Operation Encore is a non-profit veterans organization that provides opportunities for veteran and active duty singer-songwriters and musicians to take their music to the next level through artist development, professional recording, and industry-focused educational services. We seek out talent from across veteran communities to produce and highlight their original music, showcase their talents and advance their careers.
OE has been featured on numerous print, television, and radio media outlets and has played live shows across the country and overseas. As we advance the careers of our artists, we also help bridge the gap between the public perception of veterans and reality by using the powerful medium of their original music.
Founded in 2013, transitioned to a 501c(3) in 2018
* 23 artists representing all branches of the armed services including one military spouse
* Blinded Veterans Association, Falls Church, VA
* Salute-The-Troops, Pomona, CA
* Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, Telluride, CO
* Freedom Concert, Sacramento, CA
* Throckmorton Theater, Mill Valley, CA
* Opened for Big Head Todd and the Monsters,
* New West Fest, Fort Collins, CO
* Carry the Load Concert, Dallas, TX
* Carry the Load Concert, San Antonio, TX
* National Press Club, Washington, DC
* Freedom Fest, Peoria, AZ
* RAF Mildenhall, England
* Freedom Fest, Peoria , AZ
* Litchfield Park, AZ
* Warrior Family Symposium, Washington DC
* MOAA National Awards Banquet, Orlando, FL
* Plus individual performances across the nation
Stephen Covell first picked up a guitar at age 17, and he has been creating music ever since.
He enlisted in the Army in 2006, serving as a combat medic in the 82nd Airborne on two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A recent graduate of the University of San Francisco Writing program, he is currently finishing his first book, “Bring Your Gun To Work Day.” EPK >
Steve Wilson is an award-winning singer-songwriter and a veteran of both the Army and the Air Force. The son of a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, he served for 16 years as an Army paratrooper and a B-52 Electronic Warfare instructor. Steve has created a unique style that comes through clearly in his return to Operation Encore. Steve recorded an updated version of “Cold Steel Rain” for our first album,
and returned to our second compilation with “The Words,” about the impact music has on humanity and its capacity to unite. Inspired by a glance into his youngest daughter's room, it's an autobiographical roadmap of Steve's lifelong dream to play music, but touches on the way war affects the veteran. EPK >
Logan Vath was born and raised in Nebraska, where he began writing and playing music in high school. He joined the Navy in 2009, serving as an Aerographer’s Mate and bringing his guitar with him along the way. After leaving the Navy in 2012, Logan decided to pursue music. He released his first EP, Better Man or Ghost, in 2013. Logan joined the project with “Once Was,” a captivating song about learning
from mistakes and gaining new perspective. A prolific songwriter, he recently released his latest EP, In the Presence of the Kingdom, and he has a new EP on the way. EPK >
A folk musician based out of Utah, Andrew Wiscombe’s style has been referred to as foot-stompin’ street music. He showcases his musical talents in one-man band fashion, playing up to five instruments at once. A Berklee trained award-winning songwriter, Andrew has a unique ability to clothe stories, words, and emotions in American roots music. A married father of two boys and former U.S. Army
sniper, he joined Operation Encore with “The River, the Lark, the Pine,” an upbeat song about having the guts to play music in front of people, and being okay with yourself regardless of what others think. EPK >
A musician inspired by her Kentucky roots and a deep commitment to her faith, Rachel Harvey Hill is a military spouse and mother. She began her love for music as a child; Rachel sang with her family and at church, and through a great deal of support and encouragement has developed into an exceptional songwriter and vocalist. Through her music Rachel recounts experiences she and her family have
shared throughout their time in the military. She has recorded songs on both Operation Encore albums, including “Another Trip Around the Sun,” and “I’m Going Home,” a song about longing to return to our roots. In January of 2019, Rachel released her first Operation Encore EP, “Straight Toward Love”, which contained five original songs that showcased her poetic songwriting and incredible voice. EPK >
A Mississippi native, Jerry Maniscalco first picked up a guitar at 16 and he has been writing and performing original music ever since. In 2003, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 2007 and entering service as an SH-60B Seahawk pilot. During his time in the Navy--including 3 deployments and a remote tour--he found that music allowed him to unwind and escape. Jerry recorded two songs on our debut compilation album, the upbeat “Wake Up,” and our unofficial anthem, “We Are.” He
rejoined OE for our second album with “Waiting," written from the perspective of a pilot's spouse waiting for her husband to return home. Jerry continues to write and play music locally in the Ann Arbor area. EPK >
Zack Sliver was a field radio operator in the Marine Corps from 2010-2014. During his time stationed in Quantico, he released a demo CD under a band “Angry Young and Poor”. After Quantico’s OCS shooting, he decided to leave the military and seek a degree in Political Science while pursuing a future in the music industry. He received his degree in 2018 and became the lead singer and guitar player of
Yuppie, a local Daytonian alternative rock band that creates honest music that encapsulates Ohio life…music to listen to when you hear the train passing the apartment you can’t afford, after a night of drinking you shouldn’t be able to afford. Yuppie’s debut album, Old Feeling New, was released in October 2017. It was recorded at Encore Recording Studios and Zack was signed to their record label, “Invention City Records”. From military to civilian, businessman to bartender, Zack has worked many jobs and has worn many hats, but music is the one constant in his life that he feels makes worth it all. EPK >
Doug has been performing in various groups for more than a decade, he recently began playing his own music publicly as The Real Doug Lane. Doug joined Operation Encore’s second album with his song "Faces,” inspired by his grandfather, a World War II veteran. “Faces” became the title of his latest EP, released in November of 2018. EPK >
Raised in south Texas, Doug now resides in Utah with his wife, four kids, and Dodger the boxer. He enlisted in the Army in 2000 after a sly recruiter convinced him to audition for the Army band as a saxophonist. Doug was soon assigned to the 1AD Band in Germany. He deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004, where he played concerts for troops, supported ceremonies, and performed lots of guard duty. While
Tyree Woods is a Singer/Songwriter born and raised in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. He first got into music singing in his Baptist church choir. Coming from a biracial home, he was exposed to a very diverse palate of music as a kid. He picked up a guitar when he was 12 years old, and hasn’t put it down since. In 2006 he joined the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado as a
member of the 4th Infantry Division. He served two tours in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After being medically retired in 2014, he moved to the mountains of NW Colorado, and started a SoulGrass band called Buffalo Commons. He's won several awards for his music over the past few years to include “Steamboat Creates Artist of The Year”, “BGE Songwriter Contest”, and back to back “Best in the Boat” awards. Tyree is honored to be a member of Operation Encore, and is currently in the studio with multiple projects, and lots of new music on the way. EPK>
Barbara was born in Wisconsin; but has roots in Scotland, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and South Carolina. A traveler her whole life, her love for music began while listening to her mother sing gospel songs and singing harmonies with her two sisters. Painfully shy growing up, her music career didn’t begin until she was in her early 20s.
Barbara served as a Landing Support Specialist in the Marine Corps from 2005-2009. She was stationed in Okinawa,
Japan from 2006-2008 and served one tour in Iraq from August 2006-March 2007. During her tour in Iraq she
volunteered with Lioness Task Force - the Lioness are a female engagement team that were tasked with searching
females and children in order to maintain cultural sensitivities. She spent her last year in the military at Marine Corps
Air Station in Beaufort, SC and was honorably discharged in June 2009.
After getting out of the Marines, at 30 years old she started to teach herself to play guitar. She eventually made her
way to Colorado and began doing solo acoustic gigs in the Denver and surrounding area. She hopes to take music as
far as God will allow -- her country music, with its unique and angelic vocals, tells the story of a woman finding her
way in the world as she learns to believe in herself and chase her dreams. EPK >
Shannon was Born and raised in the small town of Hazel Green, KY, and grew up with a great appreciation of music. Feeling an urgency to serve his country after Desert Storm, he joined the United States Navy in July of 1994 and trained as a Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman at Camp Pendleton, CA. He served as Corpsman in two combat deployments in Iraq: the first in 2003 and again in 2004
during Vigilant Resolve. To help relieve the stresses of combat and deployment felt by both him and others in his unit, Shannon would play guitar and sing during down time…and most importantly, began to write his own music about how he and his brothers felt about their experiences. Shannon hopes his music will help to educate military families and civilians, as well as help to heal those that have shared in some of the same experiences. EPK >
Theresa Bowman (formerly Theresa Denofre) was born in the Philippines and grew up as a Navy brat. At age four she began to play piano, and by junior high she demonstrated great vocal talent. In high school, Theresa picked up both cello and ukulele, and she continued her passion for music while serving as an air battle manager in the U.S. Air Force. Fortunately, her ukulele was small enough to
accompany her on deployments! Theresa separated from the Air Force in 2017, and she continues to write and perform music in the Seattle area, keeping her fans up to speed through her website and blog at www.filitaliana.com. Theresa was recently selected as one of We Are The Mighty’s “Mission Music” Top 5 Finalists for 2017.
After joining the Coast Guard at eighteen and experiencing a few twists and turns, Brian joined a ragtag group of C-130 pilots and learned to fly to some of the most remote places in the world. While flying throughout the Caribbean, Central America and the northern reaches of the Atlantic Ocean, he felt an insatiable urge to capture the emotion and experiences that shaped his life. After publishing his first
novel, Caribbean’s Keeper: A Novel of Vendetta in 2016, Brian sat down with his guitar and started to chronicle nearly two decades of experiences gained from his military experiences.
Under the name Unknown Rider (a nod to his oftentimes solitary trans-oceanic flights), Boland launched a project with a group of North Carolina musicians to capture his ideas through song. Unknown Rider released its first album, RTB, in May of 2017. With the grit of Southern Rock and Roll and the tempo of Americana music, it displayed the raw emotion of a life on the road. Now an Operation Encore artist, Brian has recently released another set of songs on a self-produced new album entitled “Oceans”.
A veteran of both the Army Reserves and the Marine Corps, Dani served as an Administrative Specialist, a Heavy Vehicle Operator, and a driver team lead on two security details. She deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and medically retired in 2014 as a result of injuries sustained during her final deployment.
Dani is an acoustic/unplugged artist who enjoys a minimalistic approach with very few instruments. Inspired by artists such as Pat Benatar, Sarah Mclachlan, and Delores O'Riordan, her unique covers provide an opportunity to hear lyrics in a different way and her original music contains encouraging messages that focus on how we live our lives today. A humble spirit, instead of performing, Dani strives to create a shared experience with her audience while honoring individual efforts and those that have been lost, hurt, or betrayed.
Keith Broecker discovered a cheap souvenir guitar exiled to the back of his brother’s closet when he was 12. A curiosity boiled inside him as he plucked the strings for the first time. Eventually, that fascination developed into a hobby, and after experiencing the rush of a live performance at his local community college, Keith became passionate about creating music.
Keith was a U-2 pilot and flew many other aircraft during his time in the service. After living all over the United States as an Air Force officer, he retired and settled down in California with his family. His song “Late November” is a high-energy journey that tours listeners with a fast paced acoustic guitar, full of intricate picking and layered with a skillful solo.
Matt Stake grew up in a small town in central Ohio, where music was always part of his life. After graduating high school he joined the Ohio Air National Guard as a C-130 engine mechanic, later transitioning as a maintenance officer while working as a schoolteacher. Matt released his first album, Overrated Life, in 2005. He later teamed up Mike Brown to form BrownStake Music, LLC, an
independent publishing company. He lives with his wife and three kids in Ohio. Matt recorded two songs on our first album: “One More Day,” and “Time For Me To Go.” He returned to Operation Encore as a co-writer on “Pleased to Meet You,” and as co-writer and featured artist on “Chasing Hearts,” a song about taking risks and plotting your path in life.
Having developed a love for the old planes and nostalgia of the WWII era, Brett joined the Air Force and became an Aircraft Loadmaster on C-141 Starlifter aircraft. His duties carried him to the far reaches of the globe and his songwriting went with him, chronicling his experiences in Desert Storm and other conflicts. His experiences with 9/11 and Operation Enduring Freedom prompted him to write a song
and co-produce a music video for the Air Force. He is now a retired veteran having served 22 years active duty.
His inspirational compositional style was developed from listening to artists like Johnny Cash, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. His song "Love Me" is a ballad about relationships and struggles with post traumatic stress. He began his own band in 2012 and currently performs in the Destin, Florida area.
Angel Santiago-Zapata served for over 20 years as an Air Force Space Facilities and Missile Maintainer.
His career spanned assignments to multiple bases in Wyoming and Florida, where he progressed from a journeyman to a master technician, military training leader and successfully ending his career as a mission assurance technician at Cape Canaveral.. Growing up as a young musician, he played guitar in a
cover band in Puerto Rico, where he established his unique Spanish rock sound and honed his skills on the guitar. Throughout his Air Force career, he continued to develop his musical talent while playing gigs for friends and family, always dreaming of a professional musical career. After leaving the Air Force, he found himself with the opportunity to finally pursue his dreams and Operation Encore added him to the OE family of artists in December of 2019. EPK >
Stephen Wayne was born in Mena, Arkansas, but moved to the Idaho panhandle at an
early age. With a thick southern accent in the middle of snow country, Stephen had to
adapt quickly to cutting firewood, shoveling snow, and braving the harsh northern
winters. He spent his youth writing songs and playing his dad’s guitar then joined the
Army in 2001 as a mechanic. During his time in the Army, Stephen and his family traveled throughout the country and endured multiple deployments, but his love of family and his yearning for a stage and a six-string led him to leave the Army and pursue a career in music. In 2019, Stephen released his first EP, Sideways along with a limited edition covers album entitled “The Covers-Volume One”. He joined OperationEncore in the Fall of 2020. Heavily influenced the Seattle grunge music scene,Stephen’s commanding vocals are inspired by artists such as Eddie Vedder, AaronLewis, Corey Taylor, Kurt Cobain, and Jason Ross. EPK>