Eli and the Hot Six at Primavera Ristorante June 15, 2017

6 pc swing band, no banjo

Eli and The Hot Six

Bo Winiker trumpet, Ted Casher alto and tenor sax/clarinet, Herb Gardner trombone, Eli Newberger tuba/leader, Bob Tamagni drum, Elaine Wu and Watson Reid and guest Sarah (Gardner) Nova vocals

Skill and stamina – the musicians arrived early and practiced for two hours, then played for us from 7-9:30pm – preparing for their two-day Jazz presentation of The Genius of Cole Porter and Duke Ellington Swings!  at Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA July 23 and 24. Tonight we had all Duke Ellington!!  Who doesn’t LOVE Duke Ellington?

There were great solos from all the deeply skilled musicians, tasty notes, long and coherent phrases that reflected the story of the genre, the songs, and their individual contributions.

clarinet, trumpet, trombone

Front Line – Ted Casher, Bo Winiker, Herb Gardner

Elaine singing Watson with a big smile

Elaine Wu and Watson Reid are now retired physicians, very relaxed and delighted to be singing full time.

They played some well-known Ellington tunes, starting with In a Mellow Tone, Mood Indigo, Sophisticated Lady; and some not-so-well-known, Elaine singing Never Trust Your Heart.

pert young singer



Guest Sarah Nova sang Shuffle Boogie and her own composition of Keep Your Hands Off It.




Don’t Get Around Much Anymore was WILD with Eli on tuba solo and Bo on flugelhorn.


Ted on alto sax



We always enjoy Ted Casher’s tenor sax, but this was the first time we’ve heard him on alto.  He said “it plays in the wrong keys”.





Bob drumming with eyes closed, making a determined face



Drummer Bob Tamagni took a solo In Flat Foot Floogie where we could hear the melody elaborated rhythmically, which makes it ever so engaging.  Great vocal by Watson Reid.




Winter at keyboard

Bob Winter



Limehouse Blues was played at a good clip.  Bob Winter played the melody rested in great chords, some expected, some not.






Herb played a  solo like a young man with vim and vigor!  Yet again the drummer played the melody, getting such a range of sounds on just a snare, bass and hi-hat.  Eli sent those ripping riffs to the stars as he always has and we know he will continue to do so with such gusto.

I’m Beginning to See The Light, Take the A Train, Write Myself a Letter, Day Dream. Watson did his special version of Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home.

Three birthdays were celebrated:  pianist Bob Winter, Marce, and Sarah Abramson.  We all shared a delicious birthday cake brought in by Jeannine James.  This was Sarah’s first time here – she loves tuba; Eli gave her a Happy Birthday solo right at her table.  She was enthralled!

at Mrs. Abramson's table

Eli plays Happy Birthday

Marce wants especially to thank two very special ladies who took time out from their busy schedule to be here for this occasion, Music Therapist Kathleen Howland and vocalist Sarah (Gardner) Nova.

….and Marce’s family, with three grandsons:

all standing for picture

Jason Towne, Marce, DJ Sardonini (from Florida) and his friend Sarah, Brian Towne.

It was a memorable evening for all of us!

Folks in Pittsfield MA are in for a treat when Eli & The Hot Six present The Genius of Cole Porter July 23rd and Duke Ellington Swings!  July 24th 8pm at Barrington Stage Company, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201    info@barringtonstageco.org  Box Office: (413) 236-8888.

Marce and Kathleen

Dan Levinson and The Swing Senders at Bemis Hall, June 17, 2017

Dan Levinson and The Swing Senders at Bemis Hall
Dan Levinson, Tom Ferrante, John Clark reeds; Jeff Hughes trumpet, Paul Monat cornet, Gerry Gagnon trombone, Ross Petot piano, Bill Doyle guitar, Justin Meyer bass, Steve Taddeo drums, and…

Caroline holding mic and smiling

Caroline Griep



Caroline Griep vocals.





Dan Levinson returned to Bemis Hall with the Swing Senders for a fine afternoon of great music, produced by Steve Taddeo.  We’ll let Harold McAleer’s videos show how great it was……

Caroline sings Out of Nowhere

At one point, we had the Taddeo Trio with Dan, Ross and Steve:

China Boy


Fine and Dandy Taddio Trio

And a surprise Happy Birthday to Me – with three saxophones!

Finale – Crazy Rhythm, Taddeo drum solo:

The musicians still played their heart out despite the small crowd.   Besides Fathers’ Day, there was a lot happening this week.

Mark your calendars – Steve will be bringing more fine musicians to Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Rd. Lincoln, MA.  Please join us in supporting this fine Jazz and Swing!

August 13, Sun. 2-4pm The Big Four
with The Midiri Brothers with Jeff Barnhart piano/vocals, Steve Taddeo drums and Caroline Griep. FREE

October 11, Wed. 7:30-9pm Sarah Spencer and her Transatlantic All Stars, Sarah Spencer saxophone, Jeff Hughes cornet, John Clark reeds, Herb Gardner piano, Justin Meyer bass, Jimmy Mazzy banjo, Bill Doyle guitar, Gerry Gagnon trombone and Steve Taddeo drums  FREE


Seacoast Stompers at Bemis Hall May 13, 2017

7 pc band with videographer Harold McAleer sitting in the middle of the aisle, taping

Seacoast Stompers with Dave Whitney

video by Harold McAleer

Dave Whitney trumpet, Craig Ball reeds, Lee Prager trombone, Jim Mazzy banjo/vocals, Frank Stadler leader/piano, Al Bernard sousaphone, Bob Reardon drums, Maureen Benson vocals

The Seacoast Stompers had a rip-roaring afternoon with a Full House at Bemis Hall in Lincoln, MA.  For six years, they played monthly at the Acton Jazz Café, with a repertoire of tunes from the 20’s and 30’s.  Arrangements were spontaneous and ad lib with a variety of styles and tempos from smooth swing to groovy blues and hot driving Dixie.

Whitney on trumpet

Dave Whitney


Frank Stadler is leader of the band, but graciously let Dave Whitney rule the roost with his rousing trumpet. Dave is well known for his amazing Louis-type trumpet.


They began with a joyous romp on the Seacoast Stomper’s theme song, At The Jazz Band Ball,

Dave Whitney has some favorite tunes.  Maureen Benson joined him on Back o’ Town Blues.

Maureen Benson was comfortable with the band, personalizing some of the lyrics, picking on Craig. She gave us As Long As I Live, I Don’t Know Enough About You, It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.

Jimmy singing

Jimmy Mazzy


Jimmy Mazzy was featured on Porter’s Love Song to a Chamber Maid; took the vocal on Clarence William’s Cake Walking Babies, scatted on How Can You Do That Thing To Me, Old Fashioned Love – he has a treasure trove of tunes.




Al on Sousaphone

Al Bernard on sousaphone




Al Bernard is a master of the tuba, listening to the soloists and backing them with many different chord phrasings wrapped in that monstrous sousaphone, as if it were easy!




Frank on piano

Frank Stadler, Band Leader




The Seacoast Stompers played many favorites, Royal Garden Blues, Canal St. Blues, San. 




Lee on trombone

Lee Prager



Lee Prager’s deep, burnished, trombone was reminiscent of Tommy Dorsey.




Craig next to piano playing clarinet

Craig Ball




Craig Ball was featured on The World is Waiting  For The Sunshine.





Bob playing on snare drum

Bob Reardon



Bob Reardon plays drums with marvelous precision,  He keeps the band in time by tapping on the snare drum and ride cymbal, only letting loose on a couple of tunes.  He picked the closing tune – always requesting the same one – Limehouse Blues.




The Seacoast Stompers keep the music fresh with their amazing creativity!
Check them out!

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.

Eli and The Hot Six at Primavera Ristorante, March 16, 2017

7 piece contemporary classic jazz band

Eli and The Hot Six: Bo Winiker trumpet/flugelhorn, Ted Casher clarinet/tenor sax, Herb Gardner trombone, Bob Winter keys, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Eli Newberger leader/tuba, Bob Tamagni drums, Elaine Wu and Watson Reid vocals.

(by Marce. Click on pictures to see enlargements.)

The Hot Six play contemporary, classic jazz, joining the present with the glorious past. They kicked it off with sparkling spontaneity on At The Jazz Band Ball, a tune by Nick LaRocca, cornetist with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.  (They were the first to record a commercial jazz recording 100 years ago.)

Tiny Elaine looking up at Watson, both singing their hearts out

Elaine Wu and Watson Reid



Vocalists Watson Reid and Elaine Wu (two doctors, no waiting)  came up complaining about the weather with Baby, It’s Cold Outside.  



We never get enough of the heartfelt Jimmy Mazzy vocals and unique one-string banjo,  tonight singing You’re Nobody Sweetheart Now and There’ll Be Some Changes Made.

Jimmy with Eli and Tamagni

The Amazing Jimmy Mazzy – one of a kind – and we have him here!

Elaine singing, left hand up in the air, Ted on tenor sax

Elaine Wu with Ted Casher


Elaine sang Lullaby of Birdland with Ted backing her on tenor sax.  She also graced us with  I’ve Got You Under My Skin, and I’ve Got The World on a String – and she does.  She’ll be retiring from Medicine soon and singing full time!




Bob completely absorbed in playing keyboard

Bob Winter




Bob winter gets absorbed in Irving Berlin’s How Deep is the Ocean. He creates soaring melodies with much musical sophistication.




drummer has stick crossed above the snare drum, making a weird face




Ultra-tight all-star assembly on The Sheik of Araby, propelled by Bob Tamagni’s drumming.


Eli on antique engraved tuba

Eli Newberger




They continued with one of our favorites, Limehouse Blues.

Bob began it with an incredible piano intro, then a Herb & Bo duet moved it to double time, Bob Winter was amazing, backing them using only his left hand.

Eli added fine tuba solo.

Waitress holds cake while she blows out candles

Jeannine is surprised with a birthday cake.





Overtime, the Fans here have become one big Family.  Tonight there was a birthday cake for ‘regular’ Jeannine James.  It was a complete surprise.




Bo holding handkerchief and smiling like Louis Armstrong

Bo Winiker plays Louis. Sings in his own voice, not imitating Louis.



We welcomed Bo Winiker back with his powerful trumpet.  He grew up in Millis and many of his friends were here to welcome him back.  He dedicated Louis’s Wonderful World to the Harkey family.




Herb playing trombone with Ted on clarinet

Herb Gardner, back from playing hot spots in NY.



Herb was featured singing and playing You’re Driving Me Crazy,  nobody plays trombone like Herb Gardner!




A smiing Carolyn with Eli and Tamagni in back

Caroline’s flying spoons on washboard.



Carolyn Newberger joined the band with a rousing  Washboard Roundolay.





smiling and singing into mic

Watson Reid



Watson Reid surprised is with the complete verses of Bill Baily.  There were so many, we didn’t even recognize the song until the band started the chorus.

With ensemble backing him he also entertained us with Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.




When this infectious music gets to your feet, you can’t sit still!  Six of us just had to get up and dance!

6 women dancing in a circle

We just couldn’t sit still!!  This was so much fun!                              Photo by Harkey.

eyes closed, concentrating on playing

Ted on gut-wrenching tenor sax




Ted Casher played Blue and Sentimental with marvelous subtones on gut-wrenching tenor sax   Thank you, Ted!




Bo took over with an Ellington tune,  Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me, with smokey flugelhorn.   Bob Winter was asked to play something.   He surprised us with Angry, creating chordal subtleties and melodies. The Hot Six closed this delightful evening with Ida, published in 1903.

There is nothing like this anywhere else; we had such fun! This music is so uplifting; weeks later we were still glowing.  They will be back here April 20th.  Join us!

Dan Gabel’s Centennial Jass Band, March 30, 2017  Primavera Ristorante

6 musicians standing in black tux and bow ties

Dan Gabel’s Centennial Jass Band

Dan ‘Daddy’ Gabel – 1912 King Trombone, Cow Moos
Jeff ‘LaRocca’ Hughes – 1910 Conn Cornet, Horse Whinny
John ‘Shields’ Clark – Clarinet and Rooster Coos
Ian ‘Rags’ Frenkel – Piano and fashion consultant
Bill ‘Sbarbaro’ Reynolds – 1915 Snare drum, traps (no hi-hat), barn sound effects
Rick ‘Robinson’ MacWilliams – Tuba and President

Many Traditional and Dixieland Jazz Bands across the world this month are celebrating the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recording the first commercially issued jazz 100 years ago!  We had our own version Thursday Night at Primavera Ristorante in Millis, MA with Dan Gabel’s Tribute to the  #OriginalDixielandJassBand.

Jeff Hughes, John Clark and Dan Gabel have played together in many bands, but tonight they morphed into cornetist  Nick LaRocca, clarinetist Larry Shields and trombonist Eddie Edwards.

6 musicians all sitting and playing, no banjo

Front Line: John Clark, Jeff Hughes, Dan Gable

They played all ODJB tunes, starting, of course, with the Original Dixieland One Step.  I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

It continued with Livery Stable Blues, that became the first jazz single ever issued.  It has the barnyard animal sounds that Gunther Schuller called “Barnyard Hocum.”

seated, playing clarinet

John Clark


John Clark was dynamite on Clarinet Marmalade.  John is leader of the popular Wolverine Jazz Band, and arranging and composing tunes of his own.

Larry Shields  co-wrote the ODJB classics Clarinet Marmalade with Henry Ragas, which became one of the landmark compositions of early jazz and was a very popular jazz standard in the 1920s. He also co-wrote At the Jazz Band Ball, Ostrich Walk, and Fidgety Feet.



Dan’s Centennial Jass Band made Ostrich Walk into a polyphonic thriller!
Singing The Blues is usually associated with Bix Beiderbecke, but the ODJB were the first to play it.  They went to London in the 1919, where they played I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.

This was the first time the musicians had ever played these arrangements together; the intensity grew as they absorbed the techniques.

Fidgety Feet was a Hot One!

Till My Daddy Comes Home, front line trading fours.

Alice Blue Gown started out as a waltz, but not for long – second chorus turned into hot toe-tapping Dixieland.

Rick sitting playing tuba, eyes looking up at ceiling

Rick MacWilliams


Downtown Strutters Ball has been played by just about every band, but they played faster than usual.  Nice tuba by Rick MacWilliams.

(The ODJB didn’t have a tuba so Rick was given the title of  “President” of the band.)




Bill with just bass drum, 1915 snare, and one smaller drum and 3 cymbals. No hi hat.

Bill Reynolds




Drummer Bill Reynolds (Tony Sbarbaro)
knows his Trad Jazz beat and kept the band in perfect time on cymbals and a 1915 snare drum, using the same simple drum set they had back then. No hi hat.



Ian with huge hands playing keyboard, huge reach on fingers

Ian Frenkel


Astounding playing by Ian (Henry Ragas) on Syncopation Rag, with his wide finger spread. This was recorded by Benny Goodman in his Carnegie Hall Concert.

You can listen to Ian Frenkel on a real piano on Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/search/sounds?q=ian%20frenkel



John Clark sang When You and I Were Young Maggie.  He dedicated it to his #1 Fan, 90+ year-old Betty Weaver, who is a regular at Primavera, as she was at The Sherborn Inn and Sticky Wicket.  She talked John Clark into singing years ago.

St. Louis Blues – 


standing In tux with long tail in back, holding trombone and singing his heart out




Dan Gable sang Pardon Me, Pretty Baby,  resplendent leader in long-tailed tux and two-toned shoes.

Jeff Hughes’s Dad’s favorite was the 1919 Tell Me.  Piano and cornet took first chorus; what a sweet cornet!

Dan Gable added some fancy crooning – he first heard it on a Bill Crosby recording.




Jeff with elbows out aiming cornet straight at the crowd.

Jeff Hughes



Jeff Hughes was in his element on a 1910 Conn Cornet.

He has a vast collection of cornets and trumpets, and leads many bands of his own.
Tops in our book!




The ODJB had Jim Robinson on piano for the 1920 Broadway Rose. It was issued on Victor 18722 A.

They closed this breathtaking evening with a fierce trombone Tiger on Tiger Rag.

New Orleans music is a living, breathing organism.  We sincerely hope Dan Gable keeps this Centennial Jass Band playing long after the celebrating is over!

5 musicians in black tuxes

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band

Eli and The Hot Six at Primavera Ristorante January 19, 2017

6-piece swing and classic jazz band

Eli and The Hot Six

Bob Winter keys, Eli Newberger leader/tuba, Bob Tamagni drums, Ted Casher clarinet and tenor sax, Phil Person trumpet and Herb Gardner trombone and vocals. Not shown: Elaine Wu and Watson Reid vocals.

The Hot Six were in rare form, playing to a full house at Primavera Restaurant. There was a highly receptive audience!  Ted was back after an illness with his moose-enhanced clarinet, Bob Tamagni was back on drums after recovering from surgery.  Eli led the band starting with God Bless America. 

Elaine with hand across her chess, passionately singing into the mic.

Elaine Wu


Lullaby of Birdland featured the return of spitfire vocalist Elaine Wu …we look forward to hearing her. She captivated the audience with Embraceable You.
Sophisticated Lady
started with fine ensemble, with Elaine adding her fulsome voice.   She will be retiring as a physician soon and will have fun being a full-time Jazz Vocalist.  Hurray for us!


On clarinet that is embellished with a two-inch piece of moose horn.

Ted Casher



They played many tunes that were new to us –  a Hymn to Roses – Tango De La Rosa – Georgeous!

Ted took a melodic intro on tenor sax for Rose Room – in remembrance of Phil Harris and Alice Faye.  He is amazing on any instrument – whether clarinet,  tenor or soprano sax.

With a big smile and head full of wavy gray/white hair he is also a doctor.

Watson Reed





Watson Reid took center stage for a bright and buoyant Flat Foot Floogie with a Floy Floy; and later sang an unusually slow verse on Bill Bailey, embellishing and improvising the tune.




standing stage center, playing trombone, with tuba and drum in background

Herb Gardner


Versatile musician, Herb Gardner was featured on trombone and vocal with  Close Your Eyes. His trombone traded fours with Ely’s tuba on Hoagie Carmichael’s New Orleans.

Since Herb moved back here from New York, we enjoy his many stories of all the legendary  musicians he played with at the Metropole, Eddie Condon’s and more.



Limehouse Blues was a WILD instrumental, with each musician contributing his instrumental voice.


Phil playing muted trumpet. He has a full head of white hair pulled back into a pony tail.

Phil Peson



Phil Person’s sweet muted trumpet was a riveting concerto with his range of tone and shading on Sugar.
Herb joined him, closing with a soulful vocal.




Eli standing and playing beautiful ornately carved tuba.

Eli Newberger, leader



Eli transformed that cumbersome tuba into a viable solo instrument on a sublime Memories of You.  Jimmy Mazzy usually accompanies him, but was unavailable this evening.





It   was a rambunctious, uplifting evening of fine music with Bob Winter playing many colors on piano and always sneaking in a few surprises.  They do enjoy playing together!

Bob laughing heartily after a musician played something unique, while Eli plays tuba in the back.

Bob Winter and Eli Newberger

Bob Tamagni showed us he’s feeling just fine, ending this memorable evening with Tiger Rag:

Eli and The Hot Six were not at Primavera in February, but will return with Hot Jazz on March 16th with the full crew and Bo Winiker back on trumpet.  Hope to see you there!!


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 http://www.kafalas.net/jazzcast/)



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!

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!




Eli & The Hot Six at Primavera November 17, 2017

7 piece contemporary classic jazz band

Eli and The Hot Six

Phil Person trumpet, Ted Casher reeds, Herb Gardner trombone, Bob Winter keys, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Eli Newberger leader/tuba, Bob Tamagni drums

Eli & The Hot Six played fantastic contemporary jazz Thursday November 17th at Primavera Ristorante in Millis, MA.  They enjoy playing together; it’s always a fun evening watching and listening to this band!  Next month they will be the ONLY band playing here – save the Date, December 15th 7-9:30pm

The Front Line enjoyed playing riffs and challenging each other as Eli pointed to each of them.  They worked on tunes they have never played before and others they haven’t played for years.  It was a revelation!

trombone, trumpet, clarinet

Ted Casher, Phil Person, Herb Gardner

They began with a song Jimmy hadn’t sung in 20 years, Down By The Riverside, with the others chanting “ain’t gonna”  before his every line.

Ted Casher on soprano sax

Ted Casher on soprano sax


Ted Casher usually plays clarinet and tenor sax, but this evening he played mostly soprano sax.  Tenor sax came out for a very fast Salt Peanuts with Jimmy scatting his chorus.  At the end of the evening he played a smoky Where or When on tenor sax, the slowest that he’s played it in years.



Jimmy plays banjo and sings

Jimmy Mazzy is the only person who can emulate Bessie Smith’s sensual emotions.


Jimmy sang Louis Armstrong’s You’ll Never Walk Alone and absolutely astonished everyone singing the last chorus very slowly in heartfelt Mazzy style.  There is only one Jimmy Mazzy in the whole world and we were privileged to hear him on Bessie Smith’s Christmas Songs: Christmas Comes But Once a Year and At The Christmas Ball.



Eli on tuba, Bob on snare drum

Bob listens and accentuates Eli’s tuba



Eli and Bob Tamagni have lively exchange on a rambunctuous South Rampart St. Parade




They paid tribute to W.C. Handy on his birthday with a stunning Saint Louis Blues, with Phil’s fine solo on trumpet with the band in stop time. Eli held long difficult notes on tuba, Piano trading fours with tenor sax.  They were having a ball!

Bob Winter smiling and playing piano.

Bob Winter enjoys being with this band. It’s a break from the Boston Pops.




Bob Winter was featured with deep, lush sound on a tune written by Charlie Chaplin, Smile





Phil Person on muted trumpet

Phil Person filled in for Bo Winiker on trumpet



Guest trumpet Phil Person was featured on a soulful I Want a Little Girl, with band backing him in stop time. (Herb took the vocal!)




Herb on extended trombone

Herb Gardner played at Eddy Condon’s in NY



Herb Gardner was featured on vocal and trombone, extending the slide to its maximum length in Dixieland Style for Write Myself a Letter.




Bob tapping his hip with a tambourine

Bob Tamagni keeps the beat with many tricks



Tamagni has a minimalist Trad Jazz drum set,  keeping time with tambourine on the banjo player’s national anthem, Waiting For The Sunshine.  It was one of those never-ending tunes with each musician taking a final solo, Bob finally closing it on drums.





Their lyricism and expertise shaped the festive mood this evening.  They closed with Eli leading on China Boy.  It shows how they enjoy being together!

Eli and The Hot Six will be the only Thursday Jazz Band at Primavera in December – on the 15th at 7pm.  Mark your calendars!.

by Marce

Down By The Riverside
Salt Peanuts
Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
South Rampart Street Parade
Saint Louis Blues
Christmas Comes But Once a Year
At The Christmas Ball
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
The World is Waiting For The Sunrise
I Want a Little Girl
Washington and Lee Swing
I Cover The Waterfront
China Boy