Eli and The Hot Six at Primavera December 15, 2016

Phil Person trumpet, Ted Casher clarinet/tenor sax, Herb Gardner trombone, Bob Winter keyboard, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Eli Newberger tuba, Carolyn Newberger washboard, no drums – Bob Tamagni was absent because of recent surgery.

The group members are obviously excellent jazz musicians. They have an obvious camaraderie and love of what they’re doing that is charming and infectious. Eli sprinkled informative and entertaining commentary between songs.

They started with Jimmy Mazzy giving a poignant vocal  of Closer Walk With Thee, Phil Person trumpet taking the intro, Ted Casher joining him on clarinet, then Herb’s trombone backed by Jimmy banjo,  Eli tuba solo with a deep, sonorous tone, maintaining that contemporary classic beat. Jimmy’s banjo took it out.

We were surprised with something this audience never heard here – a tune by Charlie Parker – Hard Times.   Honeysuckle Rose was more familiar, with I Got Rhythm bridge.  The guys were all scatting in sync. Not bad!!

Ted on teno

We were glad to see Ted Casher back!




Ted was featured on tenor sax with Just Me, Just You.  Ted was just released from the hospital few weeks ago! He certainly is dedicated to this music, sounded fantastic!



Jimmy on banjo and singing

Jimmy Mazzy


Change of pace with a Bix Beiderbecke tune, with Jimmy singing I’m Coming Virginia.

Jimmy Mazzy enjoys iconic status as both a banjoist and vocalist on the American jazz scene.  For more than forty years, this consummate musician has delighted followers of traditional jazz with his uniquely lyrical banjo style and his wonderfully haunting vocals.

Bob Winter excited on keyboard

Bob Winter

Bob Winter plays skillful, soft commentary behind the soloists and vocals.  Eli asked him to play the rarest Rag he knows – Bob picked the1947 Sunday.

Since 1980, Bob Winter has been the pianist with the Boston Pops and Pops Esplanade Orchestras, with Keith Lockhart and John Williams, conducting at Symphony Hall and for many tours and recordings. Bob joined the faculty of Berklee College of Music in 1972, where he is still a professor of piano.

Jimmy banjo, Eli standing playing tuba

Jimmy and Eli


Eli dug way back to find Earl Hynes’ Monday. The band jumped right into it.  Jimmy was keeping the beat in the absence of drummer Bob Tamagni, who recently had surgery.  He will return in January.  Jimmy and Eli played a dazzling duet.
Dr. Newberger is classically trained at Juilliard and Yale, he is a virtuoso jazz tuba and keyboard player who has cut more than 40 records with the New Black Eagle Jazz Band, which he co-founded in 1970. Dr. Newberger also won three national readers’ polls for best jazz tuba player! Often with banjo player/singer Jimmy Mazzy, he delights his audiences with musically illustrated lectures on character building.

Dark Eyes – Ochi chyornye,  Ardent fan, Valentina Cass, originally from Crimea, translated the words from Russian:

Black eyes, passionate eyes,
Burning and beautiful eyes!
How I love you, how I fear you,
It seems I met you in an unlucky hour!

Clarinet with moose-horn insert

Clarinet with moose-horn insert


Ted brought a taste of klezmer with fantastic clarinet on a tune relating to Nikolai Romanovich. His clarinet has a moose-horn insert that gives is a unique sound.

One of the busiest jazzmen in New England, clarinetist and saxophonist Ted Casher’s career spans studying and teaching at the Berklee College of Music, clarinet performances with front-rank traditional jazz stars like Louis Armstrong, starring as solo clarinetist in bands that revive the legacies of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. Ted is renowned for his fluent improvisations, exquisite sound, klezmer inflections and boffo sense of humor.


To appease the Mouldy Fygs in the audience Eli added a very fast South Rampart Street Parade, starting at a pretty good clip, with the front line in marvelous polyphony.

Phil with white hair in a short ponytail playing trumpet

Phil Person

Phil Person was featured on fabulous trumpet with Hoagie Carmichael’s New Orleans.

Phil Person is leader of the Phil Person Sextet, Quintet, and Quartet, and teaches all levels of Ear Training at Berklee.  He adds his own unique voice on trumpet to the Hot Six with beautifully simple phrasing, deep understanding of the emotions of the music, and respect for the other players. He’s a true gentleman, who always listens and plays with a light touch.

Ted was asked to play something – he came up with Struttin’ With some Barbecue. He didn’t tell anyone what he was going to play but after a few notes, they all weaved their way in.  HOT Tune!

Herb with a big smile on his face

Herb Gardner sings





Herb Gardner was featured singing and playing rich, burnished tone on trombone with Slow Boat to China.

Trombonist Herb Gardner moved to NY in 1963 and began touring with Wild Bill Davison, Kenny Davern and Dick Wellstood as well as becoming a regular at the Metropole, Jimmy Ryan’s and Eddie Condon’s nightclubs. During the ‘60s and ’70s, he appeared with virtually all of the classic jazz musicians in the New York City area such as Roy Eldridge, Gene Krupa, Henry “Red” Allen, Bobby Hackett, Jimmy Rushing, Doc Cheatham, Max Kaminsky and even Wingy Manone.  We’re pleased he’s back in Massachusetts!

The evening was filled with corny jokes – mandated by the boss.  Eli requested a funny Dixieland tune.  Carolyn Newberger joined them with a delightful performance on washboard for I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate.  Carolyn is Eli’s wife and partner, and an artist in her own right.

The whole band with Carolyn on washboard.

Carolyn Newberger joins the band on washboard.

This is Contemporary Classic Jazz, drawing from some of the best players on the traditional jazz scene. The group’s approach honors the New Orleans tradition of ensemble improvising while featuring the solo brilliance of its distinctive, contemporary musical personalities.

Eli and The Hot Six will be back in 2017 every 3rd Thursday except February.  Bob Tamagni will be back January 19th – even if he has to play with one hand.  He can do anything with drums!  Join us for some great Classic Contemprary Jazz and Swing!