PO Box 924 | Olympia, WA 98507 | 360.943.9123

Festival Band Bios

Evergreen Classic Jazz Band

The Evergreen Classic Jazz Band began performing at various traditional jazz events in 1985 and were regulars at most of the West Coast Festivals including San Diego, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Port Angeles and Kalispell. The band also appeared in the Midwest at the St. Louis Ragtime Festival and the Early Jass Festival in Strongsville, Ohio among others.

After many years of inactivity and much encouragement from former fans, the band members have agreed to reunite. The Evergreen CJB was known for its repertoire of “lesser known” jazz classics, as well as a line-up of outstanding musicians, each known for their expertise in the traditional jazz style. All are veterans of numerous top flight jazz bands in the Northwest. This year’s band line-up will include an exciting young reed player, Seattle native, Jacob Zimmerman. As always, the repertoire will still include the great tunes and arrangements from it’s early days.

Steve Wright cornet, reeds  |  Jacob Zimmerman clarinet, alto sax  |  David Loomis trombone  |  Ray Skjelbred piano  |  Josh Roberts banjo, guitar  |  Mike Daugherty drums  |  Tom Jacobus tuba, st.bass

Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles

Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles Jazz Band is a Denver-based vintage jazz band dedicated to revitalizing swing music and dance. This small group style swing band packs a punch of power, personality, and wit into each show, intriguing generations new and old with the beloved charm of big band swing from the late 30’s and early 40’s. The Pickles bring it all – high energy, quality musicianship, and an authentic big band sound and look that celebrate the unique American spirit of swing. The band fuses musical influences from the sounds of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw with the showmanship of Louis Armstrong, Lucky Millinder, and Jimmy Lunceford. With a smart respect for the preservation of vintage jazz music and entertainment, the Pickles are constantly adding new and original tunes to their repertoire. They bring a unique visual flair to each performance with gimmicks, tricks, horn movements, and hat work inspired to captivate audiences all night long.

Trumpet player and vocalist, Joe Smith, started the band in January of 2013 to give dancers live music to swing out to. Since the bands’ inception, the Pickles have held a special place in their heart for the swing dance community. The band travels from coast to coast to play their spicy tunes at swing dance events both large and small, and inspire dancers to fall in love with jazz over and over again. The group is notorious for their spot on arrangements and electrifying energy during competitions. The band is known to regularly keep dancers on their feet truckin’ until 4 in the morning.

Queen City Jazz Band

Honored by Colorado Governors, the Colorado State Legislature and the Denver City Council the Queen City Jazz Band has delighted audiences since 1958.  The current band excels in entertaining listeners of all ages with the music of of the early master of blues jazz like Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong along with the great sounds of the “Second Line” straight from Bourbon Street.  Ballroom dancers love the QCJB’s mix of the 1930s and 40s standards from Cab Calloway to Duke Ellington.   Swing dancers fill the floor to toss and twirl to the music of Louis Jordan and Nellie Lutcher. Concerts always end with a standing ovation.  The QCJB’s Gospel music featuring our great vocalist Wende Harston has inspired Denver area Christians for many years is and is featured at traditional jazz festivals across the USA.  The Queen City Jazz Foundation has sponsored almost 100 clinics and visitations for school children whose young ears are often treated for the first time to America’s own musical treasure—jazz.

CanUS Hot Jazz Band

The beginnings of CanUS in Victoria, BC was in 1991 with a quartet that featured musicians who could also sing the complicated vocal harmonies of the Boswell Sisters. They toured the festival circuit for 14 years led by Jim Armstrong on trumpet & trombone backed up by a rhythm section comprised of Toni Blodgett, piano, Joey Smith, bass and Don Leppard, drums.  The “US” part of the CanUS name was to represent Joey Smith, an American who was touring with the Glenn Miller Orchestra when they played a date in Victoria.  The Tennessee bass player fell in love with the local mistress of ceremonies and good-bye Glenn Miller. He was a founding member of CanUS and our third harmony voice as well as an accomplished arranger. His contribution to CanUS cannot be overstated.

A review in “The Mississippi Rag” by Paige Van Vorst stated that “CanUS is a one-of-a-kind group….Toni Blodgett has created a group with a sound unlike any other on the scene today, which is a tremendous accomplishment.” Their travels south of the Canadian border took them as far south as Mexico, west to Hawaii,  as well as to festivals including some of the biggest and best:  San Diego and Sun Valley.

In time, Doug Rhodes was added on saxophones and brought his distinctive vocals to the group when Joey Smith left to work cruise ships and the third harmony was needed.  A further addition came with Tom Ackerman moving to Victoria from his position as music director on the Princess Cruise Lines when he also married a Canadian.  He was soon snapped up by Toni for CanUS and has proven to be a wonderful asset.  Joey Smith returned to life ashore and came back to CanUS as well.

But heart surgery took Toni out of the scene and when she recovered the band made a decision to give up the band travelling agenda and work locally. It has been ten years since CanUS has accepted any festival offers and they are making their first appearance here in Olympia. Charlotte was not willing to take no for an answer!  We all look forward to seeing friends and fans and hope we will not have been forgotten.

The last big change in the band came when Jim Armstrong moved from Victoria to White Rock on the mainland of Canada.  CanUS replaced Jim with trumpet player and vocalist Mike Broadley who plays trumpet for Canada in the renown Naden Band, the west coast navy band based in Victoria.  The  years have passed and fortunately CanUS still works for Hermann’s Jazz Club and has had the time to make the band a force to be reckoned with and keeping much of the CanUS repertoire that made them a popular festival band.  We look forward to sharing our music with everyone and having ourselves a very good time with everyone at Olympia.  We will also get a chance for a reunion with Jim Armstrong doing a Good Memories Set sometime this weekend.  Should be fun.

Band Members:  Toni Blodgett, Leader (piano & vocals);  Joey Smith (bass & vocals);  Don Leppard (drums);  Mike Broadley (trumpet & vocals);  Doug Rhodes (Baritone,alto, Soprano saxes); Tom Ackerman (clarinet and tenor sax)

Ivory&Gold Jazz Band® | www.ivoryandgold.net

Praised by The L.A. Jazz Scene as a musical duo that can “draw out the beauty in the rich melodies and play the music…with taste, sensitivity, and a real affection for the idiom,” Ivory&Gold® celebrates the greatest examples of American jazz, blues, ragtime, Broadway and hits from the Great American Songbook.  Internationally renowned American musical performer and historian Max Morath calls Ivory&Gold® “musically flawless.”

The duo, consisting of Anne Barnhart on flute and vocals with Jeff Barnhart on piano and vocals, was formed in 2001 to perform to great acclaim at the prestigious annual Jazz Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho.  Subsequently, Ivory&Gold® has been invited to appear in hundreds of venues from coast-to-coast including The Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, AZ, the Twin Falls Center for the Arts, The Tempe Center for the Arts, The Kerr Cultural Arts Center in Phoenix, AZ, The Tulsa Performing Arts Center, the Wolfboro Friends of Music Concert Series in Wolfboro, NH, and an annual concert at the Reutlinger-Brune Victorian Palace in San Francisco to name a few.

Individually, Anne and Jeff could not have come from more disparate musical backgrounds.  Anne is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music.  Following extensive master-class experience performing for such world famous artists as Jeffrey Khaner and Goran Marcusson, Anne participated under Ransom Wilson in the Academie International d’ete de Nice held in Nice, France.   Anne is a member of the International Who’s Who in Music and Musicians in the Classical and Light-Classical Fields.  Anne’s teachers include Vanita Hall-Jones, John Wion and Ransom Wilson.  She is lauded for her impeccable tone and phrasing and effortless virtuosity.

Jeff Barnhart is a highly regarded pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, composer, pedagogue and entertainer. Jeff began his professional career at age 14 performing throughout New England at jazz clubs and restaurants as a soloist and with ensembles.  He continued to maintain a busy performing schedule while earning a double bachelor’s degree in Music and English (Summa Cum Laude) from Connecticut College.  He earned his Master’s in Education from the same school, but found that teaching English got in the way of his real love:  performing, composing and teaching music!  He is on the road performing over 300 shows a year in all corners of the globe, many of them featuring Ivory&Gold®.

Ivory&Gold® has played to packed houses on 6 of the 7 continents in every imaginable scenario.  This husband-and-wife team continues to thrill audiences with music, history and humor, enjoying a hectic schedule of concert, festival, and private home appearances scheduled into 2014.  The Barnharts’ versatility and rapport create an incomparable listening experience for all ages and in all settings, from an intimate 20 person gathering to a 2000 patron event.

Grand Dominion Jazz Band | www.gdjb.com

The Grand Dominion Jazz Band has been together since 1982.  They have had a long time to “get it right.”  And – do they get it right.  This is one of the finest New Orleans style bands in the country – with a British flavor.  They feature a driving and up-best style and offer impeccable ensemble work.

Personnel: Grand Dominion Jazz Band
Bob Pelland – Piano – Leader!
Clint Baker – Trumpet!
Jim Armstrong – Trombone!
Gerry Green – Clarinet, Tenor Sax!
Bill Dixon – Banjo!
Mike Fay – String Bass!
Jeff Hamilton – Drums

Uptown Lowdown | www.uptownlowdownjazz.com

Uptown Lowdown plays a modified version of San Francisco traditional style which eventually became known as “Seattle Style.”  With the driving cornet of leader Bert Barr, the two-reed work of John Goodrich and Paul Woltz, and the drummerless three-person rhythm section comprised of Rose Marie Barr on piano, Paul Hagglund on tuba and Al LaTourette on banjo, one will hear a sound only identifiable as belonging to Uptown Lowdown.

Uptown Lowdown seems to acquire nicknames – “Seattle Style, ” Uptown Rundown,” “Drummerless in Seattle,” and most recently “The Seattle | Frisco Connection.”  Whatever – the music speaks for itself.

High Sierra Jazz Band | www.highsierrajazzband.com

The High Sierra Jazz Band is now playing in it 38th year with the four original members of its rhythm section, Charlie Castro drums, Stan Huddleston banjo/guitar, Bruce Huddleston piano, and Earl McKee Sousaphone/vocals.  Howard Miyata on Trombone joined the band about 28 years ago, Pieter Meijers on reeds/leader about 15 years ago and Marc Caparone on cornet in 2013.  In 38 years, the band has only had 11 musician members.

The band plays a hard-driving west coast style of traditional jazz with a little country often mixed in.  The band has traveled world wide and usually appears at 10 to 12 festivals each year.  The band is based out of Three Rivers, California.

Charlie  Castro – Drums, Bruce Huddleston –  Piano, Stan Huddleston – Banjo, Earl McKee – Tuba/Vocals Pieter Meijers – Leaders/Reeds, Marc Caparone Cornet – Trumpet, Howard Miyata – Trombone/Vocals.

Tom Rigney & Flambeau | www.tomrigney.com

After fifteen years as the leader and electrifying violinist of The Sundogs, fiddler/composer Tom Rigney steps out on his own with a hot new band, Flambeau. The repertoire is original, eclectic, passionate, and filled with a musical and emotional intensity that will come as no surprise to followers of Rigney’s career.

Tom Rigney has been a part of the San Francisco Bay Area roots music scene for over twenty-five years. The son of baseball great, Bill Rigney, Tom is a native of the Bay Area. His musical career began after he finished his graduate studies at Harvard University, where he received a Masters degree in Fine Arts.

Tom first rose to prominence in the music scene as the leader/fiddler of the legendary Bluegrass/Western Swing band, Back in the Saddle. He won a Bammie award in 1981 for the band’s debut recording. He also wrote their hit song, “Time and Again”, which rode the country music charts in the Bay Area for many weeks, no small achievement for an independent release.

After the demise of Back in the Saddle, Tom joined Queen Ida’s Bon Temps Zydeco Band and toured the world with the Queen in 1983 and 1984. It was at this time that he developed a love of South Louisiana dance music (Cajun, zydeco, and New Orleans second line grooves). These styles formed a major ingredient in the sound of his next band, The Sundogs. Teaming with songwriter Joe Paquin and slide guitarist T.J. Politzer, Tom and The Sundogs performed and recorded together for fifteen years. They released seven CD’s (and even an LP!), including two on the Rounder label. Their last recording, “Dancing Room Only”, spent eight weeks on the Americana Radio charts nationally. They toured extensively across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, performing at numerous major festivals and concerts and at more dances and nightclubs than anyone cares to remember. Their sound was a scorching blend of Cajun, blues, and roots Rock and Roll–original Americana music that struck a nerve with audiences all over the globe.

And now, with the broadening and deepening of his composing skills, and the refinement of his virtuoso technique on the violin, Tom Rigney steps out as the focal point of the new band, and as the creator of all its music. The strong Cajun/zydeco influence is still present, as are the irresistible dance grooves that have been his specialty for twenty years. But there is also a deepening of the emotional range of his music and a concentration on creating moving and memorable melodies in a wide range of styles–he has literally become a “singer” on the violin. The music bursts with the energy of the bayou one minute, turns passionate with a gypsy tune the next; it can raise the roof with a Celtic reel and then touch the heart with a beautiful waltz; it can drive deep into the heart of the Blues or evoke echoes of Eastern Europe or the coast of Spain.

In 1998, Tom released the critically-acclaimed “Chasing the Devil” on the Parhelion label. In 1999, with his new band, Flambeau, he released “Red Boots and Rice”. The year 2000 saw the long-awaited re-release of his first solo album, “Rigo”. In May, 2002, Tom released “Metamorphosis”, an all-instrumental disc featuring ten new compositions as well as Tom’s memorable arrangement of Kate Wolf’s haunting “Brother Warrior”. “Metamorphosis” is Tom’s most ambitious and stylistically diverse CD yet. And in July, 2003, the new Flambeau CD, “Happy to be Here”, hit the street. Unquestionably the party album of the summer, “Happy to be Here” is filled with infectious grooves, hot playing from all the members of Flambeau, and a level of energy and intensity only surpassed by their live show.

Yerba Buena Stompers | www.yerbabuenastompers.com

John Gill | Banjo – Leader

John has been playing the banjo since 1964. He developed his love of traditional jazz by listening to the records of Lu Watters, and Turk Murphy. From 1977 to 1986 John was privileged to be a member of Turk Murphy’s Jazz Band. John is also a drummer, and guitarist. He has appeared in films (“The Aviator”, “Wild Man Blues”), on television (“The Tonight Show”, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”) and on stage (Carnegie Hall). He performs throughout the world with Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band.

Duke Heitger | Trumpet

Duke is a rising star among a growing number of young musicians who specialize in traditional jazz. He is based in New Orleans and is in great demand as a leader and sideman. He is a regular guest on the nationally syndicated radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” and he tours regularly with Butch Thompson. He can also be seen and heard at major jazz festivals all over the world.

Leon Oakley | Trumpet

Last but by no means least, Leon is one of America’s greatest hot trumpet players. Originally from New York state, Leon moved to San Francisco in the 1960’s to play with Turk Murphy’s Jazz Band. A master of the hot blues based playing of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Red Allen, his playing has livened up many a band including the great South Frisco Jazz Band.

Tom Bartlett | Trombone

Tom is an expert in the style of jazz legend Turk Murphy. Tom hails from Chicago where since the 1950’s has performed with. The Original Salty Dogs, and many other traditional jazz groups. He has been in The Peace Corps, the Army, and is a bilingual teacher. Also handy with a vocal chorus.

Orange Kellin | Clarinet

Originally from Sweden, Orange has been living in New Orleans since 1966. Over the years he has worked with many jazz legends including Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Zutty Singleton, Jabbo Smith and Jim Robinson just to name a few. Appears on the festival circuit with his own New Orleans Blues Serenaders, and “The Manhattan Ragtime Orchestra. These days when he isn’t touring in Europe, he splits his time between New York City and New Orleans.

Conal Fowkes | Piano

Conal is a pianist, double-bassist, vocalist, composer, arranger and teacher. His skills and expertise cover diverse fields of music from traditional jazz to swing and post-bop, from traditional Cuban Son to Salsa and Latin jazz, from classical to popular. He is at home as a soloist, in trios, small groups, big bands and as a vocal accompanist.

Kevin Dorn | Drums

Born in New York City, Kevin took up drumming at the age of 14. Since then, he has become one of the busiest drummers in traditional jazz. Kevin was the drummer for the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, the nation’s foremost traditional jazz group, appearing on their weekly public radio show, Riverwalk: Live from The Landing.

Clint Baker | Tuba

Clint was originally the bands drummer, but has made the switch to the tuba chair. Clint is a masterful multi instrumentalist at home on drums, tuba, trombone, banjo, guitar, cornet, and clarinet. His expertise in the intricacy and secrets of authentic New Orleans jazz make him an important part of any band.

Wolverine Jazz Band | www.wolverinejazzband.com

The Wolverine Jazz Band has been performing in the Boston area since 1996, specializing in the “Traditional Jazz” – New Orleans – style music of the 1920’s and 1930’s.  The band is comprised of musicians known throughout New England as established masters of the style, who are also noted for communicating the sheer joy of the music.  Typical fare during an evening with the Wolverines is a mix of tunes composed or made famous by Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington, as well as a variety of lesser-known composers.  We also take pride in featuring a wide selection of obscure gems from the Jazz Era.

In addition to playing Dixieland jazz, the Wolverines are adept to dance music and are much in demand for private functions, as well as for concerts and at jazz clubs.

Jeff Barnhart and Charlotte's Boys

Jeff Barnhart

Jeff Barnhart is an internationally renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, composer, educator and entertainer.  Jeff began his professional career at age 14 playing and entertaining four nights a week in a restaurant in his home state of Connecticut. Here he began to learn the classic swing, jazz and ragtime repertoire of the early 20th century. The 21st century has found Jeff constantly appearing as a soloist, guest artist and  pianist at jazz parties, festivals, clubs and cruises throughout the world.  Jeff leads several bands in the UK: the Fryer-Barnhart International Jazz Band, which concentrates on hot music of the 1920’s, and Jeff Barnhart’s British Band, which performs small group swing of the 30’s and Jeff Barnhart and His Rhythm – The New Fats Waller Show.  Jeff spent 15 years as pianist/vocalist with the US based Titan Hot Seven acting as band manager for 10 of those 15 years.   Due to his versatility, vast repertoire and vibrant energy, Jeff is in increasing demand as a participant in international jazz events as either a soloist or as pianist in All-Star Jazz ensembles. In addition to his widely acclaimed solo and band appearances, Jeff is enjoying great success performing with smaller groups, most notably Ivory&Gold®, a group he co-leads with his talented wife, flutist Anne Barnhart. Ivory&Gold® has become a mainstay at many jazz and ragtime festivals throughout the US and the UK.

Jeff enjoys playing dual piano and has done so with such jazz luminaries as Ralph Sutton, Neville Dickie, Louis Mazetier, John Sheridan and Brian Holland. In addition to his own label, Jazz Alive Records, Jeff plays piano and sings on the international labels GHB, Summit-World Jazz Records, Music Minus One, and the two largest jazz labels in the UK, Lake Records and P.E.K. Sound. Most recently, Jeff has joined the roster of artists featured on the Arbors Records label, with 4 recordings currently available: the most recent featuring jazz legends Bob Wilber and Bucky Pizzarelli. Jeff has recorded as both pianist and vocalist on over 100 full-length albums.  He averages 40 weeks a year on the road, bringing his music to all corners of the globe.

Fred Vigorito

‘Fred’ Vigorito, Alfred Robert Vigorito is a Jazz cornetist, specializing in New Orleans Jazz. Fred has led the Galvanized Jazz Band since 1971, where they played every Sunday evening for 35 years at the Millpond Tavern in Northford, CT.  That gig ended in December of 2005. Studying cornet beginning at age 9, Fred showed remarkable aptitude and played first cornet, first chair in Connecticut’s All-State Band as a high school freshman. He has been playing New Orleans Jazz since 1963 when he joined Big Bill Bissonnette’s Easy Riders Jazz Band. Fred is featured on more than 50 recordings, his most memorable being a 1965 GHB recording at Preservation Hall with jazz veterans Jim Robinson, Albert Burbank, Creole George Guesnon and Don Ewell. Fred also played or recorded with the great George Lewis, Louis Nelson, Kid Thomas, Teddy Wilson, Benny Morton, Emmanuel Paul, George Masso, Buddy Morrow, Big Chief Russell Moore, Conrad Janis, Les Paul, Edmund Hall, Herb Hall, Woody Allen, Gene Krupa, and others.  Fred plays a hot, driving cornet style, with a clear, defining lead. His major influences include Louis Armstrong, Kid Thomas, Kid Howard, Wild Bill Davison, Bobby Hackett, Muggsy Spanier, Ruby Braff and Thomas Jefferson.  For the past 10 years, Fred has been a featured guest performer in France with JP Allessi’s French Preservation New Orleans Jazz Band, and in Denmark with the New Orleans Delight Jazz Band.  Fred has also performed in England, Germany, and Belgium.  Fred met his bride to be, Linda Miron, in 1969.  They were married on Friday, April 13, 1973, at ST Vincent DePaul Church in East Haven CT, with the Galvanized Jazz Band on the Altar of the church. Fred and Linda have two sons, Mark born in 1977 and Matthew born in 1981.  Fred and Linda live in Guilford; Mark and his family live in New Hampshire, and Matt lives in Guilford.

Eddie Erickson

Eddie Erickson is a fine guitarist and banjoist, an excellent singer, and a very funny ad-libber.  Erickson, the son of an amateur guitarist, started playing ukulele when he was seven.  He has also played trombone and cornet (including at Disney World) but eventually settled on banjo and guitar, which he began on when he was 13.  He started playing professionally in San Jose in the mid – 60s and spent time working on both Disney World and Disneyland.  He was also a member of the Banjo Kings.  From 1978*1983 he led the riverboat Rascals on the riverboat in Disneyland.  Erickson and singer/washboard player Sue Kroniger co-lead Fast Eddie and Big Mama Sue for years, performing good-time music.  He also worked with the Abalone Stompers in Monterey and with corniest Jackie Coon as the Jack ‘n Ed Show.  Erickson also led his own album for Arbors.  Most import has been his association with singer Rebecca Kilgore, Trombonist Dan Barrett and Bassist Joel Forbes in a group BED since 2002.  With BED he has been a regular on the classic jazz festivals and party circuit, recording 3 CD’s.  The group is as a perfect  forum for his humor is vocals (“Easy Street” has become his signature song) and his guitar and banjo work.

Jim Fryer

Jim Fryer began his professional career in the Boston area in the 1970’s, playing traditional jazz gigs as a teenager. A trombonist at home in many musical styles, he performs on other brass instruments such as euphonium, and adds vocals to many of his performances. Since moving to New York in 2005, he has performed steadily with many classic jazz musicians, most notably with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks at many venues regionally and nationally, including the Iridium Jazz Club and the Highlights in Jazz concert series. He has appeared with many legendary musicians, including Doc Cheatham, Bob Wilber, and Anat Cohen. Mr. Fryer recorded on the soundtrack of the Robert De Niro film “The Good Shepherd” and appeared onscreen and on the Grammy winning soundtrack of the critically acclaimed
HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” Mr. Fryer has performed on the Prairie Home Companion radio show, and has toured nationally and internationally as a soloist and as a member of the Nashville based Titan Hot 7. He has many recordings to his credit, including the 2007 release “Over Easy,” which he co-led with Canadian trumpeter Bria Skonberg, and 5 CDs with the Fryer Barnhart International All Stars on Lake Records, a UK based label. Mr. Fryer has been involved in music education since the 1980’s as a private teacher, clinician, and performer in schools. He taught at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven from 1992-2005, serving as Director of Jazz Programs, and at the Rye (NY) Arts Center from 2005-2013. He currently narrates and leads concerts and workshops in schools via the organization Young Audiences
of Connecticut.

Marty Eggers

Marty Eggers (piano, bass and tuba) began his music career in Sacramento, California, where as a teenager he helped found the Sacramento Ragtime Society in 1982. He has been playing music full-time for over twenty years. For ten years Marty was the bassist for the popular ragtime trio Bo Grumpus, and for another ten he played piano with the Yerba Buena Stompers. Marty is married to pianist and drummer, Virginia Tichenor. They perform together as a duo, with Virginia’s musical family members, with the Crown Syncopators and with the Cali-Co Ragtime Quartet.

Marty’s talent and versatility have led him into several varied and prestigious engagements, including recording with San Francisco traditional jazz legend Bob Helm, tours of Germany with Hal Smith’s California Swing Cats and of the U.S. with the Ophelia Orchestra of Norway, and playing both piano and bass in a Bay Area backup band for Leon Redbone.

Though he works mainly as a performer, Marty also teaches traditional jazz and ragtime performance and theory to interested students of all ages and levels. He has been a faculty memeber for several years at both the San Diego Adult Traditional Jazz Camp (bass and tuba) and Camp Heebie Jeebies (piano), held near Port Angeles, Washington.

Marty is currenty an active member (on bass) in the trios of internationally-known pianists Butch Thompson, Carl Sonny Leyland and Stephanie Trick. Marty also plays bass and tuba with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. For nearly fifteen years he has held down a regular spot on piano at San Francisco’s legendary music club, Pier 23.

Josh Duffee

Josh Duffee is 34 years old, and is regarded as one of the best 1920’s style percussionists in the world today.  He has performed at numerous jazz festivals and concerts all around the world, including Australia in 2001 & 2003 and England in 2008 & 2010.

Josh is also one of the most versatile and high-in-demand professional percussionists in the music business today. His skills are used for every style of music, bu his passion lies with the great jazz music of the early days.

Along with performing, Josh is also an accomplished jazz historian.

Black Swan Classic Jazz Band | www.bscjb.com

Black Swan will delight you with exciting selections from the Roaring Twenties, the era of hot jazz bands and colorful characters. You will revel in Dixieland, vintage jazz, ragtime and old-time gospel music presented by one of the top traditional jazz bands in the country. Black Swan features the sizzling talents of vocalists Marilyn Keller, and sports top-notch cornet, clarinet, trombone, tuba, piano, banjo and drum instrumentalists. Since 1989 Black Swan has performed for artistic venues, festivals and dances throughout the western United States, Alaska, British Columbia and the Caribbean. Based in Portland, this versatile group can softly caress an intimate room, fire up a large concert hall, and keep dancers “cutting a rug”.

Marilyn Keller, vocalist

Marilyn brings a special magic to the stage with her mesmerizing presence and flawless vocal stylings.  Diversity is one of her greatest assets and she displays it by appearing with Black Swan and a wide variety of other performance groups and styles:  The Don Latarski Group, Tall Jazz, Tom Grant, Michael Allen Harrison and the Augustana Jazz Quartet to name a few.  Marilyn regularly tours in Europe with New Orleans Delight and recently was selected as a featured artist to perform throughout western Australia.

Ron Leach, drums

Ron has performed in Latin, blues, jazz, bluegrass, symphonic and theater groups throughout Oregon.   A lifelong student of drums and percussion, Ron has studied Latin rhythms in Havana, Cuba and joined Black Swan in 2000.  Ron previously spent three years as music director on the Queen of the West before returning to shore to become active in land-based gigs.

Rick Holzgrafe, cornet

Rick played with the Fink Street Five in Orange County for seven years, and then the Apex Jass Band in San Jose in the early 1980s. He was a 20-year member of the Mission Gold Jazz Band before moving to Oregon, and has appeared with the Churchill Street Rhythm and Ted Shafer’s Jelly Roll Jazz Band.

John Bennett, piano

One of Wallace, Idaho’s native sons, John grew up in La Grande and Portland, Oregon, where he helped pay his Lewis and Clark College tuition by playing in a burlesque theater (he claims to be the only pit piano player who never looked up from the keyboard).  He has taught public and private school music in The Dalles, Warm Springs and Portland and keeps active in the live music scene with band and solo work. John supplements his musical talents by interpreting Russian and has advanced degrees in teaching, linguistics and music.

Don Stone, trombone

Don is one of those rare individuals equally at home in a spectrum of musical ensembles ranging from massive symphony orchestras to a trombone/guitar jazz duo. Hailing from the Big Sky country, Don has co-led the Last Chance Jazz Band for the last 25 years, performing Dixieland music throughout the western states at Arts events, festivals and private parties.  A talented instructor as well, Don teaches privately and is recently retired from Helena Schools.

Kit Johnson, tuba

Kit is founder and tuba player of Black Swan. A three-time recipient of the Close Music Award at the University of Oregon, Kit completed music and accounting degrees with honors.  He was featured throughout Europe with the 76th US Army Band, and began performing in Dixieland bands after he returned to the states, including Black Swan, Uptown Lowdown, High Sierra and Buck Creek.

Alan Phillips, banjo

Alan performed on banjo and vocals with Black Swan between 1990 and 1995, from 1998 through 2006, and then again beginning in late 2012. Originally a french horn major at the University of Oregon, Alan eventually moved on to study piano tuning and restoration in Boston.  This combined his love of music with a more practical approach to making a living. Alan has performed with the Eugene Symphony and the Oregon Festival of American Music, the Misty Water Drifters, the Drag Kings and the Hackers.

Josh Duffee and the Graystone Monarchs

Born in Moline, Illinois, and now residing across the river in Bix Beiderbecke’s hometown of Davenport, Iowa, Josh Duffee is regarded as one of the world’s greatest 1920’s style percussionists.  He has performed at numerous jazz festivals and concerts all around the world, including England in 2008, 2010-2014, and Australia in 2001, 2003, 2011 and 2014.

He is the leader of The Graystone Monarchs, a 10-piece dance orchestra that performs music from the hot jazz era.  The group performs music that was heard at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit from the early 20’s to the mid 30’s, with their music coming from the libraries of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra, McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, Fletcher Henderson, Frank Trumbauer, Duke Ellington, King Oliver, Carroll Dickerson, and of course, Bix Beiderbecke.  They also focus on playing the music from many other great dance orchestra’s from the 1920’s and early 30’s, giving them a well-rounded musical interest and sound that draws the listening and dancing crowd in to each of their performances.

The Graystone Monarchs feature some of the best musicians who play in a hot style on their instrument.  Each musician can play the music just like you hear on a recording, but at the same time create a solo that is all their own.  Josh’s drumming influences include Vic Berton, Zutty Singleton, Baby Dodds and Teddy Brown, but his main influence and inspiration comes from the musical and tasteful drumming of Chauncey Morehouse.  Josh’s 8-year-old son is named Chauncey Duffee, after Mr. Morehouse.

They were featured at the Hawkeye-Swing Dance Festival in Iowa City, Iowa, in April 2013, and also featured at The San Diego Jazz Festival in November 2014.