About The Jon Bates Band Talent


For those who may be interested, it’s called "The Jon Bates Band" because Jon is the common thread who, as he describes it, "was blessed with the extraordinary friendships and opportunities that gave me a chance to bring this world class group of musicians and vocalists together as a working unit".

Jon became well established over the years as a music contractor and producer, and was responsible for putting many different performers together for all sorts of musical events around the world. Since Jon was the one who clients, producers, agents, promoters, event planners, and club owners always dealt with, they referred to this collective wealth of musical talent as his band – "The Jon Bates Band".

At this point in time, the group has a long established track record as "The Jon Bates Band" and has become its own entity. The name just stuck. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the group knows that the current all star line up consists of an extraordinary combination of players that has evolved over time, and each member is hugely accomplished in his/her own right, with an impressive musical resume all their own. The band features abundantly gifted and soulful frontline lead vocalists Steve Riddick and Debbie Major, joined by multi-talented saxophonist/flutist and vocalist Scott Harper and the high potency rhythm section of Akie Bermiss on keyboards (also a prominently featured and incredibly gifted vocalist in his own right), Ken McGloin on guitar, Bill Dotts on bass, and Jon on drums and vocals.

Meet Our Talent

Jon Bates - Music from New York to Martha's Vineyard

Jon Bates

Jon Bates has had a distinguished 30 year career as a drummer, producer, recording engineer, bandleader, and music contractor. He has production and performance credits on more than 130 commercially released recordings, and an extensive listing in the International All Music Guide, having worked with many of the biggest names in the music... 
Debbie Major - Vocals

Debbie Major

Debbie Major is a world class vocalist and performer who has been thrilling audiences for many years with her engaging style and captivating vocal prowess. Her deeply soulful sensibilities captivate the listener as she instinctively embraces each song and makes it uniquely personal for her, and then, very naturally conveys those emotions to an audience.  
Steve Riddick - Vocals

Steve Riddick

Steve Riddick is truly a natural born entertainer. He has literally been singing his entire life. His forte is explosively soulful renditions of great songs in all genres, that send chills up your spine, and always inspire people to jump out of their seats onto the dance floor.
Ken McGloin - Lead Guitar

Ken McGloin

Ken McGloin has been a working musician since the age of 14. Ken notes that when he became head of the Music Department at The Poughkeepsie Day School a few years ago, “it was the first regular job I ever had. I’ve always made my living playing music.” A big part of his duties at PDS is teaching students how to write and perform original songs, as well as...
Akie Bermiss Profile Picture

Akie Bermiss

Akie Bermiss is a Brooklyn-bred singer, keyboardist, and composer, raised in a musical household full of jazz and politics. He began singing in church, then in school, and quickly drew attention far and wide for his awe inspiring vocal style and abundant musical talent. He quicly became a highly in-demand vocalist, and while attending Bard College,
Bill Dotts - Bass Guitar

Bill Dotts

Bill Dotts is second to NONE! His extensive touring schedule with various world renowned acts, including The Harlem Gospel Choir and jazz fusion legend Lonnie Liston Smith, has taken him around the globe to Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, throughout Europe, and across the United States many times. With The Jon Bates Band, he has also backed up music...
Alva Nelson- Keyboard

Alva Nelson

Alva Nelson is the son of a Texas preacher man, and from the beginning music had a strong spiritual pull on him. As a teenager, he was a member of the “Kashmere Stage Band”, the elite Houston high school ensemble noted for their stellar recordings in the 1970’s and memorialized in the HBO / Showtime documentary, “Thundersoul”, which is ...
Scott Harper - Sax

Scott Harper

Scott Harper is an extremely gifted musician. He teaches and performs fluently on the alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, as well as on flute, guitar, and as a vocalist in the band. He creatively blends a widely diverse range of influences, and always seems to have just the right musical flavoring at his fingertips. He is also very adept at adding tasteful percussion ...
John Isley - Sax

John Isley

John Isley has toured the world playing saxophone for the past several decades. He’s an extremely accomplished multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, arranger and studio engineer, as well as a self proclaimed computer nerd, avid reader, and a pretty damned good cook! He has been a staple of the New York City music scene for more than 30 years. Originally...