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News & Announcements

Sunday, April 10, 2016 - 9:00pm

Shows / Events

Tierneys Fest!!

Saturday, June 4, 2016 (All day)

We're excited and have officially confirmed that we'll be back at Tierneys Fest on June 4th.  We will be playing Big Wake's release party that night so we'll be playing Tierneys fest sometime in the late afternoon.  Time and Details TBA!

Big Wake release party @ Maxwells Tavern in Hoboken!

Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 9:30pm

Big Wake is releasing a new single and we'll be there to celebrate with them on June 4th at Maxwells in Hoboken.  We don't have set times yet but stay tuned for more deatils!

Venue address: 
1039 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States
Venue Phone: 
(201) 653-7777
Age Restrictions: 

Woofstock 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016 - 1:00pm
Age Restrictions: 
All Ages

Finnegans Pub!!

Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 10:00pm

Really pumped to be coming back to Finnegan's on July 30th!  Our April show was a blast, this one will be as well.  See you there! Do it to win.


Venue address: 
734 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States
Venue Phone: 
(201) 217-1512
Age Restrictions: 


Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 3:00pm

We're pumped to be back at Musikfest on Wednesday August 10th.  We'll be at the Plaza Tropical Stage from 3-5:30.  See you there!

Age Restrictions: 
All Ages
Venue address: 
101 Founders Way
Bethlehem, PA 18015
United States

About Us


Defending Champions

"Everything they do is done to perfection, with no overplaying and an utterly crisp, solid feel that gives dancers the reliable bedrock that they crave" - LiveUnsigned.com

"this band screams originality." - SweetTunez.com

"The Defending Champions are what is needed in popular music today. The band brings intriguing depth and stylish breadth to each and every one of its songs. Their latest album called “Of The Legend Convention” is a perfect example of the coolness that is The Defending Champions." - Jersey Rock Review

"The bottom line is that The Defending Champions will make your body move and you will want to hear more of them. So go and check out The Defending Champions latest album “Of The Legend Convention” available now." – Jersey Rock Review

"The band blend reggae, ska, and rock together for a delicious, danceable sound that is undeniably groovy, funky, and jammy." – Star Beat Music


champs at the bitter end It’s hard to pinpoint just when the seven musical titans that now form The Defending Champions became a band. If you’ve ever listened to their music, you might think that they are telepathic septuplets, born to play each note you are hearing, chosen to lead a legendary convention of life-loving citizens. In truth, they are a bunch of friends who have been connected through the years by an overwhelming desire to write solid music and entertain the hell out of people. Sometime in the year 2007, Matt Ryan and Dean Nevolis, after having been in the same band together since puberty, dissembled their childhood group and joined forces with longtime band-mate, saxophonist Matthew Schoenebaum. Together with drummer Shawn Fichtner, bassist Eric Swiontkowski, trumpeter Jovan Alvarez, and percussionist Dave DeRiso, they form The Defending Champions.

Composing with their ears bent to the righteous stylings of soul, ska and gypsy music, and held fast by rock’n’roll, the band is allowed enormous room to impact all those ready to dance and be captivated. They’ve been enjoyed throughout the Tri-State area: performing at such venues as Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA, Yogi Berra Stadium, Maxwell’s, Kenny’s Castaways, Knitting Factory, Bitter End, Stanhope House and Rockwood Music Hall. Announced by Jersey Rock Review as “…what is needed in popular music today,” and, in their own words, writing music “intended for the mobilization of the human,” The Defending Champions are what you’ve wanted to hear but didn’t know was sonically possible: better music for the best life.


Frank Movie Trailer

Frank Movie Trailer

We are pumped and proud to announce that our song "Raise my glass" has been featured in the movie trailer for a new movie called "Frank".

Acclaimed Irish director Lenny Abrahamson follows up his award-winning films Adam & Paul, Garage and What Richard Did with an offbeat comedy about a young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender), a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head, and his terrifying bandmate Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).