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. For the past few years, she has substituted for Locomotion and sat in on a few gigs with Rob Zappulla and his many talented jazz musicians.

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

When she’s not singing or teaching music, Laura can be found teaching karate at Butch Marino’s Shorin-Ryu Karate Institutes in New Britain, CT. She has been involved with the martial arts since 1984. Most of her teaching style, performance preparation and even her vocal strength have come from this training. She looks forward to influencing many students in both arts.

Stephen King – Keyboards / Lead Vocals


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.

Rob Gottfried – Drums / Percussion

RTD copy-Edit

Rob is a Jazz-Rock-Funk-R&B Recording Artist, Children’s Motivational Educator, and Private Percussion Instructor. His “ROB THE DRUMMER” Youth Motivational-Edutainment Concerts have garnished acclaim Worldwide!  Winner of the “Best Rock Drummer of Connecticut and Rhode Island” competition, Rob has performed and recorded with multiple Artists, including recording on Arista Records with Larry Young (Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Santana, etc.) and performed with him at Carnegie Hall for the Newport Jazz Festival.

Locally in Connecticut, Rob began with "The Great Train Robbery", an 8-piece Jazz-Rock horn group touring throughout the Country as New England's "Battle of the Bands" Award winner!..followed up by it’s successors, “Freedom Bound” and “Freedom”…of which Peter DeFazio, Avenue Groove’s bass player awas an integral part!

Rob has filled the percussion chair with Guitarist-extraordinaire Jeff Pevar,  and has recorded recently with "Guitar Queen" Desiree' Bassett (lead Guitar player for Cirque de Soleil’s Michael Jackson Tour), with the Legendary Grayson Hugh, with Guitarist Tony Spada , with the group Holding Pattern, through his epic Prog-Rock piece "Breaking the Silence", and, with famed Sax and Flute player, Jimmy Biggins, along with a cast of All-Stars for the CD “Don’t Tell Jimmy!”.

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.

Joe Grosso – Guitar / Vocals


Joe began playing guitar at age 10 where he started learning from both his dad and older brother.  His earliest instruction came from his father who taught him Beatles and Elvis tunes while simultaneously being taught more modern techniques and songs from bands like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins by his older brother.   This contrast between genres fascinated Joe and paved the way for his attitude towards guitar playing.  Since those early days, Joe always has been interested in the playing techniques of different genres and has an almost obsessive desire to master the different sounds that come with each style.
 During high school Joe explored those styles with different bands and played in everything ranging from punk-rock to R&B/soul, but always had the biggest passion for soul music.  After high school he attended WCSU to study Jazz guitar under Chris Morrison.  His love for soul music and his quest for a better understanding of the genre led him to pursue the history of blues based music and so Jazz seemed like a good start.  During and after college he played almost exclusively in small Jazz combos performing local gigs.  It was then he confirmed that soul music is what he wanted to pursue and so he joined a local funk and R&B jam band called Electric Mayhem (named after the band on The Muppets).  
Aside from loving soul music, Joe listens to many styles of music.  When asked who has influenced him most in his guitar playing his answer was “Stevie Ray Vaughn,  Al Dimeola, David Gilmore, and his teacher Chris Morrison.  Joe started giving guitar lessons after college but only as a supplement to working construction.  After a few years he finally managed to get his student portfolio large enough where he could give lessons full time, and still does today.