Getting To Know Us

This page is dedicated to learning a little bit about who we are, where we've been, etc. As you can see, all of us have a diverse background in this industry.

One thing is for certain: We absolutely love what we do, and it shows everytime we go out and perform.

Get Official
Avenue Groove

Who We Are

Laura Noonan - Lead Vocals


Ever since she can remember, Laura has been singing. Whether it was by herself, along with the television, a record, or a radio, Laura has loved the art of music.

While keeping a focus on popular music, Laura explored many different vocal styles and characteristics early on. She performed in different venues, including choruses and high school musicals. Her classical training in college allowed her to incorporate demanding techniques into even the most far-reaching styles.

While singing with the Chubby Clark Band for seven years, she received many calls to fill in for other local bands like Steppin’ Out and Times Square. Also, she has substituted for Locomotion and sat in on a few gigs with Rob Zappulla and his many talented jazz musicians. Today, Laura sings with Avenue Groove exclusively.

Laura has chosen a full-time career as a middle school music teacher. She directs band and chorus and teaches music theory, history, and technology classes. Teaching children about music and its performance is one way to honor her own middle school music teacher who encouraged Laura to further her singing and perform in her first talent show.

She was involved with the martial arts from 1984 to 2013—training with Tamarah Marino and Tony Penna from Butch Marino’s Shorin-Ryu Karate Institutes. Most of her teaching style, performance preparation, and even her vocal strength have come from this training.

When she’s not singing or teaching music, Laura can be found working out or hanging out at home with her wonderful husband and rescue dog.

Peter DeFazio – Bass Guitar / Lead Vocals


Peter started playing guitar when he was 8 years old. When an opportunity came along to play bass with an established top 40 band in 1976, he ran out and bought a bass, auditioned and got the gig. He has been playing bass ever since.

Peter has been fortunate enough to have played with the likes of Revised & Co., Foolish Pleasure & Prime Time. It was in the late 80’s when he began the slap/funk style of playing . He was a founding member of Inner City Groove, which went on to perform major venues, opened for the likes of Spyro Gyra, Joan Jett and others. Inner City Groove released the single “Love Can’t Wait Tonight” on Skyline Records and received local and regional airplay.

Having taken a few years off from playing, he formed his own business, Innovative Communications, a Computer Consulting Firm and a state of the art digital Recording Studio which he still operates to this day.

Eric Della Vecchia – Saxophone / Vocals


Eric began playing saxophone in the 4th grade. His first musical influence was his father Louis who would listen to a multitude of jazz and R&B. When Eric was very young, his uncle, Brien Sandstrom, was a bassist in a local funk and R&B group, Coallition. Some of Eric's early musical influences were Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Earth Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson and The Beatles. As luck would have it, once Eric entered Bristol Eastern High School, he had the pleasure of studying under George Sovak and Richard Theriault, who both were well respected local jazz saxophonists as well as his middle school and high school band directors respectively.

Eric then entered CCSU as a saxophone performance major under the guidance of Dr. Scott Plugge, whom he had been studying with beginning during his senior year of high school. After two years of study at CCSU, Eric followed Dr. Plugge to Huntsville, TX to continue his studies of both classical and jazz saxophone. Throughout his college career, Eric performed in many of the university ensembles as well as the Elements Saxophone Quartet.

Eric's first serious outing as a professional saxophonist began in the group Stanley Maxwell. Over the past 13 years Stanley Maxwell performed up and down the East coast (and Oklahoma) in the "jam band" scene playing many music festivals sharing the stage with such groups as The Disco Biscuits, The Roots, Dweezil Zappa, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Fred Wesley to name a few.

In addition to being the newest member of Avenue Groove (filling the shoes of one of his best friends, Anthony Manzi), Eric also teaches saxophone at Downright Music and Art in Collinsville, CT. Many of his students have gone on to perform in the Northern Region and All-State Festival bands. Collinsville has also been an influence in Eric's development as a performing musician by giving him the opportunity to play out up to five nights a week in various organized and impromptu groups given its concentration of musicians and artists. When Eric is not playing, working or practicing, he enjoys spending time with the loves of his life, his daughter, Haven and his girlfriend, Lisa.

Eugene Tortorici – Drums / Percussion

Gene T

Gene has been a music lover from very early on. As a young boy, he was playing drums and singing in his fathers band Stardust. From there he was influenced by so many great artists of the time. Early on, they were Kansas, Earth Wind and fire and Tower of Power. That led to more progressive influences like Frank Zappa, Jethro tull, Rush, Genesis and Steely Dan. gene is a lover of all music really. In 1985 he received a bachelor degree in music from CCSU. It really opened up his eyes to many styles. He has performed with many local bands like, Steppin Out, Daybreak, Valhalla, Jet, Foxfire, Cecelia Calloway and Michael Mills, the Langley brothers, The Naturals and Stonehenge to name a few.

Robert Ciaffaglione – Keyboards / Trumpet / Lead Vocals

Rob C

As a self-taught pianist, Rob has been learning to play by ear since he could remember. He started playing in a Connecticut-based band called SoundBite (formerly known as “School Daze”) when he was 12 years old, and played with them for 10 years.

Rob started playing trumpet when he was eight years old, having studied with David “Booch “Negri” for eight years. As a graduate of The Hartt School, Rob holds a dual bachelors degree in both Music Education and Trumpet Performance. Rob studied trumpet under Phil Snedecor during his time at Hartt. Rob has played piano and trumpet professionally in pit orchestras, weddings, and various small groups throughout Connecticut.

Having known the band members of Avenue Groove for years before, Rob has also run sound for the group periodically. Rob currently resides in Central Connecticut as an elementary music teacher.

Fred Bretthauer – Guitar

Fred B

Fred became interested in the guitar as a child, especially drawn to the rock music of the era, and began playing in bands with his brothers and friends.

He attended Western Connecticut State University, studying both music performance and education, surprised at how transcribing rock solos in his youth had strengthened his ear and set him up for success in music school. At WCSU he studied jazz guitar with Sal Salvador and Richie Hart, and classical guitar with Geof Bonenberger. While in college he performed locally on solo classical guitar.

He has spent his career teaching elementary and high school music, and as an adjunct at the college level. While teaching he challenged himself to learn piano, hammered dulcimer, and mountain dulcimer in order to accompany his students. During this time, he also returned to playing electric guitar with local bands in many genres, most recently the Signature Band, Night Shift, and SNAFU.

Recently he has retired from teaching and has had the good fortune to become a member of Avenue Groove, and once again has time and opportunity to focus on his guitar continue on his own musical journey.


Stephen King – Founder /Keyboards / Lead Vocals


Avenue Groove would not exist if it weren't for Stephen. Stephen began his musical career studying classical piano and trumpet. One brass instrument lead to another and by high school he had branched to the baritone horn, tuba and sousaphone. Stephen minored in music at CCSU.
Stephen has always been a rocker at heart and throughout the 70's and early 80's spent most of his playing time with local area rock bands covering everything from ASIA to Zappa.
The mid 80's took Stephen in a new direction to Center Stage recording studio in Bristol Connecticut. Stephen found a new niche as keyboard player for the popular top 40 and wedding band Foolish Pleasure. It was at Center Stage where Stephen met his soon to be business partner, current bass player and ultimate lifelong friend Peter DeFazio.
Stephen went on to perform with Connecticut based horn band Locomotion in the early 90's where he met up with former Locomotion drummer Nick Foligno. Stephen is the founder of Avenue Groove.

Brian Wilcox – Guitar

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 5.38.04 PM

Brian began playing guitar at age 12 after first discovering Randy Rhoads and yearning to be a rock star. By his late teens, he was playing in a popular college band, Picasso Jelly, which was a Hartford Advocate nominated jam band that was featured on Radio 104.1 and opened for the likes of Tim Reynolds, Jimmy Herring, The Breakfast, Project Z, and The Doors amongst others.

Brian later was a regular in the Connecticut cover band scene playing with Catalyst, The Situation, and Rebel Radio at venues all over New England.  The newest member of Avenue Groove, Brian is incredibly excited to be sharing the stage with such fantastic musicians.

When not performing, Brian is a high school English teacher who loves spending time with his amazing wife Erica and beautiful soon-to-be five-year-old daughter Harper.