Chicago Groove Collective

  • Vijay Tellis-Nayak

    Vijay Tellis-Nayak has received accolades for his prodigious musical talents since childhood and is one of most sought-after musicians in Chicago as a keyboardist, producer, composer/arranger, and engineer.  He began studying classical piano at the age of 5 and by 11 had won numerous awards for his symphonic compositions. He began playing electric guitar at 13 and by 16 was performing professionally. Vijay attended Northwestern University receiving an undergraduate degree in Music Technology and a masters degree in Rhetoric/Mass Media.  As a keyboardist he has performed top artists in genres ranging from jazz to pop to musical theater. Some of these include Jennifer Hudson, Chuck Berry, Randy Brecker, Wicked, The Supremes, The Lion King, Howard Levy, Joe Piscopo, Umphrey’s McGee, Fareed Haque, Bill Dickens, Congolese Soukous legend Diblo Dibala, Frank Catalano, John Moulder, John McLean, and Grazyna Auguscik. As an engineer/producer/studio-musician he has worked with top local and national acts including Los Lobos, Donny McCaslin/John Moulder, Oz Noy, Naked Raygun, Howard Levy, Trio Globo, Candyrat Records, Joe Locke/John McLean, and many more.

  • Tom Vitacco

    Chicago-native Tom Vitacco has made his living as a guitarist, session player, arranger and producer in the music industry for 30+ years.  His ability to cover a wide range of musical genres is impressive and likely the reason he his one of the most in-demand session players in Chicago.  He has performed live with numerous recording artists, including Kirk Whalum (Larry Carlton, Whitney Houston) & Shawn Christopher (Shaka Khan, Sonya Dada). Tom was the house guitar player for Chicago Singer Spotlight at Fitzgerald’s for 15 years until its final show in January of 2016. He has worked with a number bands locally, including Vern Spevak Big Band and his live theater performance includes Wicked, Aida, Working, Rent, Billy Elliot and Bye Bye Birdie.

  • Marcus Terrell

    St. Louis, Missouri native Marcus Terrell is no stranger to the stage.  Raised in the church where gospel music was a way of life, he got involved with various choirs and ensembles in school.  He has competed on NBC’S America’s Got Talent, FOX’S American Idol, MTV’S Making The Band 4, The Glee Project, TLC’S RU The Girl, The Missy Elliott Project and TruTV’S Killer Karaoke.

  • Robert Bady

    Chicago native Robert Bady grew up in a family steeped in the great tradition of gospel music.  At age 10, he joined the family band, “The Righteous Four” with brothers Percy, Ray, O.D., Jr. and George.  The group later became known as “The Bady Brothers”.  Brothers Percy and Ray have gone on to achieve phenomenal success in the music industry. He met his wife, Mollie, also a vocalist, in college and Robert began to truly hone his skills as a singer.  He has sung backup vocals for R.Kelly, Marvin Sapp, Yolanda Adams, and Percy and Ray Bady.  His CD titled Gospel Journey with recorded with his group Reba Praise in 2006.  Gospel music started his musical journey, but Robert loves to sing Soul, Funk, R&B and Jazz.

  • Derrick Procell

    Vocals, harmonica, piano

    A native of Milwaukee, Derrick Procell started his professional career at age sixteen in Nashville. A triple-threat on vocals, piano and harmonica, Procell is a veteran of the Chicago nightclub scene where he has been the lead singer for many of Chicago’s top bands. His voice has been featured in TV and Radio commercials for Ford, McDonald’s Sears and Subway, as well as numerous TV shows such as Boston Legal, Criminal Minds and My Name is Earl. An award-winning songwriter as well as performer, Derricks music has been recorded by a variety of musicians such as the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Melissa Manchester.

    “He’s an incredible guy to have in front of the band,” says nationally known band leader Bobby Schiff. “He has amazing energy and his singing stops people in their tracks. But he’s also a real pro who is easy to work with and really conscientious.”

  • Lina Wass


    Born and raised in Chicagoland, Lina has been singing and studying vocal performance for most of her life and started singing in church at age 3. She later received a B.F.A. in musical theater at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and continued training in New York City. She has performed in regional and Chicago theaters including, Aint MisBehavin at the Goodman Theater in downtown Chicago. Her favorite performances include Rent, Cabaret, Company, Ragtime, and grooving to the popular 1950s songs in Smokey Joes Cafe. She has also been seen in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donnie Osmond. Her voice has taken her to Europe as well as singing the National Anthem for both the Chicago Cubs and White Sox. She has sung with bands regionally and continutes to sing in church as a worship leader at Harvest Bible Chapel Chicago.

  • Aaron McEvers


    After completing graduate studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music and working two years as a musical director with Carnival Cruise Lines, this Detroit-born saxophonist, arranger, and composer moved to Chicago in 1999. Now settled in the city, Aaron performs and writes for an array of musical organizations, including his own 13-piece ensemble, M13. Equally at home playing alto, tenor, soprano saxophone and flute, Aaron has performed throughout the United states, Europe and the Caribbean. He currently teaches music theory and jazz saxophone at the Merit School of Music and performs regularly at Quenchers and the Green Mill in Chicago.

  • Frank Check


    Frank Check was raised in a multicultural area outside of Chicago where he was exposed to Rock, Jazz, Funk, Gospel and World music. He began playing drums at the age of two and by age twelve he had his first gig with Elliot Wimbush at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Frank has earned many awards as a jazz soloist, as well as the First Choir Award from Instrumentalist Magazine, three Woody Herman Jazz Awards, The John Phillip Sousa Award and the prestigious Semper Fidelis Award from the United State Marine Corp. Frank finished his Master of Music degree in World Percussion at Northern Illinois University and played with The Shadows of Knight, the 1960s rock group famous for their rendition of the song Gloria. Frank has played across the United States, Canada, England, France and South Korea and currently teaches percussion and steal band at Waubonsee Community College.

  • Jim Cerceo


    When not playing bass, Chicago native, Jim Cerceo, is a producer and composer whose successes include scoring music for A&Es hit show, American Justice and appearing on NBCs The Today Show. Jim has performed at many venues including Soldier Field, Grant Part, the United Center, Fox Theater and McCormick Place. As a graduate of the University of Miami, he studied Studio Music and Jazz.

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Chicago Groove Collective

“…if I ever hire a band for anything I do again it will be CGC. It was the best decision I made next to getting married.” – Jack (groom)

This enthusiastic and entertaining Chicago wedding band has incomparable versatility and range of repertoire.  Hip but classic, Chicago Groove Collective combines sizzling, soulful vocals with a powerful, driving rhythm section to create the perfect union of modern and timeless sounds.  Starting with your cocktail hour, Chicago Groove Collective can set the tone with elegant jazz or more modern indie songs.  When guests are ready to dance, whether they are playing current radio dance hits, laid-back jazz and R&B, or harmonica-infused rock, blues and country, there is no way they can’t dance to the Chicago Groove Collective.  Bandleader, vocalist and harmonica virtuoso Derrick Procell takes this band to new musical heights. Read band member bios, listen to their demo or watch the band in action by clicking on the buttons under the slideshow.

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