Current Mystic Ya Ya Band Members
Mystic Ya Ya is a true musical festival and revue of soul, pop, jazz, zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll all rounded into one live audio entertainment package. This musical performance group presents an exciting and modern blend of musical sounds, roots rock and current flavorful folk standards. Whether on the stage or in the recording studio this “Soulful Southern Charm” gives Mystic Ya Ya their attitude and lifestyle.
Rita Clarke – Vocalist, Fender Jazz bass, guitar
Rita is lovingly referred to as “The Soulful Heata” and has earned that nickname by spending years performing classic R&B, Blues, Folk, Rock standards and her own compositions to enthusiastic audiences. Rita started performing as a folk musician and later formed The Prowlers which was her first Roots Rock based band. After the Prowlers Rita performed with Little Red and the Renegades which opened up a whole new genre of musical styles best suited for her soulful vocal sound. Since leaving Red’s band Rita has performed in numerous groups with her husband and current band mate RC Clarke. Rita’s soulful vocal renditions express enthusiasm and energy and her Fender Jazz bass lines create those soulful grooves that are a Mystic Ya Ya trademark.
Richard Clarke – drums, congas, cajon, rub board, harmonies
RC is a veteran drummer who has performed as a sideman with Junior Wells, Joey Dee, Dr. John, Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett, Mitch Ryder, Bobby Comstock, Lightnin'” Hopkins and John Lee Hooker. RC led his own New York based bands Clarksdale Revival and Second Line and worked as a session drummer for the Sweethearts of Soul. RC also had a very long successful run with Tom Corradino and Harold Rado in the bands Bad Medicine and Little Red and the Renegades. For the past 27 years Rita and RC have been performing as a working couple, both in the studio and in live performances. Mystic Ya Ya is their current group doing both live and studio work.
Rick Arenz – Hammond organ, piano, Nord & audio guru
Rick is the groups resident keyboard genius and brings years of road and studio experience to the group. Rick grew up with training in both classical music and Jazz. His well rounded musical background on keyboards is what makes Mystic Ya Ya music distinctive and special. Rick is equally at home on Jazz, Funk, R&R or Soul and delivers that magic sound to every groove he touches.
George Borababy – rhythm guitar, harmonies
George has been drumming in various R&R bands for more than 10 years in the DC area. He has also been guitar player since his youth and with the Mystic YaYa Band he is able to bring his sense of timing and syncopation to the art of playing rhythm guitar. George is also a talented singer and his vocal harmonies combine with Rita’s lead vocals to enhance the overall sound of the group.
Steve Shaw – trombone, bass, trumpet, flute and vocals
Steve is a veteran of many R&R bands in the DC area. He spent many years working with Maryland legend Johnny Ticktin as his bass player. He has also worked in many of the very fine horn bands in and around Washington and is a very talented trombone session player who adds a great deal of soul and depth to Mystic Ya Ya.
Contributing musicians and special guests of the band Mystic Ya Ya
Keith Grimes – guitar
Vince McCool – trumpet
Howie Feinstein – accordion, piano
Kristen Jones – steel drums, bass