Illiana Club's Monthly Concert
West End Jazz Band
presented by: Illiana Club of Traditional Jazz
WEST END JAZZ BAND
Frank Gualtieri - trombone
Andy Schumm - reeds
Mike Bezin -cornet
Leah Bezin - banjo/vocals
Mike Walbridge - tuba
Mike Albiniak - Drums
Frank Gualtieri (trombone)
Traditional jazz, Dixieland and hot dance music are his favorites to play and all he needs to keep him busy and musically happy. His solos are exciting and fresh and his beautiful tone on the sweeter dance tunes is wonderful to hear. His enthusiasm is unbounded, his patience is admirable, and he’s a much-appreciated member of the WEJB.
Andy Schumm (reeds)
Although he is mostly known as a fine cornet player, Andy joined the band as a percussionist. Never content to play just one instrument, he has taken various jobs on piano, trombone, bass sax, clarinet, banjo, baritone and drums. Andy is willing to do whatever it takes to play the good stuff. Andy draws inspiration from a variety of musicians including Red Nichols, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Jabbo Smith and Tommy Dorsey (especially in his covert recordings as a trumpeter!).
Mike Bezin (cornet)
Not content to play only the warhorse Dixie tunes, he wanted to do some of the other, lesser-known but great tunes from the early era of jazz. The WEJB developed into a trad-based group that focused on playing a repertoire of about 500 tunes. Mike rearranges original versions of “hot dance” style recordings to fit the six piece makeup of the WEJB. , thus giving his music a new spark!
Leah Bezin (banjo/vocals)
Playing hot dance is her dream come true. Some quotes from colleagues: “Metronomic” (Franz Jackson)“The Freddie Green of the banjo” (Paul Libman). “Chord Monster” (Charlie DeVore). “The Relentless Banjo” (Mike Cogan). “Fluid virtuosity” (Howard Reich) “Banjo perfection!” (Hal Smith)“That’s the way banjo should be played” (Lynn Zimmer) “If you can’t swing with Leah and Walbridge in the rhythm section, you must be dead from the hair down” (Wayne Jones)
Mike Walbridge (tuba)
Mike has worked with many bands countrywide both on tuba and cornet. Mike, as a young boy, found excitement in his father’s plentiful classic jazz recordings. Mike has a vast collection of records and is the WEJB’s walking encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to recording dates, labels, bands and musicians. His love and understanding of the music is a valuable asset to the WEJB.
Mike Albiniak (drums)
From an early age, he came to regard traditional and classic jazz as his music of choice. His first chance to perform the early jazz he loves was in 1968, subbing with Mike Walbridge’s Chicago Footwarmers, a group led by fellow West End musician Mike Walbridge. Mike rearranges original versions of hot dance recordings
Musicians subject to change
All concerts at:
THE GLENDORA HOUSE
102nd and Harlem, Chicago Ridge, IL
...from 2 to 5:00 pm
$18.00 in advance/$20.00 at the door
Students with ID - free admission
Hardwood Dance Floors!
Food is available at each concert.
To reserve tickets up to the day prior to concert:
- call Herta at 708 672-3561
- email Debbie email@example.com
- write to P.O. Box 1459, Oak Park, IL 60504
The Illiana Club's monthly concert is sponsored by 90.9fm WDCB Jazz & Blues!