The Dirty Gems / Bio

The Dirty Gems stampeded their way onto the New York rock scene with an undeniable appeal that leaves bands with 10 times more revolutions around the sun wondering where they can buy whatever makes these fledgling stadium rockers so damn irresistible. They blend together sonic influences from No Doubt, Gnarls Barkley and Janelle Monáe, with the grimy blues of Jeff Beck and the theatrical grandiosity of Queen.

In 2007, three young college students (Raycee, Ulises and Cam) were hand picked by Professor Bob Bowen III to form a jazz combo as part of a course at Hofstra University. After years of playing together, they formed the popular cover band Pump Yo Brakes with the addition of drummer Jack Goode. Upon graduation, they all had a vision that they could take the momentum from their energetic live shows and translate it into original songs that would equal or outdistance the pop and rock classics they were playing in dive bars all over the Island. They started by inviting long-time friend and songwriter Mills, to join the collective. Now all that was left was to find a killer guitarist who would jive with the band’s quirky sense of humor and bring an extra layer of sexy to The Dirty Gems’ sound.

In late 2010, their beloved mentor Bob Bowen passed away suddenly. At the student memorial concert, the Gems watched as guitarist Gary Heimbauer performed a touching tribute with another Hofstra student. Impressed by his soulful sound, they asked him to join the band. At the first rehearsal, the connection was instantaneous, and the band felt that once again Bob had guided them to the next step of their musical journey. With the puzzle complete, The Dirty Gems set sail on the High Seas of Popdom, and they haven’t looked back since.

The Dirty Gems’ very first public performance won them the 2011 Hofstra University Battle of the Bands, securing the band a festival-opening slot where they shared the bill with the likes of Big Boi, Minus The Bear and The London Souls. From there, the band went on to cut their teeth at notable NYC venues, culminating in a wildly successful performance to celebrate the release of their eponymous debut EP, at The Bitter End on September 2nd, 2011. Fans of The Dirty Gems packed the legendary club to nearly capacity, inciting ire amongst the wait staff and a pronouncement of “please come back anytime you like” from the promoter.

Since then, The Gems have played numerous venues including Highline Ballroom, Public Assembly, Webster Hall, Spike Hill, Bowery Electric and Sullivan Hall, as well as various venues up and down the east coast. They were semi-finalists in the 2012 Battle of the Boroughs at The Greene Space and won the 2012 Upper East Side Music Festival.

The Dirty Gems are set to release their second EP in Spring 2013 with a multi-city tour planned for Summer 2013.

General Info

Band Members
Ulises Amaya (bass), Jack Goode (drums), Gary Heimbauer (guitar), Raycee Jones (vocals), Mills (keys, vocals), Cameron Underhill (keys, vocals)
Artist Name
The Dirty Gems
Home Page
Active Since
Rock / Pop / Soul

Contact Info

Brooklyn, NY