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Meet the Top Cityzens!

Since 1989 some of Vancouver's finest musicians have been rockin' the house with Top City! Here's the current Top City roster:


The Voices:


Leslie Mounteney


Michael O'Shea Photograph

Described as "emotional” “sincere” & “captivating” Leslie has been on the jazz and R&B Vancouver scene for over a decade performing as a freelance vocalist, and as a leader of her own groups. Leslie is also active in recording projects, providing vocal tracks projects for clients as far away as Australia. Her fun, inviting style, and strong stage presence has graced many high profile venues including: The Canucks VIP Lounge, The Commodore Ball Room, The Red Robinson Theatre, St. Andrew Wesley's Church, and Christ Church Cathedral. We are extremely excited to have Leslie's dynamic, talented voice as the new female lead singer with Top City!




Claudio Girasoleclaudio_2


Top City’s lead male vocalist acquired an affinity for music listening to his father’s Tom Jones records while growing up on Vancouver’s east side.  His first foray as a performer was not with his voice, however...  the guitar was Claudio’s first choice! He soaked up the influences of greats like B.B. King, Chuck Berry and Jeff Beck.  It would prove to be the start of a deep and lasting love for the blues. Claudio studied music at Capilano College after graduating from high school. While playing guitar in several bands he ventured to sing some parts. He soon came to realize that his voice was his natural asset, bringing him full circle to his first influence. In performance with Top City, Claudio ranges from his enduring love – the blues – through classic R&B into soul and funk.  And at least one classic Tom Jones arrangement!


The Groove Machine:


Steve Hannah

Keys / Music Scoring

Steve Hannah was raised in Chilliwack, B.C., Canada where he began playing piano at the age of six. He started his first band when he was in high school, later playing keys for The Briars. Steve also played and sang backing vocals with The Copperfield Band in Vancouver. While teaching music in the Delta B.C. public school system during the day, Steve also freelanced as a keyboardist with various bands in the Vancouver area at night. Steve holds a Bachelor of Music degree from UBC, and is the primary arranger of Top City's music.




Jim Kempton


As well as being one of the original members of Top City, Jim has also performed with many different bands in just about every style you can name and. Still as busy as ever, Jim is equally at home playing small group jazz, big band, musical theatre, or layin' down a groove with Top City. Long serving band members know to stay close to Jim... offers of extra dessert seem to have a way to find him!




Don Ogden


Vancouver bassist Don Ogden returns to his R&B roots by joining Top City. Most of Don's recent past has been deconstructing jazz as the bass chair with several groups including: Impressions, Bob Liley's Sanctuary All Stars, (big band jazz), and Sentimental Journey, (big band dance). Another recent venture for Don is concocting exotic sounds – some of them intentional – in "The CatScratch", his project studio. Recreational preoccupations include the creative application of controlled substances to foundational questions of existential angst and inventing new religions from recycled household objects.




Larry White


Larry, a founding member of Top City, is also active with other musical pursuits. He is  a former member of the Take Five Big Band, and also performs as a percussionist with The Richmond Concert Band, under the direction of Mr. Bob Mullett. Larry, along with Top City Keyboardist Steve Hannah, was also formerly a band member of The Copperfield Band.





Steve 3!


Steve3’s musical credits include playing in the Douglas College Night band, founder of Mo’tet and member of the Jeff MacArthur Quartet. He holds degrees in Music from UBC and UW-Madison.  Other interests include rock climbing, skiing and cycling. 



The Mighty Top City Horns: 


Steve Bagnall

Baritone Sax

One of the latest additions to the Top City roster, Steve Bagnell returns to his R&B roots as the baritone sax anchorman for the mighty Top City Horns! An eclectic musician, Steve can currently be heard playing woodwinds and percussion with the Juno award nominated Latin group Aché Brasil. He is also a member of The Wanda Nowicki Group, who are preparing to record their third jazz CD recording. Steve is also a founding member of the acclaimed improvising ensemble ion Zoo. A collaborative effort with L.A. based trombonist Michael Vlatkovitch, and Albuquerque poet Mark Weber. ion Zoo has just released their third album, Elasticity. 




Garth Balint


As well as riding high on the Top City Horn Section, Garth also keeps busy as members of The Douglas College Night Band, Urbana, The Wyndham Brass Quintet, and can be heard in various orchestral and commercial freelance shows around Vancouver.






Barry Merritt


Along with his R&B duties as a founding member of Top City, Barry has been a regular on the Vancouver Big Band Jazz & Dance scene for over 30 years. He worked with the well known Vancouver big band dance groups Swingtime and Route 66 during the ‘80’s & ‘90’s. More recently Barry was a former member of the Arokis Music Society’s jazz band Urbana, and The VCC Jazz Orchestra. Barry's chops get quite a workout by currently holding down a trombone chair as a member of Bob Liley’s Sanctuary All-Stars Big Band.



Ben LockwoodBen Lockwood Image

Tenor Sax

Ben Lockwood is a woodwind multi-instrumentalist (saxophone, flute, and clarinet) and composer. He was born in Bedford, U.K. and was part of the London music scene for a number of years, performing in many of the leading groups in many styles, including orchestral pit work, jazz ensembles, and R&B and soul groups. Ben takes his influences from many genres and styles of music, from classical, rock, jazz, soul, funk, and R&B. Lucky for us Ben now resides in Vancouver and is the newest member of Top City. Throughout his career Ben has played and toured all over the world, including Scandinavia, Russia, Canada, and the Caribbean, and has performed at venues that include The Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall in London, the 606 Club (London), O’Douls Restaurant and Bar (Vancouver), Cory Weeds' The Cellar Jazz Club (Vancouver), as well as performing at Penticton’s PeachFest, and being featured at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.




Top City News: 

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Thanks to all the gouls, ghosts and goblins that joined us "Dead" at the Fairview Pub On Oct. 29!! It was a scream! Stay tuned for more Top City date announcements!

Some of Our Past Shows:

TC at The Fairview Pub 10-29-2017

TC Haney Pub 06-10-2017

TC 04-30-2017 Fairview Pub


TC 11-13-2016

Anza Club 08-08-2016

Top City 06-05-2016