Higher Power Band Amps Up With A-List Musicians

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The instrumentalists who are The Higher Power Band have some high-flying credentials.

Manager and bandleader Orlando Gordoa says they try to have A-list musicians play with them at as many performances as possible.

At its July 3 Concert Under the Stars at Payson’s Green Valley Park, the group will feature saxophonist Brad Bauder, who played with Duane Eddy, said to be rock ’n’ roll’s best selling instrumentalists; guitarist Johnny Carrosco, who has played with The Drifters, Cyndi Lauper, Marilyn McCoo, The Coasters and Chuck Berry; and drummer Burt Lewis, who played with Wayne Newton.

Also performing with the group will be percussionist Jorge Hernandez, who operates the ALLTEL store in Payson; lead vocalist and keyboardist Licia Ware, who has worked with Grammy-winning producer Billy Williams; vocalist Andrea Esparza; and bassist Gordoa, who has played with Air Supply and J. David Sloan & Rogue.

Marcos Esparza will handle sound and the narrator for the evening will be Dave Bar, who was at one time a drummer with the late John Denver.

Gordoa and the band will bring their Payson audience a blast from the past, he said. They will open with the national anthem and then let their listeners feast on the top songs of the 1950s through the 1980s. And they are going to be encouraging folks to get up and dance too. In fact, they will have a Twist contest with their signature T-shirts as prizes.

When The Higher Power Band played in Payson’s summer concert series last year, they had a tremendous response from the audience with their renditions of “God Bless the USA,” “Amazing Grace” and their take on popular Beatles’ tunes.

The play list will give Bauder and Carrosco the opportunity to wow folks with their top-notch skills, Gordoa said. Bauder will be featured with the song “Tequila” and Carrosco will do a medley of Santana music.

Ware will do some Patsy Cline pieces; Esparza will be featured with “LaBamba” and “Proud Mary.” The two women will do a special duet medley of Pointer Sisters’ hits as well.

The group will do a series of patriotic songs dedicated to the military and some gospel music as well.

The audience can take the group’s music home, too. Gordoa said they would have at least two of their three CDs for sale, plus their signature T-shirts for $15 each.

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