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







Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks at Essex Winter Series, February 8, 2015

Full Band up on stage

Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks

By Jean Hadley
Photos: Ed Ohr

Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert
Jeff Barnhart, Jazz Artistic Advisor

The Essex, Connecticut Winter Series bring the finest music, in live performances, to the Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline Region; Sunday was an outstanding example.

People familiar with Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks know they are in for a performance unequaled by anyone on the scene today.

Vince Giordano


Vince has a plethora of information and an unsurpassed collection of Hot Jazz from the l920’s and 1930’s.  It is mind boggling to hear him, in an easy manner, recite the history of this music; details that only he has stored in his mind’s archives.   His love of this music began when he was only five; living in Brooklyn, New York.

Among his many, many accomplishments and awards, one recent award is most outstanding.  In 2012, Vince and the Nighthawks won a GRAMMY in the 54th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for their work on “Boardwalk Empire.”  The music soundtrack is available on CD and may be purchased on line.

Moving along, to Sunday’s outstanding performance, the auditorium was filled to capacity.  When Jeff Barnhart appeared, on stage to introduce the band, he received appreciative applause not only for his work with the series but for his talent and contribution to the world of jazz.

When the Nighthawks began to play, a hush came over the entire auditorium.  The audience, settled in for two hours of historical entertainment, sat on the edge of their seats listening not only to the music but, also the mountain of information Vince revealed about each selection.  The way Vince presents a concert fills his patrons with the feeling of wanting more and more; and wishing the performance hours were longer.

I used to write about each selection, the author, year it was written, however, with the advent of the computer, it is very easy for the reader to do his/her own research.  I prefer to write more about audience reaction and where the musicians are in OKOM.  People like Vince and his Nighthawks are a prime example of this.  OKOM is true Americana music.  Everything that followed the beginnings in 1895, evolved from these humble beginnings.   Yesterday was a prime example of how many are continuing to pay homage to our 120 year old music.  Kudos to Vince, his Nighthawks ensemble and all musicians here and aboard.  Both men and women continue, in there endeavors, to recreate OKOM and captivate audiences.   The attendance was certainly proof just how much OKOM is still alive and well.

Each and every one of the Nighthawks was outstanding.  However, over many years, I have watched three musicians “blossom” into beautiful flowers….if I may use this metaphor; outstanding, in their work, Jim Fryer, Dan Levinson and Jon-Eric Kellso.   Of course, each and every one of the remaining musicians has his own compelling artistry.

Erik Dan Jim

The Nighthawks repertoire was filled with music by Jelly Roll Morton, Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, King Oliver, Fletcher Henderson, Bix Beiderbecke and the list was endless.

Vince on vocals, Andy Stein on “phone fiddle” and several numbers when the front line used “megaphones” (1920.)  Unfortunately missing was Rudy Vallee.

Not forgotten and reminding us that the “washboard and banjo” played a huge part in our early music; Paul Wells (percussion) entertained us with his “washboard artistry” while Ken Salvo did his part on the banjo.

Jeff Barnhart at piano

photo by Ed Ohr


Vince called Jeff on stage to play his own beautiful arrangement of “In the Mist” written by Bix Beiderbecke (and perhaps the last song Bix wrote.)  It is amazing how much knowledge and understanding Jeff has for his music.


Jeff has entertained audiences since he was a youngster.  I have been told, at a very, very young age and, before my introduction to the Millpond Tavern in Northford, CT, he sat in with the Galvanized Jazz Band.

And, so we came to the end of our time together.  The audience was applauding for more but, of course, all good things must come to an end.  Vince reminded his audience that CD’s were available.

This said; what a great way to continue hearing the Nighthawks and CD’s by other musicians in his ensemble.

Jean Hadley

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.



24th Annual Suncoast Jazz Classic, Clearwater Beach Florida November 21-23 2014

7 pc Trad Jazz Band

Dave Tatrow and Friends open the Suncoast at poolside

Held at The Sheraton Sand Key Resort and Marriott Suites on Sand Key, in beautiful Clearwater Florida.  Special Events: Your Father’s Mustache 2nd Final Reunion, Clarinet Clambake, Trobone Wing Ding, Joy of Sax, Heavyweight Salute to Trumpet Heavyweights, Festival Divas and Jam Sessions Afterglow Mixer.

by Jean Hadley
photos by Sharon  and Ed Ohr
Videos by Eric Devine (CineDevine)

Here we go again!  The start of Suncoast’s 24th year.     Early Friday morning, gathered poolside, were fans with parasols, vintage ensembles, washboards and anything festive to kick off the beginning of a delightful and entertaining weekend.

Seated, at my poolside table, were Marty Kaletsky, to support her very talented husband Noel, Sharon and Ed  Ohr photographers for this article and, Barbara Harvey (CT) a loyal supporter of OKOM.

Parasol Parade

Parasol Parade                                                                                         Photos by Sharon and Ed Ohr

The band was a wonderful mix of weekend musicians led by Dave Tatrow & Friends.  Playing songs we well remembered, the fans joined in with voice and applause; nothing like audience participation to get the crowd in a festival mood.

Rather than write about each and every musician and selection played, I prefer to write about the fans, the type of music offered and the enthusiasm of both patrons and musicians.

The biographies, in the program, were right on target.  The mix of music was a nice change and I commend those who made band selections.   There was something for everyone.

As we all know, Dixieland music is still alive and well, however, our fan base is slowly dwindling.  This is not because patrons lack interest in the music but rather age and poor health.   We have many youngsters joining the ranks but, it will be several years before they develop the same confidence, enthusiasm and relaxation, on stage, as our seasoned musicians.  To make this happen, we must continue to support these new kids on the block and spread the word.

On Friday morning, I stopped to hear the Tarpon Springs HS Jazz Ensemble .  Wow!  What a band!  After hearing these youngsters, I knew I should hear the other HS bands.  Each HS band (and their vocals) could not have been more professional.  My hat goes off to the directors.

My next stop was to hear Jubilee Jazz Band.  Jane Campadelli’s ingenious  idea to put a band together and introduce it to the Suncoast Festival three years ago.   With the likes of Noel Kaletsky, Bob Price, Scotty Philbrick, Gene Blood, Herb Roselle, Dan Howard, how could she miss.  Jubilee played straight New Orleans style music.  Jane’s vocal ability never changes and, she always manages to bring the audience to their feet.  Thank you, Jane, for keeping OKOM alive and well!.

7 pc Trad Jazz Band

Janie and Jubilee packed them in

Barbary Coast, from Minnesota, known for their Dixieland worship services, gave their audience a very entertaining performance.  Age diversified, they never skipped a beat.  Their leader, Dick Petersen, played tribute to Louis Armstrong and brought the crowd to its feet by playing many Armstrong selections a lot of energy.  By the way, Dick Petersen is a left handed banjo player.

7 pc trad jazz band

The Barbara Coast Jazz Band

For a change of venue and some libation, I moved on to Condon’s Corner Bar to hear some “Cool Jazz” and meet friends.  Condon’s Corner offers tasty cuisine and a fine selection of beverages.  In addition, there is a variety of music all the time; a place to always find old and new friends.

Bob Leary on banjo

Bob Leary



Besides a good deal of chatter, we enjoyed hearing Bob Leary and ensemble followed by the Orion Trio.  Orion was very cool, smooth and captivating.  They gave a delivery of “Route 66” that brought the house down.



Moving on to another venue, I wanted to hear what all the excitement was about the St. Louis Stompers.  This is a very high energy band bent on playing for the entertainment of their audience.  Stompers, so professional and smooth, their sound was almost classical.  A very strong band.  Stompers played a diversified number of selections from Blues and Dixieland.  I give them a gold star!

8 pc trad jazz band

The St. Louis Stompers  with Howard Miyata

tumpet and clarinet

Mike and Steve Lilley of the St, Louis Stompers

It is still Friday with a plethora of bands to hear.  I have now moved on to hear an outstanding band (Dave Bennett &The Memphis Speed Kings) Dave being the leader (piano/vocals.)  Wow!  This kind of entertainment reminded me of Igor & Cowboys that so often played our Great CT Jazz Festival.

How great it was to hear authentic 1950’s Rockabilly and Rock & Roll.  Dave not only pumped his piano but sat on it “rump” side down and up.  His vocals deserve an A-plus.  We all enjoyed another high energy band to keep us awake and our feet tapping.

By 10:00pm Friday, I knew the hour was late and this would be my last for the day (if I wanted to see Saturday’s dawn.)  I chose to hear Red Garter Jazz Band.   I was delighted I made this choice.  Along with this super band, the vocals were strong and clear.   Red Garter reminds one how much fun Trad Jazz can be/is.  Red Garter is from nearby Clearwater, The Villages, FL.  Don’t miss this band if you have the opportunity to hear them.  Lots of fun!!!

Saturday morning arrived and, with it, many new people and many familiar faces.  The excitement was just as electrifying as Friday morning when we were all getting into the weekend mood.  My first stop was to hear another youth band (J.W Mitchell HS Jazz Band/Trinity, Fl.)  Excellent!  So professional, I thought I was hearing an old time big band.  Their brass section was outstanding!  Kudos to the director!

For anyone who follows The Midiri Brothers, it goes without saying.  I love their swing style and their sense of humor.  But, most of all, I adore their old standards from the days of Shaw, Goodman and Dorsey.   The nostalgia, of their repertoire, reminded me of an era long gone but not forgotten.  Tempus fugit!

The next show-stopper was Tom Rigney and Flambeau.  I cannot tell you what “Flambeau” means.  However, I can say this….what a show this guy delivers.  He is more than flamboyant!  He is electrifying!  The stage was ablaze with his groove.  Cajun, Zydeco, blues, boogie, waltzes and some almost classical pieces he authored.  He is a virtuoso on the violin.  His command of the instrument is mind boggling.  This band is a must see.

Paul Scavarda of  Warehouse Waifs

Paul Scavarda of  Wally’s Warehouse Waifs


The rest of the day, was spent listening to Wally’s Warehouse Waifs, Cornet Chop Suey and High Sierra.  Anyone who has heard these bands knows they are show bands with high energy and aim to please their public each and every performance.


High Sierra plays mainly a West Coast style of traditional jazz.

7 pc trad jazz band

High Sierra Jazz Band

Cornet Chop Suey and Wally’s Warehouse Waifs play styles from traditional jazz, swing and blues.  These bands are winners in every way.  They deliver a quality of music that is hard to duplicate.

7 pc trad jazz band

Cornet Chop Suey

I finally called it a day and made my last appearance at Condon’s Corner to hear Theo Valentin,  another great vocalist.  Theo captured the audience with her blues and ballads.  She is a very exciting personality and one I would like to hear again and again.

When Sunday’s sun rose to greet me, I knew it was time to pack, take my breakfast and listen to a few of my favorite bands that were still on the schedule.   At four o’clock, those who were still on board enjoyed the finale.

I could not and did not take in every band.  The festival was sprinkled with so much music it was impossible to hear each one.

What I will tell you, though, Suncoast should be proud of what they did this year…..
a smashing success!!!  The best ever!

The festival could not have come to fruition had it not been for Joan Dragon (Director,) volunteers, sponsors, a wonderful hotel staff and the many behind the scenes people. Extra kudos to all the  volunteers and hotel staff for their politeness and help;  going the extra mile, with a smile, made one want to come back again and again.

HAPPY 25th — 2015
Jean Hadley

Other bands:
Bill Allred Classic Jazz, Bob Draga and Friends, Hamilton Harris Project with Marilyn Freemon, Lori Hafer Trio and Mike Hafer with John Lamb, Nate Najar, Pepper, Valerie Gillespie Quintet

Hopkins and Miller’s Sunset Stomp:

7 pc trad band with vocalist

Hopkins and Miller’s Sunset Stomp

Jeff Barnhart and his Hot Rhythm for Essex Winter Series

Jeff Barnhart, Gordon Au, Dan Levinson, Vince Giordano

Jeff Barnhart and his Hot Rhythm

By: Jean Hadley
Photos by Ed Ohr
Videos by CineDevine

John Winthrop Middle School – Deep River, Connecticut,   March 2, 2014

Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm celebrate the music of Fats Waller at the The Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert hosted by the Essex Winter Series.  Artistic director – Mihae Lee, Jazz artistic advisor – Jeff Barnhart.

Trumpet: Gordon Au (
Reeds — Dan Levinson (
Piano: Jeff Barnhart (
Banjo: Bob Barta (
Bass — Vince Giordano (
Drums: Kevin Dorn (

Although the weather report was predicting threatening weather, people came out in droves to hear Jeff and his ensemble of fine musicians.  From the beginning to the end, it was an afternoon of delightful entertainment.

Jeff at piano

Jeff Barnhart                      all photos by Ed Ohr



Jeff, a piano virtuoso, opened (solo) playing Waller’s most well known HONEYSUCKLE ROSE/1929. From then on, it was non-stop.


Following this solo, the band members assembled and set the pace for an unforgettable performance. Each musician, highly skilled in his music artistry,  are men who have a plethora of credits and a dossier that has no end.

Some people think OKOM (our kind of music) is passé  or some say outmoded….not so!  Before us, on stage, one could see two very young musicians (30 years old) who have already made a huge name for themselves and an impact on the younger generation of musicians and fans.

Gordon on trumpet, Kevin on drums

Gordon Au and Kevin Dorn

To hear young Gordon Au (trumpet) you might think he has been playing for a very long time. He may be young but his music talent, repertoire and credentials are outstanding.  Next, Kevin Dorn (drums) another young and talented musician on the scene, has been delighting audiences for several years here in Connecticut, New York City and Europe.


The band came to full circle with three greats, in the music industry, Vince Giordano, Dan Levinson and Bob Barta all well known in the USA and abroad. These three wonderful musicians need no introduction.

Dan on clarinet

Dan Levinson

BoB Barta banjo, Vince Giordano string bass

Bob Barta and Vince Giordano

Now begins the music, for which the members of the audience were patiently waiting.

After Jeff finished his fantastic rendition of HONEYSUCKLE ROSE (and brought down the house) Jeff proceeded to spend time entertaining us with wonderful stories about Fats and his brilliance on the piano and his composing ability and, all this in his too short life of 39 years. However, what he left behind has and will last forever.

Jeff talks about Fats Waller – At Twilight

Jeff Barnhart – Handfull of Keys

You’re Feets Too Big

I am writing this, without giving you details of everything that occurred on stage, but rather to encourage you to make every effort to hear this band when they do a repeat of this concert. You will be surprised how many Fats Waller numbers you will recall, and hear some you never knew he wrote.

Here are several numbers that were played and introduced to many of us for the first time…..HOLD MY HAND, AT TWILIGHT, HANDFUL OF KEYS, THE MINOR DRAG, MOPPIN & BOPPIN AND RUMPSTEAK SERENADE and, some well- known to the audience, I’M CRAZY ‘BOUT MY BABY, THE JOINT is JUMPIN’, WHAT DID I DO TO BE SO BLACK AND BLUE, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’.

Thank you Jeff, Vince, Dan, Bob, Gordon and Kevin.

Jan Hadley
Videos by CineDevine
Photos by Ed Ohr

More Videos:
I’m Crazy ‘Bout my Baby

Hold My Hand

Handful of Keys

Keepin Out of Mischief Now

You Must Be Losing Your Mind

Minor Dag

The 12th Street Rag:

I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling:

When The Saints Go Marching In

Keeping Out of Mischief Now

Moppin’ and Boppin’

You Must Be Losing Your Mind

Rumpsteak Serenade


Hot Cat Band at Donahue’s, February 23, 2014


6 guys standing in front of a tree

Ross Tucker’s Hot Cat Band

by Jean Hadley

The Hot Cat Band is playing once a month on Sundays at Donahue’s Madison Beach Grille, 1320 Boston Post Rd. Madison Ct. 06443.  (203) 318-8362

This Sunday was a moment in time!
The HOT CATS never sounded better.  Donahue’s was packed to capacity and space on the dance floor was at a premium.  The beautiful spring-like weather brought people out of hibernation.  Of course, anyone who follows the HOT CATS will come out rain or shine.   The age of fans ranged from 40-90 years old and their enthusiasm for the music was exciting!

The HOT CATS have moved on with the times and play to their audience in a way that encourages their return to Donahue’s each month.  Their repertoire has gone from strictly Trad Jazz to a wide range of music.  They include Dixieland, Big Band, Swing, Beatles, classic Rock from the 50’s to the 80’s and more.

two guitar players, one singingSelections such as….Bourbon Street Parade, Bill Bailey, Jump, Jive and Wail, In the Mood, Brown Eyed Girl, Johnny B. Goode, Soul Man, Pick Up the Pieces, and so many others thrilled the audience.  Not only did they play for our listening and dancing pleasure but many of us reminisced and sang along with the band.

I might note that not only are the band members fine musicians who effortlessly play to and for the audience but, also are one of the best bands technically.  This combination is what makes them so popular.  Thanks to Ross Tucker, their leader, his insight and knowledge of music has brought together one of the best bands in the area.

Donahue’s offers a varied menu of fine cuisine at prices to accommodate everyone and, their bar flows with a variety of libation.  Many thanks to the staff who are always helpful.

If you have not recently heard the HOT CATS, plan to hear them at Donahue’s Sunday, March 30th at 5:30pm and you will see people you know and even make new friends.

The HOT CATS play once-a-month at Donahue’s Madison Beach Grille, 1320 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443 Phone: (203-318-8362). To get their schedule  email:

See you March 30th at 5:30pm!

Jean Hadley