THE REAL GENIUSES were formed in August 2000 when 5 musician friends were asked to ‘come up with something fun’ to play at a friend’s birthday party. THE REAL GENIUSES thought it’d be fun to play a bunch of those old hit songs from the 80’s that everybody knows the words to, but nobody every really hears anymore. Their performance that night was a huge success. What the guys thought would be a one-night performance was quickly changed when several people approached them to play at events they were planning themselves. It was then that Geniuses thought, “We might be onto something!”
Within months, they were playing at parties and events all over the Baltimore/DC area to rave reviews. At that point the Geniuses still saw themselves as just a group of goofy guys playing a bunch of goofy songs, but they were proven wrong in the winter of 2001 when they began performing at weddings and larger events. THE REAL GENIUSES began to consider themselves “professionals” as the crowds, and opportunities, grew. They decided to run with it.
Over the past few years THE REAL GENIUSES have honed their musical and technical skills while playing regularly for huge crowds of all ages at weddings, private functions, and on the Baltimore/DC club circuit. Their talent and reliability have turned them into a highly sought-after party/wedding/event band. THE REAL GENIUSES focus mostly on the 80’s new wave/party songs, however, their enormous song catalog spans from the 50’s to the early 90’s, which makes them versatile enough to play just about any event that could use a live band. The band comes fully stocked with male AND female vocalists, so there isn’t a song that these guys (and gal) can’t pull off. That being said, THE REAL GENIUSES are far from your ordinary “cover band.” Whereas most cover bands try to duplicate the songs they play as closely as possible, THE REAL GENIUSES pride themselves on pumping a new, stronger energy into their live performances. So, if you’re looking for a professional, high-energy band for your event, you can’t go wrong with THE REAL GENIUSES.
Jason Hughes – Lead Vocals, Guitar – Jason has been playing guitar for almost 20 years and has been singing lead vocals in his previous bands for the past 10 years. With his years of experience as a “front man” Jason has a natural ability to attract and entertain any audience with his strong vocal skills and off-the-cuff stage antics.
Elena Martin – Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion – Elena is a true professional in every sense of the word. Having been classically trained on piano since age 7, when she was 19 she co-founded the Baltimore Top-40 group “Rubberband”. She has been singing and playing keyboards professionally ever since, eventually crossing paths with The Real Geniuses. Since recruiting Elena to join the Geniuses in mid 2008 the band has showcased her talent as she “wows” crowds at every appearance. Seeing Elena perform live will leave no doubt as to why she’s called “the little girl with the big voice.”
Dave Vergauwen – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – Dave is a guitar teacher and sound engineer by trade. He has an innate ability to learn any song note-for-note and play it back flawlessly. When Dave joined the band in May 2002 he instantly elevated the band to “premier act” status. Dave is also the band’s resident sound engineer and he single-handedly makes the band’s live sound consistent and flawless every show.
Patrick Blades – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals – Pat began playing bass at age 14. He met Jason in the back row of their high school biology class and within months they were playing in the same band together. Since then, they’ve never played in a band without the other, and it shows in how ‘tight’ the band is during their live shows. Pat is jokingly referred to as a ‘robot’ by the band because he is so reliable and consistent in his role as bass player.
Jay Novak – Drums, Electronic Drums, Sequencers, Percussion – Jay started playing drums when he was just 5 years old. His father was an accomplished drummer in a very successful regional band and it was only natural that Jay took up the drums too. As one of the founding members of the Real Geniuses, Jay has taken it upon himself to build his drum set to the specs of the early 80s new wave bands. With electronic drum pads and sequencers, Jay gives the band a truly authentic 80s sound.