Putting out 'the Vibe' with the Band on the Run



The primary purpose of the Toyota Flyers Charity Classic is to get people from all walks of life together for a day of promoting health and fitness while raising money for the charitable causes supported by Flyers Charities and the Flyers Alumni Association. Simultaneously, the second annual event is also designed to create an atmosphere of fun for attendees of all ages.


 In addition to the Flyers Fan Fest that will be ongoing throughout the day – Flyers Fan Fest is a family-friendly assortment of games, vendors, sponsors, inflatables, food and more – this year’s edition will feature one of the east coast’s most popular and successful bands, Chico’s Vibe, providing the musical entertainment.


“One of the things we really wanted to do this year was to throw a big party where everyone gets together and has a blast. Having everyone finish the different Charity Classic events at about the same time is a big part of the reason why we’ve staggered the starting times of different events this year. Whether you’re doing a short-distance or long-distance bicycling event or doing the 5k run or walk event, everyone will get back in time for the afterparty,” said Brad Marsh, who serves as the Flyers’ director of Community Development as well as president of the Flyers Alumni.


“OK, so everyone gets back at roughly the same time. Then what? Well, then it’s time to kick back and have fun together. Having a really good live band to set the party mood is a huge part of that. It was an easy choice to pick Chico’s Vibe. Three reasons: They are very talented musicians. They put out great energy to the audience, like their name suggests. Also, they have a lot of experience in playing events of all different sizes and to audiences of different ages who have differing musical tastes.”


Winner of the Talk of the Town Award for “Best Live Band”, one of the nine-piece band’s biggest strengths is the sheer diversity of it repertoire – which represents the eclectic mix of genres, eras, and artists who’ve influenced each of its members. During the course of a Chico’s Vibe show, audiences might hear an old Bobby Darin tune covered along with a more contemporary Dave Matthews Band song, Kool and the Gang or Kid Rock, Martha and Vandellas or Metallica, and just about anything in between from the 1940s through the 2010s.


“’Something for everyone’ is kind of our motto,” said Dennis Chiccino, the band’s lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist. “My personal favorite genre to listen to and perform is classic R&B – artists like Stevie Wonder – but my own influences are pretty diverse.”


Chiccino, who co-founded Chico’s Vibe 16 years ago with vocalist/keyboardist John Gebhart, has been successful enough to make music his full-time occupation. Dating back to the late 1970s, he played in a variety of different bands. Gebhart has been performing since he was 16. After serving six years of active duty with the 307th Army Reserve – during which time, the pianist channeled his love for music into studying trumpet, trombone, euphonium, and tuba – Gebhart was subsequently able to turn music from avocation to his full-time work.


Over the years, Chico’s Vibe has played everything from small clubs and private parties to galas events that included the 150th Academy Ball for the Academy of Music (attended by Prince Charles of the United Kingdom). They’ve been featured on the “Preston and Steve Show” on WMMR and band members have played across the United States and abroad in places as far-reaching as Scandinavia and Mediterranean.


“One of the biggest keys to reaching your audience is that you have to love what you’re doing. Chico’s Vibe loves to get together and play music, and we have a whole lot of fun sharing that with the audience. I’ve told people all the time, ‘If you can’t get up there and get excited by the music you’re playing, you’re in the wrong business.’ I think we project our love of music to our audiences, and they give that energy right back to us. It’s why we do it, and why I wouldn’t want to do anything else,” said Chiccino.


Although the band plays dozens of gigs throughout the year, the band members are particularly excited to perform at the Charity Classic.


“We have some big hockey fans in the band, and John in particular is a huge Flyers fan,” Chiccino said. “But beyond that, we’re all excited to be part of something where everyone has a great time and also helps to raise a lot of money for charity.”


Prior to going on stage, Chico’s Tribe trombone player/ vocalist John Parkinson will participate in the 5k walk/run as he co-captains a Charity Classic team along with Stephen Brown, a close friend of the band. In joking homage to a 1973 song by Paul McCartney and Wings, the team is called “Band on the Run.”


Philadelphia native Brown is one of the Delaware Valley’s most inspirational athletes. A multi-sport athlete (including a stint as a semi-pro soccer player and a longtime veteran of triathlons), coach, and motivational speaker, Brown is a survivor of a form of leukemia. He achieved remission several times, most recently in 2013, and used endurance sports among his therapies.


Fans of Chico’s Vibe are invited to join the team as members of Band on the Run and can participate in any of the Charity Classic events. Alternatively, the band requests that fans make a donation to the Charity Classic in the name of the band.


Chico’s Vibe will perform at Xfinity Live! from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT.