The Hummingbirds were formed in February 2009 to participate in the first annual Music City Corporate Band Challenge, hosted by the Arts & Business Council of Middle Tennessee. The band was quickly assembled just four weeks before the competition and began rehearsals in earnest with the bank CEO’s vow to “rock the house!” After taking second place in the competition in 2009 and 2010, the band took first place in 2012. The Hummingbirds played at the CMA Music Festival in June 2012, and they continue to play together for company functions and by invitation for community events.
The Hummingbirds’ style is an eclectic blend of 70s rock and new country defined by strong vocal harmonies with some banjo twang thrown in for that Nashville sound. While the band started out as a typical “cover” band seeking to replicate another group’s sound, they have evolved into their own style that capitalizes on the vocal and musical talents of the members.
The band has ten members, including Avenue Bank’s CEO (Ron Samuels), Chief Financial Officer (Barb Zipperian), Director of Security (Kevin Mills), Music & Entertainment Private Banking Division head (Ron Cox), Mortgage Loan Specialist (Heather Redmond), and former Private Banking Assistant Holli Ewing. While none of the bank employees are currently music professionals, each one has a musical background—including some professional performers—that was mostly unknown to their co-workers until the call went out to all employees when the band was formed.
Joining these employees are four musically talented friends.
The band’s name is taken from the company’s logo, which features a bright red hummingbird. The bank chose this symbol because it sends the message that Avenue is “a different kind of bank,” and Avenue associates reflect the unique bird’s qualities of agility, competitiveness and loyalty.
Ron Samuels, Guitar – Avenue Bank Chairman & CEO
Barb Zipperian, Vocals – Avenue Bank Chief Financial Officer
Ron Cox, Banjo & Guitar – Avenue Bank SVP & Head of Music/Entertainment Division
Kevin Mills, Guitar & Lead Vocals – Avenue Bank VP & Director of Security
Heather Redmond, Lead Vocals – Avenue Mortgage Loan Specialist
Holli Ewing, Bass & Vocals – Stay-At-Home Mom and former Avenue Bank Private Banking Assistant
Kelly Sullivan, Guitar & Vocals – (Holli’s sister) Friend of Avenue and works in pharmaceutical sales
Amy Sullivan, Keyboard – (Holli’s sister) Friend of Avenue and a Registered Nurse at St. Thomas Hospital
Leighton Linning, Guitar – Friend of Avenue and works as a restaurant server while also attending law school
Kevin Cuchia, Drums – Friend of Avenue and a self-employed electrician and contractor
In addition to winning the 2012 Music City Corporate Band Challenge and playing at the CMA Music Festival that same year, The Hummingbirds have played at the following community events:
• Kickoff Celebration for the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s Capital Campaign
• American Cancer Society Hope Awards at Fontanel
• Rocketown Annual Dinner, opening for Jeff Foxworthy
• Nashville Chamber of Commerce Year-End Celebration
• Leadership Middle Tennessee
• Alpha Omicron Pi National Convention (Franklin, Tennessee)
• Tennessee Golf Foundation Hall of Fame Induction at Loveless Barn
• Arts & Business Council’s Bow Tie Awards, Wildhorse Saloon
• Leadership Nashville
• Junior Achievement – Nashville Business Hall of Fame Induction
For more information, contact Avenue Bank at 615.252.2265.