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Traditional Dixieland Jazz for Upstate New York
Jazz isn't planned... it just happens!

   

 

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What started as a small three-piece group rehearsing in a living room has grown into a solid seven-man combo.  Here's a little bit about the people that make the JazzHappensBand so great.

Members listing:


 


Jeff Dovi


Trumpet, Band Leader

 

Jeff has been playing the trumpet in and around the Cortland area for over 35 years. He attended Ithaca College as a music education major for one year before deciding to make music an avocation. He has performed in various brass groups, civic bands, big bands, theater and pit orchestras, and combos but his love for Dixieland music finally inspired him to start his own group currently known as the JazzHappensBand.
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Nick Pauldine


Clarinet
After a short career as a public school music teacher, Nick went to work in the vacation entertainment industry as a musical director, leading multi-purpose ensembles providing musical support for Las Vegas-style production shows, formal dancing, and variety show entertainers. He has performed with John Pizzarelli, Nell Carter, Diane Schurr, Nancy Wilson, Ann Hampton Callaway, and many other artists.
 
In 1997, Nick returned to Ithaca to “settle down”, and took over directorship of the Ageless Jazz Band, an 18-piece traditional swing band, a position he still holds today. He has overseen production of 2 recordings with the AJB, several Caribbean tours, and a commissioned work (Catch Phrase by Steve Brown)
 
Nick also maintains an active clarinet and saxophone studio, as well as free-lances under the Something Of Note brand.
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Mike Poole


Trombone

 
Mike Poole is a trombonist from Cortland, NY. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and studied music theory at the University of Buffalo. In addition to playing with the JazzHappensBand, Mike performs in several other classical ensembles, including the Crown City Brass and the Cortland Old Timers Band, and also directs the brass ensemble at St. Mary’s Church in Cortland
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Jim Overhiser


Tuba
Jim is a Physics teacher at Cortland High School and has been a science teacher since graduating from Cortland State in 1980.  Although Jim wanted to go to school to be a music teacher he decided to save that for a hobby and studied Science Education. Even with his focus on science, Jim has kept pretty close to his love of music.  He has sung in several music groups throughout the years including a barbershop quartet, annual community performances of The Messiah, Cortland State's Choral Union and a long time quartet called the "Muffins".  Jim's primary instrument is the guitar.  He has played and performed on the guitar since first picking it up in high school.    The last time Jim played tuba before playing in JazzHappensBand was 30 years ago in high school, but he has polished up his tuba and now supplies the low notes for the band.
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David Alexander


Drums
David Alexander saw the JazzHappensBand perform on Fat Tuesday and immediately auditioned to be our drummer.  David studied snare drum in high school with Gene Attleson, and more recently has studied drum set at Tom Kline’s School for Modern Drumming.  He is a McGraw Central School Alum and has played drums for McGraw as well as the Cincinnatus Civic Band, All-County Select, Area All-State, New York State Honor Band, and the SUNY College at Morrisville Jazz Ensemble.  David, (who is also a graduate of Cornell and Syracuse Universities and otherwise occupied as a lawyer) and his wife, Carol, a school teacher, have four children.  Their youngest son, Evan, also studies drum set with Tom Kline and plays drums for Homer Central School concert and jazz bands.
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Robbert van Renesse


Banjo

 
Robbert van Renesse has been playing rhythm guitar for the Ageless Jazz Band since December 1997, with whom he recorded two CDs.  He has performed in many high school musical productions and in a SUNY Cortland production of "Little Shop of Horrors."  He wrote a Mel Bay book on what is essentially music theory for the ukulele called "Understanding Ukulele Chords."  Van Renesse also enjoys playing swing music on banjo and tenor guitar.
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Stephen Wilson


Keyboard
Stephen Wilson received his Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance and his Master of Arts in conducting from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned his Doctor of Arts in conducting from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

He has been professor of music at SUNY Cortland since 1985, teaching choral music, music theory, conducting, and accompanying many students and faculty colleagues. He conducts the College Singers and the Choral Union. His choral arrangements have been performed in various locations on the eastern seaboard and in the Midwest. Dr. Wilson has served as pianist/music director for many musical theater productions. He has only recently become addicted to Dixieland music.
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This site was last updated 02/08/15