Surfer Joe (stage name of Lorenzo Valdambrini) has been involved in the surf music scene since the middle of the 90s, building up his name worldwide as a musician and event organizer. By currently playing more than a hundred concerts a year around the world, Surfer Joe is one of the most active artist in modern surf music!
He represents the true, authentic side of surf music, carrying on the sound and energy legacy of the original early 60s California bands, while introducing his own unique style. His compositions are very melodic, easily recognizable, memorable and accessible to any kind of audience. Many of the songs feel so familiar upon first listen that they are commonly referred to as “instant classics.”
On stage, Surfer Joe likes to tell stories and anecdotes, and keeps the interaction with the audience personal and funny. He has plenty of material to draw from, as he has personally performed and interacted with many of the legends of the genre at several of the most important original locations and venues. All this, together with being the co-organizer of the Surfer Joe Summer Festival – the most revered surf music event of the world – gained Surfer Joe the unofficial title of “international surf music ambassador.”
The Swongos are a three piece instrumental Surf Band from the St. Croix River Valley on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. In addition to Surf Music, they have many styles of music such as Latin, Exotica, Indie Rock, and Jazz sprinkled in their sound. The Swongos are influenced by traditional surf music like Dick Dale and the Ventures but also groups such as the Pixies, and Los Cubanos Postizos.
In the beginning there was Wraygun…The band started out as a tribute to The Late Great Link Wray, by Phil Tiki and Jack “The Ripper” Conley.I was asked to play bass, for a “one and done” gig, that turned into 2, then 3, and 10 years later… The calls started coming in for bigger gigs, so we supplemented our set with some Surf, and we were on our way.We all met Susie at the same time, she mentioned she played Sax, and was asked to be in the band, real simple.Jack’s girlfriend, Shannon (at the time, now his wife), came in on second guitar, shortly afterward, and we had our lineup solidified.This quintet performed for a couple years, until Shannon left, enter Steve Martini…Steve came over from his very successful band, Cocktail Preachers, and, like me, never left.With Steve in the band, we soon changed our name to 13 Tikis, which was a band name Phil used for other things he was doing musically.Shortly after the name change, Jack left, enter Tony Long…Tony played with us for a short time before, naturally he was our first choice to be our new full time drummer.With everything solid again, we hit it hard, playing all over, having fun, like you’re supposed to, then…Phil Tiki, the man who put this all together, broke it to us, he was moving to Las Vegas.Not really knowing how to go on without the glue that held this band together, we had to figure something out fast.Enter Justin Collins…We met Justin at a Memorial for a mutual acquaintance, our respective bands were on the bill, and we hit it off.Justin became a fan of the band, coming out to gigs, showing support, so when we needed a guitar player, I gave him a call.Initially, I asked if he was interested in sitting in with us, I didn’t tell him Phil was leaving, he said “sit in, or be in the band, because I would really like to be in the band”.Without any vetting, Justin was in the band, where he is today.October 21st, 2016, we celebrated 10 years as a band, with the current lineup, as well as Phil Tiki and Jack The Ripper.We have no intentions of stopping anytime soon!I’d also like to give honorable mentions to these fine drummers, for putting time in with this band.Rick Kubic, Leslie Walle-Santos,Grant Ossler, Mark ManzoThere you are,a “short” history of 13 TikisLorenzo FridayBass Guitarist13 Tikis