Violet Mary made its debut in 2007 in Rochester, NY. Founded by newlyweds, Mike and Mel Muscarella, the first few years of the band’s existence featured a rotating cast of characters, but the core of the band stayed consistent. Mel sang lead vocals and played keyboard and other assorted keyed instruments, while Mike played guitar and sang…for food…primarily cookies.
In 2014, longtime friend and fan, Joe Myers joined the band on drums and quickly got to work on the band’s fourth studio album, All That We Seem, which stretched the boundaries of the band’s imagination. From dense, orchestral, cinematic pieces to harmony-drenched pop hooks, All That We Seem encompasses 18 months of beautiful and terrible things in the lives of the band and their community. In an era when songs are purchased individually and bands are releasing music in small quantities, Violet Mary boldly went where few bands have gone before; they released not one, but two CDs full of deep rock pockets (patent pending). All That We Seem was nominated in City Newspaper’s Best of Rochester 2015 for Best Album and Violet Mary was nominated for Best Original Band.
Violet Mary welcomed two new members, Jason Tortorici on guitar and backing vocals, and Brennan Terry on bass guitar, in early 2017.
Violet Mary has shared the stage with acts as diverse as Big Gigantic and Moe, Rik Emmett and Rita Coolidge, Gin Blossoms and Dawes. They’ve been featured in Rochester’s City Newspaper, The Syracuse New Times and Fireworks Magazine based in London, England. In 2015, Violet Mary established a creative partnership with innovators in local craft spirits, Black Button Distilling, to produce a new single, Raise Your Glass, a song about our shared values of community and craft creation.
In addition, Violet Mary works in partnership with a humanitarian organization from the Rochester area called The Ugandan Water Project. This world-changing, grassroots organization works directly with Ugandans to provide life-giving, disease-free, and sustainable water to communities in Uganda through the installation of rainwater collection tanks and filtration systems. The band’s work with the project has resulted in the installation of nearly a dozen of these tanks, which provide water to tens of thousands of Ugandans. Mike and Mel have each traveled to Uganda with the project, and the band hosts a yearly fundraising event during the holidays. During this event, the band works with the Rochester community to raise money for one tank in one night full of hope, intense excitement, and philanthropy. For Violet Mary, making music is a communal art, a peaceful creative revolution with room for everyone.