Entertainer Bios

Ben Murphy
Ben grew up mostly in the state of Indiana. He was born in South Bend where hestarted his first piano lessons at the age of nine. His father was a big influence in himstarting music. He played a lot of piano and guitar around the house, and was alwaysmaking up goofy songs that made the family laugh at inappropriate moments. Benstudied classical music during most of his childhood. He excelled at Chopin Etudes,Beethoven Sonatas, and the Brahms Intermezzo series. He also picked up guitar at age12 and was a member of several garage bands at a young age.Ben attended Indiana University School of Music briefly after high school. Soonafter, he joined a more serious band and moved to Chicago to pursue a career as a rockstar with the band Only Infinity, which had a brief run of success touring the Midwest forabout four years. Here, Ben learned to be a performer through several hundred nights innightclubs and bars. However, bands are like families; they’re difficult to keep together.After his time in Chicago, Ben moved to Arizona to be with his family. In 2006,he started his venture into the industry of dueling pianos. His vast song knowledge andrepertoire made this a perfect fit for Ben’s talents. He has since gone back to school tofinish his Music Education degree here in Arizona, with an emphasis on Jazz. Ben’smajor musical influences include Frank Zappa, The Beatles, and Billy Joel. Jazzinfluences consist of Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Mulgrew Miller.
Mike Clement "Mikey C"
Mike began his dueling piano career in April 2002, and has played in clubs all around the country since then. The majority of his career has been spent with the Big Bang, based out of St. Louis MO. where he grew up. In late 2003 the Big Bang opened in Tempe, AZ, and Mike moved west to eventually become Entertainment Director of the piano staff for the next 8 years. In 2012 Mike decided to incorporate himself and start a freelance operation, playing in various places outside of Arizona, eventually settling in Southern California at Live From Memphis, a piano bar in Corona, CA. In February 2015, pianos returned to Mill Ave. in Tempe, AZ, and Mike happily returned to familiar grounds, and is now Entertainment Director for Low Key Piano Bar, located at 5th and Mill in Tempe, AZ. Low Key is Tempe’s best, all request dueling piano bar, and Mike can be seen there weekly playing the hits with as much energy and gratification as when he first started out. In addition to his Dueling career, Mike has also released 3 CDs of original music, has played in a wide variety of bands and toured the midwest. Mike has an extensive song library of over 600 songs, covering everything from country to hip hop. He can be seen playing in Tempe, Portland, Oklahoma City, and San Francisco, and is available for any event you are planning. For booking info you can visit his website or contact him directly via email, or see him in person at Low Key Piano Bar.
Nick Garza
Julie Simpson
Julie is a true performer with a natural talent for music and creating an exciting and entertaining environment. From Michael Jackson to Miley Cyrus, she captures the sound, the fun, and the passion behind every song she plays. All it takes is Julie listening to a song a few times and she's able to recreate the instrumental and vocal components, making it a version just slightly her own. Julie grew up in Granite City, IL, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, MO. She began playing the piano at the young age of four and continued growing her musical talent through performing in church. She continued entertaining throughout her teens and became a drummer in band, where, admittedly, she was a â￿￿total band dork, and loved every minute of it!â￿￿ She began her career as a dueling piano performer in 2001 at the opening of the first Big Bang Dueling Piano bar in Downtown, St. Louis. She became a very dynamic entertainer and was asked to move to Tempe, Arizona in 2002 to open another club as the Entertainment Director and performer. Now, at Low Key Piano Bar, Julie continues to rock out and provide an awesome experience for everyone every time she takes the stage!
Brian Burtless
Born in Pasadena California Brian Burtless grew up surrounded by music. His father was an accomplished pianist and he would listen to him play almost on a daily basis. His father didn't feel confident in teaching the piano to Brian, and his family couldn't afford lessons so Brian decided to teach himself. By the time he was 19, he felt he was good enough to try out for a band. He was hired By a six-piece band (now known as Garden of Eden) in Portland Oregon and soon became a core member and remained with that band till 1996. Even though Brian loved playing with a band, he was rarely allowed to sing so he left them to do a solo project. Although he played keyboards for many bands after his solo project. Brian decided to exclusively play as a one-man show in 2007Brian has been asked to join many bands but his desire was to play dueling pianos. After many attempts to join the dueling piano circuit, Brian was finally hired at Low Key Piano Bar in Tempe. He is very grateful to Mike Clement for mentoring him and bringing him on to play at Low Key.
"I love the dueling piano concept. It is a constant challenge, and you never stop learning."
Michael Clavijo
Michael was born and raised in the crescent city- New Orleans, La. Influenced by it's diverse culture, Mardi Gras, jazz, and his father's trumpet playing, he pursued a career in music education and entertainment. While a young music teacher in Louisiana, Clavijo formed a successful variety band called TGiF, performing at many popular nightclubs, weddings, & conventions around the Big Easy. After a 3 year tour as Carnival Cruise Lines #1 band, Clavijo found his land legs and wound up in the Alamo City- San Antonio, Tx. It was there he entered the realm of dueling pianos, entertaining thousands of patrons over the years working all over the country mainly San Antonio, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. He loves Motown, R & B, and has a affection for the music from the 1980's (Prince, Lionel, Whitney, glam rock) and artists from today like Bruno Mars, Pharrell, & Maroon 5.