Bio

Cody Bondra

& the contraband

Cody Bondra & The Contraband is a five-piece Country Rock group out of New Hartford, CT.  With diverse setlists and a fantastic stage show, the band has played theaters, state fairs, and festivals.  The band has shared bills with LANCO, LYNRD SKYNRD, COUNTING CROWS and more. Currently promoting their debut E.P. "Nothin' Wrong"

Cody Bondra 

Vocals |  Guitars | Piano 

Cody Bondra first started playing guitar and singing seriously at the age of 21.  His dad bought him a guitar at a local pawn shop and he became a staple of the Connecticut Open Mic scene.  After playing with many local bands, Cody put together The Contraband.  Cody's influences range from many different genres, but he credits Dan Fogelberg, Caleb Followill, Townes Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen with introducing him to the art of songwriting.

Jackie Bashaw 

Keyboard | Guitar | Vocals 

Jackie is a lifelong nutmegger, as well as a classically trained pianist and vocalist. She has won awards in vocal composition, vocal performance, and piano performance. 

While off-stage, Jackie enjoys reading, hiking with her dog, harmonizing with the radio, and drinking coffee. She also works as a writer, editor, and music blogger. Jackie cites Sara Bareilles, Keane, the Hush Sound, and Bear's Den as her greatest musical influences.

 Ray Markwas 

Bass Guitar | Guitar | Vocals 

Lead guitarist turned bassist, Ray first picked up a guitar at age 14 and has never looked back. With a couple years of formal lessons under his belt, he set out to write an instrumental album at age 16. Bass guitar was first played during this period as a necessity for the music he wrote, but he soon discovered it was not just a backing instrument - it could have a life of its own. Bass Influences include legends like John Paul Jones, Geezer Butler, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, and Steve Harris. Ray joined his first band at age 18 as lead guitarist playing the heavy metal hits of the day. As life progressed, music had to take a back seat for a while, but its love was never lost. Now he returns to the stage playing bass for Cody Bondra & the Contraband. When he's not taking stages by storm, he's spending time with his son. 

Find his songs on Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/rmarkwas

Jeff Kenniston 

Guitar | Sax | Vocals 

 Jeff Kenniston is a multi-instrumental musician, performer, and recording artist who has played with dozens of bands and solo artists throughout Connecticut and beyond over the last 15 years. He specializes in guitar, piano, alto saxophone, and harmony vocals. His groups have played alongside the likes of Pharrell Williams, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, Reel Big Fish, Sean Kingston, Smashmouth, Aaron Lewis, Lifehouse, and O.A.R. Jeff is a licensed BMI songwriter and has had his compositions used internationally including placements with Travel Channel, Golf Channel, Food Network, Bravo, and CBS. Jeff holds a B.S. in Music Education from Central Connecticut State University and is currently a full-time guitar teacher at the Trinity College Academy in Hartford, CT.

Lori Lebel 

Management / Photography

 Lori has been putting her passion of music to work in the business for over ten years, booking, managing, promoting and photographing artists such as Cody Bondra, Devin Williams, 6 Train Soldier, Frank Palangi, The Awakening, and many more.  She is also a freelance writer and has published interviews and music reviews for top recording artists and indie bands alike with several magazines and blogs.  Currently, she runs Live Backstage, a platform to get artists in front of more fans via social media. 

Find her on facebook at @theartistcommunity. 

Contact information:  860-681-4603  or mslorilebel@gmail.com