Nuckols, Carnaggio & Eaton is a group founded by Jazz great Cleve Eaton. In the Jazz world Cleve Eaton is highly regarded internationally as a composer, arranger, producer and bassist. For 16 years Cleve was known as “The Counts Bassist” Referring to the legendary Count Basie. Cleve also was a member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio for 10 years. The other member of the Trio was Maurice White who went on to Earth Wind and Fire fame. Some of Cleve’s honors include induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and the Playboy Jazz Poll. Cleve, as an in demand bassist performed with super stars such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, George Benson and other musical giants. Cleve has also performed on 4 Gold singles, and 7 Grammy winning albums. Today finds Cleveland Eaton moving full speed ahead with his handpicked guitarist Birmingham, Alabama native Joe Carnaggio and Louisville, Kentucky native John Nuckols on drums. As Cleve puts it “These are the only cats since the Basie guys that can play my music.”
John Nuckols is an extraordinarily accomplished percussionist and drummer. One has to be to perform with a bassist like Cleve Eaton. A significant moment of formal training for John was when he had the opportunity to study with Alan Dawson famed drummer with Dave Brubeck. Guitarist Joe Carnaggio fronts the band with his energetic and signature style of delivering melody and improvisation to the audience. In addition to Cleve, Joe writes and the band performs many of his songs. Cleve had heard of Joe but had never heard him play. John Nuckols who had been performing with Cleve for the past 7 years urged Joe to come and play at an upper level musician jam session hosted by Cleve. Joe obviously knew of Cleve and his band. What Joe did not know was that Cleve was looking to form a new band to introduce to the world better suited for the future. Soon after that jam session Joe got the call from Cleve’s agent and booked Joe for a few gigs. The few gigs turned into a permanent and satisfying musical relationship.