Tommy DuarteA native of Tiverton, RI, Tom was born in July 1953. He was introduced to acapella when he was 21 after years of constant coaxing by his two uncles Enoch and Joshua Duarte. He joined the New Bedford, MA, Chapter Harpoon Harmonizers Barbershop Chorus. Tom greatly credits his two uncles for being the driving force that got him started.
Tom relocated his singing career joining Providence, RI Chapter Narragansett Bay Chorus. There he formed a quartet called Uptown Express with his brother Paul, and friends Don Morin, and Carl Becker. Their quartet became Regional Novice Champs while competing for the first time.
In 1983, Tom was introduced to the members of North Shore. In ‘86 he was asked to audition for the position of bass vocal with the group. This position was vacated by Bobby Crowley who started with the group in 1979. Tom joined and he stayed for the next nine years. Tom left the group in 1995 to raise his sons, Thomas and Mason, returning the reigns to the original North Shore bass man, Bobby Crowley.
In 2004, Tom stepped in for Bobby during the Christmas season, giving Bobby some quality time with his family. Unfortunately he fought and lost a battle with mesothelioma. Tom then returned to acappella and North Shore full-time once again. "Now I'm in, and I can't get out!"
Tom resides in Tiverton, RI, with his wife Julia, son Max, and stepchildren Jamie and Ben. Tom is a woodturner by trade since 1981 and owns his own woodturning business Custom Woodturning.
"Life is full, and I intend to keep it that way" - Tommy Duarte
Vinny StracciaVinny grew up in Boston's colorful Italian North End neighborhood. His love of singing came from listening to records his father would bring home. Vinny sang in his school choir and was also influenced by listening to an older neighborhood group called The Delphonics singing harmony. Vinny "borrowed" the Delphonics' name and started his own street corner group. Their first paying gig - $5.00 each - was at the Rose Coffee House in the North End.
Upon returning from Vietnam in 1969, Vinny joined soul group The Betterway which included Bobby Crowley, Tommy Fleming, Jimmy Martini, and Richie Willis. In 1975 Vinny, Bobby, and Guy Chiapponi formed Breakaway which quickly became one of New England's premier disco show bands.
In 1980 Vinny's baritone became one of the original voices of North Shore Acappella along with Bobby Crowley, Guy Chiapponi, Maureen Vadala and Richie Willis. Sadly, Bobby passed away in 2004.
Vinny’s passion for singing has been influenced by Earl Carrol (The Cadillacs), Al Johnson (The Unifics), Eddie Levert (The O’Jays’), Ollie Woodson (The Temptations), and Donny Hathaway.
Paul LopesHailing from Rhode Island Paul began his musical career as a drummer for both pop, and show bands. A quick-witted second tenor who prefers playing large audiences, Paul is the group's self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades: A title that includes the rolls of emcee and sound engineer. In fact, even Paul's drumming experience comes into play in the O'Jay's Casanova, in which he "sings" a complex percussion track through the song.
Guy ChiapponiGuy's musical career began in 5th grade playing trumpet and singing in Glee Club. In college Guy studied jazz piano , jazz trumpet, and jazz voice. He also focused on classical voice, theory, sight singing, and ear training. Guy has instructed piano, bass, trumpet, and voice privately for 25 years. He has also worked as a K-12 music teacher directing all aspects of music both instrumentally, and vocally. Throughout his 47-year professional career Guy has played bass, harmonica, trumpet; He has sung with a variety of bands including piano bars in Key Largo and Reno, NV. Vinny and Guy formed North Shore Acapella in 1979.
Jimmy MartinJim Martin was born in Lynn, Ma. His vocal career was inspired by listening to his father's old records. Imitating such singers as Jackie Wilson, Tony Williams of The Platters, and The Temptations has given Jimmy a solid foundation of his own style. "I fell in love with voices singing harmony the first time I heard them." His greatest musical influence is Sam Cook, whom Jim believes was the greatest singer that ever lived. He sang with the rhythm and blues band World Premier, along with other groups before joining North Shore Acappella in 1995.
Jim is a devoted Christian and family man. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Vivian and his children Sheleah, Sarsha, James, Samuel, and Gabriel.