SSB Line Up

Performance Schedule
About the Band
The Line Up
Akron Rolling Thunder Vet Fest 2019!


The Swizzle Stick Band is an 8 piece Motown/Funk/R&B horn band, playing your favorites from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s with some new popular songs mixed in. Our singer, Ms. Vanda Johnson, has a beautiful voice and powerful stage presence, which does justice to the great music we play.
 The band is:

Vanda Johnson - Lead Vocals
Vanda is now "happily retired!" from her day job, she learned to sing gospel as a child. This (unbelievably!) is her first band. Her thunderous vocals are truly amazing.

Eric Warren - Bass

Eric has been playing music since preschool and his first gig was as a teenager with his Dad's group The Esquires. Since then he's been in several bands with styles varying from bluegrass to jazz to rock! An engineer by day and a true music pro Eric's steady hand and accomplished bass skills keeps the lower register grooving for SSB.

Ken Berlin – Guitar, Vocals
Ken has been playing guitar for decades and has been with several area bands. His sweet guitar sounds are complimented by great vocals. Don't be surprised to see him take something to a new level or tear off a rockin' riff mid song! He is a seasoned pro and a true team player and member of the SSB family! 

Ken Ertel – Bass Trumpet, Trombone, Harps, Backing Vocals 
An entrepeneur in the Steel Industry, Ken’s love for music is clear. He studied under Univ. of Akron’s Tucker Jolly in college and is the "business manager" of SSB and arranges charts when needed too.

Harry Wittbrod - Tenor Sax, Bari Sax

Harry, classically trained, can really rip it on the tenor or bari sax! A seasoned musician, Harry's "main instrument" is actually the bassoon! Bringing many years of experience and a hard working and fun attitude Harry is the true classical musician in the band! Some of our charts are written by Harry as well. 


Andy Platz - Trumpet and Sound

Andy is the tech and repair guru for SSB and when Andy's not tweaking our PA or helping one of us set up or fix something he's also playing his trumpet with the band! An experienced musician having played with many local bands over the last 30 years, Andy adds some great energy to SSB! 

Maury Haymore - Drums, Percussion

Bringing lots of energy and experience to SSB, Maury is a seasoned musician and also a really fun guy to be around! He has played in many area bands and is the perfect fit to keep the beat for SSB. Maury has some great drum techniques and as a bonus he can sing really well also!


Doug Barber – Keys, Backing Vocals 

Doug has played in many area bands for many years and is a seasoned pro. Doug is the mild mannered, but stealthy funny guy in SSB! Besides "tickling the keys" expertly, he also has some great back up vocals. 

 The Swizzle Stick Band is a high-energy, dance party band, so be sure to bring your dancing shoes!



In Memory of our Friend and Bandmate Mike Chopka.

Mike played his last gig on Earth with us on January 20, 2007 and joined the band in the heavens in August, 2007. His backup percussion sounds and always cheerful  - no matter what! - spirit is missed by us all.


The Band

In Memory of our friend "Chef Tray".
Tray was always helping others and was the "Chef Extraordinaire" at The Getaway. He loved the bands that went there to play and always sang "Johnny B. Goode" with us every time we played there. Tray, say hello to Mike up there and make some great music together up there until we join you. RIP 
In memory of our friend "Chef Tray"