Deni Starr – lead singer/harmonica/den mother
Band leader Deni Starr is a dynamic vocalist with a powerful and soulful voice. After a serious medical scare seven years ago, Deni heeded the wake-up call and decided to take singing lessons and pursue her desire to become a singer in a band, something she had always wanted to do but never got around to pursuing. She currently studies with Steve Whiteman, lead vocalist of KIX, and covers a wide range of styles including R&B, and various styles of rock. Deni’s got a rock & roll heart, and you can hear it come through loud and clear every time she steps up to the microphone to sing.
Larry Younkins – lead & rhythm guitar/vocals
Larry started playing guitar at an early age and was influenced by the guitar greats of the day, including: Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Brian May and Jimi Hendrix. During his formative years, he played in the popular rock band ‘Mama Kin’. Since then he has played in a variety of bands including Damn Jam Crew, Fast Eddie and the Slowpokes, Scorpion Rose, and The Grinders. He brings many years of stage experience to the Deni Starr Band and his interlocking lead work with fellow guitarist Elvin Cartegena is one of the band’s sonic trademarks.
Elvin Cartagena – lead & rhythm guitar/vocals
Elvin Cartagena grew up in the inner city of Brooklyn, NY, listening, learning and absorbing the sounds of Latin music, R&B, funk (Motown, Stax, Philly Sound, MFSB), blues, country, rock and pop music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. He also attended The Brooklyn Academy of Music Program and has studied guitar with Matt Smith. He also leads his own flamenco-influenced band which gigs regularly around New York City.
Elvin’s influences are Steve Lukather, John Jorgenson, Brett Mason, Leslie West (who he calls “my BB King”), Paco de Lucia, Armik, Strunz and Farah, Michael Schenker and Dave Meniketti.
Elvin’s impressive musical resume includes performances and collaborations with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, jazz guitarist John Scofield, Latin soul legend Joe Bataan, country singer/songwriter Neil Johnson, and bassist John Lodge of the Moody Blues. Elvin draws on all his various influences to produce a distinctive sound and approach that blends in well with Larry’s to create a fiery sound that has quickly become the signature trademark of the band.
Edwin Cartagena – bass/vocals
Ed and Elvin are twin brothers and have become known as The Ninja Twins. In addition to being twin brothers, they also share impressive musical talents, and Ed’s musical experience has essentially mirrored that of his brother, both of them having played together in many bands over the years. When the band kicks into a Santana song, their Latin heritage comes surging to the forefront, adding an authenticity that jacks up the intensity of the music.
While Elvin focuses on guitar, Edwin does double duty on bass and keyboards. In addition to anchoring the sound of the Deni Starr Band, Ed is also in great demand as the guy who can get it done quickly and correctly whenever bands find themselves in need of either a bassist or keyboardist.
Stanley Hall – drums, drums, and nothing but drums
In the words of a fellow musician, Stan puts the F U into “fun.” Take Tito Puente and Keith Moon and put them in a blender and this is what you get. His philosophy? “It’s all about the beat.”