Classified was originally assembled in the early 90’s, and was the concept of Freddie Faccioli, organist and vocalist from the legendary groups Eric & the Chessmen in the 60’s, and leader of the great horn band Ascension during the 70’s. Freddie had the idea that a premier horn band like Ascension could be formed again, but presented with the technology and sophisticated sound systems in use today. In addition to Freddie Faccioli on organ, Larry Desiato on drums & vocals, Scott Rutledge on trumpet & vocals and Greeley Ford on bass, the original Classified lineup also featured Ascension veteran Pat Putrello on trumpet & vocals (see original photo and credits below.)
While it truly was "getting the band back together," it also featured many talented musicians from other top current musical acts in the area with Gary Colmey being added to the original lineup several months later. Their collective resume was so long, it was said that it looked like a "Classified" ad. Thus, the name was created and so was the mission statement of the band…. EOE--"Equal Opportunity Entertainment" for all, which continues in full force today!
Click an image to learn more about the members of Classified
Greeley is from Asbury Park, New Jersey, where he graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ.. He came to upstate New York in the early seventies to earn a Syracuse University BA in Speech Communications/Dramatic Arts from Utica College.
When he left the Jersey Shore, fellow bar bands like Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band were playing the same club circuit.
Besides playing in Ascension, Greeley was a founding member and leader of the legendary progressive rock show band, Mr. Edd which performed all up and down the east coast and Canada. Later, while playing keyboards and bass with the Todd Hobin Band, he also toured with the Beach Boys and the Kinks.
Greeley began taking classical piano lessons in 1964 and played various brass horn instruments until finally settling down with the electric bass in the early seventies.
Greeley is the “Cal Ripkin” of Classified. He has played every gig since the beginning of the band.
Scott Rutledge attended Westmoreland Schools, graduating in 1976. Scott received his A.A.S. in Music from Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY in 1978 and his B.A. from the Crane School of Music at Potsdam in 1980
Scott was a member of the Olympic Symphony Orchestra for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid NY, as well as serving as wind instructor and director of the Wind Ensemble at the Grenville Christian Academy in Brockville Ontario, and the Crane School of Music Jazz Band ll in 1981
Besides being a lead vocalist and trumpeter for Classified, (1992-present) Scott was also the featured vocalist and trumpeter for a number of tours on various cruise ships for Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines throughout the 90’s.
In August of 2003 Scott co-founded the YMCA Center for the Creative Arts (YCCA) in Rome, New York with visionary YMCA of the Greater Tri Valley CEO Henry Leo. The arts school was the first of its kind in the nation hosted at a YMCA.
As director of the award winning YCCA Jazz Ensemble, Scott recorded with, backed up, or opened for a myriad of jazz legends including: The Yellowjackets, Dr. John, Ellis Marsalis, Jane Monheit, Jason Marsalis, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, The Brubeck Brothers and Maynard Ferguson. Scott conducted the world premiere performance of “Katrina” in October of 2006 with legendary New Orleans’ trumpeter Leroy Jones.
His incredible career includes performances with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: The Ink spots, The Temptations, Dion, The Commodores, The Platters, Sam Moore, “Righteous Brother” Bill Medley, and comedic hall of famers Bob Newhart and Foster Brooks . He regularly sings the national anthem for many college and professional sporting events including performances for major league baseball’s Baltimore Orioles.
Scott co-produced two time Oscar award winning singer Jennifer Warnes on her recordings of “Sweet and Slow” and “Lights of Louisiana” for the 2009 YCCA release “Collaborations”, and Oscar winner Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers on his recording of “Everyday I Have the Blues”, as well as Oscar nominee Amanda Shaw; writing, arranging, and performing on “St. Louis Blues” and her remake of the Hank Williams classic “Long Gone Lonesome Blues” Scott wrote and arranged vocals and horns for Jacque Tara Washington’s SAMMY nominated C.D. “World of Passion”
In October 2007 Scott directed the Harlem Boys and Girls Choir Alumni Ensemble and the YCCA Wind Ensemble in concert. The event lives on today in the form of a groundbreaking PBS DVD available online at pbs.org.
Currently, Scott is director of music at Holy Cross Academy and St. Joseph’s Church in Lee Center NY where he lives on a small farm, and continues a very full schedule as a performer, teacher, conductor, and clinician in a wide variety of popular, jazz, classical and sacred musical settings.
Gary worked on a farm, then at an ice cream stand as a teen just long enough to realize that playing the sax, guitar & singing was much more fun, socially beneficial, and profitable. He moved on to piano/keyboards as soon as he could afford his first Wurlitzer electric and never looked back.
He has played with: (as a teen) – “The Break-Thru”, “Rock Road” and “Fantasy” all with Chuck Lamb (now with The Brubeck Bros.) playing countless school dances, church basements, college frats and any bars that would allow underage musicians on stage. “Rock Road” won the NYS Talent Hunt “Contest of the Combos” in 1971 after coming in 2nd place in ’70.
Then after high school: Cathedral, Gary & Gary, Fun Company, Greg Ross Quartet, Tony Arlyn & Sandcastle, Lazy Days, Carmen Canavo Show, Tony Arlyn & Sunshine Lady, Lazy Days Revue, Triple Play, Band of Oz, Ozzie, Gary Colmey Solo-Duo-Trio, Kix, Breezin, Airtime, The Blues Brother’s Brothers, and Classified. Playing in lounge & show bands of the 70’s Gary traveled up & down the east coast and throughout the mid west, playing 6 nights a week, 2 weeks at a time.
Gary wrote and recorded the singles “Saturday” and Bradford” with “Triple Play” on the Standy Records label in ’74 to regional acclaim. He co-wrote and recorded “Feel the Songshine” which was chosen as national theme for the Kennedy Foundation’s “Very Special Arts Festivals” in ’76.
Gary finally “retired” from the road ’82 and opened Gary’s Music Store in ’83. He joined Larry Desiato and Greeley Ford in Breezin in the early 90’s before joining Classified shortly thereafter. He remained with Classified through the mid 90’s and has just rejoined the band for its latest round!
Larry is the next original founding member of Classified that is still performing with the band. He was actually the original drummer for the first five years of the band when the band was establishing itself as the “biggest” band in Central New York.
He is a 1974 graduate of Notre Dame High School in Utica and has played professionally ever since. He has played drums and/or sang lead vocals for bands such as Preacher, Breezin’, Airtime, Mirage, Metro and of course, Mr. Edd.
Larry learned to play the drums when was eight years old and played in various drum and bugle corps such as The Magnificent Yankees and DCI finalist, The Auburn Purple Lancers.
Larry has shared the stage with national acts such as Orleans and Las Vegas showroom stars The Scintas, whom Larry subbed on drums for several shows when their regular drummer was out ill.
He is an accomplished and well known musician in central New York who utilizes his talent to not only just sing and play, but also to entertain the audience as well with breathtaking impersonations of artists like Louie Armstrong & Johnny Mathis.
Michael DiMeo received his B.S. in Music Education from SUNY Potsdam and his M.S. in Music Education in 1973.
Michael just retired after teaching music at the New Hartford High School since 1976, having served as department chair since 1980.
He led the NHHS Spartan Marching Band to several NYS Field Band Class AA Champions in 1982, 1990, 1991 & 1996. He’s been an adjunct professor at Utica College of Syracuse University since 1997 and the brass caption head for the legendary drum and bugle corps, The Syracuse Brigadiers in 1991, 1992 and 1994-1998.
Michael has taught generations of students. In fact, he was the original instructor for Scott Rutledge! Michael himself has a huge following. Parents and kids alike, both of whom Michael taught, come out to see him play in Classified on a regular basis.
Before joining Classified in the mid 1990’s, Michael played with Fuel and the Sal Alberico Big Band. Since then, he has played for the Four Tops, the Temptations, Bobby Vinton and Frankie Avalon just to name a few.
John Dugan lives in Sherrill, New York, and is a graduate of the Mount Markham High School in West Winfield, New York.
He has been the driving force behind Classified since 2000.
He holds a Civil Engineering AAS degree from Mohawk Valley Community College.
John has played professionally throughout Central New York since the mid-eighties in a variety of bands that performed a variety of styles. He’s worked with Rollin’ Easy, Trainwreck, Backflash and the Steve Webb Band.
Like the horn section players, John is also a drum and bugle corp veteran, having played with the Tanner Drum & Bugle Corp which won various regional competitions during his tenure.
Joe Zarr is the youngest member of Classified. He is a graduate of West Genesee High School and the Ithaca College School of Music with a BA in Music Education.
Since graduating, in addition to regular performances, he taught elementary music education, served as band director for the American Legion Boy’s State Summer Program and the Morrisville SUNY Collge instrumental instructor.
He has and/or continues to perform with groups such as the Syracuse Symphony Pops Orchestra, the Maria DeSantis Orchestra, the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, the Danny D’Imperio Big Band and Nathan Williams & the Zydeco Cha-Chas.
Onstage, Joe is known for his infectious enthusiasm and fancy dance steps as he leads the horn section back and forth across the stage.
Marty is a native of central New York. He is a graduate of Fredonia State and has a Masters Degree in Music Performance from Youngstown State University.
During the mid eighties, Marty toured playing lead baritone for the world champion Garfield Cadets Drum & Bugle Corp.
He has performed with the Utica, Hamilton, Colgate, Catskill, Schenectady and Youngstown Symphony Orchestras in addition to performances with the Temptations and the Supremes.
Besides playing trombone for Classified, Marty is the Director for the New Hartford High School Band, having taken over this position from the retiring Michael DiMeo.
Carl graduated high school in Utica, New York and later attended Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Carl has played professionally since 1975. He has toured all over the country, including lengthy stints in Las Vegas. He has performed onstage in 46 states!
During the eighties, he toured with the absolutely legendary central New York RCA recording artists “805”.
But one of the most spectacular and memorable shows Carl ever played was a very special concert on the White House front lawn in celebration of our nation’s bicentennial in 1976.
Like his fellow bandmates, Carl is also fluent on other instruments as well. However Carl possesses a unique, God-given talent…he has perfect pitch.
Bill Mirgo is the newest addition to the rhythm section of Classified. Quiet and unassuming, he is an incredible soloist as well.
He has played guitar in various bands in the Central New York area for the past 25 years including, but not limited to, the Dynamic Imports, Murphy’s Law and Lonesome Dove.
He also regularly plays for the great Joe Angerosa Elvis Tribute Show.
Bill is a self-taught musician, and has studied with the legendary guitarist Carmen Caramanica before continuing on to become a a gifted guitar instructor himself, having taught hundreds of students over the past several years.