A professional vocalist, Lee Durley began his career while attending Colorado University. After fine tuning his style in Las Vegas and Nevada’s silver circuit he headed to California. Durley settled permanently on the Monterey Peninsula in 1970, where his music has since earned a large, loyal following. Durley’s performance and writing style blend jazz, blues, r&b, rock, and gospel, pleasing a diverse audience. His vocals have been compared to Lou Rawls, Johnny Hartman, Joe Williams and Nat King Cole. He has been a featured guest vocalist on numerous cd`s as well as countless background vocals studio sessions. Durley has had multiple appearances at the world famous Monterey Jazz Festival and was a long time board member of the equally famous Monterey Bay Blues Festival, serving as talent director. He is also well known from the years he served as promotions director at Monterey`s KWAV/KIDD radio stations where he hosted his own nightly radio show. Durley is still performing weekly at several venues in the Monterey area. His passion for music has always been a guiding force in his life and continues bring him fulfillment as well as those who hear and appreciate his artistic talents.
Steve Vagnini, a graduate of the University of Virginia with a BA in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies, has served Monterey County as it’s Assessor County Clerk Recorder since 2001. In addition to his role as County Assessor, Steve has chaired numerous County committees including the Department Head Council; the Cost Savings Committee and the GIS committee. In 2010 Steve co-founded the Monterey County Chapter of Guitars Not Guns, a Non-Profit that provides free guitar lessons and guitars to youth throughout Monterey County. In the last 6 years the Monterey County Chapter has donated over 1,300 guitars and have held classes in Castroville, King City, Gonzales, Seaside and Marina and Salinas. Steve has also sat on a number of local boards and was the PTA President for Olson Elementary School in Marina for 4 years, a member of the MPUSD 711 Committee and was chairperson for the Alliance for Better Schools. He has also served as Chair of the Marina Economic Development Commission, sat on the Pacific Grove Art Center Board, the Old Monterey Foundation Board, and was recently appointed chair of the County of Monterey’s Juvenile Justice Commission. In addition to his life as a public servant, Vagnini has been promoting benefit concerts, music festivals, and local bands for thirty-five years. For the past decade, he has also served as the general manager for the City of Sand City’s West End Celebration, the largest celebration of the Arts in the tri-county area.
Amy Treadwell grew up in California’s San Francisco Bay Area spending happy summers with family in Carmel working at the old Highlands Inn. She earned a BA in chemistry from Notre Dame de Namur University and an MA in International Environmental Policy from Monterey Institute of International Studies (Middlebury). Amy served as Program Director at Monterey College of Law’s Mandell-Gisnet Center for Conflict Management; Field Representative for Assembly Member Bill Monning; and as a corporate event planner in Sonoma County; all the while singing and performing in blues ensembles, musical theatre productions and gospel choirs. Amy sang and recorded for many years with the Edwin Hawkins Music & Arts Seminar Choir, performed with the San Francisco Lamplighters and often performed with her blues band at the old Monterey Bay Blues Festival. Amy currently serves on the board of directors for the Salvation Army and the Monterey Peninsula Gospel Community Choir. She also performs locally as a gospel and blues singer, designs jewelry, teaches yoga and in her spare time races open-ocean Hawaiian outrigger canoes.
Ken Lopez, chair of the Music Industry Department at the University of Southern California (USC), has been a professional guitarist and audio engineer since 1964. He has owned music and professional audio retail stores, as well as a tour sound and fixed installation companies. For 15 years, Lopez served as vice president of JBL, a world-renowned manufacturer of professional audio equipment. He has an extensive background in professional audio and musical equipment product development, distribution and marketing. His experience in the design and application of audio equipment has included systems for recording, film, touring, theater, broadcast and live music, including installations in many highly regarded venues worldwide. He has worked with artists such as Miles Davis, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughn, Dr. John, Larry Carlton, Boz Skaggs, Santana, Tower of Power and Chick Corea. He has recorded live performances aired on National Public Radio, many of which are archived at the Library of Congress. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society and the TEC Awards nominating committee, technical consultant and author for Sound and Video Contractor Magazine and Inside Radio management newsletter, and he continues active participation in public speaking, business consulting and live sound engineering and recording.
JOHN D. LAUGHTON
John Laughton was born and raised in Monterey and returned in 1978 where he now practices estate planning law. Mr. Laughton received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Mr. Laughton is the current chair of The Salvation Army-Monterey Peninsula Corps Advisory Board. He served on the Boy Scouts of America, Monterey Bay Area Council Board of Directors for 26 years, the Chartwell School Board of Trustees, and the All Saints Episcopal Day School Board of Trustees (1998-2001 and 2006-2012). He was appointed to the City of Del Rey Oaks Planning Commission and served between 1985 and 1992. He is active in other community and veteran’s affairs and enjoys pro bono legal work for other non-profit organizations. He served in the U.S. Army (Vietnam 1971-1972). He considers it fortuitous to have served as an usher for many years at the Monterey Jazz Festival and the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival.
GUITARS NOT GUNS
The Monterey County Chapter of Guitars Not Guns was founded in 2010 in response to a tremendous need for programs that provide alternatives to gang violence for at-risk youth. They have since become one of the most dynamic chapters in the United States having donated
over 1,400 guitars in the last 6 years.
Using music as a catalyst, children and teens are encouraged to use their creativity to foster personal development and to help divert them from self-destructive influences such as drugs, alcohol and gang-related activities. Providing free guitars and lessons engages their creative potential and help them achieve their dreams.
Programs are for children and teens ages 8 - 18 using low teacher-to-student ratios. Most classes consist of 8-12 students with two to three adult instructors. In addition to learning how to master changing from one chord to another, children learn perseverance, discipline and self-esteem. More importantly, the kids learn to enjoy the interaction and have fun in a group setting. Those who complete the full 8-week program are allowed to keep the guitar and are encouraged to return for Level 2.
The Monterey Chapter of Guitars Not Guns has expanded their presence to more than 10 in Monterey County. Classes are held at the Rancho Cielo Youth Campus (Silver Star and the Culinary Institute); the Boys and Girls Club in Seaside; the Marina Youth Center; Marina High School; The Salvation Army in Salinas; Alisal Center for Fine Arts in Salinas; CHISPA Housing programs; Ord Terrace Elementary School through the Community Partnership for Youth in Seaside; Fairview Middle School in Gonzales; CSUMB Upward Bound Program; Steinbeck Library in Salinas; Castroville Middle School; and Harden Middle School in Salinas.
The Guitars Not Guns students perform regularly at functions through Monterey County including the West End Celebration; First Night Monterey and Good Old Days. Guitars Not Guns instructors and staff are an all volunteer organization.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. Services include:
Veterans Affairs Services
Combating Human Trafficking
Housing and Homeless Services
Youth Camps & Recreation
Emergency Disaster Services