WhorlWood is an acoustic trio comprised of Michael George Gonzalez (voice + guitar), Perry Cleaveland (voice + mandolin + fiddle), Dan Lopata (upright bass). Their music spans the full spectrum of styles including originals and classics.
From Folk to Funk…Bluegrass to Brazilian…Rags to Reggae and all that’s between they keep audiences on their toes.
Michael’s sultry voice and astute guitar playing always deliver a pasionate and dynamic show. His music moves fluidly across jazz, blues, roots, folk, soul, reggae, funk, rock, and jam styles. As a songwriter and arranger he keeps the audience engaged with creative songs and thoughtful lyrics.
Michael George Gonzalez is a musician, composer, and educator currently based in Geneva, NY. He spent many years in Seattle after moving to Washington State to study music compositon in college. The Finger Lakes native returned to his roots in the region in 2014. Since then he has been devoted to music, community, and family.
Perry Cleaveland is a SAMMY Award winning mandolinist who also adds lead and harmony vocals, fiddle, lead guitar and clawhammer banjo. Born in Louisville, Kentucky Perry emigrated to Syracuse, N.Y. and grew up in a household that hosted many bluegrass luminaries during his formative years. In his High School years, and continuing later, he began playing in a number of New York State Bluegrass bands including: Hard Times, Pleasant Valley, Bristol Mountain Bluegrass, Rosewood, John Rossbach & Chestnut Grove, The McCarthy Paisley Band, and Lost Time. He has performed for festivals, colleges, clubs, private parties, corporate events, arts centers, schools, town concerts, PBS/NPR affiliates: WCNY, & WXXI, and New York State Council on the Arts-sponsored events, including Arts in Education series’ under the auspices of Young Audiences of Rochester.
His innovative mandolin playing keeps him in demand as a recording session player throughout New York State having played on projects by many regional Bluegrass, Old Timey and Folk artists such as: Joe Davoli, Maria Gillard, John Cadley, Ted Lambert, John Stevens, Joe Lamay & Sherri Reese, Andrew and Noah Van Norstrand, Jim Clare, Northwater, The Atkinson Family, Lisa Bigwood, Rebecca Colleen & the Chore Lads, Meyer & McGuire, Brian Coughlin, The Cool Club, Leslie Lee & Steve Gretz and those bands as previously listed. Perry recently shared a CD release with Syracuse, NY singer/songwriter: John Cadley, as well as, The Cool Club. He will soon be initiating a recording project with Rochester NY’s fabulous Roots acoustic band, “The Crooked North” and is concurrently working on a project of his own original melodies and musings.
Dan Lopata has been musical all of his life starting by playing trombone in 4th grade. He was playing electric bass by the time he was 12 and accompanied a few musical ensembles in high school. Entering Ithaca College as a Bass Trombone Major in 1987 Dan enjoyed the college atmosphere a little too well and then took up a career in warehousing and distribution while continuing to play electric bass in a number of bands. Most notably The Mysterious Blues Band which played regionally and opened for many great bands from Room Full of Blues, to Rick Derringer, To Joe Bonamassa.
Dan also toured with the Chris Beard Blues Band for a short while, where he really enhoyed playing the Chicago Blues scene.
He returned to college in 2007, Graduating from Nazareth College as a Double-Bass Major in Music with a concentration in Music History, and is currently working at Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music.