Galvanized Jazz Band at Aunt Chilada’s June 19, 2016

Aunt Chilada's

Aunt Chilada’s

Galvanized Jazz Band at Aunt Chilada’s, Hamden, CT, June 19, 2016, celebrating Holman and Fran Rice 70th Wedding Anniversary, 1946 – 2016!

by Jean Hadley
photos by Angelo

The Band: Freddy Vigorito, Russ Whitman, Noel Kaletsky, Bill Sinclair, Joel Schiavone, Bob Bequillard, Art Hovey, Tom Artin, Cythia Fabian

Holman and Fran with daughter Donna and her husband

Rice Family


As the Galvanized Jazz Band arrived, friends, fans and family  gathered.   It appeared we were going to have a packed house and an evening of much celebrating.

Balloons, posters, beads, cards, flowers, gifts, and parasols filled the room.  Cameras were in abundance everywhere. This was going to be a night to remember.


Fran and Holman’s life started as youngsters in Maine, married after WW2, eventually finding their way to Connecticut, raised two boys and two girls.  Their two girls live here in Connecticut and the two boys live in Arizona.

couple with Art Hovey bass behind them

Holman and Fran Rice Singing,



Fran and Holman are proof that through good times and bad, a positive attitude, perseverance, the importance of family and friends and, above all, love and prayers have kept Fran and Holman together for SEVENTY years.





They sang If I Had My Live to Live Over.

I met Fran and Holman when I was first introduced to OKOM, at the Millpond Tavern, here in Connecticut (Galvanized Jazz Band’s Sunday night gig.)  Holman was 65 (on Medicare) and Fran was about to catch up the next year.  Do the math!  Holman will be 90 this year and next year Fran will enjoy her 90th.

Holman continues playing banjo and piano and belongs to the Elm City Banjo Society in his hometown of Wallingford, CT.  Fran accompanies Holman at all his gigs and is his consummate supporter

Fran and Holman dance. Photo by Donna Rice

Fran and Holman dance. Photo by Donna Rice



The room was filling, with family and friends, gathering to celebrate Fran and Holman’s union of 70 years and, listen and dance to music of 1946.   Indeed, Fran and Holman still cut a rug.   Freddy did a splendid job in selecting the music and the band performed top shelf!



Here are some of the songs that brought back memories for so many sitting in the audience.

Old Fashion Love, A Sunday Kind of Love, Blue Skies, If I Had My Life to Live Over (sung by Fran and Holman,)  Beale Street Papa, There are Smiles, When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New (sung by Holman to Fran) and, a very touching moment. There were many more numbers and some beautifully delivered by Cynthia Fabian.

It was time for the band to take a break and bring out the cake.  What a cake!  During this time, friends and family from as far as Arizona, surrounded the happy couple’s table to congratulate them on such a memorable achievement; a very special “moment in time” to remember.

After the well-wishers played tribute to Fran and Holman, the band resumed; playing numbers that brought parasols front and center.  The audience went mad!!  So many wanted to take part in the parasol parade, we ran out of parasols and space.  Even Freddy joined us.

Freddy chose some great songs for the second set.  Cynthia belted out You Gotta See Mama Every Night, Walkin’ After Midnight, Is You Is or Is You Ain’t and, several others; ending with Zippity Do Da just for Fran and Holman.  And, of course, the standard closing number When the Saints Go Marching In….which brought out the parasol parade once again.  The fans went wild and didn’t want the evening to end.   What a wonderful evening….thank you band, Aunt Chilada’s, wait-staff and friends.  It would not have been possible without you.

Remember, it is not how long we live but how well we live our lives.  Fran and Holman are certainly a wonderful example of this.

Jean Hadley







Galvanized Jazz Band At Elim Park  Cheshire, CT   February 9, 2016

7 pc Trad Jazz Band, no banjo, 2 cornets

Galvanized Jazz Band with Skip Hughes singing

by Jean Hadley
photos by Angie

Fred Vigorito cornet, Bill Sinclair piano, Bob Bequillard drums , Art Hovey tuba/bass, Russ Whitman reeds, Skip Hughes trombone/vocals, Jim Fryer trombone and Mark Vigorito cornet.

The Galvanized Jazz Band once again entertained the residents of Elim Park, an Assisted Living facility nestled on a beautiful piece of New England property between Hamden and Wallingford Connecticut.  Nelson Hall is Elim Park’s beautifully architecturally and acoustically designed performing arts center which can hold an audience of 300.

As people entered Nelson Hall, they were greeted by a large and friendly staff of resident volunteers.  For many years,  Elim Park volunteers have been doing a wonderful job.   Thank you!

11 ladies and gents in red vests

Elim Park Volunteers

Once the crowd settled down and the lights were lowered, the band, which had assembled at the rear of the hall, started their parade down the aisle to the stage.  Following in the Second Line were the “Parasol Ladies” led by Jean Hadley…strutting to Bourbon Street Parade.  With beads flying, parasols swinging, this put the audience in the mood for a Mardi Gras celebration.

The audience was pleased to be joined by three very talented guests; Jim Fryer, Skip Hughes and Fred Vigorito’s son Mark (cornet like his dad) and all the way from New Hampshire.

Band with trombone and extra cornet

Galvanized Jazz Band with Mark Vigorito cornet, Jim Fryer trombone, and Skip Hughes vocalist

Songs like BASIN STREET, TIN ROOF BLUES (remember when Kay Starr made it a hit in 1953?) Added to the list was WHEN I LEAVE THIS WORLD BEHIND and, an audience participation number led by Jim Fryer…WHY DON’T YOU GO DOWN TO NEW ORLEANS?  Skip Hughes beautifully delivered two spiritual numbers….JUST A CLOSER WALK and AMAZING GRACE.  And, of course, many more familiar numbers.

Jim on muted trombone

Jim Fryer

Skip sitting and singing, string bass behind him

Skip Hughes

Bill Sinclair on piano

Bill Sinclair on piano

Father and son on cornet

Fred and Mark Vigorito

Although the audience wanted the music to continue, it was the bewitching hour, time to bring a delightful evening to a close with the “Saints” and a parasol parade.

Thanks to Fred, Bill, Bob, Art, Russ, Skip, Jim and Mark for an evening of fabulous Traditional Jazz.  They entertained and inspired the residents and friends of Elim Park!

By Jean Hadley
Photos by Angie

Joel Shiavone’s “Music for the Divorced”

By Jean Hadley
Photos  by Sue Finn

Galvanized Jazz Band  Fred Vigorito – Leader, Cornet, Russ Whitman – Reeds, Herb Gardner – Trombone, Bill Sinclair – Piano, Art Hovey – Bass, Tuba, Bob Bequillard – Drums, Cynthia Fabian – Vocals.

Special Guests    Gim Burton banjo, Pat Keogh guitar/vocals, Andy Rubenoff piano/vocals, Herb Gardner trombone

With an almost packed house, Joel’s fans waited anxiously (not knowing what to expect) for his “divorce” list of songs.  Joel, being the showman he is, one never knows what will happen.

Joel selected musicians, from here in Connecticut and Massachusetts, who delivered their artistry in elegant tuxedos.  Nice job!

The evening began with Joel front and center with….”I’ll be glad when you’ve gone.” Followed by Cynthia Fabian singing…..”You gotta see mama every night.”

Joel and Galvanized JB

The following songs were also perfect for the “Divorce CD” that CineDevine was recording.  Very apropos was Berlin’s …” All Alone”…. “Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone”.

“These foolish things”…. “I had someone else” …  and the list went on….  These songs can be either painful or amusing depending on who is listening.   However, the intention was to entertain and so it did!

Cynthia 2



Cynthia is always wonderful with her fine voice and deliverance.  She and Joel performed several duets which they did very nicely and to the delight of the audience.




Man in cowboy hat on guitar

Pat Keogh




Pat Keogh (guitar) graced the stage with a rendition of “Bay Blues” and “Bye, Bye Love”. Pat is nothing short of a guitar virtuoso.  Pat hails from Wallingford, CT.




Andy Rubenoff and Bill Sinclair took turns at the piano.  This made for an interesting evening as each  has his own unique style.

both sitting at keyboard

Andy Rubenoff and Bill Sinclair

Gim Burton and Joel (dueling banjos) did a fine job of  “Bye, Bye Blues.”  Gim is one of Joel’s “Your Father’s Mustache” entourage.  Abe Rubenoff was on piano.

two banjos

Gim Burton and Joel Schiavone, Andy Rubenoff on piano

Anyone, who knows Joel Shiavone, knows they are in for a great evening of entertainment.   This evening was one of those.  Unfortunately, all things must end and so it did.

Many thanks to Maureen Cunningham for all her many years of helping Joel and supporting OKOM.

Kudos to Sue Finn for her pictures.  Good job!

Bob on drums

Bob Bequillard

clarinet and black tuba

Russ Whitman and Art Hovey

drum and string bass

Dynamic Duo, Bob Bequillard and Art Hovey

banjo and guitar

Joel and Pat Keogh

Joel at mic with Rubenoff on piano

The Boss

trombone and cornet

Herb Gardner and Freddy Vigorito

Galvanized Jazz Band at Miller Library Cultural Complex, Hamden CT

Sunday, January 25, 2015                                                                  by Jean M. Hadley
File Photos

trombone, cornet, c;aromet, piano showing

Galvanized Jazz Band at Hot Steamed Jazz Festival

The Galvanized Jazz Band is an energetic, spirited hot Dixieland jazz band in the style of New Orleans jazz.   Connecticut Magazine proclaims this band “The Best Jazz Band in the State.”

In 1971 and for 25 years, the GJB had a steady Sunday night gig at the Millpond Tavern in Northford, CT.  Today,  although Millpond Tavern has been sold and no longer a restaurant, the GJB is still finding venues and is alive and well after 44 years; thank you Freddy, band members and loyal fans.

Sunday was a wonderful example, tribute and dedication to the music they play and love was quite evident to the “standing room only” crowd.



As the audience waited with great anticipation, the band appeared on stage with Jean Hadley and entourage, parading with their colorful parasols to the music of BOURBON STREET PARADE.   This always  brings out  the fans enthusiasm and excitement.



Cynthia Fabian opened with BASIN STREET BLUES, followed by SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE.  The parasol ladies joined in, did their strut and, once again the enthusiasm prevailed.

Craig Grant (guest/ trombone)  announced he is celebrating his 50th Wedding Anniversary.  Congratulations!  This said, Craig went on to play his “show stopper” LASSUS TROMBONE.  His delivery of this number is always perfection.  Here he is with the band at Hot Steamed Jazz Festival 2012.

Joel laughing




In between great selections, Freddy and Joel added a bit of fun by recalling old time radio commercials and, of course, only Joel Schiavone remembers all the words.


Following “Joel’s act,” Freddy reminisced by taking the audience back to many of the old radio shows…The Lone Ranger, Fibber McGee & Molly, Burns & Allen and the list went on.  Freddy presented the audience with a contest to name some tunes and their relationship to several old TV sitcoms….of course….the winners were awarded a recording.

Cynthia smiling and singing

Cynthia Fabian at Hot Steamed Jazz Fest



Cynthia Fabian brilliantly entertained us with several selections and in particular Etta Jones AT LAST, Patsy Cline’s CRAZY and STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING.


Nearing the end of the afternoon, the band played TIGER RAG.  The number was played with such vigor, I thought the band needed oxygen!

Shortly, it was time to bring a wonderful hour and half to a close.  The band played their traditional “Saints” while the parasol ladies entertained a very appreciative audience.  Joel came in with Roy Roger’s theme song HAPPY TRAILS.  Remember Roy and Dale?


Bob Bequillard at Hot Steamed



Congratulations! Bob Bequillard
celebrating 60 years playing drums
…..44 years with the GJB.






Their passion for this Jazz is obvious.  The audience enjoyed listening to this hot, spirited, Dixieland Jazz Band.  You can catch them on the 3rd Sunday of every month at Aunt Chilada’s, 3931 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, Connecticut, 6:30-9:30pm.



Galvanized Jazz Band at the 2012 Jazz & Blues Extravaganza

Skyler Hagner alto sax, with the Galvanized Jazz Band

The Galvanized Jazz Band was one of the first Jazz Bands to bring New Orleans Traditional and Dixieland Jazz into the New England area.

Fred Vigorito cornet, Russ Whitman clarinet alto sax, Bill Sinclair piano, Bob Bequillard drums, Art Hovey tuba/string bass, Craig Grant trombone, Cynthia Fabian vocals.

They immediately set sparks flying with a feisty Oh Baby.  Louis’s Hot 5 – 1920’s set the stage for all that came afterLouis’s Sunset Café Stomp.

3 versions of Freddy with three different mutes

Fred Vigorito drives the band with his hot, dynamic cornet. His major influences were Louis Armstrong, Kid Thomas, Kid Howard, Wild Bill Davison, Bobby Hackett, Muggsy Spanier, Ruby Braff. No wonder.

Russ Whitman on alto sax

With a variety of instruments, versatile Russ Whitman is one of the most sought after reed men in the business.  He’s played with Jimmy Dapogny’s fabulous Chicago Jazz Band.

Louis Prima wrote their next tune in1946, Sunday Kind of Love


Craig Grant began playing Dixieland while attending Harvard University, first at Boston’s Red Garter with banjoist Joel Schiavone, then at several of Joel’s ‘Your Father’s Mustache’ clubs in Mass, NJ and NY.

Craig Grant on trombone

Bill Sinclair has an incredible feel for New Orleans jazz and plays from the heart.  He drives the rhythm section.

Bill on piano

The rhythm boys drive the band…

Bob on drums

Bob Bequillard

Art on string bass

Art Hovey

This was Bob Bequillard’s 80th birthday!! Bob still pushes the band with a sturdy, dependable beat.

Art Hovey also has a solid beat, whether on tuba or string bass.  Art has been playing tuba since he was a teenager. He became a high school physics teacher, but his love has always been Traditional Jazz.  He spends a great deal of time impressing young musicians with his enthusiasm for the music.  Some of his protégées  are already playing professionally – see young Skyler Hagner playing saxophone with the band above, and with Jordan & Friends.

Cynthia Fabian sang her own version of a traditional African American spiritual, most famously recorded by Sister Rosetta Tharpe in late 1944, Strange Things Are Happening Every Day.  It was really something  romantic to dance to.

Cynthia, eyes closed, belting out a tune

Cynthia is an amazing vocalist from the Blue Lights Jug Band, and has been singing off and on with the Galvanized J.B. for many years, giving new life to old melodies.

You Gotta See Your Mama Every Night or You Can’t See Your Mama At All, A Good Man is Hard to Find

She put heart and soul into Crazy, a tune Willie Nelson wrote in 1961, and made famous by Patsy Cline.

Driven by Freddy’s vigorous cornet, the band continued with a barn-burning Wrought Iron Rag, and closed with a sizzling Fidgety Feet.

The Galvanized Jazz Band plays stimulating, revitalizing jazz.  They played at the Millpond Taverne in Northford Connecticut for 25 years.  Now well into their 41st year, the band plays at various venues around Connecticut, and on the 3rd Sunday of the month at Aunt Chilada’s in Hampden, CT.

Jazz & Blues Extravaganza, 2012 at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Meriden CT

the hotel

In spite of off-and-on pouring rain, the Jazz & Blues Extravaganza was a great success.  The Blues Bands performed in the hotel’s main ballroom:

Bluzberry Pi

Basically Blues

Eran Troy Danner Band

Peter Scheips Band

Cobalt Rhythm King

The Traditional/Dixieland Jazz was in a tent set up out front of the Four Points Hotel. It didn’t take long, the tent was filled to capacity.  We had four great bands that played two sets each:

Heartbeat Jazz Band

Galvanized Jazz Band

Midiri Brothers Quintet

Jordan & Friends

Joel Sylvestro was back swing-dancing with the ladies.

Joel swinging a woman in red dress

The tent was packed, and dancers glided across the dance floor.

Full chairs in tent and busy dance floor

This powerful music brings us all together, it’s infectious. We listen in anticipation to the musicians making it up as they go along. What are they going to do next?? Their many voices play different musical lines at the same time, but it all comes together. It’s spontaneous and ad libbed – their instruments expressing their feelings. How can do they do that?? Sometimes a soloist will go too far….
“He’s way out there – how is he going to get back?”

He hears a chord from the piano, responds, and the band is back in unison, playing happy, foot-tapping music. It’s always different, never gets boring.

We listeners are included, we give them feedback, and the musicians react in kind. It’s a symbiotic relationship. This was a great day where everyone put aside their trials and tribulations, cleared their heads, and just relaxed and enjoyed fine Dixieland Jazz.
This Jazz & Blues Extravaganza ended up in the black! On to next year!

Were you spotted at The Jazz and Blues Extravaganza?

See the July 28 article by Dan Brechlin in the Record Journal, Meriden CT:

Hot Steamed Jazz Festival 2012 Galvanized Jazz Band

The Galvanized Jazz Band– 4 sets – 10 musicians – The always dependable stall-ward foundational trad jazz band in CT, graced by vocalist Jane Campedelli performed admirably as ever. Always a wonderful performance! Friday night Lou Green led the group with Fred Vigorito regaining the helm on Sunday.                                                                                       Lauren Humpage

*                     *                    *

Connecticut’s Galvanized Jazz Band with Jane Campedelli vocals and Craig Grant trombone was lead by  Lew Green on Friday, June 22nd, with regulars Russ Whitman reeds, Bill Sinclair piano, Art Hovey tuba, and Bob Bequillard drums.   Fred Vigorito returned on the 24th with Jane, Craig, and Joel Schiavone.

June 24th with Fred & Joel: Galvanized Jazz Band:

Lassus Trombone:


Nobody Knows you When You’re down and out:

Limehouse Blues:

Basin Street Blues with Jane Campedelli:

Sunday, Jane Campedelli

On the 23rd, with Lew Green, they opened with Lil Armstrong’s My Heart, a tune she recorded with Louis in Chicago. Jane Campedelli joined them beginning with a soft sweet verse of You’ve Got to See Mama Every Night, or You Can’t See Your Mama At All.

Sammy Kahn’s Until The Real Thing Comes Along, Russ on beautiful alto sax.

Lou’s cornet was featured on South,with Russ on curved B♭sopranino saxophone, one of the least common of the saxophones in regular use today.

We had just learned of the sad passing of Joe Muranyi.  In his memory, they played Blues for Joe, Bequillard beginning with soft brushes on the snare drum.  Lou Green has been playing off and on with Joe since 1971.  Muranyi has been around a long time, he played with Louis Armstrong.  When asked how to pronounce his name, Louis said “Think of Ma Rainey.”

Janie returned for an upbeat, risqué 1920’s tune, I Double Dare You,with Green on clean crisp cornet, sounding almost like a trumpet.  Lou lead the Original Salty Dogs from Purdue University. (The band is  now in its 64th year.)

Cutting to a slower pace, a sing-along from the Big Band Era, Les Brown’s Band of Renown, Sentimental Journey.

Piano vamp intro to Yellow Dog Blues,  fabulous trombone by Craig Grant. He plays with such passion, the instrument almost becomes an extension of his body.  And the New England audience actually responded to the Yellow Dog, jumping up and yelling in the breaks!  (We’re learning.)

Craig is a fantastic trombone player, one of the best in New England, but is generally unknown outside of Connecticut.   Your loss, our gain!!

Bill Sinclair piano keeps the band in line.

Bill has been playing New Orleans Jazz for over 40 years, he even played with W. C. Handy when he was 16, picking up an incredible feel for New Orleans Jazz.

The dynamic duo, the basic foundation of the Galvanized Jazz Band, maintain its steady, solid beat – Bob Bequillard drums, and Art Hovey, tuba and string bass.

Bob has been playing Dixieland for over 40 years and is known and respected for holding a strong, steady beat.

Art may be a physicist, but he lives and breathes music, and is determined to ensure the survival of Traditional/Dixieland Jazz with his  very successful Sugarfoot Youth Jazz Band

They concluded this set with Janie’s Hot Mama version of Cake Walking Babies.

The Galvanized Jazz Band plays all over Connecticut, and at Aunt Chilada’s, 3931 Whitney Ave, Hamden, always on the 3rd Sunday of every month, with Tom Artin-trombone, Cynthia Fabian-vocals, Bill Sinclair-piano, Noel Kaletsky and Russ Whitman-reeds, Art Hovey-bass, Fred Vigorito-cornet, Tom Palinko-drums, Joel Schiavone-banjo, a 9 piece band! Don’t miss the hot Jazz, great food, and dancing too! No cover, no minimum! Call 203-230-4640 for reservations.

Hot Steamed Jazz Fest 2012
Jeff Barnhart – Connecticut
Galvanized Jazz Band – Connecticut
Riverboat Ramblers – Connecticut
Festival All Stars – All over
Heartbeat Dixieland Jazz Band – Connecticut (mostly)
The Midiri Brothers – New Jersey
Swing Times Five led by Jeff Hughes – Massachusetts
Ben Mauger’s Vintage Jazz Band – Pennsylvania
Wolverine Jazz Band – Massachusetts
Sugarfoot  Youth Band – Connecticut
Saturday Night Big Jam
Gospel Service with Jon Seiger
Funky Butt Jazz Band
Dan Levinson’s Millenium All Stars – New York
Bob Seeley – Michigan