PO Box 924 | Olympia, WA 98507 | 360.943.9123

Festival Band Bios

Black Market Trust

The Black Market Trust are an American Traditional Pop/Vocal Jazz group from Los Angeles who combine the sounds of the legendary American crooners and vocal groups with the fire and energy of Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Consisting of five world class musicians who have traveled the globe recording and performing on the world’s biggest stages and with music’s most renowned artists, The Black Market Trust capitalize on their experience and pedigree to deliver a high energy, crowd pleasing performance filled with some of the best songs ever written.

The live show features material from The Great American Songbook infused with Django’s romantic and virtuosic flavor.  Add some intricate vocal harmonies, a dash of Rat Pack-style comedy and it’s clear to audiences why The Black Market Trust have quickly earned a reputation as one of the premier live acts performing in music today. Be transported as they meld two distinctly different vibes- one of a gypsy campfire, the other a slick metropolitan nightclub- into a cohesive, stylish sound.

Jeffrey Scott Radaich – Lead vocals/Guitar  |  Nick Coventry – Violin/vocals  |  Brian Netzley – Bass/Vocals  |  Kale Stiles – Rhythm Guitar/horns/Vocals  |  Brandon Laws – Drums/vocals

Sierra Seven Jazz Band

When the HIGH SIERRA JAZZ BAND announced in September 2018 that the band would retire in April 2019, they fully expected that to be the end.  Little did they know how much pressure would be exerted on them to continue, if necessary replacing any retiring members.  They held a meeting and decided unanimously that the band should continue.

Here they are, reformed with a new name: THE SIERRA SEVEN, but playing the same exciting hard-driving West-Coast style.  Replacing the retirees are Randy Morris (piano), Scott Anthony (banjo) and Paul Hagglund (Tuba).

Make sure to come and listen to their premier performance as THE SIERRA SEVEN.

THE SIERRA SEVEN PERSONNEL: Pieter Meijers, reads, leader  |  Marc Caparone, trumpet  |  Howard Miyata, trombone  |  Randy Morris, piano  |  Scott Anthony, banjo  |  Paul Hagglund, tuba  |  Charlie Castro, drums

Seattle Style All Stars / Jeff Barnhart

Jeff Barnhart, Piano/Leader  Jeff’s biographical information appears with the Ivory & Gold band segment.

Steve Wright, Cornet Steve Wright started playing traditional jazz on reeds and cornet in the Boston area in the 1980’s, where he was one of the founding members of Ray Smith’s Paramount Jazz Band of Boston and the Happy Feet Dance Orchestra, and played occasionally with the Back Bay Ramblers and New Black Eagles. Since moving to Seattle in 1995, he has become a regular with the Evergreen Classic and Hume Street jazz bands as well as Ray Skjelbred’s Yeti Chasers, and has played occasionally with the Stumptown, Grand Dominion and Uptown Lowdown.

John Goodrich, Reeds  John lives in Kalispell, MT, and was a music teacher at Shoreline Community College in Seattle for 25 years.  During his teaching career, he joined the Uptown Lowdown Jazz band and performed and traveled with that band for over 30 years.  Before joining ULJB, he played in numerous swing combos and big bands throughout the state of Washington.  Since moving to Montana in 2001, he has played with two big bands, several Dixieland and swing groups, as well as a brief stint as bass drummer and drum major for a bagpipe band.  He is currently playing electric bass and tenor sax in a country western band.

Dave Brown, Banjo  Currently living in Spokane, WA, Dave Brown learned guitar and banjo many years ago  and later added the string bass. He is known for laying down solid rhythm with an energetic style.  He is a former member of Uptown Lowdown, Stumptown, Jazzstrings, Louisiana Joymakers, Combo de Luxe, Ray Skjelbred’s Yeti Chasers, Gerry Green’s Crescent City Shakers, and others, including his own “one man band.”  He has played in the pit orchestras for several musical theater productions.  Dave has had the privilege of working on stage and off stage with some of America’s finest jazz musicians, band leaders, and well-known musical “characters.”

Andy Hall  Now an Aberdeen, WA, resident, Andy got interested in playing traditional Jazz after attending the Bix Beiderbecke festival in Iowa in the early 1980’s.  He started playing trombone in Rod Biensen’s Skunk River Jazz Band as well as tuba in Rod’s Ragtime duo. Andy met Bert Barr at the Helena Jazz Festival who invited him to join the Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band on tuba (later on cornet, trombone, and reeds).  He also played piano and tuba with the Hume Street Jazz Band.  In recent years, he has played with local groups such as the Grays Harbor Symphony Orchestra, the Grays Harbor Concert Band, and a country swing band, and occasionally with jazz bands around the Pacific Northwest.

Art Horgen Art Horgen’s interest in playing a brass instrument began at the age of 8 when he joined the Bellingham contingent of the Salvation Army band. He played cornet, alto horn, baritone and then settled on tuba. After playing trombone through high school, he went back to tuba and began taking gigs with local pick-up groups playing trad jazz. He joined Bathtub Gin Party Band in the mid 80’s and played festivals up and down the West Coast. In 1996, he had the opportunity to join Seattle’s Uptown Lowdown and has been with them ever since, traveling extensively and playing many festivals and cruises. Living within 10 miles of the Canadian border has given him the chance to work with several Canadian jazz bands, as well.

Paul Woltz  Paul grew up in Southern California and started playing jazz as a teenager with other SoCal musicians, many of whom are still playing with various jazz groups in that area.  When an opportunity came along for him to join Uptown Lowdown in Seattle, he moved his family up north and began a long-running career with Bert Barr and the other ULJB members.  Paul is a multi-instrumentalist and often plays the tuba if needed; he was featured as a vocalist with Uptown Lowdown on many occasions as well.  He has also played in pit orchestras for numerous theatre productions.  When not performing, Paul works as an instrument repairman in a Seattle music store.

Queen City

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.

Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band

The Frisco Jazz Band is definitely one of the more talented groups on the West Coast Today.  Their style is patterned after the late Bob Scobey Frisco Band of the ’50’s and early ’60’s.

As many of you might know, Bob Scobey & Clancy Hayes were the popular heroes of the 1950’s, not just in the Bay Area, but all across the country.

Scobey was never comfortable with such terms as “traditional jazz” or “New Orleans jazz”…he was more of a free musical spirit than a conformist.

This is the feeling the Frisco Jazz Band wishes to convey as they perform their program for you.

Even though Bob is considered one of the foremost exponents of the Scobey style of trumpet and is an outstanding vocalist in the tradition of Clancy Hayes, and some of the members of his band are Alumnus from the Scobey and Turk Murphy bands, they enjoy performing in the styles that have been influenced by all the greats , both past and present.

This, in fact, is more to the liking of the entire group.  You may hear bits and pieces of Muggsy, Murphy, Armstrong, Condon and Berigan…much the way the free spirited Scobey would have done.

Musicians

Bob Schulz on cornet; Kim Cusack on reeds; Doug Finke on trombone; Ray Templin on drums; Scott Anthony on banjo; Jim Maihack on tuba; Ray Skjlbred on piano

Ray Skjelbred and his Cubs

Ray Skjelbred and his Cubs play hot Chicago jazz mixed with New Orleans influences, early swing and plenty of blues. Each musician in this five piece group—Ray Skjelbred, piano; Kim Cusack, clarinet; Katie Cavera, guitar; Matt Weiner, bass and Jeff Hamilton, drums—is notable in the current traditional jazz scene. They have many years of playing experience and a strong historic sense of the music they have set out to perform. The International Association of Jazz Record Collectors Journal said, “For small-group Chicago-style, it doesn’t get any better than this.

The recent film “Piano Jazz Chicago Style” featuring Ray Skjelbred at the piano and narrating the story of his influences and the development of his playing as a “Chicago Style” pianist, was recently accepted as an official selection of the 2018 New York Jazz Film Festival and was the award winning film as documentary/history.

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.

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

Grand Dominion’s unique interpretation of Uptown New Orleans Jazz style has attracted fans from around the world. The band is an international mix of ex-Brits and Americans from the West Coast of North America which started their reunion type collaboration in 1982, and have been playing festivals, concerts and cruises ever since. They play with a joie de vivre that is positively infectious and fill each set with a distinctive musical repertoire which is satisfying to both listeners and dancers. There is a reason they have such a large, enthusiastic, and loyal following.

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.

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.

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.