Award-winning twin brothers Joseph and John DeMasi are contemporary folk singers, songwriters and recording artists whose songs are imbued with their Unitarian Universalist beliefs of love, inclusion, tolerance, understanding, and worth and dignity for all. With Joseph on guitar and John on guitar and fiddle, the DeMasi Brothers bring a unique musical experience full of wit, humor, intellect, and poignancy to every concert and how they perform.
Joseph and John, the DeMasi Bros. began their folk music career in the folk clubs and coffeehouses in and around New York City where they were born and raised. As part of the 80's folk music revival scene they appeared and performed regularly at Greenwich Villages famed music club "the Speak Easy" and were featured performers on the "Fast Folk" music series. They shared the stage with such folk legends as Harry and Tom Chapin, Christine Lavin and Oscar Brand and have appeared regularly on NPR radio.
In 1992 they joined forces with their lifelong friend Chris Burke, the award winning actor with Down syndrome best known for his starring role as "Corky" on the hit ABC-TV show "Life Goes On" who they met while working as music counselors at a recreation program for children and adults with disabilities. The trio formed a group and went on to sign a major recording contract with BMG/Kidz. They recorded four CD's for kids and families, one nationally released and their CD titled "Forever Friends" received a Parents Choice Gold Seal for Excellence Award.
They now tour regularly throughout the US and have appeared on many TV shows including "Good Morning America", Crook and Chase" and "Entertainment Tonight". "We've been singing together since the crib days “says Joseph. "We both started on the violin in the 4th grade". In 1969 at 16 years old they volunteered at a groundbreaking program for kids with disabilities called Camp Anchor. "We worked in the music dept. and taught ourselves guitar to lead sing-a-longs. We found our voices blended well and Simon and Garfunkel were really popular at the time. We did a lot of their songs" say Joseph. Honing their skills at coffeehouses and wine and cheese places John added some fiddling to the act. Chris Burke was a friend of theirs who they met at Camp Anchor. "He loved our music and came to many of our gigs, so it was only natural for us to form a group when he landed the role of "Corky" on the ABC-TV show "Life Goes On". Combining our folk music values with our love of working with people with disabilities was the perfect fit for us" says John "and for 20 years we continued living the dream and traveling the country singing and promoting the message of ability awareness and inclusion for all".
Joseph and John have also been very active in their UU church's as well and have performed at many throughout the country. "We strongly believe in equal rights for all, economic justice and saving the environment AND we believe you should have a fun time doing it! That is why we interject so much humor into our shows. We have to be upbeat" says Joseph," we are genetically pre-disposed because our blood type is B positive!" "Music has been great to us" they both agree. We get to do what we love and promote what we believe in! "AND we both met our wives at gigs" says John. "How great is that!"
Joseph and John DeMasi, the DeMasi Brothers infuse their concerts with a mix of their Unitarian Universalist values, their unique blend of harmonies and toe tapping rhythms with fun filled folk music that is sure to put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Their show features John on fiddle, guitar and vocals and Joseph on guitar and vocals performing original songs that delight, intrigue and inspire as well as songs you will know, love and remember. Their shows include "Who Do You Say I Am?", a song written about the quest for religious truth, "Huggin' You", a humorous alternative to exercise, "I'm Gay", an insightful look at the folly of sexual discrimination and "Billy Blue", what country music sounds like when played by two Italian boys from Brooklyn! They draw upon the seven principles of UUism as inspiration for their music and incorporate sing a longs, audience participation and funny stories that everyone can relate to. Their warm, friendly personalities and unique blending of "twin voices" give a sincere and personal feeling to all of their performances. They are recipients of many awards, had a record deal with BMG, appear regularly on NPR radio, have appeared on many national and local shows including "Good Morning America", "Crook and Chase" and "Entertainment Tonight" and have toured the nation and the world performing at numerous coffee houses, folk clubs, concert halls and UU churches. Remembering yesterday, living today and working for a better tomorrow is what the DeMasi Brothers music and shows are all about and will surely touch you deeply!