About Us

The Center City Groove is a 5-piece variety band / party band / wedding band that is based in Charlotte, NC. With over 100 years of combined music experience, the band is sure to energize your event. The band strives to provide danceable music, in a cross section of popular styles, that appeals to people of all ages.

Band Members: Click for Bios

Fred "Hollywood" Bledsoe
Fred BledsoeLead vocals and percussion. Fred is an accomplished Charlotte area vocalist with extensive experience touring throughout the Southeast. He is a versatile performer, covering vocal styles from R&B, Pop, Country, Rock, Jazz, and Blues. Some of his influences include Luther Vandross, Lionel Ritchie, Larry Graham, James Brown, and George Benson.
Rodney Ballard
Drums, percussion, vocals. Rodney received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Industry Studies from Appalachian State University, where he was awarded the NAMM Music Business and A.J. Fletcher Jazz Scholarships.  He has performed with jazz greats James Williams, Jack Wilkins, Frank Kimbrough, and legendary jazz saxophonist and composer Benny Golson. More recently, Rodney spent 18 months studying with Rick Dior, director of percussion studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  He spent the entire summer of 2009 completing further study at Drummer’s Collective in New York City where he completed classes in Pop, Rock, Jazz, Caribbean, Brazilian, Funk, and Afro-Cuban styles and also studied privately with many of the top instructors.  While in New York, he also studied technique with Dom Famularo and legendary jazz drummer Joe Morello and performed with world-renowned guitarist Vinny Valentino and the great bassist Chris Tarry.  Rodney currently maintains an active private teaching practice and recording studio, being a certified music instructor for takelessons.com and providing custom drum tracks through his website, rodneyballard.com , for various artists, singer/songwriters and producers. 
Mark Searles
Guitar, guitar synth, vocals, manager. Mark has been a musician since 1970 when he started playing the violin at age 9. After a few years of private lessons he switched to piano and studied for several years with local pianists. In high school he developed an interest in the guitar and decided to make that his primary instrument. He studied advanced jazz theory privately with several professional guitarists/musicians in his home town of Waterbury, CT, and through a community jazz guitar program at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT. Mark played lead and rhythm guitar with several bands throughout New England before relocating to the Charlotte area in 1993. He currently teaches private guitar and piano lessons at MWS Music Studio in Huntersville, NC. Mark’s guitar influences/favorites include: Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Carlos
Santana, George Benson, Larry Carlton, Joe Pass, Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Frank Gambale, and Lee Ritenour to name a few. For piano a few favorites include: Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Donald
Fagen, Michel Camilo, Bob James, and Lyle Mays.
Lee Zeigler
Keyboards, Guitar, and vocals. Lee is a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Concord, NC. He graduated from Wingate College with a B.A.
in Music; principle study in trombone and secondary study in piano and guitar. Lee is the music director for his church and is an accomplished sound engineer. He also teaches guitar, bass, and piano/keyboards throughout the region. Classical piano influences include: Bach, Chopin, and Mendelssohn; Contemporary piano influences include: Billy Joel and Michael W. Smith. Guitar influences include: Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Zack Wylde, and Pete Townsend. Vocal influences include: Michael English, and Mark Harris and Kirk Sullivan of 4Him.
David Page
Bass and background vocals. David is an accomplished musician from Charlotte, NC. He was introduced to music at an early age by his father and uncle both of whom are multi-instrumentalists and vocalists. He is mostly self taught and also plays piano/keyboards. Some other influences include Victor Wooten, John Patitucci, Flea, and Verdine White.