BRIAN LEE and the ORBITERS
Brian Lee & the Orbiters are based in Seattle, Washington, and are one of the premier bands on the Northwest blues scene. Brian fronts the band with melodic vocals and superb guitar, slide guitar, and blues harp. Brian has lead the band since it's formation in 1999, initially called the Blues Orbiters. The "Orbiters" name evokes the concept of the band-- a "broad orbit through the blues universe".
Brian's blues influences from an early age include Elmore James, T-Bone Walker, Big and Little Walter, Johnny Watson, Guitar Slim, Peter Green, and later additions such as Jr. Watson, Jimmy Vaughan, Rick Estrin, Gary Smith, etc... Brian has lead the Orbiters to a prominent position in the Northwest blues scene based on their engaging and energetic delivery, top-flight musicianship, and great repertoire of original tunes and gems from the blues tradition. The Brian Lee Trio scales this same sound to provide a perfect fit for smaller venues. Brian and the band are serious in their musicianship, but have serious fun when they perform! Without gimmicks, the focus is on delivering a great performance of great tunes that are perfect for both dancing and listening.
Band members include some of the finest players in the area:
Guitar: Steve Yonck contributes to the Orbiters sound with his superb guitar work. Steve is deeply versed in the blues tradition, and he is an exceptionally fine guitarist. He has previously contributed to several top Northwest bands including the Hudson Blues Band, Kim Field's Titans of Tone, Harmonica Playboy and the Midnight Movers, and earlier performances with the Orbiters. His distinctive style is a superb complement to Brian's slide, harp, and guitar playing. Steve has recently rejoined with the Orbiters - check out the new photos in our gallery!
Drums: Russ Kammerer performs with both the Orbiters and the Trio. He's a superb drummer who really drives the groove with energy and finesse. Russ's playing demonstrates incredible versatility, polish, and expertise that comes from many years of professional touring performance. He's a fantastic player!
Bass: Hank Yanda plays bass with both the Orbiters and Trio. Hank also provides superb vocals. He's an amazing player who also has been on the scene for many years, and his experience really shows . He is a truly remarkable musicianwho really understand the blues.
Brian and the Orbiters have been honored with several "Best of the Blues" nominations by the Washington Blues Society. For 2011, Brian has been nominated for "Best Slide Guitar". In 2010, Brian was nominated for "Best Male Vocalist", and the band was nominated for "Best Blues Act", and "Best Traditional Blues Act". The Orbiters were also nominated for "Best Band" in 2008 and 2003, as well as for "Best Recording" in 2006.