About Us


Fred "Freddy Pep" Piperata (co-founder/vocal director/frontman/ lead vocals):

Fred  has been a frontman and lead vocalist since 1967. He has traveled and  toured from Canada to Key West, and from Boston to Cleveland, OH. Fred  has been the lead vocalist for such groups as "August", "Punch",  "Flame", and most recently "Direct Hit". Fred brings to Soul Injection a  high level of showmanship and stage presence, as well as vocal  leadership. Fred also plays congas with the band, and is an accomplished  guitarist and keyboardist.


John Short (keyboards/vocals)

John Short lives in Herkimer, New York and is a graduate of the Ilion  School District. After spending a year at St. Lawrence University  immersing himself in the Music program, he returned to the valley to  earn an AAS degree in General Studies from HCCC, while playing out 3 to 4  nights a week.

     John is a 20 year veteran of the CNY  music scene. Many know him as a founding member of the band Showtime,  and more recently his work with Classified. He has shared the stage with  everyone from sitting members of Congress (John Hall D-NY) to Michael  Glabicki (the lead singer of Rusted Root) and many others in between.
      John credits his passion for music to his Violin instructor TJ McAveny.  Self taught on Keys, John also plays violin. His addition fills out the  sound of Soul Injection, and allows for greater arranging vocally and  instrumentally.


Vic Tocco (keyboards/vocals)

Vic has been playing music in the Central New York area for more than  twenty-five years. He has played in several successful bands before  coming to Soul Injection, including "Crystal Ship", "Amber", "Excel",  and "Direct Hit". Also a drummer, Vic finds his influences in the ‘80’s -  White Snake, Guns N Roses and Aerosmith. 


Dan Anthony (guitar)

Guitarist  for 30 plus years Dan brings  expertise on sound engineering along with  his years of playing guitar, he blends the two together for a for an  entirely new experience on stage.  Dan has played most of his life,  studied with Carmen Carmnica and worked with  some of best musicians in  the area.  We are happy to have Dan on board.


Paul LaPuma (bass/vocals)

Paul  has been playing bass across New York and the New England states for  over 30 years. His vast club experience includes being a member of the 7  piece band “NETWORK” and New York’s premier rock band “GRAN SLAM”. Paul  has played back up for many national acts including The Coasters, Del  Shannon, Bobby Lewis, The Marvellettes, Dee Dee Sharp and more. Paul has  played bass in the 17 piece band Second Time Around and plays in areas  of contemporary Christian worship. He also enjoys being a part of area  pit bands in local musicals. Paul started out in elementary and high  school on tuba and then switched to string bass. For Paul it really has  been all about the bass..


Darryl Sleszynski (sax)

An  alumnus of Whitesboro Central School's excellent music program, Darryl  attended SUNY Potsdam and performed for four years with the Crane School  of Music's Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab bands.  Returning to the Utica  area in the mid-70's, he was a member of many well-known groups,  including Phoenix, Reunion, Puttin' on the Ritz, Preacher, The  (Devereaux) Houserockers, Classified, Breezin', and Top Secret.  On-call  performances with the Utica Symphony Orchestra included appearances  with Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett.  A versatile woodwind performer,  Darryl plays soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones, clarinet, flute, and  oboe.

Travis began his tenure with Soul Injection in 2003 and is back after "leaving the group forever" in

Travis (Chopper) Olivera (Sax)

 Travis began his tenure with Soul Injection in 2003 and is back after  "leaving the group forever" in 2013.  Originally from Waterville, he has  studied music at both the University of Maryland  at College Park and the Onondaga Community College.  Aside from Soul  Injection, you can occasionally see Travis perform with Showtime and the  Easy Money Big Band.  When not playing saxophone, Travis works as the  Director of the Hamilton Public Library.


Tim Watson (Trumpet)


A graduate of the Crane School of Music, Tim enjoyed a 33-year career as a band director at Oneida High School. He directed Concert, Marching and Jazz Bands, Pit Orchestras for the annual musical and established the Oneida Jazz Festival. The annual jazz festival grew to include 35+ middle and high school jazz bands and nationally known guest artists. Tim had the opportunity to work and perform with such jazz greats as Ed Shaughnessey, Dave Weckl, Chris Vadala, Bob McChesney, Tom “Bones” Malone, trumpet greats Maynard Ferguson, Bobby Shew, Allen Vizzutti, Mike Williams, Lew Soloff and dozens more. 

A Central NY native, Tim has played lead trumpet with NY Express, Marv Arnold Big Band, Easy Money Big Band and performs for weddings and church services. He and his wife enjoy traveling often and spend the winters in Jekyll Island, Georgia. Tim plays regularly with both professional and community bands in Central NY and while in Georgia he performs with the Jekyll Island Big Band, the Golden Isles Community Band and the Coastal Brass Choir. 


Carl Marucci (Drums/Vox)


Carl the “human metronome “ Marucci has been a fixture on the Central New York music scene for over 50 years. His musical career started at the age of 13 with The Sound with Brass, a group organized by his music teacher Prof. Camardello. After graduating from college he was fortunate enough to tour the New England States with the rock group Bhang. He also drove the bus for many popular area bands, Stark Street Warehouse, Reflections, Sonar, Network, Heard and the Wonderfish, Ode, Doc Orloffs Blues Elixir and Cleen Street. We are pleased to welcome Carl to our Soul Injection family and can’t wait for you all to hear his solid dance grooves.


Tony Brindisi (Coordinator & General Manager /sound tech)

Tony  brings over 30 years of professional management skills in the music  industry to the Soul Injection Family. Tony has been the key reason for  the success of many regional and national acts going all the way back to  the early 70s with such groups as "August ", "Heaven" and ending most  recently in the last few years with "Showtime." Tony also acts as  special consultant to his Son's band, "Mike Brindisi & The New York  Rock." When our founder and General Manager Bob Crossway made the  decision, due to deteriorating health issues, that he needed to retire,  his search for a replacement was made easy when he found out that Tony  was available and interested. Bob has known Tony for many years and has  total confidence in not only Tony's ability to handle the position and  make the change a smooth transition, but also to take Soul Injection to  even greater levels then have been accomplished in the past. Our  co-founder and lead vocalist Fred Piperata has also known Tony for many  years and refers to him as The Miracle Man because of his ability to  make things happen when all of the odds seem to be stacked against him.


 This page would not be complete without a tribute to our beloved friend Frank DeRocco.   We lovingly called him Franky.  Frank was more often than not the voice  of reason and when the band came to an impasse, Frank brought us out.   Franky was a musician's musician.  Everyone loved him for his talent  his quick wit and his love for everyone.  Frank loved to see young  talent and encouraged young people to do well; he was a musical mentor  for many.  It is still hard to believe that he is gone and each us feels  him with us on stage. Franky we all miss you.  Keep rockin', we'll see  you on the other side.