A powerhouse vocalist whose incredible stage presence and vocal maturity rank with the best, Elise Testone is the perfect combination of soul, rock, attitude and restraint. Equally as impressive and at ease belting James Brown style vocals over a relentless funk groove as she is resting her voice gently over a ballad, Testone’s range of influences and vocal capacity know few limits. Her first original album,
In This Life, released last year received rave reviews, celebrating her ability to “wail the blues, rock like a bitch and purr sexily” (Goldmine Magazine), however Elise is anxious to share her new music which is more focused in the Funk/Rock/Soul genres. Growing up in New Jersey with a father who collected juke boxes, Testone knew she was a singer even as a young girl. Exposed to music that ranged from Motown and the Beatles to Queen and, later, Nirvana, she began studying privately at the age of 5, excelling and performing publicly at local coffeehouses through her teens. Eventually graduating from Coastal Carolina University with a Vocal Performance degree, Testone came of age as a professional performer and private educator in Charleston, SC, becoming one of the most seasoned and well respected musicians in town. At the age of 27 she was approached by a scout from television reality show American Idol and decided to use the opportunity (urged on especially by her students) as a stepping stone to propel her career, ultimately becoming a finalist on the hit show.
In the wake of her appearance on American Idol, Testone has toured extensively and has appeared on such popular TV programs as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live with Kelly, Access Hollywood, Good Day New York, Good Morning America and others. While she enjoyed her time on Idol, Testone is excited to bring her own unique brand of music to the world, a brand that owes more to artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, James Brown and Lauryn Hill than to today’s disposable hit-makers. She has opened for B.B. King, Snoop Dogg, Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, and Dumpstaphunk, and has performed with Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd members, and Soulive and Lettuce members to name a few.
Currently, Testone has begun a new chapter of her career living in Brooklyn, NY where her guitarist Adam Fallen and her are constantly creating new music for their future tour, performing at venues such as The Cutting Room, The Blue Note, Rockwood Music Hall, Irving Plaza, and Brooklyn Bowl to name a few.
In a world full of vocalists who seem to be acting, Elise Testone’s performance is anything but that. Her heart more exposed with every note, it’s not uncommon to find her on her knees and out of breath at the end of a hard-driving soul tune – all in service of the music.
Zach Benton has been songwriting & performing for 13 years, opening for the Beach Boys in 2006 at Meadowbrook Farm, performing in NYC's East Village & Central Park, Boston, Cocheco Music Festival, Greeley Park Film & Music Festival, Keene Music Festival, among many others. He has landed two self-produced albums in the top 10 for new R&B/Soul iTunes, as well as 4 singles in the top 20 on that same chart. His self-produced music performance television series, “O! Melodious Show,” has begun its 2nd season. His three albums (Fall In, Off the Benton Track, and The Salem Album) will soon be joined by a fourth later in 2017.