Wise Guys Band

Genre: 70’s Bands, 80’s Bands, Cover Bands, Dance Bands, Funk Bands, Motown Bands, Oldies Bands, R&B Bands, Soul Bands, Variety Bands, Wedding Bands
Location: New Orleans, LA
Price Range: $1500-$2500

About The Band

Everything you wanted to know about
The Wise Guys Band ... and more!!
John Lyons jr. of The Wiseguys, is a Native of New Orleans, who started playing the saxophone at the age of 10. He was hired for his first "paying gig" when he was twelve and hasn't stopped since. "His sweet, full-bodied tenor sound compliments his "Funky" and "Aggressive" style of playing. John's musical influences include Lenny Pickett and The Tower of Power, Grover Washington Jr., Tom Scott, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Michael Brecker, and Stanley Turrentine. John has shared the stage with such well known artist as Percy Sledge, Luther Kent, Irma Thomas, T. Graham Brown, Doug Kershaw, The Coasters, The Platters, and the Marvelettes, just to name a few. John has been a mainstay on the sax for many bands in South Louisiana including Magnolia, Stormy, Ernest Scott & Coffee, and Soul Vaxxination. One of the highlights was performing at the 2001 Montreal Jazz Festival for an audience of over 40,000 music lovers. Proudly featured with The Wiseguys on a permanent basis now, you can find a lot to love when you listen to John wail on his sax!
Ward Smith was a welcomed addition to The Wise Guys Band beginning in June of 2008. He plays tenor, baritone and soprano saxes. He played with Luther Kent and Trick Bag for many years beginning in 1979. His musical career spans over thirty years and includes live performances with well known names like Greg Alman, The Band, Brook Benton, Cab Callaway, Natalie Cole, Billy Eckstine, Robert Goulet, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Dr. John, Earl King, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Brenda Lee, Wayne Newton, Bernadette Peters, Billy Preston, Lou Rawls, Boz Scaggs, Frank Sinatra Jr., Keely Smith, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Spinners, Mel Torme and George Shearing, Allen Toussaint, and Big Joe Turner. He has also performed on over 45 local and national recording projects with artists such as John Cleary, Luther Kent, Snooks Eaglin, Ronnie Cole, Dr. Hook, Bryan Lee, George Porter, Jo-El Sonnier, and Steve Winwood to name a few. You can bet The Wiseguys were proud to put him in their powerhouse horn section!
Mike Genevay, our trombonist received his Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from Loyola University and has pursued post-graduate studies at U.N.O. and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. He is currently is in his 37th year as an educator having worked in classroom and administrative capacities. Mike is currently the band director at Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies in Metairie, La.
Mike had been a trombonist with the Pete Fountain Band for the 33 years and has performed throughout the country with this group. Before joining the Fountain Band, he performed with the La. Philharmonic Orchestra (New Orleans Symphony Orchestra) and numerous traditional and modern jazz groups. Although trained as a classical musician and educator, he has always enjoyed playing in various venues and musical styles. We're happy to have the opportunity to make him a part of the "Wise Guys".
A.J. Pittman plays trumpet with the Wise Guys as well as doingmost of the horn sections charts. He received a degree in music and shortly after traveled with a New Orleans R&B band called Tavasco whose members have since gone on to play with The Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas, Marva Wright, The Meters, Chocolate Milk, and Allen Toussaint. After Tavasco A.J. played with Wayne Cochran and The C.C. Riders, as well as becoming their musical director. Some of the members of C.C. Riders joined A.J. in New Orelans to form Luther Kent and Trick bag. He still has an association with that group now, 30 years later. Of course A.J. played his fair share of clubs on Bourbon street and the surrounding French Quarter while also recording with the above mentioned artists. In addition to those artists he recorded with Ernie K-Doe, Barbara George, The Dukes of Dixieland, and Willie T. to name a few. A.J. is also known for his compositions and arrangements of music and has provided his talent for this for numerous bands and artists since 1972. He's actually quite shy about bragging about his accomplishments, but he has been on several European tours with well known artists and has made many national television appearances. A.J. and the horn section lifted The Wiseguys to a higher level with his challenging horn arrangements and distinctive talent.
Jimmy Weber is the trumpet player for The Wise Guys. He joined the group when it was decide that a horn section would enhance the band tremendously. He has performed with famous New Orleans artists such as Pete Fountain, The Neville Brothers, The Meters, and Luther Kent. He also played with nationally known artists such as Lou Rawls, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Woody Herman and many more. During his years with Pete Fountain, Jimmy had the honor of performing at The White House during both the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations as well as playing on The Tonight Show and The Dolly Parton Show. Yes, he gives autographs...The Wiseguys' own...Jimmy Weber.
Harold Kelt is, without a doubt, a musical genius. (Hey, if you got...) After listening to a Jimmy Hendrix album at the age of 14, Harold began playing guitar. He also studied piano at Weirlein's on Canal street. He became the organ player in a psychedelic band in 1968 but soon realized he was a string player at heart. He mastered one as well as the other so the choice was his. He eventually joined a group called "Head Parrot" in 1975 and then joined The DB's in the late 80's. It was with this band that he opened up 20 major concerts for REM as a lead guitarist. Though that might have been enough for your average musician, it wasn't for the far above average Harold. He still expanded his interest in keyboards to include synthesizers and computers. He has played with other major bands like Wild Cherry, Free Spirit, DB's, Bo Diddly, Front Street, Crossover, Big Spoon, The Groove, King Floyd, Frankie Ford, The Marveletts, Area 61, Obsession, and The Esquires. Harold's vast musical experience also includes composing music for many local commercials. He is one of the founding members of The Wiseguys having started as their keyboard player and then making the transition to lead guitarist of the group. The Wiseguys showcases his abundant ability in a realm that is grateful for his tremendous talent... and occasionally chants the mantra "we are not worthy".
David Mondebello, our keyboardist, has attended Southeastern University, Loyola, and Dick Grove Jazz workshop in Los Angeles, California. He played on the road with various bands from 1972 to 1975 in California, Reno, Nevada, ans well as on the east coast. he played for 6 years on Bourbon street from 1975 to 1981 along with other local fair including Jazz Fest 3 times, French Quarter Fest, and the 1984 Worlds Fair. He played with Gary Brown, Philip Manuel, Luther Kent, ELS, and Louisiana Hall of Famer John Fred and the Playboys for 8 years. He also did toured with The Louisiana Boys for 9 years. David had his own band called "Coffee" that toured regionally and played in Nashville and Memphis with Issac Hayes and at the Montreal International Jazz Fest in 2000. There were many favorable write ups about "Coffee" in such reputable blues publications like Living Blues and In the Basement. He also played for The Platters, The Coasters, The Marvellettes, Big Joe Turner, Chuck Berry and Denise LaSalle. The Wiseguys are proud to have David on board, setting a new groove with his rhythmic style of playing.
Joey Catalanotto is a "deep-in-the-pocket" drummer that has been with The Wise Guys from their humble beginning in 1997. He is Lieutenant to the Captain (Chris) of the group. Together he and Chris have a combined dedication to make sure the band stretches their potential. At the age of 6 Joey would come home from Mardi Gras parades and imitate what he had heard the drum lines do while marching. He began taking formal drum lessons two years later. His favorite music was old school R&B and he reflected that in his developing drum style. While attending Holy Cross High School, he was a member of the Tiger Marching Band under the direction of the late, great Frank "Prof" Maninno. In the late 80's he became the drummer for a local group called The Bedrocks. Shortly after that band broke up, Chris returned from Texas and he and Joey, Harold, and two other former members of The Bedrocks, formed The Wiseguys. Joey's steady beat with it's old school influence is the foundation of the rhythm that drives the band's energetic groove and keeps the people jammin on the dance floor.
Chris Campbell, is the bass player, vocalist, and fearless leader of The Wiseguys. His organizational skills have been instrumental in building the band into the musical success it has become. He hails from a family whose appreciation for music exposed him to a variety of genres which included the sounds of Pete Fountain, Mardi Gras music with it's distinctive street beat, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers and Bruce Springsteen. Chris watched two of his older brothers grow musically, playing in popular local bands, and knew that he wanted to take that same path. At Bonnabel High School, one his teachers saw promise in the shy teenager and coaxed him into taking general music courses and learning choral arrangements. After high school he learned to play guitar and played in a few local cover bands when he was in his twenties. His job relocated him to Texas where he joined in the Houston music scene with a local rock band. In 1997 he returned to New Orleans and formed The Wiseguys with Joey, the drummer, and Harold, originally the keyboard player. Chris's knowledge of music via his huge library of songs provides him with a rich texture of musical nuance. His intuition of what works for a specific event is the magic that keeps the party flowing smoothly. His leadership skills are what keep his band members dedicated to producing their awesome sound laced with the local flavor New Orleans is known for. According to Chris, in his humble opinion, he's "not really a musician". However, his musical intuition, talent, history, and appreciation... combined with his organizational skills and dedication to The Wiseguys, certainly speaks otherwise.
Kathy Savoie began singing at the age of 14 at Union Hall dances in Chalmette Louisiana with groups like Danny Hebert and the Nobles, The Corvettes, and Earl Stanley and The Stereos. She started singing pro when she was 15 with the support of her father, and joined Betty Lynch and The Mob. While she was with Betty she got to play for the soldiers at Keisler Air Force base in Biloxi, Mississippi. Shortly after, Earl Stanley and partner Ray Theriot, opened a recording studio called Thunder Records and asked Kathy to record for the label. She made a record that had "Tough Guy" on side A and "Let This Love Begin" on side B. Radio station WWOZ still plays "Tough Guy" to this day and can be found on a local album called "New Orleans Golden Oldies". Besides her own recording, Kathy sang background vocals for Irma Thomas and performed the vocals on commercials for Trappey's, Lamarque Ford, Wembley Ties, and The DDD, to mention a few. She opened up for Jean Knight, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Dominoe, Barbara George, Barbara Lynn, Marva Wright, Frankie Ford and Jeri Hall. She joined Bennie Grunch and the Bunch and became well known for her part of "Fried Onion Rings" in the their popular Christmas recording called, "The Twelve Yats of Christmas". After Bennie Grunch and the Bunch disbanded, Kathy began singing for The Wiseguys in 2000, bringing a unique New Orleans nostalgia to the mosaic of flavor that Chris wanted the band to have. She delivers her soulful R&B sound with a punch that compares to no one else and she brings smiles to many with her old school New Orleans familiarity. "Whatcha need? Tell Mama"
Terri Lynn is a vocalist who joined The Wiseguys in May of 2008. She has played in various bands in various night clubs throughout the New Orleans area for thirty years. She served as an opening act locally for Gladys Knight and the Pips, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee, B.J. Thomas, Jo-El Sonnier, Earl Thomas Connelly, T. Graham Brown, The Grass Roots, Andy Gibb, George Jones, Pete Fountain, Harry Connick, Ronnie Cole, Irma Thomas, Charmaine Neville, The Neville Brothers, and more. She recorded three CD's under the late Mid Night Sun Records featuring original material that she co-wrote . She has performed in Florida, Texas, New York, Las Vegas, California, Nashville, Washington, Chicago, Alabama and, last but not least... New Orleans' own Bourbon Street. She now brings her own brand of high energy vocals and entertainment to The Wiseguys.

For booking information on The Wise Guys Band or to book or hire this band for your wedding reception, college event, corporate function or concert, click on the Request Booking Information tab below.

Available For:

Corporate Events, Nightclubs, Private Parties, Rehearsal Dinner Bands, Wedding Bands


1. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
2. Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harem
3. The Harlem Shuffle - Bob and Earl
4. Old Time Rock & Roll-Bob Seger
5. Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
6. Brickhouse - The Commodores
7. Evil Ways - Santana
8. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
9. Taking Care of Business - B.T.O.
10. Wild Night - Van Morrison
11. Saints Go Marching In - Al Hirt
12. Carnival Time - Al Johnson
13. Go To The Mardi Gras - Professor Longhair
14. Boogie Shoes - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
15. Shake Shake Shake - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
16. Get Down Tonight - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
17. 10th Avenue Freeze Out - Bruce Springsteen
18. Whos' Makin Love - Johnny Taylor
19. Boogie Oogie Oogie - Taste Of Honey
20. Boot Scoot Boogie - Brooks & Dunn
21. If You Don't Want Me To - Ronnie Milsap
22. Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
23. 25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago
24. Can't Get Enough of Your Love - Barry White
25. Walkin On Sunshine - Katrina & the Waves
26. I Feel Good - James Brown
27. Done Got Over - Irma Thomas
28. Respect - Aretha Franklin
29. Baby I Love You - Aretha Franklin
30. It's Your Thing - The Isley Brothers
31. Chain Of Fools - Aretha Franklin
32. It's Raining - Irma Thomas
33. Who's That Lady - The Isley Brothers
34. Save The Last Dance For Me - Michael Bluble
35. Sunshine Of My Life - Stevie Wonder
36. We Are Family - Sister Sledge
37. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
38. Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight
39. Ooh Poo Pah Doo - Jesse Hill
40. Jump Jive and Wail - Louis Prima
41. Lady Marmalade - Labelle
42. Touch Me - The Doors
43. Crazy - Patsy Cline
44. Black Drawers - Irma Thomas
45. You Can Have My Husband - Irma Thomas
46. Hipshakin Mama - Irma Thomas
47. Piece Of My Heart - Janice Joplin
48. New Orleans Ladies - Leroux
49. Ophelia - The Band
50. Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
51. Hey Pocky Way - The Meters
52. One In A Million - Larry Graham
53. Big Chief-Professor Longhair
54. Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
55. Electric Slide - Marcia Griffiths
56. 2ND Line - Professor Longhair
57. Mardi Gras Mambo - The Hawketts
58. Bad Girls - Donna Summer
59. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
60. Lovergirl - Teena Marie
61. Car Wash - Rose Royce
62. Boogie Wonderland - Earth Wind & Fire
63. Working Day And Night - Michael Jackson
64. Kansas City - Wilber Harrison
65. Bourbon Street Parade - Traditional
66. More Today Than Yesterday - Spiral Staircase
67. Last Dance - Donna Summer
68. Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison
69. I Know - Barbara George
70. Saturday In The Park - Chicago
71. Keep On Smiling - Wet Willie
72. Don't Mess With My Toot Toot - Jean Knight
73. Hot Hot Hot - Buster Poindexter
74. Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
75. Take Your Time (Do It Right) - SOS Band
76. Vehicle - Ides of March
77. So Very Hard To Go - Tower of Power
78. Rock Steady - Aretha Franklin
79. Best Of My Love - The Emotions
80. Give It to me Baby - Rick James
81.Cupid Shuffle - Cupid
82. Girl From Ipanema - Stan Getz
83. Footloose - Kenny Loggins
84.Sleepwalk - Ritchie Valens
85. At Last - Etta James
86. Shake Rattle & Roll-Arthur Conley
87. Jambalya - Bobby Comstack
88. Margaritaville-Jimmy Buffet
89. Honky Tonk Woman - Rolling Stones
90. When Somebody Loves You Back- Teddy Pendegrass
91. My First My Last My Everything - Barry White
92. Groove Me - King Floyd
93. L.O.V.E. Nat King Cole
94. What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
95. Europa - Santana
96. You Never Can Tell - Chuck Berry
97. What'd I Say - Ray Charles
98. Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me - Mel Carter
99. Lets Stay Together - Al Green
100. If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys
101. Sing A Song - Earth Wind & Fire
102. Ladies Night - Kool and the Gang
103. Leave Your Hat On - Joe Cocker
104. JungleBoogie - Kool and the Gang
105. I Want You Back - Jackson 5
106. Shake Your Body To The Ground - The Jacksons
107. Let's Groove - Earth Wind & Fire
108. September - Earth Wind& Fire
109. Tell Mama - Etta James
110. Breezin - George Benson
111. Unforgettable - Natalie/Nat King Cole
112. Shama Lama Ding Dong - Otis Day & The Nights
113. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is - Chicago
114. Don't Know Why - Norah Jones
115. Sick And Tired - Fats Dominoe
116. In The Stone - Earth Wind and Fire
117. Ooo Baby Baby - Linda Ronstadt
118. Shout - Isley Brothers
119. Sweet Thing - Chaka Khan
120. Just The Way You Are - Billy Joel
121. Tequila - The Champs
122. Sly and the Family Stone - Medley
123. Late In The Evening - Paul Simon
124. To Be Real- Cheryl Lynn
125. You're Still A Young Man - Tower Of Power
126. Pick Up The Pieces - A.W.B
127. Make Me Smile - Chicago
128. In The Mood - Traditional
129. What Is Hip - Tower Of Power
130. Diggin On James Brown - Tower Of Power
131. Shotgun - Jr. Walker
132. Livin In America - James Brown
133. Souled Out - Tower Of Power
134. I Wish - Stevie Wonder
135. Summerwind - Frank Sinatra
136. Got To Get You Into My Life - Earth Wind and Fire
137. What Does It Take - Jr. Walker
138. Crazy In Love - Beyonce
139. The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
140. Back In Love Again - LTD
141. Misty Blue - Dorothy Moore
142. Once You Get Started - Chaka Khan
143. It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones
144. Hold On I'm Comin - Sam & Dave
145. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield
146. Sweet Soul Music - Arthur Conley
147. Clean Up Woman - Betty Wright
148. Here I Am Baby - Al Green
149. Straight On - Heart
150. Get It On - Chase
151. Monster On A Leash - Tower Of Power
152. Love Don't Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston
153. Don't Stop Till You Had Enough - Michael Jackson
154. Thriller - Michael Jackson
155. No Parking On The Dance Floor - Midnight Star
156. Word Up - Cameo