Devil Mountain Jazz Band - The musicians

THE REGULAR PLAYERS, as of March, 2013:

KEN KEELER - Leader, banjo, guitar.
A former pilot for the USAF and TWA, Ken is retired from an industrial sales career in electronics instrumentation, and continues life as a farmer and freelance musician/ band manager. As a boy, he played banjo and mandolin in the family square dance band, backing his father as dance caller. His first exposure to Dixieland music was Spike Jones' 1941 recordings. Ken shares many of Spike's musical philosophies, unlike some members of the band! He studied trombone in high school but became fascinated with early jazz music in college where he played banjo with several bands. Ken was a featured performer in Japan at the 1988 Kobe Jazz Street festival, and can be heard as guest string-man on several other nationally-known jazz bands' recordings. He is a renowned ham radio competitor and has built a very large station on his vineyard in the San Joaquin Delta.

VIRGINIA TICHENOR - Piano - has been consumed by ragtime her entire life, as the daughter of Trebor Tichenor , the noted ragtime scholar, pianist, collector and founder of the St. Louis Ragtimers. She is one of the few and best women playing ragtime in the country. VT has been a featured performer at the major Ragtime festivals in St. Louis , Sedalia, and Carthage, Missouri, and the West Coast Ragtime Festival in Sacramento, CA. Virginia has released five CD's, VIRGINIA'S FAVORITES, the FAMILY ALBUM, with dad Trebor and her husband, bassist and pianist Marty Eggers, and recently, RAGTIME REUNION with all five Tichenor family musicians, and recently,Pier 23, and CALI-CO.

PETE MAIN - Clarinet, alto & soprano sax, vocals and duck call!
Pete is a retired music teacher and spends time at the duck-hunting club and goes fishing a lot. He taught at the Navy Music School, played in the Santa Clara Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed in a Renaissance music group in Stockton for many years. Pete founded this band, when he assembled a few friends of his for a gig at the Byron firehouse in April, 1982. He's unearthed some fine old novelty tunes to sing with the band. He can also be heard regularly with the Cell Block 7, Ted Shafer's Jelly Roll JB, and Tom Barnebey's BEYOND SALVATION

NOEL WEIDKAMP - Cornet.
Joining DMJB in 2000, Noel has been playing cornet since since he was 9 years old, inspired by his bandleader father. He played in his brother's dance band at the age of 12 and has been playing popular music ever since. A 'recovering' member of the Stanford Marching Band, he has played with big bands and small combos while pursuing a career as a real estate developer. He has retired from this endeavor and is now a full time musician, working with such area bands as, Phil Howe's 'Jazz D'Elegance', the Bay Area Repertory Big Band, and the swing group, '400 years of Swing', as well as primary lead horn with DMJB.

TOM BELMESSIERI – Cornet, vocals
Tom began playing trumpet when he was 9 years old and has been involved with music ever since.  He grew up with an appreciation
for the music of the '20s, '30s, & '40s because his dad was always playing those records, particularly Bing Crosby, the early jazz of
Bix Beiderbecke and Paul Whiteman, and the big swing bands.  In high school Tom sang in the music department's barbershop
quartet.  In 1985 he organized a group of musicians to play dixieland and that was the birth of the Fog City Stompers.  He has
composed a number of his band's original tunes. Tom joined DMJB in late 2012.

GLENN CALKINS - Trombone, Ophicleide.
Glenn started playing trombone in fourth grade in 1955. His parents would host a jam session every Monday night at their home in Alhambra. Occasionally such musicians as Mike Delay, Buddy Burns, Teddy Buckner and Alton Purnell would show up, though it was usually a more motley crew. He has played with The Fly By Night Jazz Band, The Resurrection Brass Band, and The Red Pepper Jazz Band; he continues to play with The Golden Eagle Jazz Band, The Zenith Jazz Band, Ted Shafer's Jellyroll Jazz Band, The Eldorado Synchopators, Tom Sharpstein's Orlandos, The 4th Street 5, and The Skiffle Symphony. Glenn is a retired road construction inspector for Los Angeles County. He now lives North of Sebastopol, where he is enjoying the good life and caring for Zinfandel and Petite Syrah vines and making his own wine. In addition to trombone, he plays string bass, Albert system clarinet, jug, and ophicleide. Glenn's trombone heroes include early Kid Ory, Bill Rank, Charlie Green, Miff Mole, J. C. Higginbotham, Roy Palmer, and "Tricky" Sam Nanton.

ALLAN GRISSETTE - Drums.
Allan has been providing solid rhythm to a variety of groups since the late fifties, including symphonic and stage orchestras, country, rock, and dance bands. Tom Cantrell and Allan's high school big band was one of the first to make a recording in 1960. He played with DMJB at our first festival in 1983, and rejoined us in 1988. Allan is a retired commercial appraiser with the County Assessor's office, and on weekends, worked as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff.

KEITH BALTZ - Tuba.
Keith started his musical training at age 7 on the accordion (!), played baritone horn at age 10, and began on the tuba in high school. He studied tuba in college, and for many years, was band director for Davis High School in Modesto, CA. He is also a building contractor. He has played professionally with various groups including brass quintets, marching and polka bands, and has been in demand as a jazz tubist with numerous Dixieland bands since 1980. He first joined Devil Mountain JB in 1988.

FORMER MEMBERS, SOMETIMES APPEARING WITH THE BAND:

KEN BROCK - Cornet.
Ken Brock is a 1969 graduate of the
Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been playing Trad/Dixie since his high school days in San Diego. Since 1960 he played with the likes of Warren Covington, the dance bands of Guy Lombardo and Jan Garber Orchestra, Nelson Riddle, Stan Kenton, the San Diego Chargers big-band, on tour with the Spinners for USO Shows Overseas, and "rock" bands in Alaska, Hawaii, and the far west states. Ken has been an Instrumental Music teacher since 1979, and is currently at Diablo View Middle School in Clayton, CA. These days, Ken will answer the phone to play with anyone, as long as it's fun. He currently co-leads the Jambalaya Jazztet jazz band.

RICK ELMORE - Trombone and Tuba
Rick started at age 10 in 1964. As a teenager in L.A. he would sit in with Rosy McHargue and Pete Daly at The Cliff House, and various jazz clubs up and down Central Ave. At age 20 in New Orleans he worked with Murphy Campo & Connie Jones. From '76 - '82 in San Francisco, Rick played with Dick Oxtot & Jack "Jive" Shaefer. Back to New Orleans '82 to '88 with Banu Gibson, The Dukes of Dixieland & The Creole Rice Jazz Band. In Sacramento "88 to "90 he played with Dutch Deutch, Jimmy Rivers, and The Silverado Brass Band. Since 1990 he's been back in the bay area playing with Don Neely's Royal Society Orchestra, Mal Sharpe's Big Money in Jazz Band, American Heritage Jazz Band, a brazilian ragtimeband called Choro Time, California Klezmer, and various latin and eastern european bands. His alias is "Professor Gizmo" one-man-band.

JEAN KEELER - Piano, vocals, arranger.
Jean is a retired grade school teacher and has now retired from full-time work with the band. She has a Master's Degree in classical piano and voice, and at one time was an opera singer - a coloratura soprano. Her favorite operatic roles were in Mozart's Don Giovanni, as 'Zerlina,' and 'Gretel' in Hansel & Gretel. Now, she's better known for singing the blues. The big musical change for her came in 1975, when she got a saloon gig, playing 'Dixieland'. Jean has played ragtime piano with Ken on banjo at festival pianoramas and Ragtime specials, and she wrote Devil Mountain Rag, the band's theme song.

TOM CANTRELL - Cornet.
Tom is an insurance agent and former teacher. He's a symphony player, played in a mariachi band, and was indoctrinated in traditional jazz by DMJB in 1982. Tom's vocal talent can be heard on several of the band's most popular tunes, including 'Home in Pasadena', and his own composition, 'Runaway Baby'. He now lives near Pasadena, and joins the band at many major festivals.

ANDREW STORAR - Trumpet, flugelhorn.
Andrew is a graduate of C. S. U., Hayward with a B.A. in music performance, and is now teaching junior high school music. He has played in symphonies, theater pit orchestras, and various big bands in the Bay Area. Andy joined DMJB in 1988, and also plays with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra as well working as a private trumpet instructor and free-lance musician. He has become one of the band's most popular vocalists and plays inspired solos.

FRANK DAVIS - Cornet, Trumpet.
Born in San Francisco, a graduate of Lowell High and San Francisco State, now lives in Oakland. For 11 years lead trumpet in Don Neely's Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, Frank directs and arranges for his own groups, Gabriel's Trio and The Brassworks Band, which has just released 2 new CDs of vintage dance music. Frank serves on the teaching faculties of San Francisco Community Music Center and Walnut Creek Civic Arts.

JIM LEE - Trombone.
Jim is a music graduate of California State, Hayward, where he played in various jazz groups. He has toured nationally with contemporary gospel bands and joined DMJB in 1986. Jim was recently transferred to his day job's national HQ in Iowa, where he's a major account executive. He's able to join us when the band travels outside of our local area for major festivals. Jim's vocals add spice to our shows. He does a great job of directing the band and arranging on-stage.

JIM MAIHACK - Trombone.
Jim hails from the Midwest where he started playing accordion when he was 6. Jim formed his first band in the late '50s, the Dixie Lads Jazz Band with Bill Allred, Stan Black, and Don O'Dette. By this time he had taken up piano, trombone, and tuba, and for the next 10 years played with many groups on both piano and trombone, including
Clyde McCoy and Smokey Stover. In 1963 he moved to Sacramento, California, where he played piano and trombone part-time. Late in 1969 Jim moved to San Francisco to join the Turk Murphy Jazz Band. He played tuba with the band for a few years and then did the intermissions until 1975. Jim left San Francisco for sunny Florida in 1975 when he joined the Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Jazz Band in Orlando. There he played piano, banjo, trombone, and tuba, and was the leader of the band from 1977 to 1979. Jim and his wife Wendy have been back in the Bay Area since then and have brightened up the music scene here for a long time. Jim's tour de force 'Never Mind, I'll Do It Myself' is a wonderful cassette/CD showing Jim's musical genius on piano, banjo, clarinet (!!), trombone, tuba, and vocals (and probably more instruments lost in the array).

Other musicians who frequently play with the band are: Tom Barnebey, Marty Eggers, Renee Deeter

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