Vocalist and harmonica player Cheryl Arena grew up in the Boston area. She loved music from an early age and played several instruments before settling on the harmonica as her main focus, which she has been playing since 1987. She spent the first few years honing her skills on harp sitting in the driver's seat of a limousine, on the job, while waiting for clients. In 1989 she started and hosted a blues jam of her own in Boston at Wally's Cafe which thrived every Monday night for 3 years. Then she met and teamed up with guitarist/vocalist Matt Woodburn, formed the Woodburn/Arena band, left Wally's and hit the road. The band toured extensively up and down the East Coast and parts of the South and released several recordings.
Cheryl's outgoing nature and love for variety also brought her the opportunity to start the "Downtown Blues Review" in 1995 which was held every Tuesday night in Boston's Fanueil Hall Marketplace (for 5 years). Cheryl has shared the stage with blues greats such as Jr. Wells, Johnny Clyde Copeland, R.L. Burnside, Honeyboy Edwards, Sonny Rhodes, Pinetop Perkins, Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson, Johnny Rawls, Big Jack Johnson, Kenny Neal, Bob Margolin, Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl, Billy Branch, James Montgomery, Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King, Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones, Buddy Miles, Rock Bottom, Janiva Magness, Debbie Davis, Ann Rabson and Sam Myers. In 2001 she formed the Cheryl Arena Band and released a CD entitled Blues Got Me, which was produced by Duke Robillard who also makes a guest appearance on the recording. She has since relocated to Dallas Texas where she performs music full time.