University Park, IL,
11:29 AM

HIT MEN Re-Create Magical Decades at GSU CPA

Re-live Musical Decades with the Legends who were There

Contact: Sharon Morrissey

Governors State University

Phone: (708) 235-2812


For Immediate Release


University Park, IL, October 22, 2018 – Five legendary musicians and singers, who performed and recorded with Elton John, Cat Stevens, Journey, Jim Croce, Three Dog Night, The Rascals, The Turtles, Carly Simon, and more, relive magical musical decades on November 10 at 8 p.m. at GSU Center for Performing Arts.

These artists were among the most influential pop music artists of the second half of the 20th century, and all share a common denominator: at some point during their careers, each had at least one of “THE HIT MEN” playing behind them on the road or in the studio!

THE HIT MEN – a super group consisting of Lee Shapiro, Jimmy Ryan, Jeff Ganz, Russ Velazquez and Steve Murphy –helped create or recreate live, some of the most memorable hits of the era, including “Who Loves You,” “Oh What a Night,” "You're So Vain," “The Loco-motion,” “Mony Mony,” “Joy to the World,” and many more. They spun songs into gold and platinum.

Lee Shapiro is a producer, arranger, singer and musician who arranged some of the Four Seasons biggest hits as the Music Director of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

Jimmy Ryan began his career in the 1960s as lead guitarist, singer and a songwriter for The Critters. He was Carly Simon's music director for twenty one years, and his guitar is heard on works by Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Elton John, and more.

Jeff Ganz is a bassist and singer who has worked with an eclectic array of artists including Blood Sweat & Tears, Johnny Winter, Cheap Trick, Lou Reed, Dr. John, Vanilla Fudge and jazz greats including Gerry Mulligan, Tito Puente and Larry Coryell.

Russ Velazquez is a singer, composer and arranger who has collaborated with everyone from Sting, The Ramones, and LL Cool J to Luther Vandross, Korn and Paula Abdul. He has earned four Emmy Award nominations for his songs on Sesame Street and his song “2BA Master” hit the top of the children’s music charts on Radio Disney.

Steve Murphy is a drummer, singer, who has toured with The Alan Parsons Project, Jack Bruce, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals), Dave Mason, Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), The Turtles, Mickey Dolenz, Gary Puckett, Mitch Ryder and over a dozen more major artists from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

THE HIT MEN connect with audiences on a level rarely seen by today’s musical artists. From the classic songs we all know and love (such as “Oh What a Night” & “You’re So Vain”) to the backstage stories never told until today, a HIT MEN show is like no other, as they combine the music & the memories alongside exciting multimedia footage & visuals, evoking an unforgettable musical and visual experience. “We can say whatever we want about our legacy with complete legitimacy," Lee Shapiro said. "We have an emotional connection with the audience that tribute bands can't have. When we share our experiences and tell stories, we aren't reciting a script. We were there. When we tell you how Warren Beatty got thrown out of Carly Simon's dressing room at the Troubador in LA in 1971, we know it's true because Jimmy Ryan was the one who did it!"

Don’t miss a memorable night of friends, musical favorites and cheers to the future!

This event is part of GSU’s Homecoming Weekend, so the Center will be hosting a free pre-show lobby experience starting at 6:30 p.m. featuring a three-piece live band, Justin Smith and Friends, photo booth, and specialty themed drinks. The concert is also part of the regional “Made in America” festival presented by the Southland Arts, Municipalities and Business Alliance (S.A.M.B.A.). Visit

Ticket Information

Tickets are $35/$30


Phone: 708.235.2222

Box Office: 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484; for best GPS directions use Governors State University only.

About Center for Performing Arts

Center for Performing Arts thanks our other generous funders including First Midwest Bank, Arts Midwest Touring Fund, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Located at Governors State University, Center for Performing arts provides dynamic entertainment and edutainment experiences for all, serving over 50,000 patrons annually. Like us on Facebook @centeratgsu for updates on events, offers and more. Share your experience at the Center on Instagram #govstatearts.