Planet9, the band formally known as "Plan9" unites musicians who have helped create some of the mega-hits of the past three decades in a
pop/jazz forum that we like to call "East Coast Cool". With musicians (see below) who play with
or have played with Hall & Oates, Elton John, Pete Townsend, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, George
Michaels, etc., the group produces new, original music and familiar covers that have a highly melodic,
rhythmic & energetic performance, and of course, a hint of humor.
Planet9 Live in Concert - Winter 2004
Planet9's debut album "Cool Breeze" was released in the fall of 2001. The all original songs on
"Cool Breeze" quickly rose to the top 40 on the charts and earned the band a National
BEST NEW ARTIST nomination, and was the #11 Most Played Independent CD of 2003!
At the request of radio, the band released "God Rest Ye" late in 2001.
The single went to the top of the charts and was downloaded by nearly 1,000,000 people on internet
Due to the overwhelming response to "God Rest Ye", Planet9 released
"The 9 Days of Christmas" in November 2002. The album was the Most
Added Seasonal Album of the 2002 holiday season and reached #3 on the seasonal chartings
and was the #2 album in 2003. The album also topped the charts in the Netherlands,
Australia and received airplay in the U.K. and Japan.
"The 9 Days" received great critical acclaim. About "The 9 Days" the Associated Press said
"THE next generation of Christmas Music has Arrived". Reuters hailed "The 9 Days" as one of the
top 3 albums of the year and the L.A. Times wrote that it the "best holiday...album of the year"
and said "This is awesome!" Other reviewers said "The 9 Days" was "the most innovative holiday
album in decades" and drew comparisons to "Mannheim Steamroller meets Tower of Power".
Planet9 post performance at ESPN's
"Cold Pizza" in December 2003
2003 brought Planet9 to the forefront of the music world via national television performances. This
season Planet9 appeared on ESPN's "Cold Pizza" morning show, Comcast Cable's "Real Life", the Barry Z
and Joey Reynolds shows. Reuters Television also featured the band in an international
special on holiday music.
|2004 brought the release of Planet9's most "adventurous" (in the opinion of one reviewer) project
yet. "Rearview" contains all new arrangements of some of the most beloved hits of
the 60's, 70's, and 80's - many of which feature vocals by the ORIGINAL artist(s) including Larry
Hoppen of Orleans, and Dave Jenkins of Pablo Cruise.
In September 2004, Planet9 scored a Top-5 hit on the
Adult Contemporary Charts with "Whatcha Gonna Do" (ending up with #49 overall for the 2004 year),
and currently (Dec 2004) has two other songs in the top 100 including our Hurricane Relief Single
"Here To Love You", and our 2004 #5 Seasonal Hit "Oh Holy Night"
featuring Broadway, Film & TV star Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Broadway, Film & TV star Sheryl Lee Ralph
singing with the band
(Guitar, Band Leader): Drew's complete lack of musical experience made him the
obvious choice to be the leader of Planet9.
Classically trained, Drew began playing at age 8 but his musical career was interrupted
by college sports and a trip to graduate school for a Ph.D. A mid-life crisis led to his return
to music. That said, please read on.
(Drums): With six albums and five world tours, Charlie was Elton John's drummer for thirteen years.
Charlie's resume reads like a who's who of pop music with performances with Paul McCartney,
Tina Turner, Cher and the Moody Blues, among many others. Charlie has over 150 album credits and
has appeared on numerous international TV shows and movie soundtracks.
(Keyboards & Vocals, Musical Director): The composer and arranger for Planet9, John has
for the past seven years, written, scored and arranged music for children's television, and his
clients include Boeing, McDonalds, Lockheed Martin, Dale Carnegie, and the American Academy of
Family Physicians. He has also engineered numerous jazz recordings for Arturo Sandoval, Kenny Drew, Jr., Nathan Page and
guitarist Larry Coryell.
(Saxophones, Flute): saxophonist extraordinaire for Hall & Oates for the past
three decades. An incredible composer in his own right! Just check out the sax solo on "Maneater".
Charlie has just released his 2nd solo all-original CD entitled "Like The Weather" which features many members of
Planet9 as well as assorted guest musicians.
(Bass Guitar & Vocals): Originally from Upstate New York, Bill "Giff" Gifford provides
the low-end sound to the group as well as vocals. With a funk-n-roll resume from years in the trenches playing
the Central Florida music scene, Giff is adding a "funky" flavor to the live version of the band,
as well as Planet9's newest release "Rearview". Check out his sweet high tenor voice on Planet9's Hurricane
Relief Single "Here To Love You".
(Keyboards & Vocals): Lane is the keyboardist with chart-topping Orleans who continue
to tour and record to this day. Other current projects include performing with brother Larry
(Orleans) in the Rock and Pop Masters (RPM), a touring show featuring many of the top pop/rock
vocalists of the past several decades. Besides have a wonderful tenor voice, he is also a walking
encyclopedia of pop music and could make a fortune playing at piano bars if he ever decided to
pursue that avenue...
(Trumpet & Flugelhorn): Finding the right trumpet player is not an easy thing! Not only is Cameron the RIGHT trumpet player, but he's a monster musician to boot who
knows how to squeal with the best of them. The most recent edition to Planet9, Cameron joins us from
years in the R&B touring trenches.
(Vocals & Percussion): Amy, besides being the most excellent wife of our bassist
Bill Gifford, is also one heck of a singer. Classically trained with a Masters in Vocal Performance from
the Cinncinatti Conservatory, Amy teaches music and vocal training at Rollins College, and performs throughout the United States. In addition to her "classical" voice, Amy's "pop-diva" voice provided a major addition
to Planet9's newest release "Rearview", and our special singles in 2004 including "Here To Love You", and
the Christmas single "Oh Holy Night".