The Bands

Through the years, we have been blessed to have live entertainment donated by these bands.

The Big Payback

The Big Payback is an award winning jazz-rock band featuring the soulful vocals of Leah Isabel Tirado and a smoking horn section. Mixing "ambitious original tunes that challenge even the most talented instrumentalists" (La Crosse Tribune) with classic covers, the band's live show never fails to get the crowd moving. Nominated as one of Madison's favorite "Dance Bands" by Isthmus readers in 2016, Payback is a party you won't want to miss.

Foward! Marching Band

Madison-based FORWARD is a 25-piece collection of eclectic musicians using their entertainment skills to bring social change and build community through folk, rock, klezmer, polka, Balkan, New Orleans and Romany music. This spirited marching band also brings great costumes, surprising musical twists, and unique choreography to their performance. Rockin For A Cure welcomes them in 2018 to highlight the event with New Orleans classics.

Craig Mason Combo

The Craig Mason Combo performs primarily in the Madison area for various functions. The septet plays a variety of music including Swing, Latin, Blues, Funk, Cool, Bebop, and Pop. Personnel include Craig Mason, trumpet; Jim Keeney, tenor sax; Jason Schultz, trombone; Paul Pellet, bass; Dan Hoke, guitar; Terry Croft, piano; Ron Ragainis, drums. More information can be found on the Facebook page, including future events and recordings.

The Black Star Drum Line

The Black Star Drum Line is a performance group that consists of unique styles of marching percussion, Taiko drumming, Brazilian drumming, Hip Hop and Break dancing, and local singers and rappers, and guest artist from the Madison area. The group consist of youth 8-16 years old members from all over Dane County and is backed by a group of local musicians. The group has done over 400 performances all over the Madison area and State of Wisconsin since the group was founded in 2008 by music producer, drummer, educator, and Madison Scouts Alumnus, Joey Banks.


Bringing high energy to an otherwise lonely sound, Lazydeadpoet has brought the Delta Blues into the 21st century. Playing on a $5 Guitar purchased at a thrift store & a $50 drum-set found in some dusty basement, Lazydeadpoet sticks to their mantra of KEEP IT SIMPLE!

The Soul Brothers

Powerful soul and blues band, backed up by capable musicians that included Madison Scouts Alumni, Morgan and Matt (Slicke) Larson, Spike (Brian) Parker, Jeff Ketner, and occasional sit-ins with Shawn Owens and others. Formed by Arkansas Mel and Madison Scouts Alum Morgan Larson back in 1998. Delivered the goods every year, from 2005-2012 - providing audiences with an entertaining, intense, and high-powered collection of blues, soul, funk, and rock. Thank you for all your several years of service to the ALS cause.

Finderz Keeperz

A staple of Rockin4ALS for many years, Finderz Keepers brought us diverse and entertaining performances, built on their varied set list that mixed classic oldies, standard party rock, and rhythm and blues. Featured Madison Scouts Alum, Brian Parker (also see Soul Brothers).

The Madison Scouts Alumni Powerhouse

Band personnel included: Taras Nahirniak (keyboards, vocals), Laurie Nahirniak (vocals), Jon Schipper (trumpet), Chris Metzger Forbes (trumpet), Barry Oosterwaal (trombone), Don Navis (trombone), Mark Ranthum (trombone), Al Falaschi (Saxes) Scott Nelson (baritone sax), Doug Baker (bass), Bob Niederdorfer (drums), Steve Jaekel (percussion).

All That Jazz

During the years of 2005, 2006, 2007, Rockin4ALS was privileged to have the big band swing sounds of All That Jazz. This 20-piece group captured the big band sounds of jazz from the 40s and 50s. We were extremely grateful for their addition of great jazz standards. Includes David Heilman on drums (Madison Scouts Board of Directors Member).

Hot Cross Bones

Madison Scouts Alum, Don Navis, is the creator and force behind Hot Cross Bones - founded in 1996 in Madison, the ensemble redefines the boundaries of music arranging and performing, featuring the passion and fire of the trombone. Most of the arrangements played by HCB are written by members of the group, and are specifically designed to highlight the trombone in ways not typically heard in traditional settings. This was a blast, literally.

The O'Bros

In 2004, the O'Bros took the stage to bring their Madison notoriety to the cause of ALS. Named best band by Madison Magazine for multiple years, the O'bros established themselves as a Madison area musical institution. Blends musical influences drawn from classic R&B, Rock, Jazz, World Beat, and created an irresistible sound that has been a consistent crowd pleaser for years. The band's presence at the 2004 fundraiser started a burgeoning tradition to bring a variety of local musical offerings to the event. Rockin4ALS hopes to see you again someday.

The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps

The Madison Scouts provide high impact musical entertainment throughout Wisconsin, including their shows in Madison, "Drums on Parade" and the "Whitewater Classic." For information on these and other performances, go to

Madison Scouts Alumni Reunion Project

In the year 2006, a once in a lifetime phenomenon occurred. 225 alumni of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps came together and made history as the Madison Scouts Alumni Reunion Project. The men ranged in age from 23 to 80 and represented nearly 70 years of Madison Scouts history. They came together with two goals in mind: one was to again be part of the legendary environment that fosters a unique brotherhood amongst its members; the other was to meet the challenge of attaining individual and group performance excellence that only comes from continually pushing to be the best that one can be. This allowed them to communicate their passion for the production to audiences on a level reached by few performing groups. What makes this project even more impressive was that the project planning didn't even begin until the fall of 2005, and the members had less that 60 hours of group rehearsal in 10 days spread over a 6 month period to accomplish so much.

Madison Scouts Percussion Ensemble

This group of Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps alumni, led by Scouts alum, Jeff Spanos, brought the house down with their version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody."

Wall of Sound

Wall of Sound was integral to the creation of Rockin4ALS. Band members, including Jeff Kitzman, TJ Beebe, Taras Nahirniak, and Steve Weekes were behind the concept of a fundraiser and helped create the event through the band's performances each year, from 2001 to 2005. There cache of songs included artists like Chicago, Tower of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire, Blood Sweat & Tears, and popular dance songs. Today, Wall of Sound entertains audiences in Milwaukee with many of the same performers as when the band rocked the stages a decade ago. Complete with several vocalists, keyboards, rhythm and percussion, and a full brass section, Wall of Sound delivers high-energy music to party and dance to! For more information, go to FaceBook.

The Royal-Airs Reunion Drum & Bugle Corps

The Alamo Rangers organized in 1954 and four short years later, after purchasing uniforms from the Belmont Grenadiers, formed the legend that is now the Chicago Royal-Airs. Reunited in 2002, following a 34-year absence from the field, the Royal-Airs set a new standard for alumni corps around the nation. At Rockin For A Cure in 2005, they performed drum corps hits like God Bless the Child, Chicago My Kind of Town, Stars and Stripes Forever, Ballyhoo March, Tru's Blues, Here Comes That Rainy Day, and Ave Maria.The Royal-Airs Reunion Corps paid tribute to its founder, Sie Lurye, in 2002. In 2003 the Big Blue dedicated its season to Col. Truman Crawford, brass arranger from 1962-1968. Col. Truman passed in 1968 from ALS.

The Jim Ott Brass Ensemble Third Coast

In 2014, the Rockin4ALS ALS Benefit featured the inaugural performance of the Jim Ott Brass Ensemble Third Coast, a Wisconsin-based tribute group celebrating the music and the man Jim Ott. The Wisconsin group was inspired by the original tribute group, based in Stockton, California, with members in cluding Bonnie Ott and others from the Commodores and Blue Devils. In 2014, they performed Georgia, Miserlou, Legend of a One Eyed Sailor, and Let it Be Me. The music of Jim Ott - famous music arranger for the Spirit of Atlanta, Blue Devils, Madison Scouts, and others, is honored tonight by family and friends performing his arrangements. Guest Performers include Bonnie Ott and others from Stockton! JOBE3, as they have been called, is led by Dave Tappa and Morgan Larson.

Jim White

Madison musician Jim White can be heard around town wielding nothing more than his acoustic guitar and a heartfelt mix of indie-folk and indie-pop tunes. These days, Jim continues entertaining crowds by sharing an eclectic mix of his favorite songs. From Ryan Adams to Justin Townes Earle, Dawes to Death Cab, there's a little something for everyone. Discover more at