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Local musician Devin Bronson gets big break

Playing guitar in Kelly Osborne's band

Posted: June 28, 2008 5:18 a.m.
Updated: June 29, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Note: This feature was originally published in The Signal Jan. 1, 2003.

After nearly a decade of dedicating himself to his music, local musician Devin Bronson is strumming his stuff as a guitarist for Kelly Osbourne - the daughter of heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, and star of the hit MTV reality show "The Osbournes" - during her current world tour.

Bronson, 19, recently joined forces with Osbourne during sold-out special performances at the Roxy in Hollywood on Saturday and Sunday, where the group rocked the house with songs from Osbourne's debut album, "Shut Up."

For Bronson, touring with Osbourne has been the highlight of his young career that began at age 10 when his father, Dana Bronson, built a studio for the aspiring musician in the garage of their Santa Clarita home.

"Working with Kelly Osbourne is great. She's an amazing vocalist and an amazing performer," Devin said between rehearsals. "It's really been a lot of fun for me and I hope for more good things to come of this."

Bronson landed his gig with Osbourne after auditioning for the band with more than 55 hopefuls. For Bronson, getting the callback and playing alongside Osbourne was a natural progression in his career.

"We all get along so well - it's a fun vibe. Kelly and I are so close to the same age and everyone just kind of meshes together," Bronson said.

While on tour with Osbourne at various venues in New York and Europe, Bronson has shared the stage with today's most popular stars including Justin Timberlake, Avril Lavigne, Destiny's Child, Nelly, Queens of the Stone Age, Audioslave and Box Car Racer.

The hundreds of guests who packed the Roxy on Sunday night screamed as the famed movie-theater-style black curtain rose to reveal the sights and sounds of 1981-style punk pop, melded with the boldness of the 21st century. With the exuberance and stage persona of a rock superstar, Bronson bounced off Osbourne's lyrics with a style all his own.

It was a family affair for Bronson and Osbourne, as Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne came out to the Roxy to show their support. Also in attendence were Bronson's family and friends, along with his former guitar teacher, Aldo Iannarilli.

Bronson studied with Iannarilli in Santa Clarita for five years, beginning in 1995. Iannarilli, who now teaches Bronson's younger brother Nathan, said he was impressed with Bronson's performance.

"I could tell he was really having a lot of fun, which was really good to see," Iannarilli said. "He has a natural sense of musicality. He really felt the music and his stage presence was really good. I'm really proud of him and he's come a long way."

So far, Bronson said he is pleased with the way his career is going.

"I've definitely grown as a performer and it's what I've always wanted to do. Now I can make a living doing what I love," Bronson said. Touring has provided him the opportunity to expand his performing experiences.

"I've gone from playing in a bar with 200 people, to crowds of thousands. It definitely propels you to the next level."

Bronson's sister Vanessa, 14, agreed.

"It was meant to be," she said. "Seeing Devin fulfill his dream was truly an incredible experience, and to think that this is only the beginning for him."

Bronson's stepsister Crystal Duncan said she enjoyed watching her stepbrother perform at the Roxy.

"Devin has star quality. Normally when you go to a concert you are seeing someone that you don't know," Duncan said. "In this case, I was watching my stepbrother on stage. That was amazing."

Setting out to do amazing things has always been a top priority for the young man. Iannarilli said setting goals and perfecting his craft has been the driving force behind Bronson's success. By the time Bronson was 15 he knew he wanted to become a professional musician.

"It's always been a lot of fun for me and I think when you're young and you have the opportunity to do something like this, you should just go for it. This is something I just had to do.

"My mom and dad were always there for me and have always been very supportive," he added, "even when I was coming home at 3 a.m. after playing at clubs I was too young to get into."

Bronson's mother, Sharon Bronson Duncan, said she is impressed by her son's accomplishments.

"Devin has such a love for what he is doing and it shows while he is on stage and by the hours that he has spent learning and perfecting his talent. I am really proud of him," she said.

Along with the support of his family, Bronson said he has enjoyed the support of old friends. He attended Meadows Elementary School and Placerita Junior High School, and is a 2001 graduate of Hart High School. During his school years, Bronson's friends were always hanging out in his garage while he perfected his musical skills.

"As a musician, he rocks - he's an original," said longtime friend Greg Glogow. "That guy knows how to play like nobody else. He's the best guitarist I know and he's always taken his music pretty seriously."

Iannarilli said he believes Bronson will go far in the music business.

"Devin has a thirst for knowledge and he would gather information on his own and would ask lots of questions," Iannarilli said. He said Bronson took lessons on and off through his high school days.

"I was amazed at how good he got when he really put his nose to the grindstone," he said. "He practiced and once he got that virtuosity, he could do anything he wanted to with the guitar."

What Bronson can do with his guitar caught the attention of at least a few local rock enthusiasts who trekked to the Roxy on Sunday.

Family in tow, local musician Tony Padilla said he was impressed with Bronson's presence on stage with Osbourne.

"Guitarist Devin and the rest of the band were incredibly tight musicians perfectly suited for (Osbourne's) fun style approach to rock n' roll," Padilla said. "They were talented, cheeky, and obviously having as much fun as the audience."

For Bronson, who owns nearly a dozen Gibson guitars, there is no limit to what he hopes to accomplish. Performing at the Roxy with Osbourne was just a small part of what he hopes to do in the coming years.

"It's great to be out there playing with Kelly, who is my friend now," he said. "It was a great show at the Roxy and I'm looking forward to traveling and going to places that I've never been to before ... I want to just take this and build on it."


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