Pachyderm Productions & Entertainment LLC in Metro Detroit, Michigan is a company that provides the finest of live acoustic entertainment. We are a parent company that houses several musical groups including Acoustic Duos, Brass Trios & Quartets & Solo Piano acts. Our business has 25 years of experience in the industry and has the expertise to provide you with the quality live music performance services and products you need for your event.
Barney Starz (Owner)
Barney Starz has always known that working what some would call a blue collar job doesn’t have to stifle creativity. In fact, he is a guitarist, an auto industry technical specialist, a performer, and a businessman.
Barney Starz (Barney Gwozdz outside of the music industry) launched his new company, Pachyderm Productions because the two personas are far from being mutually exclusive. It was the merging of practical common sense and dreaming big that set Starz on the path to achieving his goal of creating a dynamic production company with no limits on what the future holds.
Starz grew up in a typical working-class family—his dad was a skilled tradesman and his mom worked at a credit union. The only caveat being his dad was the lead singer of the well-known cover band Syndicated Sound. Music was a part of his life from an early age; he remembers the big epic compositions of Elvis on the home stereo and sitting on his mom’s lap in the car while his dad drove and sang.
Starz picked up his first guitar at eight years old to start lessons. But unlike a lot of musicians who dabble with other instruments, he was enamored with the guitar and never played anything else. After performing in his first showcase to an audience of more than 400 by age 11, Starz got his first electric guitar at 13 and he was hooked.
After focusing on athletics in high school, he continued his passion for both playing live and learning his craft. He joined his dad’s band right after high school and played with high-caliber musicians for five years. The youngest by nearly half in the group, Starz earned his chops and played up to the level of the band while discovering new styles of music along the way.
Even while working a full-time day job, Starz played more than 300 gigs with the band and filled in as a “hired gun” for other groups, including a regular gig with nationally recognized singer Alyssa Simmons. It was 2003 when he got the call to be a part of a new cover band being put together by Tangerine Moon Productions, the company behind the ultra-successful Mega 80s.
Photo Credit: Photography by Lois
Starz spent six years learning the ropes and truly became a professional musician. Eventually, he took the helm as the musical director for Spirit of ‘76 and educated himself on the business of being in a band. While he did step down to pursue other projects, Starz found his way back to Tangerine Moon in 2015 and currently plays lead guitar for the popular 80s tribute band, The Square Pegz. Thereafter becoming the lead guitarist for regionally recognized The Mega 80's, where he still resides.
Barney Starz studied music and different apex guitarists alike. He went to Henry Ford Community College and the University of Michigan Dearborn to study Music Theory and took jazz guitar lessons from a professor at Henry Ford CC.
The composition and precise feel of flamenco guitarists such as Al DiMeola gave way to the more blues feel of artists like Joe Satriani and shredder Greg Howe. No matter what the inspiration, Starz dove deep into the musician, studying style, history, and who their influences were in order to gain a complete picture; a trait he still applies to his daily life.
It was through such in-depth research and curiosity that Starz found one of his main influences on both business and music. He’s a huge fan of Red Rocker. Starz learned that Sammy Hagar combined not only unbelievable guitar talent but an ever-expanding business acumen; the perfect package for a musician trying to make a diverse living. Pachyderm Productions was born out of Starz’s desire to turn his passion and hard work into something new and different.
Always a huge fan of the Red Rocker, Starz learned Sammy Hagar combined not only unbelievable guitar talent but an ever-expanding business acumen into the perfect package for a musician trying to make a diverse living. This company was born out of Starz’s desire to turn his passion and hard work into something new and different.
One of the first projects undertaken by the company will be the Weekend Radio Band, an acoustic duo featuring Starz’s accompanying singer Kim Croes. It will be an organic, stripped-down experience celebrating different genres of music.
Bringing her incredible range and 19 years of experience to the duo, Croes currently owns “Excelling In Voice” where she teaches vocals to all levels of talent. The minimalistic setup will span decades of music from Fleetwood Mac to Sia, playing acoustic songs people never imagined they would hear without massive production.
This is just the beginning for Starz, who plans on surrounding himself with every aspect of the music industry. He has been a musician for more than 30 years and through it all remains a fan above all else. A self-proclaimed “music geek,” Starz hopes to open new avenues and experiences for others and share that spark of excitement everyone gets from music; whatever it means to them.