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!

Eli and The Hot Six at Primavera, January 14, 2016

7 pc Trad Jazz Band

Eli and The Hot Six

Phil Person trumpet, Ted Casher clarinet, soprano, and tenor sax, Herb Gardner trombone, Bob Winter keyboard, Jim Mazzy banjo, Eli Newberger tuba, Bob Tamagni drums

Eli Newberger integrated a lively group of Berklee Professors into his Hot Six and put them through their paces playing Dixieland Jazz. (Bob Winter, piano, Phil Person, ear training, and Bob Tamagni, percussion.) Their fiery enthusiasm captivated the audience!

They opened with a stunning Sheik of Araby, Jimmy singing with uncontrolled Mazzy passion. Phil Person followed with on trumpet, then Ted on clarinet, then Herb trombone, the soloists playing for each other as much as the people out front. Bobby Tamagni had only one drum, playing Traditional Jazz by tapping the snare drum or hitting drum sticks together. Eli directed them, then just sat back smiling, listening, enjoying every second.   Jimmy ended it shouting scat choruses.   This was going to be one exciting evening!

Phil taking over on trumpet

Phil Person




None of the musicians knew what they were going to  do – they’ve never played together as a band.  Eli asked Phil if he knew Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me. Phil answered, “I wrote it!”, took the lead and ran with it!



Phil Person performed all through the session 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.

Winter laughing as he plays

Bob Winter does amazing things with Traditional Jazz!

Eli looked for a Trad Jazz War Horse and settled on Royal Garden Blues.  Jimmy and Tamagni trading fours, then Bobby playing a vast range of dynamics on his one snare drum.

Winter playfully demonstrated his energetic musicality with Tamagni tapping a tambourine on his hip. Eli took a masterful tuba solo.  It was never ending with each one taking a solo, sharing their joy in making music.



Henry Red Allen was a New Orleans visionary with a sound all his own.  He recorded a tune that Eli gave to Herb Gardner, playing trombone and singing Who Cares.  Ira Gershwin went over the top with the lyrics: Who cares if the sun cares to fall in the sea? Who cares what banks failed in Yonkers? As long as you’ve got a kiss that conquers!

Herb singing

Herb Gardner featured on Who Cares? with vocal and trombone

Next was Ted Casher featured on gut-wrenching, smoldering tenor sax with Blue and Sentimental.   Pure rapture and euphoria!  We can’t hear it often enough!  We needed a breather after that one.

Eli said “This is a great country  – we’ve got to hold it together” and called for a Patriotic tune, Gershwin’s masterpiece Of Thee I Sing, played solo, by Bob Winter, with great feeling and delight.

Eli upstanding befpre the audience playing fabulous tuba

Eli ……

Back to The Big Easy, a fine New Orleans anthem with Jimmy taking the intro on Basin St. Blues with banjo and song as only he can. Bob Winter played it light and airy.  Eli came up with the tuba hitting high and low, low, low. Jimmy finished it off singing heartfelt blues.


Tamagni with sticks on snare drum

Bob Tamagni rim tapping on drum



The World is Waiting For The Sunrise, an anthem of hope – the banjo player’s national anthem, was introduced by Jimmy rapidly picking banjo, of course, Tamagni taking rim shots on snare drum!





Ted singing, Jimmy playing banjo, Phil and ? listening.

Ted Casher makes up his own vocals on the MTA. Velma Coffey photo.



Ted was featured again with a special vocal all his own, with all of us joining in the chorus, Charlie on The MTA.  Ted had some choice words making up new verses about all the problems we’ve been having with the MBTA.  Bob Winter was laughing and enjoying the whole scene.




Eli asked Sarah (Gardner) Nova to come up for a vocal. (That’s one very musical family!)  She sang a commanding Keep Your Hands Off It.  Sarah has an intuitive grasp of musical dynamics. She has created several CDs that teach children  the joy of music – especially Jazz.

Sarah singing, with full band behind her

Sarah Nova sings Keep Your Hands Off It!


Carrie, Jimmy and Eli

Carrie Sings with Jimmy and Eli backing



Carrie Mazzy was called up next, looking lovingly at Jimmy, singing When I Fall In Love.  They have been married for close to 30 years.  Seems like yesterday!




Carolyn on washboard with spoons

Carolyn Newberger plays washboard to Miami Rumba  (file photo)


Carolyn Newberger put down her scratch pad and picked up an old washboard for one of my favorites, Miami Rumba. Her fervor fascinates the audience!
The whole band joined in, with snare drum in rumba beat.

(Check her sketches below.)






Tough act to follow; Jimmy played and sang a gripping, emotional, Georgia On My Mind.  

Eli completely changed the mood with another barn-burning Dixieland tune, At The Jazz Band Ball, with the band going WILD with ultra-tight all star intensity!  Ted pushed it on hot  soprano sax, drum interacting with tuba. Fantastic!

Everyone needed a break!

Jimmy came up with a breathtaking St. James Infirmary Blues, with lyrics by Josh White.  “I want 6 crapshooters to be my pallbearers, three pretty women to sing a song, Stick a jazz band on my hearse wagon, Raise hell as I stroll along.”  Bobby Tamagni was enjoying himself beating the snare drum with his hands.

It was already closing time.  The band finished with livewire ensemble; outgoing and infectious on a New Orleans tune – wait for it – When The Saints Go Marching In!

Eli and The Hot Six’s videos are now available, from their recent performance celebrating his 75th birthday at Sculler’s Jazz Club: .  That rare traditional  jazz concert was covered by the Boston Globe:

But here is even more….
Carolyn Newberger never stops.  She kept busy as usual with pencil and sketchbook, getting lost in the fabulous Trad and Swing and drawing across both pages!  She shared some of her marvelous artwork with us:

Eli on tuba sketch goes across both pages of the sketch book

Eli Newberger

Jimmy and banjo sketch goes across both pages too

Jimmy Mazzy

Bob playing on snare drum. single page. Nice nustache!

Bob Tamagni

This was indeed a fascinating evening. Berklee professors can actually play Traditional Jazz, and play this happy, foot-stomping music with cheerful enthusiasm!

My apologies for the quality of the photos –
I  borrowed  my  son’s  camera  and  didn’t
know how to use it.  Many thanks to Sarah
for her help in making it useable!!    Marce


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 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!

Eli’s All-Stars at the Sherborn Inn, 4 September 2014

7 pc trad jazz band

Eli’s All-Stars

Phil Person trumpet, Ted Casher clarinet, tenor and soprano sax, Herb Gardner trombone, vocal, Bob Winter piano, Jim Mazzy banjo/vocals, Eli Newberger tuba, Jeff Guthery drums,

Fresh from two sold-out performances with the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the All-Stars were raring to go.  Trumpeter Phil Person completed an exciting front line, subbing for Bo Winiker.

front line, soprano sax, trumpet, trombone, sitting on high stools

Ted Casher, Phil Person, Herb Gardner

They started hot and heavy with Tijuana, a hot Latin tune.  It set the tone for the rest of the evening with these world-class musicians. Herb Gardner’s trombone took the intro on Spencer Williams’ 1926 Basin St. Blues, Jim singing, followed by banjo and tuba.

Ted took center stage with a fiery Lady Be Good on tenor sax. The band followed with a brassy Twelfth St. Rag that resonated off the ceiling!

Ted in front of band blasting on tenor sax.

Ted suggests that the ladies be good.

This Jazz is pure pleasure!  Always creative, Eli presented brand new material.  They tried out differing duets on a Stan Rubin tune, Miss Ida Blue, first clarinet with piano, then banjo and trombone, backed by a soft ensemble.  They tried three different endings until they found the one they liked.

Ted’s Harlem Nocturne on tenor sax was absolutely tantalizing; we never get enough of that wrenching tenor sax!  Also can’t get enough of Jimmy Mazzy’s unique style of singing, Someone to Watch Over Me, S’Wonderful.  He did a mournful, heartbreaking version of Al Jolson’s Swanee; the depth of his loneliness resounding in his voice.  They don’t need any more vocalists!

Bob winter was featured in another piano solo with The Man I Love;  fingers delicately floating over the piano, creating a masterpiece.

Bob Winter, pianist for the Boston Pops

Bob Winter, pianist for the Boston Pops

Herb Gardner returned on trombone and singing Nice Work If You Can Get It. 

Herb up front playing trombone

Herb Gardner

Nice work!  Herb keeps busy leading Stan Rubin’s Band at Swing 46 in Manhattan every Wednesday, backing the American powerhouse vocal trio, Red Molly, or playing piano for the New Black Eagle Jazz Band.

Phil Person was an apt substitute for Bo Winiker.  Phil is an Assistant Professor at Berklee, and has performed with Al Grey, Buddy Defranco, Tony Bennett, Keely Smith, Jack Jones, Scott Hamilton, Dick Johnson, Phil Wilson, Kay Starr, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Margaret Whiting, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (directed by Buddy Morrow), Alan Dawson, Ricky Ford, Howard Johnson, and Ray Santisi, among others.

Phil Person was featured on Wait ‘til You Hear From Me,  playing fluid, sweet trumpet. Remarkable talent!

Phil playing muted trumpet

Bob Winter played a cool piano intro to South, with Ted on pure soprano sax, Jeff tapping temple blocks.

Jeff tapping on temple blocks, Ted on Sop Sax

Jeff keeps Traditional Jazz Beat on graduated temple blocks

Jimmy on banjo, Eli on reverberating turbo-charged tuba.  The two create synergetic magic.

Jimmy banjo, Eli standing on tuba

It was one of the highlights of the evening!

Bob smiling at Jimmy
Jimmy was featured on a tune that nobody else but Eli seemed to know, Tomorrow Night.  

It’s obvious Bob enjoys playing with the All-Stars, and listening to Jimmy and Eli.


Ted Casher sang his signature song with gusto, supported by Phil’s trumpet, I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You.  (He dedicated it to Arthur S. DeMoulas.)  The tempo picked up with outstanding trumpet, piano, tuba – all building up to a WILD conclusion!  What a way to close an afternoon of amazing Jazz here at the Sherborn Inn.

Where was Carolyn Newberger?  Carolyn was sitting at the band table, sketching away as usual – she’ll have some great ones of the band.

One of her watercolors was recently accepted into the 14th Biennial North American Open Show of the New England Watercolor Society. The exhibition will be from October 15 to November 8 at the Plymouth MA Center for the Arts, 11 North St. Reception is October 18 from 2-4pm.

Carolyn's water color picture of a lady sitting sideways, leaning on her  arms

On September 13th Eli’s All-Stars kicked off Highland Jazz’s 32nd Concert Series in Newton, MA.  They’ll be back again at the Sherborn Inn on Thursday, October 2nd.  Don’t miss this one!  November and December Thursdays have been cancelled because of too many Holiday Functions.

See you October 2nd??