Reggie Seigler, bandleader of the Soft Spoken Band (SSB), founded the band back in the early 1980’s along with his longtime friend
Isaac Wynn of UAD. “That was before midi keyboards, sampling and computerized music editing software changed the way music is
made”, Seigler said. Musicians had to have ‘chops’ to get in the game back then and Artists like Stevie Wonder, Kool and the Gang and
Earth Wind & Fire were still using live players to dominate the pop and R&B charts.”
The Soft Spoken Band (SSB) was no different. They were gifted with the ability to play and were blessed to break into the music
business at a time when the live music circuit still had enough juice to run a band four to six nights per week and good bands didn’t have
to search too hard for work. For years on end the SSB received regular invitations to perform casinos, cruise ships, resorts, colleges,
weddings and festivals. They played their share of corner bars too.
Donna Alford, as she is known professionally, is the front person of the band and has been the band’s lead vocalist since the beginning
and married to the bandleader for nearly as long. Singing comes naturally for Alford who is an exceptional vocalist who comes from a
family where singers and musicians are plentiful and extend across generations. As a child Donna sang in her family’s church group.
(The talent line didn’t end there though. She and Seigler have a daughter, Missy Danielle, who is also a singer in her own right currently
working in Philadelphia, PA. Missy Danielle will be singing back up for the SSB at the 2017 M&T Jazz Fest.)
In addition to Donna on lead vocals, Soft Spoken’s regular touring band is a traditional rhythm section, consisting of of Seigler on bass,
Benjamin Terry on drums; Robert Brown on keyboards and Glen Mc Arthur on guitar. The line-up also includes Miles Tucker on tenor sax.
The band’s musical director is Robert Brown who is also a music teacher for the Syracuse City School District. Brown recognized
Benjamin Terry’s drumming potential while Terry was a student in Brown's middle school class, so Brown began mentoring him and
later encouraged him to audition for the SSB where he has held do wn the drum chair f or the past five years.
Seigler noticed tenor saxophonists Miles Tucker's superior talent and maturity in a manner similar to the way Robert Brown noticed
Ben Terry’s. Miles was a saxophonist with Missy Danielle in the award-winning 315 All Stars hig h school orchestra. Upon inishing his
education at the Eastman School of Music, Seigler approached Miles about playing some gigs. He’s been a Soft Spoken Band regular ever
since. Rounding out the group is guitarist Glen McArthur, who is a phenomenal player who performing days date back to his teenage years.
Saturday June 1Oth - 5:OO pm - National Grid Main Stage