Riverside, Pomona, Colton
MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Micah Justice (vocals, rhythm guitar); Alicia Koch (keyboards, guitar); Gino Matteo (lead guitar, backing vocals); Matt Wycoff (bass); Trevor Monks (drums).
Say hello to Bonnie, Sheryl, Alanis, Michelle, Joni and, of course, Tori, too!
Micah Justice Band Live (2009)
Vocalist/guitarist Micah Justice is busying herself not only as a musician (and a very good one), teacher (she’s a special ed instructor), mother (to her 5-year-old daughter) and songwriter (she’s been writing her own tunes for “a long time,” she says), but also as an organizer and leader of the arts.
Better known as “Riverside R.O.C.K.,” Justice’s platform stands for the Regional Organization of the Creative Kind (website: www.riversiderock.com) and aims to create a community that supports one another through artistic pursuits. “I hope a lot of partnerships form between different kinds of artists,” she says. “I want my organization to serve as a contact for service organizations and the like, to have access to artists of all kinds who are willing to share their talents for the betterment of the world.”
And such betterment starts in the “City of Arts and Innovation” with Justice and her cohorts fronting a series of songwriter showcases and open mics at the Mission Tobacco Lounge on Tuesdays.
Justice says she first launched her career as a solo musician and, through friends, received encouragement to “do a band thing.” Initially re-connecting with guitarist Gino Matteo (whom she met in high school), Justice nabbed a set of pros to back her, including bassist Matt Wycoff (Shoppy, Kimberly Jenkins), guitarist/keyboardist Alicia Koch (Winelight Jazz Quartet, Radio Riot, Higher Ground) and drummer Trevor Monks (Winston and the Telescreens, Map).
Justice dubs her wares as an energy-packed fusion of blues, rock, country and jazz with a “hint of reggae and peppered with punk” and has a new release scheduled for early April. She also hopes to embark on a West Coast tour this summer, depending on her finances. (“Donations are encouraged,” she adds.)
“For my music, I hope it makes people think,” Justice says, adding that she recalls growing up listening to Tori Amos and wondering what she writing about. “But it got me thinking and, more importantly, listening. Performance-wise, we want to help people have fun by being part of what we do. Fun is contagious. If we are having fun on stage, so will the audience.”
Micah Justice Band at Galli’s Piano Bar, 6620 Carnelian St., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 941-1100; www.gallis.net. Sat, 8PM.