AO Music Band Mate – George Bernardo

George Bernardo  is a force of nature…constantly in motion. When he’s not rehearsing, touring, or in session with one of the many music projects he co-produces, he is getting ready to. As a drummer, percussionist, mallet man, he hardly sleeps. Most fans know George as the drummer for numerous CA based music projects, such as Cash’d Out or Elvis Orbisonbut he is also a wicked marimba player. He performed the mallet tracks on the Doug Lunn Project, featuring Vinnie Colaiuta, and is presently rehearsing marimba for one of the best Zappa tribute ensembles “Bogus Pomp”, which has featured Napolean Brock & Ike Willis of Frank Zappa’s Band. George’s past performance credits include Bad Company, Chick Berry, Bo Diddley, Gary U.S. Bonds and Spencer Davis, to name a few.

Richard was introduced to George and guitarist Phill Fest (son of the late Brazilian jazz pianist Manfredo Fest) by Dave Karlack, a jazz radio programmer in Tampa Bay, while off tour with Tiger and the Helix in 1994. The three connected immediately and began rehearsing/performing original material with St. Pete’s amazing Vince Warren (The Stick Man) on the Chapman Stick. George moved to SoCal in 2001, about the time Richard and Jay Oliver began recording AO’s Twirl album, and soon after began touring with Peter Buffet‘s project “Spirit Dance”. He soon became an integral part of the AO family, along with our late comrade on bass Doug Lunn, who regarded George as his closest confidant.

“George is simply one of the busiest musicians I’ve ever known, and he is widely revered for his dedication, talent, compassion and loyalty.” “When it comes to music, he is all-in and all heart!” 

Learn more about George Bernardo at