Orphans Cabaret

salt lake city • UTAH

About us

Once upon a time, a group of musicians awoke to discover they had been left all alone.  Not to let fate rule with a ragged and ugly fist, these musical orphans began to create.  It was unlike anything they had done before; it had a certain "flair pour la fantaisie" that sounded reminicent of the cabarets and soirees they had all attended in countless lives past. 

Recognizing the unique gift that had been presented, these musicians set their wild imaginations free and, inhaling deeply of the anise scented breeze that danced around them, they were transported through time after time.

Thus, Orphans Cabaret was born!

Orphans Cabaret photo by Robert Hirschi

Orphans Cabaret started in the clear air of the high Uintahs with the musical artistry of Leisl and Brian Bonelli. Taking the musical lessons learned from previous successful projects and, using these lessons, they created the Orphans Cabaret. The Bonellis' love for wonderfully unique music from all over the world has always fueled their creativity.  Orphans Cabaret is no exception.

Come join our adventure and experience the Orphans Cabaret.

The Music

the Players

Orphans Cabaret is the slightly demented and drunk-happy home for wonderfully tetched musicians.

Brian Bonell

b.t. bonelli

Vocals, Guitars

 B.T. loves the ryhthms of the world and lets his right hand speak for him... unless, of course, he is singing, then his mouth takes the stage. This sometimes leads to trouble being as how he really has little control over this instrument and sometimes, just sometimes, things pop out of it that lead to frivolity, and then lots of troubled and pained explanation.

Leisl Bonell

leisl aetna bonelli


Who doesn't like the smell of basil and fresh pasta? Leisl surely knows her bit and she is the master. Just taste her lasagne whilst listening to the magical stories she weaves with her melodies and you will be transformed to places of wonder and beauty. Just mention the word 'Italy' then sit back and prepare yourself for the ride of a lifetime whilst Leisl takes you on a magical journey filled with the descriptions of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of her mis-spent youth.

Nicholas Newberry

nicholas newberry

Accordion, Backing Vocals

There is a horse hair wallet sitting on the sunbleached bench next to a worn out burro pulling a cart of dusty boxes. Nicholas sits next to the exhausted animal, watching and waiting, remembering his sordid past as a lonely pick-pocket in the dangerous back-alley streets of Peoa, Utah. Upon sentencing, the judge ordered Nicholas, as penance for his crimes, to spend his lifetime traveling the hot, dusty streets of nowhere USA, playing the accordion everytime people might gather. Mark my words; you will be entranced by his magical artistry on the Devil's own instrument.

Heather Garden

heather garden

Vocals, Banjo

Flying through the air on a silken string, Heather loves to weave a delicate melody though the dangerous flora of the mountain desert armed only with a backwater banjo and a sweet sense of being. You will hang on her every expression as you are wrapped in her web of song.

Phillip Miller

mr. p. miller

All the saxes, and harps in odd keys

Mr. P. began his career as a stunt double for Jerry Garcia in the early days of film and music. One particular Saturday morning, as he was gathering a supply of donuts, fruit pies and slushies for his mentor from a corner 7-Eleven in North Hollywood, he was shocked to see Elvis working behind the counter. The sun glinted off the clerk's greased hair and angels could be heard singing as Mr. P. thought, "This isn't Vegas," but he listened to the sage Elvis' advice which encouraged him to stop his evil stunt doubling ways, put down the guitar, and start a life anew in the world of saxophones and harps.

Bryan Bale

bryan bale

Bass, Vocals, Hand Percussion

Bryan mastered the 9 mantras of early Egyptian percussion lore, learned 32 of the world's languages fluently, and picked up on the intracies of Newtonian physics - including mastering the argument of why, while cumbersome, Newton's calculus was superior to Leibniz's - all by the age of 8 years. After reaching the 10th level of Buddhist ascendance while meditating for 3 months in the Bavarian highlands and learning to prepare a mean quiche, Mr. Bale decided his calling was to sing and play bass. This was what lent his soul peace.

Bob Smith

bob smith


Bob spent somewhere between 40 and 187 days "fasting" and "meditating" with Carlos Castaneda in Death Valley in the early 1980's. Coming out of the desert after this intense vision quest, Bob realized that he had actually only been gone for the afternoon and was really in Zzyzx looking for the mineral baths. His traveling companion wasn't really Carlos Castaneda, either, but was, in fact, the notorious Wicca Man who had shown Bob the mysteries of sound, the mysteries of hitting something metal with something else metal, and that this sound was good. Bob meditates with the Orphans Cabaret often, and Wicca Man is always by his side as the wonder that is percussion explodes around him.

Byron Owens

byron owens

Vocals, Saw, Parade Bass Drum

Byron: guru, poet, healer, gentleman, mystic, and timeless traveler. A leprechaun by trade, he had always dreamed of leaving the Emerald Isle of his mystical birth to travel the world and find a Hawaiian beach to call his own where he could sit in the sunset and play music as the waves crashed on the shore. After a particularly intense night of single malt whisky, Byron booked passage on the vessel that would take him to his dreams. Instead of waking to the Birds of Paradise and sweet magnolias of his dream island, he awoke to the not-so-sweet scent of brine flies and industrial smoke stacks. To know this leprechaun is to love him, and his misfortune was our great fortune when the Orphans Cabaret found his hungover body floating in the flotsam of the Great Salt Lake with all of his musical toys.


We play shows...

...you should come to one!!

Orphans Cabaret: Recommendations.

Come to the orphans cabaret to fall in love....  these are the things that trip our nasty little triggers.


Nick Stellino, chef extrodinair!! Nick approaches his work like an old-fashioned artisan—one who is in love with his craft and who is passionate about good food.


Paul Hitter, Balkan Expressionism. Paul is a visionary artist whose colors are as bold as his themes. Spend some time immersing yourself in his artistic vision.

Let us hear from you!

We would love to hear from you. Contact us about shows, sign up for our email, and send us a note to say HI! 

For booking inquires or general converstaion, you can contact us at:

Come and see us!

Please stop by and say hello at any of our shows.  Send us a note and let us know how we can get a hold of you and let you know when we are playing. Stay in touch on social media to know more about our special events.

Orphans Cabaret

Salt Lake City, Utah