The Weekend Getaway Band is a Georgia-based, 7-piece band that brings together the warm combination of R&B, Jazz, Funk, Soul and Motown. Their classic sound and performance versatility makes The Weekend Getaway Band a hit wherever they play.
In addition to being great friends, the members of the band are all accomplished performance and recording professionals. Centered around well-orchestrated harmony vocals, solid upbeat instrumentation, and a kickin' horn section, a Weekend Getaway Band performance is sure to "get the good times going". Their music will take you back to younger days when life was a bit more carefree.
The Weekend Getaway Band was formed around a group of friends and a vision and passion to perform, promote and help preserve the rich heritage and classic sound of R&B, Jazz, Soul, Funk and Motown. In 2012 and 2013, band co-founders Marcus Vess and Gary McKinney wrote and recorded several new songs which led to the idea of forming a groovin' band to perform both classic covers as well as their original material.
The writing duo realized some regional success with the release of their Beach Music songs "Let's Shag On The Beach" and "Having A Good Time". Both songs received radio and internet air play and caused a bit of a stir in the Myrtle Beach area (Shag dance capital of the the world...).
Following the positive feedback received from their songs and after sharing their vision and passion for writing and performing, the concept of The Weekend Getaway Band was launched.
Multi-talented keyboardist and lead front man, Allen Cook was recruited as one of the early founding members. Cook quickly embraced the vision and concept for the band and agreed to join the group. With Cook leading the musical direction of rehearsals, a search was undertaken to find other like-minded musicians with the right combination of talent, attitude, personality, and most importantly love for each other and the music.
During the search (and a break while playing a gig with another band), Cook introduced Vess to sax player and horn arranger Ollie Patterson. Patterson's affable personality resulted in the two connecting on the spot. After a brief conversation, Vess (somewhat prophetically) mentioned to Patterson that "We need to stay in touch. We're going to do something together."
Within a few weeks after this chance meeting, Cook and Vess met with Patterson to share the vision of WGB and pitch the idea of him joining the group. He was also presented with the opportunity for taking on the leadership role for the horn section and writing horn arrangements. The three found that they shared a kindred spirit for the music, a common Christian faith and perspective, and new friendships were quickly born.
With Cook on keys and lead vocals, McKinney on guitar and vocals, Vess on drums and vocals and Patterson forming the foundation for the horn section, realization of the vision for The Weekend Getaway Band began to come into view.
Still early in the process of forming the band, Patterson approached his friend and long time Atlanta trombonist Gil Estes. A talented and sought after trombonist, Estes plays with jazz/pop bands and orchestras across the region for both recording and live performances. Additionally, ever the educator, Estes leads the nationally recognized Atlanta Trombone Ensemble and the Atlanta Bone Collective (an ensemble made up of premier players from across the area). Together, Patterson and Estes brought a warm, supportive and friendly culture to the band.
To round out the horn section, Patterson and Estes invited long time friend and trumpet "heavy-hitter" David Klausman. Klausman has an extensive background of arranging, directing and performing in numerous Jazz, orchestral and big-band groups around Atlanta. His soaring trumpet range brings incredible power and punch to the group. With the tremendous talent and ability of Patterson, Estes and Klausman forming the horn section, Weekend Getaway was well positioned to take on covers by groups like Tower Of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, and Chicago as well as the continually emerging new material from Vess and McKinney.
After auditioning several bass players (and through a timely and coincidental recommendation from a mutual friend), the group found Felton Dunn as a very capable and talented player to provide the bottom end foundation. Additionally, Dunn possessed tremendous vocal ability. Dunn is a seasoned music veteran and from the very first session with Weekend Getaway, it was clear the Dunn was not only the right musician but a warm and friendly "brother" to join the WGB family.
With Cook, McKinney, Vess, Patterson, Estes, Klausman and Dunn, the band was formed. Although not a specific requirement for the group, it turned out that all seven members shared a common Christian faith. The group begins each rehearsal with prayer and firmly believes that God has assembled them for playing music together as part of a larger purpose.
More recently the WGB family has expanded to include Eugene Owens on guitar and vocals and Kenneth Bentley on bass and vocals and Jim Lee on trombone. All of these "new brothers" bring their own unique style, personality and enthusiasm to the band. With Owens, "K.B." Bentley, and Lee in the group, the energy and on-stage dynamics continues to grow.
Cook and Owens have joined Vess in writing new material for the band. Two songs in particular "Struttin" (written by Cook) and "You and Me Forever" (penned by Owens) are especially well-crafted and are destined to be hits for the group. With the writing ability, musical talent and most importantly love and friendship for each other, the future is bright for The Weekend Getaway Band!
Beginning with the first rehearsal and through all of the performances and transitions in personel, the members of The Weekend Getaway Band have found a shared passion for the music as well as strong ties and friendship. They refer to themselves as a "family" and encourage and support each other both on-stage and in every day life. The focus on bringing high energy performances to their audiences centered around music that communicates a message of love, compassion and positive values.
From their debut performance in Athens, Georgia, the band has garnered rave reviews for their warm sound and song-list of classic, crowd favorites. Each song is delivered with tight and dynamic musical energy and with the complex vocal harmonies that has become a signature attritubute for the group. Wherever they perform, audiences can't help but get caught up in the fun and energy. The members of WGB clearly have a great time being together and playing their music. Their camaraderie, friendship and connection with each other is unmistakable and their "good time" contagious.
The Weekend Getaway Band performs to enthusiastic audiences at festivals, clubs and concerts through the Southeast US and continues to write, record and release new, fun and engaging original music. Their songs are available on iTunes, Amazon and other music outlets and streaming services.
'"The Weekend Getaway Band was absolutely phenomenal! We couldn't have asked for a better band. Everyone was having such a great time. I would definitely recommend them for anyone who needs a band. You could not pick a better quality group. The horn section was fantastic and they were so easy to work with. We absolutely LOVED THEM!"
Kristen D., Myrtle Beach SC
"You all were just fantastic! Thank you for playing."
Mark M., Dir. of Golf, PGA
Cherokee Town & Country Club
"You all put on a fabulous show!"
Christine G., Asst. Theatre Mgr.
The Classic Center
, Athens, GA