The Backroom Gang

Dixieland Devotionals features the music of The Backroom Gang.

The Backroom Gang

The Backroom Gang features:

BOB HICKS – CORNET 10 Years
Bob is one of our “real musicians,” who plays trumpet with the TCSO. He has provided many Traverse City students with trumpet lessons throughout the years.   He has also played with “Luther Gravy and the Soul Biscuits” for many years.

FRED SZYZEPANSKI – PIANO  8 years
Fred is the Director of Music at St. Francis Catholic Church in Traverse City and also played Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” at Northport and also has directed musicals there, most recently “Oklahoma” and was the lead in “Fiddler on the Roof” this summer.

HAL FISHER – TUBA  40+ years
Hal retired from being the Bandmaster at Suttons Bay Schools, and for a long time was the Backroom Gang’s only “legitimate musician”.  He also has been with the band almost since its inception, and he continues to amaze us with his versatility on the tuba, making it sound anywhere from a low, low bass to a high baritone.

DON FROST – DRUMS/WASHBOARD  30+ years
Don is our “illegitimate” musician.  Trained as an Obstetrician/ Gynecologist, he gave that up in 2000 to concentrate on the band.  All the band members think this was a bad idea!  He builds 1:8 scale steam locomotives in his (now considerable) spare time. He has been adding strange rhythms to the band since 1985.

DOUG HANSEN  2 years
Doug just joined the band. He has his degree in Music and teaches music at many schools in the area.

JIM ACKER – TROMBONE  20 years
Jim was the Laboratory Manager at Munson Community Center when not playing the trombone.  He has played with many bands including the Epsilon Jazz Band, The Slabtown Marching Society, and sometimes in ”big bands.”

BILL BRAMER – CLARINET  5 years
Bill joined the band after retiring from working for the government (he won’t tell us what he did there) and moving to Michigan. He has added a great clarinet sound to the band which has made the Backroom Gang a more “traditional” Dixieland Jazz Band.

JAN FISHER AND KERRY SECRIST
Jan and Kerry provide vocals for the band.