A Rocking Blues Band Straight From the Arizona Desert
Until the Sun, a Rocking Blues band, was formed in 2017. Their music includes and often fuses elements of Blues, Alternative Rock, Pink-Floyd-esque Psychedelia, and Jazz. Until the Sun quickly began playing national shows, has opened up for famous Blues and Rock artists, and has played world renowned venues. The band includes Brandon Teskey on lead guitar, Alyssa Swartz on vocals, Jay Zarecki on bass guitar, and Chris Tex on drums. Until the Sun released their first album, ‘Blackheart’, in 2019 and completed their second album ‘Drowning in Blue’ in 2021. Then in 2022, Until the Sun released a live album consisting of mostly new material, entitled 'A Night at the Rhythm Room'. The band members all poured their hearts and souls into striving for what was before unattained levels of musicianship, songwriting, tone, performance, and reaching new levels of professionalism that continues to develop.
Brandon Teskey was born and raised in Southern California. By age 5 he was playing with toy guitars and had dreams of becoming a ‘rock star’. After months of endlessly trying to convince his parents to buy him a real guitar, they finally did, and at age 11 Brandon quickly became obsessed, spending hours practicing every day. Brandon was exposed to Blues music shortly thereafter and became consumed with the playing of Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Albert King, Robert Johnson, Albert Collins, and T-Bone Walker, as well as Rock artists like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Eric Johnson. Along with his obsession with guitar playing also came the obsession of song writing and almost as soon as he had picked up the instrument, he began coming up with chord progressions and penning lyrics.
By the time Brandon was 15 years old, he had joined an established blues band with some members forty years his senior and by the time he was 16, he had played the prominent San Juan Capistrano venue The Coach House, where he had seen many of his idols play as a kid. Brandon further developed his playing, becoming intrigued with the technical and harmonic sophistication of players like Scott Henderson, Robben Ford, and Eric Johnson and began studying the works of Jazz musicians like Charlie Parker, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, and Joe Pass.
Brandon moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University in the summer of 2003, studying Music and Philosophy. While attending ASU, he met Bruce Jensen where they formed their first Rock band, playing gigs all across the Phoenix valley. Brandon formed and played in multiple bands during his college years and also met his future wife, Cori. Brandon graduated in the Fall of 2008 with a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy, married his wife Cori, and joined the Army, eventually serving as an infantry captain.
In 2011 Brandon and Bruce formed bluesy hard rock band ‘Corium’. The band released an EP and opened for many national performers across Arizona. In 2011, Brandon began working on his first novel, a historical fiction called, Insurrection; An Epic Novel About the Maccabean Revolt, which was published in 2015, and received notable positive reviews. Brandon released ‘The Chime’, a solo rock instrumental album which combined influences of Rock, Delta Blues, Electronic Rock, and Jazz.
In 2017 Brandon, Bruce, and Chris formed ‘Until the Sun’, which allowed Brandon to return to his Blues-Rock roots and opened up new doors of creativity in his song writing and playing. Brandon lives in Arizona with his wife Cori, and their two children.
Alyssa Swartz is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and poet from Joshua Tree, California who began her creative musical journey at an early age. This “Little Mermaid” began singing at the tender age of 6 after seeing the Disney movie of the same name. After perfecting her superstar performances with her hairbrush in front of the mirror, Alyssa began performing at 9 years old in talent shows, musicals, plays and beauty pageants. When she was a teen, local musicians started taking notice of Alyssa’s talents. At the tender age of 16, she quickly found herself partnered up with a rap artist. After seeing her perform several times he asked for an introduction and the two quickly completed an album together titled “Blacksands.” This album was produced by artist Clive Wright from the band Cockrobin who owns a studio in Joshua tree California called Desert Sky Music.
At 17 Alyssa began to refine her natural talent by taking voice lessons. In 2005 Alyssa performed at the i-WARM 50’s in the 70’s & 80’s party bash in Brea California and was featured on the Urban Network as a hot new artist. Her vocal coach encouraged her to sing opera but her heart lead her elsewhere. Success at this level lead Alyssa to compete in the Peoria Idol in 2012, where out of a field of 600, she made it to the finals.
From as far back as she can remember, she had always wanted to be a musical artist and lyricist. Alyssa recounts that when she was little her aunt would pick on her so Alyssa would tell her, “You’re going to regret that when I became famous.” When doing weekend chores and cleaning the house it wouldn’t be unusual to find little notes of encouragement that Alyssa would leave for herself behind picture frames and on mirrors, reminding herself to never give up and always follow her dreams. To this day she has never stopped reaching for those stars.
Some of Alyssa’s claims to fame are performing in Hollywood at a Christmas show for the children of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby; performing with Vegas musician Father Time; and she acted in a pilot for a television show. More recently she has collaborated with Clive Wright again on several projects with more in the works. Her music has been featured on the radio and she is working on a book of poetry.
Taking influence from artists across the musical spectrum from the Eagles to Celine Dion to Florence and the Machine, she crafted herself into the powerhouse performer that she is today. Hozier, Florence and Don McLean inspire her in her writing.
After being a young single mother for 2 years, fate smiled on Alyssa at 21 when she met her husband Tony on her birthday at a bar. It was as if lightning struck and the two quickly fell in love and married four months later. In 2010 they moved to the Phoenix area from California. Today Alyssa lives in Buckeye with her husband Tony and her two children, Azlynn and Gabe where she writes, sings, and further expresses her artistic talents as a hairstylist. Her artistic talents have not fallen far from the tree and she often partners with her equally talented son. The two can often be found partnering on songs and working on music in their home studio.
Chris Tex was born in Tijuana Mexico and soon thereafter adopted by an Illinoian couple. He was raised in Central Illinois. Chris started playing drums in second grade, when his parents put him into drum lessons. Chris also took up the piano in his adolescent years. Chris would go onto play a variety of drums in marching, jazz, and concert bands between elementary and undergraduate school, even receiving academic scholarships for musical accomplishments. Chris’s musical interest are broad, ranging from jazz to metal, as well as everything in between. Many of the eighties and nineties bands such as the Cars, the Petshop Boys, Third Eye Blind, and Alice in Chains have been musically inspiring for him. Particular drummers/percussionists that have been inspirational range from a variety of jazz musicians such as Brian Blade, Tony Williams, and Elvin Jones to many metal drummers such as Tomas Haake, Raymond Herrera, and Mario Duplantier. Other musicians Chris is influenced by include Mic Fleetwood, Ben Orr, and Phil Collins.
Chris’s first band, ALTR, started playing house parties and local venues around central Illinois in his early teens. ALTR would go on to release an EP. After graduating high school, Chris pursued a bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Findlay. During his college years, Chris played drums with Crawlsyte, 4th Coming, M.U.H.A., Arlington Avenue, and Sleepercell, all of which he has recorded albums with.
After completing his undergraduate, Chris pursued a Masters degree in Public Health, with an emphasis on environmental and occupational health. His Master’s was awarded from the Medical College of Ohio, University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. Chris went onto obtain a PhD in Public Health from Walden University, with an emphasis on epidemiology. His doctoral research pertains to infectious disease testing standards.
After finishing graduate school in Ohio, Chris moved to Arizona to take a public health job in 2007. Between 2007 and 2015, Chris played with Official Version, Hollow, Embrace the Dream, and Defect in You. Starting in 2015, Chris began playing with Bruce and Brandon, ultimately leading to the formation of Until the Sun.
Currently, Chris teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public health and nursing at various academic institutions. When not teaching and playing drums, Chris volunteers at a free medical clinic in rural Mexico. Chris currently lives in the Phoenix area.
Jay hails originally from Southampton, NY and started playing music at school as a trombonist. Moving to alto sax in junior high and later working his way to 1st Chair French Horn for the All-State band.
Jay got his first bass guitar on his 16th birthday, and within a month played a show learning five songs to play with his mother’s rock band. His first actual band was a Yngwie Malmsteen Cover band in High school, and his senior year an original Rock band called All Access from Westhampton, NY. During this time, his grandfather had him sing in barbershop quartets as a bass and later baritone which would become part of jay’s ability to be able to harmonies on the fly.
After a short stint in the US Army as an Armored Artillery crewmember and later as a Bass Player, Jay enrolled in college and started his first original band, but still playing some covers, called The Source out of Sag Harbor, NY and later getting hired by an all-original band named Wheel from Amityville, NY which ended up playing Shea Stadium in front of 35,000 people! At the same time Jay had some side gigs with a ska band named Spider Nick and the Maddogs, with a famous local blues band named Suede, and a rock band named Hamilton’s Story.
While studying Music Performance at the State University of New York, Jay started playing in a larger Jazz Band as well as a jazz combo on bass guitar, as well as French horn and trumpet in the concert band and upright bass in orchestra. His junior year in college, Jay was an on-air disc jockey for the local radio station hosting the morning show during the week.
After College, Jay and a bunch of friends all moved to San Diego, CA. He quickly joined a band that was looking for a bass player. But soon after the lead singer had to move away, and it was decided Jay would become the front person. Doing mostly rock and punk covers from anything from Weezer, GnR, Audioslave, ACDC and Blink 182 the band No Such Luck was born. Jay continued to play in NSL until he was given the offer of a lifetime.
In May of 2005 Jay was contacted by the drummer of a pop rock band from West Hollywood who was looking for a bass player who could go on a full US tour. After driving up to Santa Monica and auditioning for the band it was decided he would become a full member and had 1 month to pack up his entire life and go out on a US tour that was already in progress. He spent the next 6 months playing sometimes 7-8 shows a week, until the lead singer quit and moved back to Canada. Jay quickly found a replacement out of Nashville of a hard rock singer who could fill the shoes of the previous singer, enabling them to finish the tour.
After the tour was over and a few moves later Jay ended up in Arizona and continued this band but with a complete lineup change and play 3 more years with Paperboy Jack. A few years later Jay started the alternative “galaxy” Punk band Interstate Heroes, quickly rising to the top of the ReverbNation charts to the top 3 rock bands in Phoenix for a few years. The lead singer eventually had to quit to attend Berkley college of Music in MA, so jay went searching and was hired by two bands; Monk Destroys the Monastery, and grunge style band and Vic Tims and the Kentucky Rifles, a pure old school punk band.
Jay Started a side project of a No Doubt Tribute band and was asked to join Until the Sun in the fall of 2022. He had originally auditioned a year prior, but schedules didn’t seem to align at that time.
Jay is influenced heavily by the music he grew up learning to play bass along with such as Green Day, Metallica, Billy Joel, The Beatles, RHCP, and the Blues Brothers. Later as a guitar player was heavily influenced by My Chemical Romance, Muse, Weezer, and mostly the Foo Fighters.
He has been playing bass guitar since 1992 and electric guitar since 2012 and has sung leads and backups for most of that time. Jay has also filled in on drums, horns, guitar, and bass in multiple bands over the year, as well as recorded over a dozen albums, across the country. and played thousands and thousands of shows over the many years he’s been playing in bands. Currently he is working to better his skills as a recording engineer drawing from his many years as a live sound engineer, and looks forward to bringing his diverse bass playing style and experiences with Until the Sun.