New to the Chautauqua Gran Fondo event this year is Florida-centered band Deb & the Dynamics. Making the trek all the way up north to Chautauqua Lake, Deb Biela, can’t be more excited about this adventure.

“Any time we get a chance to take a road trip we’re all on it, Biela said. “It brings the band closer together and we look at it as a group vacation, as well as getting a chance to perform in front of a whole new audience that had never heard us.”

This seven-piece soulful band has been heating up stages in Southwest Florida since 2004. The Dynamics are made up of Biela (bass), Dan Keady (guitar), Don Hulgas (saxophone, percussion), Newt Cole (saxophone, percussion), Michael Baer (keyboard), Matthew Rongstad (saxophone, flute), and Willie Miller (drums). The band has consistently been voted best local band every year, and are known as the hardest working band in the Southwest Florida area.

When asked what the secret to a fun performance is, Biela replied, “When you know everything is sounding good, the band is on, and the people are into it… I want people to walk away happy and for a short time forget any problems they may be having.”

Biela has been playing since age 16, finding herself on the same bill as Etta James, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, The Allman Brothers, and Buddy Guy. The rest of the bands resumes are similar. Don Hulgas, horn player, got to play with the 19050s band The Del Vikings at a Doo Wop festival, and even blew the horn solo for the famous song “Come and Go With Me” that night. Newt Cole’s band Newt and the Salamanders opened for the Average White Band. Willie Miller, drummer, toured for four years as the drummer for JP Miles, the opening act for Patti LaBelle, where he shared the stage with Blues icons such as Johnny Taylor, Bobby Womack, and even B.B. King.

This dynamic seven-piece soulful band plays off of the crowd, and enjoys the spontaneity of the performance.

“It’s all about how I’m feeling at the time. I never write a set list for that reason, Biela said. “You never know who you’re going to be playing in front of.”

One thing is for certain: Deb & the Dynamics are ready for a party when they arrive on the lake for the second annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo event on Saturday, August 27, located at Webb’s Captain’s Table in Mayville, NY.

Jason Bussman