Online Exclusives

The Chemists of Swing

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | January 9, 2012

They've all got daytime jobs, but they're doing all right. The Chem-Tones help the Society of Cosmetic Chemists celebrate the holiday season in style with a performance during the SCC Annual Meeting.

 
 























Every year, a talented group of cosmetic chemists gets out from behind the bench and up on to the stage to entertain their colleagues at the Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ Annual Meeting. Once again, last month, The Chem-Tones brought their act to New York City, the New York Hilton to be precise, to entertain SCC members with a selection of jazz and pop tunes.
 

Chem-Tones members include industry consultant and ex-Estée Lauder employee and band co-founder Peter Kaufmann (trumpet and assorted horns), band co-founder and TRI-K Industries’ Ben Blinder (trumpet and flugelhorn), Kobo Products’ Ed Bartholomey (keyboards), Ajinomoto North America’s Jayson Goodner (guitar), Coty’s Dr. Les Smith (drums), Ashland Specialty Ingredients’ John Bozza (tenor saxophone), Essential Ingredients’ Kris Maynard (harmonica) and Chris Gerlach (guitar), as well as Gretchen Vitamvas (vocalist) and Tim Brown (bass). Bozza, Maynard and Gerlach were unable to join the group for the 2011 annual meeting performance. Over the years, the band has also featured the late Henry Maso on harmonica and the late Mel Hoyt on percussion.

 
For Kaufmann, The Chem-Tones underscore the parallels between work and music.

 
The Chem-Tones who performed at the SCC Annual meeting included (l-r): Ed Bartholomey, Les Smith, Tim Brown, Ben Blinder, Gretchen Vitamvas, Jayson Goodner and Peter Kaufmann.
“It’s great to get together with people, and express ourselves,” explained Kaufmann. “Jazz is a great form of teamwork in that you have to listen to each other and play what you hear. It’s like what a cosmetic chemist has to do when he or she is working with other parts of R&D or marketing.”

 
The Chem-Tones are the brainchild of Kaufmann who, back in 2005, worked closely with the late SCC executive director Theresa Cesario to form the group. The band made its first appearance at the 2005 Annual Meeting and, aside from missing a meeting in 2009, has become a staple at the year-end event. Kaufmann’s wife, Arlene, is credited with coming up with the band’s name. Initially, the band limited its playlist to jazz standards. But over the years, The Chem-Tones have incorporated songs from The Beatles, Chicago and others.

 
For example, during last month’s annual meeting, The Chem-Tones played a variety of jazz standards and pop tunes including “Blue Monk,” “People Get Ready,” “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Blue Christmas.”

 
“Our goals are simple—to make music and have fun,” explained Blinder.

 

Limited Engagements
 

Although the band has become a fixture at the Annual Meeting, The Chem-Tones would be happy to get out more often if geography and work schedules allow. After all, band members hail from Long Island, NY, New Jersey, Maryland and Georgia.

 
“We are too spread out; we can’t get together often enough to practice,” conceded Blinder. “Besides, most of us are still working our day jobs and work has to take priority over any performance.”

 
Still, for the cosmetic chemist who can successfully and artistically blend work and play, The Chem-Tones are always looking to expand.

 
“We’re always open to anybody who would like to join us,” asserted Blinder.
 
 
 
 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Back to School

    Back to School

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||September 1, 2016
    It may be September, but class was in session this summer during the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s Executive Educ

  • What

    What's In Your Formula?

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 1, 2016
    A look at the ingredients beauty brands are using to fuel their formulations and capture consumers’ attention.

  • A Sweet-Smelling Sanctuary

    A Sweet-Smelling Sanctuary

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||September 1, 2016
    Home fragrance is enhanced by aromatic developments in delivery and components.

  • Active Agents

    Active Agents

    September 19, 2016
    On the surface, surfactants may seem staid, but the market, and the supplier activity driving it, is bubbling.

  • Jam On It!

    Jam On It!

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||September 19, 2016
    Jamberry sees success in artsy nail accessories.

  • Expanding Erbaviva

    Expanding Erbaviva

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 13, 2016
    A farm-to-bottle organic brand celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new look, new products and plans to expand in the US.

  • Vintage Glamour Rules the Runways at NYFW

    Vintage Glamour Rules the Runways at NYFW

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||September 12, 2016
    A look at trends in cosmetics and hairstyling.

  • Rock n Roll

    Rock n Roll

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||September 6, 2016
    A new sunscreen applicator is slowly making noise in the industry.

  • Lauder’s Latest Patents

    Lauder’s Latest Patents

    September 1, 2016
    A composition with NIR light emitting material, a skin care device and more awarded to this beauty business giant.

  • ‘Lash’-ing Out!

    ‘Lash’-ing Out!

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 29, 2016
    All eyes are on Lash Star Beauty, a lash-centric beauty brand that recently made its QVC debut.

  • Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    August 23, 2016
    Learn more at Cleaning Products USA, Nov. 9-11, 2016

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 22, 2016
    New curriculum debuting at Bellus Academy helps estheticians treat a population that needs TLC.

  • And Now for Something Completely Different…

    And Now for Something Completely Different…

    August 15, 2016
    Phlur is out to make you rethink fragrance packaging.

  • The Butler Does It

    The Butler Does It

    August 15, 2016
    A new green cleaning product at your service.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • It

    It's a Shoe In!

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||August 8, 2016
    Butter London links up with footwear designer for special collaboration.

  • The Power of Three

    The Power of Three

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    Iles Formula tri-system for tresses garners a celebrity following.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    July 28, 2016
    Three-layered hair product from Lauder, palm oil extracts for wrinkle treatment and more in recently awarded patents.

  • Pushin’ the Cushion

    Pushin’ the Cushion

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 26, 2016
    AmorePacific, the creator of the cushion compact, continues to improve its unique product.

  • Cozy Makes a Splash

    Cozy Makes a Splash

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||July 25, 2016
    Expands reach in CVS and introduces new collection.

  • Senior Skin Care

    Senior Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 19, 2016
    McCord Research and Product Quest Manufacturing roll out new hospital-grade skin care kits for seniors to use at home.

  • Naterra Expands Tree Hut Range

    Naterra Expands Tree Hut Range

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||July 18, 2016
    New ‘Bare’ collection is out now.

  • An Antioxidant Arsenal

    An Antioxidant Arsenal

    July 11, 2016
    BioRewind is Dermarché Labs' new anti-aging regimen that delivers broad-spectrum antioxidant protection against free radicals

  • Enter Éclair

    Enter Éclair

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 5, 2016
    A new naturals line rolls out in Rite Aid stores nationwide.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    June 30, 2016
    J&J's anti-aging patent, LVMH and cannabis essential oil, transdermal botulinum toxins and more in recent patent news.