The Decades

an eight-piece classic rock, soul, and R&B band from Louisville, Kentucky

About the Decades

The Decades of Louisville Band

Fans from coast to coast agree; this eight piece band, based out of Louisville, KY, is an entertainment powerhouse. The Decades feature the three-piece "Hundred Proof Horns," a dynamic lead vocalist, (although five other members also contribute lead vocals on various selections), and one of the most powerful rhythm sections on any concert stage. Each member boasts an extensive resume filled with musical superlatives and the national performing experience to impress any audience. Their extensive and eclectic repertoire spans several decades and musical genres. Whether it's the soaring harmonies of the Beach Boys, the gritty urban funk of Bruno Mars, the driving dance grooves of Motown, or the sounds of the swinging sixties and seventies, The Decades, one of America’s truly premier party bands, promises to make every event a celebration. If you like to dance and sing along with your favorite tunes, this is the band for you. Come out and join the party!  

Dave Draper | Trombone & Vocals

Dave's experience includes Heritage, a 6-7 piece rock band in the 70s that traveled across the country and opened for such acts as Tommy James and the Shondells, Billy Joe Royal, and the Box Tops. Dave, along with three of the other original members of Heritage, formed The Decades almost 10 years ago.

Greg Karem | Lead Vocalist

I started singing at age 14 having grown up in a family of singers and learned voice from my father who won a prestigious amateur award for singing in 1960. Throughout high school and some college choral training, I was able to cultivate my passion which later led to stints in various bands and also performances for weddings in the '70s. In 1974 the opportunity to sing with a national group called 'The Diamonds' presented itself and for the next year I performed across the country singing doo wop tunes with three part harmony. Wanting to get off the road but still having the desire to perform, I joined a seven piece band and we became the 'house' band for a local supper club. It was in that time that singing/performing definitely was in my blood and from that point have been doing so in some fashion ever since.

Mark Hunter | Trumpet & Vocals

Mark made his performing debut at age 5 with the Mill Creek Elementary Drum and Bugle Corps. He attended Doss high school, where he was the Drum Major of the 160 piece Marching Band for two years, and also played in the orchestra, concert band, and jazz band, all under the direction of Mr. Otto Feddern. Mark then went on to attend and study music at Morehead State University (Dr. Adron Doran President) along with longtime friend and fellow musician Bob Ramsey, with whom he still plays with regularly. (And, Oh yeah,.... an NFL Quarterback you may have heard of........Phil Simms). There he played in the jazz band, and studied trumpet under Dr. Walter Barr and Dr. Chris Gallaher. He also played in the Symphony band and was Drum Major of the 300 piece strong marching band, both under the direction of Dr. Robert Hawkins (who, among many many other achievements, wrote the score to the movie "How the West Was Won").
After graduatiing, Mark was on the road playing professionally full-time, from coast-to-coast for the next 10 years. He played with Sid Yates and Starbridge, (Tommy Walker), Chris Shea And The Other People, and Gary Edwards and SAGE, before forming and fronting his own group, Rush Hour, where he has been for the last seven years.

Tom Walker | Bass & Vocals

Tom Waker, fondly referred to as "Tommy Velour", has been in bands since he was 14 and has played almost continually ever since logging in over 5000 gigs. Tom has spent years on the road as a full time musician and often as a studio player. He has opened for too many national acts to name or remember besides playing in several notable groups, he has boxes of articles and clippings to prove it! Among them, Tom was co founder, along with Gerry Canter, and leader of The Names, arguably Louisville's most popular band of the 80's. Tom is an appreciators of all styles of music and his hobbies include gardening.

Gerry Canter| Guitar & Vocals

Gerry began playing guitar at the age of 12, when he noticed that rock guitarists  usually had pretty girlfriends. Although this could be viewed as shallowness on his part, or kismet, learning to play guitar became an obsession. Gerry pestered his parents until his father finally broke down and purchased a second-hand Stella acoustic from a local pawn shop. Now singular in purpose, Gerry practiced day and night, much to the chagrin of the neighborhood. Gerry's first band, The Victorians, was a power trio consisting of drums, guitar; and a tea-chest bass contraption which, for some reason, also sported a washboard and bicycle horn. The band boasted a repertoire of three songs, all original, and all with the same three chords in different orders. After only two rehearsals, however, armed with the bravado and ignorance of youth, The Victorians somehow managed to secure a gig at a local shopping center parking lot. The moment of pretty girls sighing at their coolness seemed at hand; but the band, woefully underprepared for their moment in the sun, had no choice but to play the same three songs, over and over, for two hours. The audience, understandably on edge after the twentieth bicycle horn solo, became unruly; and security, fearing violence if they continued, summarily escorted the band off the premises. Crushed by universally poor reviews, The Victorians faded mercifully into obscurity. At this point, Gerry's musical career might have faded as well, if not for a certain Sunday night in early February, 1964, when the famous lads from Liverpool made an impression on him that would last throughout his lifetime. Suddenly, the guitar was much more than a means to woo females (well, it was as certainly still THAT, but...), it was also a key to a world of meaning and purpose, and the pursuit of the musical sweet spot has been a driving force in Gerry's life ever since. The guitar has taken him all over the United States and Europe, playing with great musicians and legendary bands, like The Oxfords, The Names, and now The Decades. P.S. He also discovered that he'd been right all along about the girls. 

George Quill | Keyboards & Vocals

Classically trained in piano since the age of nine, George played in his first Rock bands, literally, in a series of garages! In these bands, the musician closest to the PA board was the one heard the best as he turned his amplification up to level "11!" He expanded his interest to more traditional organ performance while playing in church for weddings and funerals. George programmed his first synthesizer at age 16. Popular inspiration was found in artists like Chicago, Billy Joel, and Elton John as well as ELP, Santana, and Bob James.When he moved to downtown Chicago, George became infatuated with Jazz and the Blues, especially played live in the vibrant music scene there.  Upon moving to Louisville, George studied improvisational music and improved his chops playing with The Doctors' Band, The Sole Healers, and The Disoriented Pedestrians.  By far the most fun he has ever had playing music are the practices and performances he has shared with The Decades.  

Rick Kays | Drums

Rick has music in his blood. He is the son of local celebrity Jeanette Kays, of Walker and Kays and the Ladies for Liberty. His grandfather was a trumpeter for Dixie Land jazz bands in the early to mid 1900’s. Rick received his first drum set at the tender age of five. During these formative years, he was given lessons by jazz great John Roy.Rick’s early influences were The Beatles, Sergio Mendes, Herb Albert, and Black Sabbath, which is why he has such a unique style. He played in multiple bands until, at 18, he helped form a group called Counterpoint. This band of brothers was made up of rock guitar, soulful singing, and a great rhythm section complete with horns. After a short hiatus, Rick has returned to the Louisville music scene with a BANG!

David Yenawine | Saxophone & Vocals

David began his playing music when he was  8 with the accordion. After a few years of that he thankfully switched to the saxophone.  He played around Louisvile and somewhere picked up the bass guitar and flute, moved to NYC and played studios and bars and a even little Washington Sq park. A few years later he returned to Louisville (and Speed School) and played in more bands. Live Bait -(second band to ever play downstairs at Phoenix Hill and about 40 subsequent  weekends)and Romeo Laureano to name a couple opening for countless concerts including Rare Earth, Neville Brothers, Eddie Money. Then there was an earlier version of Decades and a jazz fusion band with Tommy and Mark (Noteworthy). Next, they, together with Greg Karem and Dave Draper, put Decades back together again. Here we are!!

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