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NLL Executive Joel Feld is a Rockstar Off the Floor

Joel Feld, the NLL’s Executive Vice President, Broadcast & Content, has made a career out of helping others showcase their talents and pursue their dreams in broadcasting and media. Only recently did he begin pursuing his own childhood dream of being a musician.

On February 9th, 1964, Feld was one of the 73 million viewers who tuned into the Ed Sullivan Show to watch The Beatles perform on TV in America for the first time. After listening to them play five songs, he knew his calling. He was going to be a guitar player in a band.

In fifth grade, Feld joined his first group called Rubber Band. They never performed outside of a garage. Later, during his high school years, Feld joined another band that would go on to perform at junior high school dances, bar mitzvahs and weddings.

By the time Feld enrolled at the University of Albany, he realized and understood that a career in music wasn’t in the cards for him at that time. It was time for him to pursue his other life’s passion: broadcasting.

“I was really interested in broadcasting when I was in high school and college,” Feld said. “Also, I think the pipe dream was to be a professional musician, but real life gets in the way, if you will, and you have to earn a living. I didn’t think I was really good enough or in a position to really go down that route.”

It’s now been nearly 50 years since Feld started his first producing job with ABC Sports. Since then, he’s worked in various producing and leadership roles at notable companies such as NESN (New England Sports Network), CSTV (now CBS Sports Network) and One World Sports, and, as of 2017, has been the Executive VP of Broadcast and Media at the NLL. Feld loves what he does, and it has kept him very busy over the years (so, too, has starting a family), yet his dream of joining another band has remained strong.

Being involved in the NLL, you end up being around or working with players and coaches who have full-time jobs while simultaneously living out their dream of playing professional lacrosse. The idea of Feld pursuing his music career is similar.

In recent years, Feld has attended the School of Rock in New York, a music school for all ages and skill levels for people who are aspiring musicians. Up until this point, he was mostly a self-taught guitar player. While at the School of Rock, he received instruction from certified teachers and met like-minded music enthusiasts.

It was there that Feld met Leo Zraick, a bass player, and Charles Ferraz, a guitarist. They were two Brazilians working in finance who also had childhood dreams of being in a band. They quickly became friends and started their own group, The Sliders, while attending School of Rock.

Following their time at the School of Rock, Zraick and Ferraz would meet Elsio Paiva, another Brazilian working in finance, whose hobby was playing the drums. As three Brazilians living in the New York area, they decided to start their own band called Radio Blah.

Even though he wasn’t in Radio Blah, Feld never lost touch with his music buddies. Then, after some fun jam sessions and some thorough, practical planning, in the summer of 2023, he, Zraick, Ferraz, Paiva, and Ilaria Vittucci, a 20-something Italian woman who works in the fashion industry, formed Euphoria.

Feld would play rhythm guitar and do vocals, Ferraz became the lead guitarist, Zraick became the bass player, Paiva was on drums and percussions, and Vittucci, who the band found through a Facebook ad, became the lead vocalist. As Feld noted, this eclectic group has become a family, in large part because of their shared love of music, and this has helped transform the band into what it is today.

“The five of us get along great,” Feld said. “Being in a band is a fun, exhilarating, and often challenging experience – you’re like a family. You have arguments, and you get along, and you work out your issues – we all share different musical tastes and have all had different musical experiences. Trying to meld that together has really been the secret, and the beauty of what this band morphed into over the last year.”

Since Euphoria’s inception, they have played gigs in West Chester and around the Tri-State area. They have performed at private parties and small venues. That was, until a couple of weeks ago when the band played their first-ever gig in New York City. On February 24th, Euphoria took the stage at the Groove in the West Village of Manhattan, a neighborhood rich in music history. The bandmates couldn’t have been more thrilled for this rare and unique opportunity.

“Not in my wildest dreams,” Paiva answered when asked if he’d ever thought he’d be performing with a band of his in New York City. “I thought I would keep working and doing my stuff in New York City, but I’ve bought drum kits and a lot of things… My friends, family, and parents back in Brazil are freaking out like I’m going to become a rock star.”

“I always loved playing, so I’ve been doing this for many years, but I never took it seriously in the sense of studying and really dedicating myself to that,” Ferraz said. “It was always like a hobby, which is interesting because now my plans are to dedicate more [time] to music than to my profession.”

“It’s been a dream of mine to be in a rock band,” Zraick said. “As a bass player, it’s been amazing. I’ve joked with my friends that if you want to get the girls, you become a guitar player because the guitar player gets all the girls, but if you want to get called to be in a band, you want to play bass because there aren’t that many bass players.”

“I think Joel is a great guitar player,” Ferraz said. “I think he complements the band with the acoustic guitar and is a great singer. I don’t think that he believes that, but he is. He’s a great singer, and I wish that he could sing more songs.”

On the night of the performance, you could feel a special energy inside the dimly-lit, small, but warm performance space. Groove was about to get groovy with Feld and Euphoria rocking out. They performed nearly two dozen hit songs spanning the 80s to the 2010s, including hit songs like Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, Rolling in the Deep by Adele and Raise Your Glass by Pink, in front of a full room of family, friends and concert-goers from around the world.

Ferraz and Vittucci were the firecrackers of the night, commanding the stage and engaging with fans throughout the 90-minute performance. For Vittucci, the first-ever concert she attended after moving to New York from Italy was at Groove. The show she saw was so captivating that she told herself that she wanted to play on that stage one day. On this night, the dream became a reality.

Zraick, Paiva, and Feld each had moments to shine, although they are usually the more subdued bandmates while performing. Feld was even the lead vocalist for a few songs and garnered chants of his name from the crowd and the rest of the band. Feld’s bandmates are as impressed with his singing ability as they are with his guitar playing.

The balance of energy (both on and off the stage) is one way the band stays focused and organized while remaining true to its main principle: having fun.

Feld, who can always be found listening to music (especially Pink Floyd), has loved living out his childhood dream of being in a band. All five of the bandmates have cherished the experience and are enthused to see the band thrive. They love working together and melding their creative energies, which was incredibly apparent at Groove.

February 24th at Groove was the band’s equivalent to an NLL player making his pro debut. While all the bandmates will tell you that they are still very much amateurs in the music world, performing at a New York City venue is a rite of passage for anyone wanting to pursue a music career. That night marked the beginning of Euphoria’s journey to stardom.