Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante August 3, 2017

7 pc trad jazz band

Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band

Stan McDonald soprano sax, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Phil Person trumpet, Jack Soref guitar, Stu Gunn double bass, Richard Malcolm drums

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band was eager to play following a two-month hiatus at Primavera Ristorante.  They played many of our Traditional Jazz Favorites;  Gerry Gagnon, Stan McDonald and Phil Person carried the melody on front  line.  In Trad Jazz, somebody always plays the melody.

trombone, soprano sax, trumpet

Front Line: Gerry Gagnon, Stan McDonald, Phil Person

They were backed by rhythm section: Jack Soref on guitar, Rich Malcolm drums, and Stu Gunn acoustic double bass.  The front line played great ensemble backed by exemplary rhythm on Spreading Joy.

Stan on soprano sax

Stan McDonald, leader




Leader Stan McDonald was featured on Bechet’s Fantasy, and singing All By Myself.





Phil Person




Phil Person adds his own unique voice on trumpet with beautifully simple phrasing.



Rich tapping sticks attached to bass drum

Rich Malcolm



Rich Malcolm maintains that important Trad Beat with unique improvisations.  It’s a joy to watch his antics!






Jack on Django style guitar

Jack Soref



Jack’s D-hole guitar was specially built for him by a friend in Worcester, combining  several designs from various French guitars – sounding very much like Gypsy Jazz.





Stu Gun on acoustic double bass

Stu Gun on acoustic double bass





Stu Gunn also maintains the beat, in sync with the drum.  His solo on Memphis Blues expressed flawless intonation.





Gerry’s instrument is a 1946 Olds Super Trombone with wide tone band and hand engraved details.  He is equally adept on tuba and fills in when Stu can’t make it.

Gerry on trombone

Gerry Gagnon

Hand engraved trombone

Stan took a break after the second set.  The rhythm boys were featured on I Remember When.

drums, gita, bass

The Rhythm Boys: Rich Malcolm, Jack Soref, Stu Gunn

Then the 5-piece band took off with Sweet Sue, Chinatown, My Blue Heaven, Strutting with Some Barbecue, and Gerry singing The Sheikh of Araby.  They closed the evening with Coquette.

5 pc band, no sax

My Blue Heaven


Coquette – video by Ellen McDonald

Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band plays at Primavera on the first Thursday of every month; they will return September 7th.   Join us!

Got Rhythm
Blue Turning Gray Over You
My Gal Sal
Some Sweet Day
Bechet’s Fantasy
Spreading Joy
Lotus Blossom
Memphis Blues
All By Myself
I Remember When
Sweet Sue
Strutting with Some Barbecue
The Sheikh of Araby
My Blue Heaven

Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante May 4, 2017

Stan McDonald soprano sax, Phil Person trumpet, John Kafalas trombone, Gerry Gagnon tuba, Jack Soref guitar, Rich Malcolm drums.

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band played fine Classic Traditional Jazz at Primavera Ristorante on May 4th.  Stan McDonald dug into his massive collection of Traditional Jazz and provided charts for the musicians, bringing us great tunes the band hasn’t played in a long time.

McDonald in front playing soprano sax, Gagnon behind him with huge tuba

Stan McDonald and Gerry Gagnon


Stan McDonald led on soprano sax, Stan plays with the taste and inflection and inspiration of Bechet.  Gerry Gagnon’s  turbo-charged tuba played booming bass lines.  Gerry is the longest continuous band member, 23 years.  Initially he played tuba, later switched to trombone.  A master of both instruments, he plays tuba when bass player Stu Gunn is away and the band has a reunion with John Kafalas on trombone.





Kafalas with trombone extended almost to floor

John Kafalas



John Kafalas’s trombone improvised counterpoint harmony lines to the sax and trumpet.  John remembered the intro to “Farewell to Storeyville” perfectly from when he was a full-time member of the band years ago.  It was good to hear that tune again!  The band was glad when John moved back to New England.




Two Videos of Blue Horizon Jazz Band with John Kafalas by the late George Borgman:
Featured in this video are band leader Stan McDonald, the leader switches between the soprano saxophone and the clarinet, longtime member Walter Miller on trumpet, Hans Brack on bass, John Kafalas on trombone & double-bell euphonium, John Rayworth on banjo, Stu Grover on drums and Phil Hower on the piano. – Recorded at the July Fourth “Jazz Picnic” 1989.

My Creole Belle

You Do Something To Me

Back to 2017………..

Phil Person blowing trumpet

Phil Person




Phil Person’s purity of tone reinforced the melody and lifted the whole band.  He gave us a moving solo on “I Remember When.”





Rich with both sticks on snare drum

Rich Malcolm



Rich Malcolm’s drums maintained the Classic New Orleans Street Beat that is so essential to Traditional Jazz.  He played for the Sox at Fenway the night before!  He was well warmed up for tonight!





Jack looking at chart playing guitar

Jack Soref



Jack Soref played two solos.  First a Django inspired “It Had To Be You.”  Second a spellbinding “Dark Eyes.   Youngest member of the band, he appreciates Stan McDonald’s depth and knowledge about the musicians of the 20’s and 30’s.




A special request altered the second set.  “Marjorie” was celebrating her 89th birthday in the dining room and kept peeking in on the music.  Finally she came into the music room with her daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandsons.  The band played a lively version of “Margie” as a birthday present.  The entire family danced energetically with Marjorie to everybody’s enjoyment

The whole band played a memorable, hard-driving  performance!  There are only a few bands still playing New Orleans Traditional Jazz;  Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band perseveres at Primavera on the first Thursday of every month.  Please join us at 7pm on June 1st  at 20 Pleasant St. Millis MA?

Tunes this evening were:  June Night, Four or Five Times, All of Me, I’ll Never Be The Same, Rosetta, Running Wild, My Gal Rocks Me, Some of  These Days, Blues in the Air, When I Leave the World Behind, Roaming,  Rose of the Rio Grande, I Remember When, After You’ve Gone, Farewell to Storyville, Margie.

Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera January 5, 2017

6 piece Trad Jazz, no piano

Blue Horizon

Stan McDonald soprano sax, Phil Person trumpet, John Kafalas trombone, Jack Soref guitar and banjo, Stu Gunn double string bass, Rich Malcolm drums.

Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band enthusiastically opened the 2017 Thursday Jazz Season raring to play Traditional Jazz after a two month hiatus.

Stan on sop sax, Stu double bass

Stan McDonald, leader
with Stu Gunn behind him



Stan kicked off many of the tunes on sax starting with Roses of Picardy.  Phil Person took the lead with Stan playing counterpoint on many tunes for an evening of fine Traditional Jazz.





Phil on trumpet, white hair with short pony tail

Phil Person



Phil Person adds his own unique voice on trumpet with beautifully simple phrasing, understanding this Trad Jazz that isn’t often heard at Berklee, where he teaches all levels of Ear Training.  Listening is vital to improvising great jazz.




John with long stretch on trombone

John Kafalas

Hot rhythm intro to Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You, Stan and Phil playing riffs on Kafalas’ trombone solo.

John Kafalas has been a member of the band in the past and fills in for the few times Gerry Gagnon is away.
(Check out his 1988 Jimmy Mazzy Podcasts on



When I Leave The World Behind was dedicated to my cousin, Donald Fleuette, who died at two o’clock that afternoon in a Providence Hospice.  Thank you!  It’s been a tough three months.

Blues in the Air started with a guitar intro, great solos by front line, ending with Stan soprano sax cadenza.  They played great ensemble on Memphis Blues.

trombone, soprano sax, trumpet

Front Line, John Kafalas, Stan McDonald, Phil Person

Jack Soref was featured solo on a banjo/guitar with Sunny Side of The Street, backed by fine string bass and drum.  He says the banjo/guitar was Django Rheinhardt’s original instrument.  It’s a banjo with a guitar neck.   Swing That Music was WILD!  He also played Georgia Cabin on banjo.

banjo with guitar neck Soref on guitar


Stu on acoustic double bass

Stu Gunn



Stu ensures they have the proper chords.  He’s always listening,  filling in any holes that might suddenly appear.  He played fine slap bass on Everybody Loves My Baby. 
He is first call on string bass and also plays symphonic classical music in several orchestras.  Knows his stuff!




Malcolm tapping on snare drum


Rich Malcolm uses many subtle tricks keeping the Trad Jazz Beat – you need to watch him carefully to catch them.   On Marchand de Poisson he turned the drum sticks around and played them with the backside giving it more emphasis.  Instead of rim-tapping or using a wood block, he taps on a couple of sticks wired between the drums.

sticks used backwords

Backward sticks

right stick taps sticks placed across two drums

Tapping on sticks instead of rim

Dardanella started with a 4-bar rhythm vamp, Stan playing fine chorus on soprano sax, and ending with a band stinger!

They closed with Louis’s Sleepy Time Down South.

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band will be playing the first Thursday of every month at Primavera Ristorante.  Check out the Primavera Schedule.  Thank you, Ellen McDonald!

Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera September 1, 2016

6-pc Trad Jazz Band, no piano

Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band

Stan McDonald soprano sax, Phil Person trumpet, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Jack Soref guitar, Stu Gunn double bass, Rich Malcolm drums

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band played uplifting and foot-tapping Traditional Jazz Thursday night at Primavera Ristaurant, with Stan and Phil taking turns on the melody or improvising around it, Gerry’s smooth (or growling) trombone, Jack’s marvelous gypsy guitar, Stu’s artful string bass supporting Rich’s one-beat drum-rolls behind the fine solos.

They played many of our favorite tunes:
Set 1
I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me
Georgia On My Mind
Blue Turning Gray Over You
My Gal Sal

Set 2
Some Sweet Day
Bechet’s Fantasy
Spreading Joy
Lotus Blossom
Out of Nowhere
All By Myself in the Morning

Set 3
Dear Old Southland
When I Leave The World Behind
I Remember When
After You’ve Gone
Le Marchand de Poisson

Stan on sop sax

Stan McDonald

Phil on trumpet

Phil Person

Gerry on trombone

Gerry Gagnon

Stu on acoustic string bass

Stu Gunn

Rich on Trad Jazz drum set

Rich Malcolm

Jack on same guitar that Django used

Jack Soref

both leaning back playing their instruments

Stan McDonald and Phil Person

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band will return on the next first Thursday of the month, October 6th.

Thank you Stan and Ellen McDonald for keeping this art form alive!

Blue Horizon Jazz Band June 2nd 2016 Primavera

6 pc band no piano

Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band

Phil Person trumpet, Stan McDonald soprano sax, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Stu Gunn string bass, Jack Soref guitar, Rich Malcolm drums

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band revived the passionate style and exuberant melodies of the New Orleans musicians of the 20’s and 30’s with tightly arranged solos and fine ensemble.  They played many Sidney Bechet compositions, brought to life by leader Stan McDonald on the instrument that Bechet made famous, the soprano saxophone.

They began with I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me,  followed by a guitar intro to Georgia On My Mind, with fine ensemble and solid rhythm.

Phil on muted trumpet with Jack Soref behind him

Phil Person


Phil Person played powerful trumpet on Blue Turning Gray Over You. He and McDonald took turns taking the lead.  Phil is a true gentleman, listens carefully, and plays with a light touch – until the tune calls for a powerful trumpet, then look out!



My Gal Sal showcased the band’s fine ensemble.  Some Sweet Day was a rabble rouser!


with slide fully extended

Gerry Gagnon growling trombone



Bechet’s Blues In The Air brought out Gerry Gagnon’s growling trombone.  Gerry has been with this band for about 17 years.  An essential part of the front line, his trombone also fills in the “holes” in a tune with extensive use of the slide.




Jack on Selmer round hole guitar

Jack Soref plays the same round hole guitar with very high action as Django Reinhardt.





It was great to have Jack Soref back from his Colorado tour with the Future Rhythm Quartet.
Jack was featured on Ochi Chernye (Dark Eyes), a Russian Folk Song.
Our Birthday Girl, Tina Cass, 80 years old today, surprised the band with the lyrics in Russian.




Stan said that Irving Berlin summed up Life with All By Myself, and did the vocal.  He was featured on Bechet’s Petite Fleur, ending it in a flourish!

Stan on soprano sax with string bass and guitar

Stan McDonald featured on Petite Fleur with Stu Gunn and Jack Soref

Stu playing double bass

Stu Gunn also plays classical music in local Symphonies.



Stu Gunn’s very deep, rich, “woody” sounding tone on string bass gives the music support and maintains that solid Traditional Jazz Beat.  He played a superb solo on Dear Old Southland.  His bass is always in sync with Rich Malcolm’s drum.




Rich on drums, bass, snare, top hat, two small cymbals and a bell

Rich Malcolm


Rich is the new drummer with The Blue Horizon Jazz Band, though he has played with the band in the past. He understands this music.

He gave Tijuana a sweet Latin beat.   Steve Straus of the Riverboat Stompers says “You feel the rhythm rather than hear the drum beats by Rich Malcom”.

They played one of Malcom’s favorites, When I Leave The World Behind.




Stan’s soprano sax took the intro to Bechet’s I Remember When (Si Tu Vois Ma Mere).  Beautiful!

There was a slow beginning on After You’ve Gone, then with a 4-bar drum pulse, the band went WILD!  The distinctive front line and strong heartbeat of the bass and drums supported by Jack’s guitar prompted Jeannine, a ‘regular’,  to say “This is the best I’ve ever heard this band play!”

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band plays at Primavera Ristorante on the first Thursday of every month; next one will be July 7th.  Join us!

Blue Horizon Jazz Band opens Primavera’s 2016 Thursday Jazz

5-pc Trad Jazz Band, no drum

Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante, January 7, 2016

Stan McDonald leader/soprano sax, Phil Person trumpet, John Kefalas trombone, Jack Soref guitar, and Gerry Gagnon tuba.

Stan sitting back, relaxed, playing soprano sax

Stan McDonald anxious to play!




Stan McDonald was raring to go after a two-month hiatus from Jazz, and immediately led the band into a dynamic Rosetta.  What Is This Thing Called Love, It Had To Be You.  He sang My Gal Sal with passion.



A vital sparkplug, Gerry Gagnon’s booming tuba keeps the band in time, reinforced by Jack Soref’s guitar.

Wild Man Blues was a hot tune!  Trumpet leading, sax taking the breaks, guitarist Jack Soref in a dazzling gypsy-flavored solo with tuba backup.  Phil Person’s muted trumpet played from the heart, followed by Stan’s formidable sax.  Embellishing the tune was Gerry’s roaring tuba solo.

Gerry with huge tuba

Gerry Gagnon on monster tuba




Gerry Gagnon doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.  With constant motion, he keeps the band in time, and softly backs solos.

They followed with a soft, sublime melody, Roaming, nice soprano sax.



John with soaring trombone

John Kafalas




John Kafalas’ mellow trombone tugs at your heart strings, playing warm melodic lines.





An unusual guitar/tuba intro to Running Wild really energized the audience, followed by an equally captivating Tijuana.  Moving to inspiring ensemble, Stan was pleased with Soref’s guitar on Blues My Naughty Sweety Gives To Me.

Stan turns towards Soref, playing soprano sax

Stan McDonald joins Jack Soref on Sweet Sue

Jack plays the same gently arched Selmer guitar as Django Rheinhardt.

Jack plays the same gently arched Selmer guitar as Django Rheinhardt.


Jack  was featured with a roaring takeoff solo on Sweet Sue backed by tuba.

He will present a Gypsy Jazz Trio for the first time at Primavera on February 25 and March 17.  For anyone who hasn’t heard this yet, it will be an initiation to Django Rheinhardt!

Phil on trumpet

Phil Person, marvelous musician




Phil Person’s trumpet, so beautiful and moving, resonated on Rose Of The Rio Grande, inducing tuba and guitar into a fiery rhythms.




Irving Berlin’s Blues In The Night – a twelve bar blues, announced the approaching end of the evening.  The Band closed with Bechet’s Marchand de Poisson, beginning and ending with a feisty Habanera.

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band will return to Primavera on February 4th with another presentation of early 20’s and 30’s Hot Jazz.  Hope to see you here!

(My apologies for the poor quality of the photos.  
My main Nikon camera has been sent back to the
company for three weeks for repairs. Marce)

Tunes played tonight:
What Is This Thing Called Love
It Had To Be You
My Gal Sal
Wild Man Blues
Running Wild
Blues My Naughty Sweety Gives To Me
My Gal Rocks Me (With one Steady Roll)
Sweet Sue
Rose of The Rio Grande
Black and Blue
When I Leave The World Behind
Blues In The Night
Marchand de Poisson

Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante November 5, 2015

6-pc band with no piano

Stan McDonald’s Blue Horizon Jazz Band

Phil Person trumpet, Stan McDonald soprano sax and clarinet, John Kafalas trombone, Gerry Gagnon tuba, Jack Soref guitar, Steve Taddeo drums

Stan began on soprano sax with I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me, guitar intro to What Is This Thing Called Love; an old chestnut rarely done, It Had To  Be You. 

Stan moved to clarinet for My Gal Sal, taking the vocal.
Tijuana was HOT!

Taddeo on Slingerland drums

Steve Taddeo plays softly too!



Baby, Ain’t I Good To You.. Taddeo was playing like Baby Dodds, varying his drum patterns with accents and flourishes; keeping the beat with the bass drum while playing buzz rolls on the snare.





Phil on trumpet

Phil Person, Berklee College of Music


Rose of Rio Grande, melody was established by Phil’s marvelous trumpet.  We’re fortunate to have him.  He is friendly and easygoing, humorous, a straight ahead trumpeter.

He’s played with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, White Heat Swing Orchestra, Swing Legacy, and Duke Belaire Jazz Orchestra. Phil teaches ear training at Berklee.


trombone and tuba

John Kafalas trombone and Gerry Gagnon Tuba



An upbeat Lover Come Back To Me, with Phil starting on muted trumpet was incredible, with Gerry Gagnon playing that monstrous tuba in double time!

John Kafalas played trombone with feeling and skill making this truly a tour de force.




Jack on guitar like Django's

Jack Soref, Django-style guitarist



Our favorite Gypsy Jazz guitarist, Jack Soref, provided an expert rhythm beat along with drum and tuba.

At breaktime, Jack played Django Rheinhardt’s Nuage, softly backed by tuba, then joined by Stan McDonald on soprano sax.  Beautiful!




Stan on soprano sax

Stan McDonald does Bechet on soprano sax



Leader Stan McDonald’s forte has always been Sidney Bechet.  He played a genuinely heartfelt Si Tu Vois Ma Mere with warm melodic lines.




They wrapped the evening up with a fascinating Dardanella, at one point with the tuba backed only by guitar, and ended it with a joyous romp.

These musicians are a treasure; we hope they’ll all return with The Blue Horizon Jazz Band in 2016.  Many thanks to Ellen McDonald, who has provided us with fantastic jazz every week for the last 20 years!

Blue Horizon Jazz Band with Phil Person at Primavera August 6, 2015

Blue Horizon Jazz Band

Blue Horizon Jazz Band: Dave Didriksen, Stu Gunn, Gerry Gagnon, Phil Person, Jack Soref, Leader Stan McDonald

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band had a perfect mix of musicians this Thursday at Primavera with Phil Person leading on trumpet and Jack Soref on guitar.  Phil brought along his sense of humor, tossing quips as they played, and everyone had fun.   The whole band played a memorable, hard-driving performance!

The combined talents of the front line sharing ideas enlivened the evening.

trombone, trmpet, clarinet, string bass in back

Front Line

Phil Person, white hair, pulled back in long tail, with muted trumpet

Phil Person



Phil Person is leader of the Phil Person Sextet, Quintet, and Quartet, and teaches all levels of Ear Training at Berklee.  In the summertime, he teaches classes of teens.  He kept this evening light with his good humor, adding jokes for the musicians.  They obviously enjoyed playing together, and it reflected on the audience.



They kicked it in with ensemble playing I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me.   What Is This Thing Called Love?

Gerry Gagnon is a ? on that trombone.

Gerry Gagnon is a intense on that trombone.




All by Myself in The Evening – guitar played front line solo, Stan singing, tune has a nice bounce, with Gerry playing killer muted trombone!



Soref with Django style guitar

Jack Soref on domed guitar



Soref’s guitar played rhythm and also became part of the front line.   Jack soloed on It Had To Be You, playing  gypsy flavored ‘jazz manouche’ with swing articulation.

Note the Selmer guitar favored by Django Reinhardt.  The top of the guitar is gently arched or domed—a feature achieved by bending a flat piece of wood rather than by the violin-style carving used in archtop guitars.

Jack brings an added flair to the band.


Found A New Baby – Stan plays the verse on soprano sax,  I Would Do Anything For You, Baby Ain’t I Good To You –  great trumpet, clarinet comping, fine string bass behind them.


Dave with big smile on gold colored Ludwig drums

Dave Didriksen



Rose of the Rio Grande started with energized ensemble with Dave’s great timekeeping skills behind them.   Dave Didriksen plays great Traditional Jazz, playing hi hat softly behind solos, brushes on snare drum.  He lets the soloists shine.  He let loose on one of the tunes showing he can romp with the best of them!



They played My Gal Sal in in marvelous  fluid rhythm. They recalled that on the Jacky Gleason show, Gleason would be found wiping down the bar, singing the end of “My Gal, Sal” in his wonderful howl.

Stu concentrating on bass, hands just a blurr

Stu Gunn



Stu’s magical string bass took the intro to W. C. Handy’s Ole Miss.  Stu plays many styles of string bass, listening carefully, playing just the right cords.

Phil took the lead on trumpet with beautifully placed phrases, with Stan comping on soprano sax. Marvelous!  Stan sang the vocal.  Jack played a dazzling Django guitar solo.



Stan on soprano sax

Stan McDonald


Sidney Bechet’s Le Marchand de Poisson started with a 4-bar rhythm Habanera intro, Dave’s foot heavy on bass drum.   Phil wasn’t familiar with it so Stan took the lead and played a fabulous first chorus on sop sax.  Phil picked it up quickly.   They played a fantastic Habanera ending with horns stinger taking it out.





Stan’s sax took a wild intro into Wild Man Blues, with two bar breaks on solos, Phil playing wa wa trumpet.  Soref’s guitar began a wild finale, China Boy.

6-pc Dixieland band

Fine musicians shared flow of ideas, playing in sync.  It was a fine evening.

These fine musicians  combined talents to play New Orleans old time jazz with new time energy and the fans took part with foot-tapping and head-nodding.  The Jazz was fabulous, and we all had a good time!

NE Trad Jazz May 2015

This has been a busy Spring!  I’ll be 80 years young next month; there’s no way I can keep up  with all the wonderful Jazz we’ve had in this area since the last newsletter April 15th.  But I do try.

Neville looking to the left and smiling

Neville Dickie



Highlight of this month (so far) was the annual visit of Neville Dickie on May 12th at the Bella Costa Restaurant in Framingham, MA.



This year Neville was joined by Stan McDonald soprano sax, Jeff Hughes trumpet, and Steve Taddeo drums.

drum, trumpet, piano, soprano sax

Neville Dickie Quartet,

The Quartet rotated with a duet of Neville and Steve, with the irrepressible Dickie pushing Taddeo to the max!

Steve slam-baning drums while Neville plays piano and laughs

Neville challenges Steve to keep up with him – he did!

They ended the evening as always with four-handed piano when Neville is joined by our own stride master, Ross Petot. They obviously enjoy this duet!

both laughing

Neville pauses as Ross goes into full stride.

Neville Dickie will return next year, for his 15th Annual sojourn to New England.  He always begins here with Stan McDonald, before performing all over the country. Then he’ll  return to Surrey, England.

April 16th Wolverine Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante, 20 Pleasant St. Millis MA

7pc Trad Jazz Band

Wolverine Jazz Band

Dave Didriksen drums, Dan Gabel trombone,Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Jeff Hughes trumpet, Rick MacWilliams tuba, John Clark leader/clarinet/bari sax, Herb Gardner keyboard.
With their intricate New Orleans Polyphony and glorious horn solos, the Wolves are one of the most popular Dixieland Jazz Bands in this area and at Festivals.  They are now celebrating their 20th Anniversary, and played many tunes from their upcoming CD, their 13th,  that should be issued sometime next month.  Don’t miss them!!
Dan Gabel subbed for regular trombonist Tom Boates.  Tom is the Music Department Chair at Guilford CT High School, and accompanied the Guilford High School Chorus at Disney World.  (He’s forgiven for not being here!)

Tuesday, MAY 19, 7-9:30pm, The Wolves will be at the Sheraton/Needham. $10 cover – They will hopefully have their new CD ready to go for that day! They aren’t taking reservations, so just show up anyway! Sheraton Needham, 100 Cabot St, Needham, MA 02494 Phone:(781) 444-1110 .

April 24th High Society Jazz Band at Primavera Ristorante

High Society Jazz Orchestra with Elise Roth

High Society Jazz Orchestra with Elise Roth

Elise Roth

Elise Roth

Dan Gabel: trombone, Elise Roth: vocals
Clarinets/Saxes: Tyler Burchfield, John Clark,
Richard Garcia
Trumpets: Pat Stout and Jeff Hughes
Piano: Ross Petot
Guitar/Banjo: Bill Doyle
Tuba: Rick MacWilliams
Drums: Steve Taddeo
Jazz, Big Band, and swing are American musical art forms that are being perpetuated by a young musician, and we are extremely grateful!!  Dan Gabel  brought his High Society Jazz Orchestra to Primavera Ristorante on April 24th, with Vocalist Elise Roth lending her expert talents on vocal numbers of the era, bringing back rarely heard verses and a classic vintage singing style.  Dan Gabel and John Clark are experts at adapting original arrangements that were created in the early 20’s and 30’s.  They played Ellington’s The Mooche, made famous at the Cotton Club, Irving Berlin’s Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Pat Stout trumpet was heard on St. Louis Shuffle by Fats Waller. Bill Doyle, manager and guitar, was featured on Glad Rag Doll by Milton Ager.  Reeds played a stomping arrangement of Putting on the Ritz; Hughes trumpet was featured on  Stardust that just went right through you!  It was a fantastic evening of Jazz, Big Band, and Swing – and we’re looking forward to hearing much more from this band. Check them out at


April 30th Eli and The Hot Six celebrated International Jazz Day at Primavera Ristorante.  Click on photos to enlarge.

Eli and The Hot Six

Eli and The Hot Six

Bob Winter keyboard, Jim Mazzy banjo/vocals, Eli Newberger tuba, Jeff Guthery drums, Herb Gardner trombone, Bo Winiker trumpet/flugelhorn, Ted Casher clarinet and tenor sax

April 30th was International Jazz Day, spectacularly celebrated by Eli and The Hot Six at Primavera Ristorante.  They began with The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise, featuring tunes form many countries.  Eartha Kitt’s C’est çi Bon,  Irish Black Bottom, (which is really authentic American Jazz), Hindustan, Ted Casher sang Bei Mir Bis Du Schoen in Yiddish, playing authentic Klezmer clarinet.

Bo holds handkerchief, and smiles like Louis

Bo sings Louis’s Wonderful World



Bo put heart and soul into Louis’s Wonderful World.





Jeff Guthery recalled the 20’s and 30’s drumming, tapping on graduated temple blocks befitting that early jazz.   You’ve never heard Oh By Jingo played like Bob Winter, with blazing runs up and down the keyboard!  Thanks to Kathy Wittman, we have a video of it back at the Sherborn Inn.

Eli and The Hot Six will be joined by renowned pianist Butch Thompson at Sculler’s Jazz Club on May 21st for their CD release of Eli & The Hot Six LIVE, Contemporary Classic Jazz.

May 3rd Wolverine Jazz Band started a new monthly series at Ken’s Steak House, Rt. 9 Framingham, MA.  We had Tom Boates back from Disney World!  Please read the fine REVIEW by Myron Idelson!  It was a great success!

7 pc Trad Jazz Band

Wolverine Jazz Band at Ken’s Steak House, on a Sunday afternoon

Tom Boates trombone (he’s back!) Dave Didriksen drums, Jeff Hughes trumpet, Rick MacWilliams tuba, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Ross Petot piano, John Clark clarinet/bari sax.

May 7th Blue Horizon Jazz Band played the first Thursday of the month at Primavera Ristorante

Blue Horizon Jazz Band

Blue Horizon Jazz Band

Steve Taddeo drums, John Kefalas trombone, Gerry Gagnon tuba, Jeff Hughes trumpet, Dave MacMillan guitar, Stan McDonald soprano leader/sax/vocals.
This is fine Traditional Jazz!  Jeff’s trumpet took the melodic lead, with Stan flitting around the melody with  embellishments, and John’s trombone filling in the “holes” with extensive use of the slide.  The solos were filled with exemplary improvisations,  Gerry Gagnon is one of the finest tuba players in this area; he coordinated with Steve on his 1938 Slingerland Drums, tapping on a tiny Grecko cymbal attached to the bass drum, keeping perfect time.  It was great to have Dave MacMillan back on rhythm guitar after a long recovery from an accident.  Welcome back, Dave!!

May 9th Seacoast Stompers Quartet at ACT III in Littleton, MA
ACT IV in Lowell ran into another bureaucratic headache and could not open.
Thank you Gwenn and Josely for your immeasurable patience!!  Seacoast Stompers had to trim down to a Quartet to play in ACT III in Littleton.

Frank Stadler piano, Jeff Hughes trumpet, Jim Mazzy banjo/vocals, Al Bernard tuba.

Cornet, Banjo, Piano, Tuba

Seacoast Stompers Quartet

Jeff Hughes has many faces, Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan, Joe ‘King’ Oliver, Buddy Bolden, with his lyrical style and melody-based improvisations.  He and Jimmy Mazzy are brothers at heart, having played together since the 1980’s, especially with Ray Smith’s Paramount Jazz Band.  Frank Stadler’s piano set them free to exchange riffs, play intricate melodies and counterpoint, and Albie Bernard provided the perfect  bass lines.  It was a memorable afternoon!!
Act III is a small venue, but has a bar and serves a fine assortment of Mediterranean cuisine.   When Act IV in Lowell is finally allowed to open, the full 7-piece band will play on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 2-5pm.  We hope!

In the meantime, we are all extremely grateful to these wonderful musicians for making this a great life for ALL ages!!


Blue Horizon Jazz Band at Primavera, April 2, 2015

7 pc Trad Jazz Band, with guitar

John Kafalas, Steve Taddeo, Mike Peipman, George Gagnon, Jack Soref, Stan McDonald

Stan McDonald kicked off this evening with a low-register clarinet intro to Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland,  introducing the music that embodies a joyful, timeless spirit, with marvelous improvised solos and intricate polyphonic jazz.

Jack Soref took the intro to Sugar on acoustic guitar backed by the rhythm section, followed by Kafalas’s fine trombone solo, with sax and trumpet together playing counterpoint.  Jack is the latest member of the band and we welcome him and his Gypsy Jazz guitar.  He has a unique talent.

Mike’s trumpet took the lead on Ole Miss with embellishments by Stan’s soprano sax, counter point support from trombone, backed by rhythm section.  They are all improvising, yet each  horn leaves space for the others; marks of professional musicians.  Gerry’s tuba took the first solo into Jelly Roll Morton’s Tijuana, with drum/guitar back up, and the band following with fine solos and polyphonic jazz.

Gerry on huge tuba

Gerry Gagnon, tuba and trombone player


Mike’s trumpet and Stan’s sax took the intro to Irving Berlin’s When I Leave the World Behind.  Stan sang it with Gerry Gagnon softly backing him on tuba.

Gerry can be quite relaxed, or highly flamboyant on that monstrous instrument!  He is a fine trombone player, but his tuba is so explicit, it just flows.


We had the pleasure of special guests here tonight, Henry & Jane Fischer from Orleans in Cape Cod.

McDonald standing between Jane and Henry

Henry and Jane Fischer of Cape Cod with Stan McDonald

Jane and Henry feature early jazz and pop music on Dixieland Jazz, etc. every 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday of the month from 9am to noon on,  Their emphasis is on melody and traditional harmonies, whether played by original artists such as Louis Armstrong and Django Reinhardt or The New Black Eagle Jazz Band or Vince Giordano.  They play older popular hits, boogie-woogie, ragtime and swing; music from the heart and soul of New Orleans to the inventive West Coast masters Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond.

They enjoyed meeting and having conversations with the musicians.  Join Henry and Jane on  for a fun filled three hours’ Jazz Brunch on Sunday mornings — you’ll have a hard time sitting still.

 The Blue Horizon continued with Memphis Blues, Steve using wire brushes on top hat and choke cymbal.  Great front line, backed by guitar, with drum and tuba playing closely in sync.

Stan playing soprano sax next toopen case with BHJB flyer on it

Stan McDonald, leader of the Blue Horizon Jazz Band



Stan took first chorus on soprano sax for Rose of The Rio Grand, with tuba playing every 4/4 beat. Extraordinary!




Jack Soref thrilled the crowd with his mastery on Old Fashioned Love, followed by fantastic trumpet and trombone solos with Gagnon’s tuba carrying dialogue/counterpoint, and Steve tapping upside down on bass drum.
Steve started Lotus Blossom with a four bar rhythm intro, followed by intricate ensemble by the band, and Stan taking the vocal.  He closed it with a sultry cadenza on soprano sax.

Kafalas is a fine trombonist

John Kafalas swings on trombone




Lover Come Back to Me emphasized Kefala’s supple fingers on trombone.  He was backed by Taddeo using splash cymbal for emphasis.

Jack on guitar

Gypsy Jazz guitarist Jack Soref plays all genres of Jazz





Jack was featured on I Can’t Give You Anything But Love  displaying his fantastic energy, chromatic ornamentation.   Finally, in a Trio with only drum and tuba, he let loose in a lush arrangement of Django Rhinehart’s Minor Swing. (Jack lived in Paris for half a year and had the honor of jamming with the old masters like Boulou Ferré and Romanian violin maestro Florin Niculescu.)


Mike grimacing as he pushes out notes on trumpet

Mike Peipman, from Australia



Mike Peipman was featured on Dardanella, playing hot trumpet with passionate intensity.  We are so lucky to have him here!  (Thank you, Australia!)  He’s been recruited by many local bands.




Stan McDonald took the first 32 bars with guitar back-up on Bechet’s Si Tu Vois Ma Mere with the band playing mellifluously behind him.

Steve Taddo beaming, on his antique Swingland drum set

Steve Taddeo on his antique 1939 Slingerland drum set



Taddeo’s drum beats kicked off Swing That Music, pushing the band into their free-wheeling jazz, flourishing and intensifying into a hot barn burner!

Steve exuded energy all evening, while not setting the dynamic level too loud.  He was great!

That should have concluded the evening, but there was still time left.



They finished softly with What Is This Thing Called Love, dazzling trombone solo, lyrical and seemingly effortless, like the Teagarden gate, with drum cross sticking.  It was a serene ending to another evening of jazz at Primavera Ristorante.

The Blue Horizon Jazz Band will be here with more energetic, timeless Traditional Jazz on May 7th.  Hope to see you here???  Bring some friends!