Eighteen years ago, on January 29th, 1997, we had our first performance at Tierney’s Tavern in Montlcair. The photo to the left (courtesy of Dennis Connors) with Tom Colao on alto sax, Marty Fogel on tenor sax, guitarist Larry Maltz and myself in the background is from that residency, which ran from January 1997 to June 2003. We performed every last Wednesday of the month, played the music of our resident composers and the music of a myriad of guest composers; some who were from the area, some who came from further away including, England, Japan,and various parts of the states. One of those was guest composers was trumpet player Tom Wirtel , who drove all the way from central Illinois, during a snow storm, and picked up another trumpet player along the way…all for the music. We have been extraordinarily blessed to have such an amazing group of composers and performers come be our guests, all of which are listed on the DMOCBB page.
We have been in residence at Trumpets Jazz Club, Montclair, NJ since November 2003. We’ve also performed in many other venues and festivals along the way: 12 Miles West Theatre, Burgdorff Cultural Center, Montclair Public Library, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music,Jersey Jazz by the Lake (the day after hurricane Floyd no less!), New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Lake George Jazz Weekend, and The Meadowlands Environmental Center.
Guests have included vocalists, instrumentalists, poets, spoken word, rappers, film makers, actors, and dancers! Recently we’ve invited young, emerging composers to join us such as Caleb Rumley, Sarah McDonald, Joe Vilardi, and Charlie Dougherty. We’ve really enjoyed working with these exciting young composers, and there will be more soon!
We have another “first” for us this month, we are including the Elizabeth High School Upper Academy Jazz Band, directed by Wayne Dillon, in our celebration! These very talented youngsters will perform at 7PM. The Elizabeth HS Upper Academy Jazz band is made up of 20 students in the tenth through twelfth grades. The students audition in Sept and the band is created. The band placed second in 2010 at the NJAJE State championships in Div 1., and have won best trombone section twice. The band has earned superior ratings at music festivals for the past 10 years, and has just completed a 6 week jazz residency with Oscar Perez and Nuevo Comienza.
This month,we are featuring the music of our resident composers who are busily creating new works for the band including: Erick Storckman, Marty Fogel, Ed Xiques, Matt Haviland, Rob Middleton, Chris Rogers, Russ Vines and yours truly!
I also want to say a very special thank you to Natascha Radke Henke, who for many years was my co-conspirator in all things big band and Composers Forum of Montclair. Natascha moved to the states many years ago, married out trumpet player Rob Henke, and began helping me with graphic design, mailings, programs, collecting money at the door, helping guest artists find their way to the club and just being a great friend!
Another thank you goes to our friend and wonderful jazz journalist Elzy Kolb. Elzy has written countless articles about us,helping to spread the word, and during my cancer crisis, was there, along with her husband Russ Vines, supporting and helping in every way possible! Also, a huge thank you to the many journalists who have covered us from the beginning: George Kanzler, who was the first journalist to really spread the word about us with countless articles in The Newark Star Ledger, and was an incredible supporter of the band. After George retired, Zan Stewart came in, and became a wonderful supporter of the band, writing many wonderful articles as well. A thank you to Jay Lustig, who helped spread the word at the Star Ledger, and now spreads the word on his own site, NJARTS.net.
A thank you to Jim Beckerman of The Record, Tony Mottola, editor of The New Jersey Jazz Society Journal, and Hot House Magazine, which from the very beginning, along with George Kanzler, has been an incredible supporter of the band. We also thank The Montclair Times, WBGO, Homegrown Radio and John Hammel, for their constant support over the years, and the many other journalist and radio stations who have interviewed us and helped immensely in reaching out to the public about the band.
A big thank you to Andy Eulau, who is not only our bassist extraordinaire, he also created this website, and continues to help, maintain, and in general put out those hacker fires!
A huge thank you to the many audio engineers and photographers and film makers who have been documenting the band since 1997; Kevin Papa, Chris Drukker, Ryen Tetzloff, Curt Fissel, Bruce Hanson, and John Guth, who recorded our first and only CD, but has come in many times to record us live.
And an extra huge thank you to Dennis Connors who has been documenting the band consistently since 1997, has taken hundreds of photographs, was one of the videographers on our first documentary, and has gone on to make many more films about us, which you can see on the video page.
Thanks to the many people who have been doing the door for us these last several years, Ariel Guidry and her sister, , John Albert Dubinsky, Dan Cassidy, and my son Chad Moser, who not only does the door, but also comes in and plays with us on turntables!
Thank you to Trumpets Jazz Club, Enrico Granafei, Kristine Massari, Judy De Angelis and all of their staff, for being so supportive and giving us a home!
And thank you to our wonderful audience members, you are like family to us, we always look forward to playing music for you, because you are so incredibly appreciative and supportive! Thank you one and all for your support through the years, we could not have done this without you!