley


Shea Marshall

Shea Marshall, Keyboards  Shea Marshall's primary instruments are saxophone and Hammond Organ, but he performs on pretty much anything - mandolin, piano, violin, harmonica, clarinet, flute, bass clarinet, bass ... . In addition to his work as a versatile performer, Marshall is a skilled composer and arranger. He has worked with a multitude of artists, including Bernard Purdie, Dick Wagner, 'Papa' John DeFrancesco, Dennis Rowland, Jody Gnant, Jason DeVore (of Authority Zero), Rev. Leroy Jenkins, Joe DiPadova, David Hernandez, Mike and Jared Bell (the Lymbyc Systym), Mikel Lander and Wayne Newton. Photo by Michael Ging 

Monte Carlos

T.R. Hummer, Reeds 
Saxophonist T.R. Hummer, author of 12 books of poetry and prose, graduated from the University of Utah with a Ph.D. He is a Professor of English at Arizona State University and has been editor of many important literary magazines including Quarterly West, The Cimarron Review, The Kenyon Review, The New England Review and The Georgia Review. His recent book, The Infinity Sessions, uses the rhythms of jazz and blues. Photo by Michael Ging 

Emerson-LaffeyEmerson Laffey, Drums
Emerson Laffey is a professional drummer and multi-percussionist hailing from Phoenix. He began playing drums more than 20 years ago and studied with Dom Moio at Arizona State University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in music. Over the years Emerson has performed with highly-talented bands and artists, including the CPR Orchestra, Mosaico, Sy Smith, Gustavo Angeles, Quetzal Guerrero and Novo Mundo. Emerson currently plays in a multitude of bands ranging in styles from gospel, R&B, jazz, salsa, rock and flamenco. He is currently the percussionist with Flamenco Por La Vida,  Flamenco de Leon  and Chis Burton Jacome Flamenco Ensemble. Photo by Virtual Pictures

Monte Carlos

Mickey McGee, Drums 
Phoenix native Mickey McGee spent a decade in Los Angeles as a first call studio and road drummer. He has performed and recorded albums with Jackson Browne, Linda Rondstadt, Rick Nelson, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Warren Zevon and dozens of others having played on four multi-platinum albums. McGee has worked with The Monte Carlos for five years and his hard-driving dynamic drumming lays the foundation for a multitude of musical styles. His vocals round out the band’s complex sound. McGee is a respected songwriter who has had his music recorded by Juice Newton, Rick Nelson, the Flying Burrito Brothers and more. Photo by Michael Ging

Monte Carlos

Olivier Zahm, Bass, Audio Mixing 
Olivier Zahm was born and raised in France and started his audio engineering streak as an intern for major studios in Paris. In Stockholm, Sweden, he kick-started his career as a producer in 1998 with Minéral, a Rue Léon project. He now writes for and produces local and French talents. Between coffee breaks, he scores original soundtracks for Synthetic Human Pictures and owns Electric Lotus Music. In 2011, he created, with Carlos Pereira, the Electric Lotus Label, which promotes top session players, artists and industry professionals to work productions through out-of-the-box management, marketing, digital production and licensing. Photo by Michael Ging


Ryan Baker, Drums, and Paul Darrow, Keyboards, also have provided back-up for Songwriters' Showcase performers.

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