Budesa Brothers

While much of the A.C. Weekly Health and Wellness Expo focuses on — you guessed it — health and wellness, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the event has nothing to do with keeping in shape. The early morning performance from the Budesa Brothers has become an annual tradition at the expo and serves as the official kickoff of the festivities. A musically gifted trio, the Budesa Brothers consists of brothers Robert and Rich Budesa, (both sing while the latter plays guitar and the former handles piano and organ duties) and drummer Tom Angello.

Musically the Budesas cover quite a bit of ground. Though many associate them with jazz, they dabble in a wide variety of genres.

“There are jobs that we get hired for that strictly focus on classic rock and Motown, and then there are some that are straight ahead jazz,” says Angello.

Angello, a retired photographer, has managed to make music his full-time pursuit.

He was introduced to jazz as a teenager, learning the ropes through hands-on experience in the local clubs.

“I started listening to jazz in high school and several of my teachers were actually jazz musicians in Atlantic City. So I used to go to the clubs where they played. And through that I got a chance to really listen to what they were doing and to sit in with them. That’s how I got started.”

Though most jazz and rock music is still played in the clubs during the wee hours of the night, fans, casual listeners and boardwalk early birds will be treated to a live set from the Budesa Brothers beginning at 9:30 a.m. Considering that most musicians don’t roll out of bed until at least noon, their very presence that morning shows their dedication to their craft. Though it pays the bills, it’s clear that for Angello, performing is a labor of love.

“The best thing about being a musician is being able to create something onstage that people enjoy,” he says.

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