THE BONAIRES hail from Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, AL and feature some of the city’s most well-known and seasoned musicians. The music they serve up offers a wide variety of styles and flavors including R&B, Blues, Rock’n’Roll, and Folk/Country. Playing tunes that are familiar and danceable, count on the Bonaires to delight. The Bonaires rock audiences in clubs as well as private parties and special events.
BARBARA GRIMES was born and mostly raised in Philadelphia PA. She started singing early on in a trio with her siblings, then later in church and school choirs and musicals. She started taking classical flute lessons at 9 and continued through high school, playing in the school orchestra. In high school, in the Washington DC area, she joined her first rock and roll band called Quick. In college in Mobile, AL she went on to sing and play flute in rock/jazz/blues bands Tangy Sharp and the Cheddar Cheese, Big Taste, as well as with her father’s Dixieland band The Royal Street Seven, performing for then Gov. Ronald Reagan, Gov. George Wallace and President Gerald Ford. After college, in Tuscaloosa she played and sang with The Lifters, The Jazz Babies, Diego Poobah and the Easy Reachee Conjunto & Revue, and Peer Revue as well as numerous other bands, and again with her father’s Dixieland band Paper Moon. She supports her musical habit as a bookkeeper, currently with Trinity Presbyterian Church. She also teaches yoga at The Yoga Center.
DOUG LEE has been a fixture on the Birmingham music scene for…well, a long time! He fell in love with guitars and Beatles in 1964 and never looked back. He has played with groups such as Dogwood, Hotfoot, The Blades, Roadside Attraction, and currently is a member of Ula: A Tribute to Jimmy Buffet. Dogwood toured the South playing a brand of original Country Rock and opened for many established artists. “Playing with a band is as close as it gets to my first love, playing baseball!”
JOE TERRY started learning chords on a guitar at the age of 11, after watching Neil Levang and Buddy Merrill ripping through Ghost Riders in the Sky on The Lawrence Welk Show! After that auspicious start, he played in numerous high school and college cover bands of all shapes, sizes and genres. Joe paid his dues in late night honkytonks throughout Alabama and has performed on stage with legendary guitarist Wayne Perkins, Percy Sledge, and Dr. John. He is also a member of ULA: A Tribute to Jimmy Buffett along with the other players in the Bonaires’ rhythm section. Joe’s “real” career was as a producer-director with public television, followed by a three year sojourn as a professional baseball coach and general manager with the Southeastern Independent Baseball League.
MIKE RIVES spent his early years learning piano and trombone and his youth playing Jazz and Pop standards with local combos around his native Albertville. He went on to tour with the well-known regional horn band, Cross and later was a key member of Rock and Pop bands including Oasis, Cloud, Buddy Causey and Cross, The Homestead Act, PJ’s House Band, the Blades, the Possum Blondes, PhD’Licious and the Tuscaloosa Nite Spots. His day job, after a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering, was in engineering and management at hospitals including DCH. He has done community service music for the Unitarian Universalist Church, the DCH Volunteer Choir, and Temple Emanu-El.
JIM POLLARD has been a long-time fixture of the Birmingham music scene as both a performer and a studio musician. He’s been a member of well-known area bands like Hotel, South, Exhibit A, Texas Radio and Noyoko and is currently also with Ula. His studio resume includes Boutwell, Sound of Birmingham, Prestige, Solid Rock Sound and others. Jim was educated at UAB, University of Montevallo and Samford. He also works with several Birmingham area churches and teaches private lessons.
MARY LETCHER began playing folk music in the 1970’s performing in coffee houses in Sewanee, TN, and clubs in Asheville, NC. In the 1980’s she moved to Birmingham, AL, and joined various rock bands playing clubs and private venues in the Birmingham area for the next 16 years. She moved to Tuscaloosa in 1990 and left the band scene to devote time to raising her son and teaching. She has a Bachelor’s degree in music with a focus on performance and a Master’s degree in music composition with many of her composition performed throughout the southeast. She taught music theory at the college level, general music classes at the k-5 elementary level, and private flute and piano lessons. She is now happily back in the rock and roll scene singing and playing with The Bonaires.