Buffalo born and bred musician CJ Ambrosia is a lot like the people of his hometown - hard working and fun to be around. For over 30 years, CJ has entertained audiences in Western New York and beyond, and continues to find new and exciting ways to hone and present his craft. From soundtracks and instrumentals, to full on group performances in genres of rock, alternative, pop, R&B, musicals and just about anything in between, this multi-instrumentalist manages to always be looking forward, while putting his own spin on beloved classics.
Growing up, CJ was always involved at some level in music in school, particularly during Jr. and Sr. High School, playing both trombone and baritone in multiple productions. He took two years of music theory and spent time behind the drum kit in the jazz band. He was also part of the innovative Electronic Music Workshop, a group of students that composed original and cover material with keyboards and drum machines, touring other schools and giving performances. It was here that his two worlds collided - music at school met the music at home, which was served up with now Classic Rock icons REO Speedwagon, AC/DC and Journey, with a side of Stevie Ray Vaughn. After his mother brought the then 15 year old to an open mic, he was hooked, and his own musical journey continued to expand.
CJ would gain experience as a guitarist and vocalist in a number of notable WNY bands, from the tongue in cheek “What About That Guy?” rock outfit to more original music focused bands like “None the Wiser” and “Nothing Personal.” He also released his first two solo albums, “Hope” in 2000, and “Wake Up!” in 2001. In 2005, he began writing and filming a web series called PEDS, using the Grand Theft Auto series of video games; CJ also scored the entire 34 episode series (along with several shorts), later released as “UST.” One of these shorts, “Hot Coffee,” was an official selection as part of the 2005 Washington DC Film Festival. In 2010, the training in bass clef during his school years allowed CJ more seriously pick up the bass, spending nearly 10 years performing with the fine people of Buffalo City Limits and their related acts.
In 2020 CJ released “Reboots & Retreads,” an album that allowed him to poke fun at certain institutions (the title track, Legislate Me), and take a few more personal turns (For A Memory, We Can) as well. In 2021, CJ played guitar in the pit orchestra of the award winning EA Players production of “Hair” to rave reviews. This opened doors to other opportunities, such as singing and playing guitar for the American Repertory Theater of WNY’s production of “Fall From the Grace of God,” (featuring and performing the music of The Pogues) and as a part of the always entertaining alternative rock band ECHO 23 as its guitarist.
CJ continues to write and record in a variety of genres, having recently released his latest instrumental work, “Reflection.”