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The Lee Shaw Scholarship Fund
At our next concert (March 10, 2019):
Dave Lambert learned to play the clarinet from Mel Schiff in a fifth-grade group in the Niskayuna public schools. After some bumpy years of fitful practicing in middle school, he suddenly took to playing saxophone in his freshman year of high school with Schiff once again. While in high school, he played the school's baritone sax in the concert band, the stage band and on the sly in many small time, semi-professional gigs around the area. He has essentially never stopped doing so -- although he did finally return the school's bari sax. He eventually re-learned how to play the clarinet when he fell in love with Traditional jazz somewhere along the line.
Trumpeter Steve Lambert was born and raised in Schenectady, where he performed with and learned from some of the best musicians in the area including Nick Brignola, Mike Canonico, Rennie Crain, Mike Wicks, George Muscatello and Brian Patneaude. In 1999 he moved to New York, where he worked in the office of Second Floor Music as assistant to trumpeter/arranger/producer Don Sickler, where he interacted with such legends as Jim Hall, Renee Rosnes, Charli Persip, Ray Bryant and Rudy Van Gelder, and worked on many publications including "The Thelonious Monk Fake Book," "Sing Jazz!" and Charli Persip's "How Not to Play Drums." He also freelanced around Manhattan and honed his chops in jam sessions at Smoke, The Lenox Lounge, Small’s, and Cleopatra's Needle.
He returned to the Capital Region in 2003 and has since performed with The Temptations, The Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis and Frankie Valli. He was in the pit at The Cohoes Music Hall from 2004-2006. He currently performs with the Big Soul Ensemble, the Silver Arrow Band, the Ragtime Windjammers, the George Muscatello Quartet, Dave Fisk/Jon Leroy Quartet as well as projects under his own name. He released a CD in 2008 titled “May” playing a mix of original compositions and standards. Another CD is set for release in 2019.
Ron Bill has played banjo in many venues from big band swing to New Orleans Traditional Jazz, from solo to small groups. He has appeared mostly in the Saratoga-Albany-Troy area. Locally, he has played with Skip Parsons’ Riverboat Jazz Band, Reggie’s Red Hot Feet Warmers and has been co-leader of the Pearl River Jazz Duo with the late Mo Rancourt. He has also played with a host of famous names, including Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, Keith Ingram, Dick Wellstood, Kenny Davern, Warren Vaché, Pee Wee Irwin, Roy Eldridge, Ed Polcer, Dave McKenna, Bobby Hackett and Vic Dickenson. He plays a wide variety of songs from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Solo banjo is probably his strongest forte.
Woody Strobeck was born in North Syracuse, where he attended school and began to study the trombone. He entered the music program at Syracuse University, but graduated from Fredonia with a music degree. While in college he became interested in the early jazz style and played in and around the Syracuse area. He was an admirer of the Will Alger/Jack Mahew Salt City 5.
Soon after college he accepted a teaching position in the Cambridge school district, from which he has formally retired as music/band director. While in that area he played with several Dixieland groups including the Storyville Stompers and a band called the Steel Pier Jazz Band. After the death of leader Larry Johnson, he assumed the leadership of the band, which he led in the Lake George area for nearly 20 years. For several years, he has been performing in Skip Parsons' Riverboat Jazz Band.
Mike Lawrence has been playing the upright bass since age 10 and the electric bass for several years. Freelancing in a variety of settings, his primary focus is now playing with jazz musicians. He has performed with his fair share of artists in and around the Capital District, including Keith Pray’s Soul Jazz Revival, Dave Gleason/Pete Sweeney/Sensemaya, Yuko Kishimoto Trio, Joe Finn, Mark Capon, Mike Benedict’s Jazz Vibes, Charlie Smith Blues Band, and the Tas Cru Blues Band. Teaching occupies many of his daytime hours, both at public school and with private bass students. He holds a master’s degree in music education from Boston University, bachelor’s degree in music education from the College of Saint Rose and certificates from the multiple summer programs he attended at Berklee College of Music when he was a teenager.
Drummer Tim Coakley was born in Utica, N.Y. He grew up listening to some of the best local musicians, including tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose, trumpeter Sal Amico, bassist Sam Mancuso and drummer Ronnie Zito.
Mostly self-taught, he listened to all the local drummers. His first job was on a set of borrowed drums at Utica College. After learning the basics of drumming, he began playing with local musicians in and around the Utica area. In 1974 he moved to Schenectady, where he was asked by promoter Bob Rosenblum to be part of the rhythm section for legendary swing trumpeter Doc Cheatham. That was followed by appearances with tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate, pianist Dill Jones, and trombonist Vic Dickenson. He also played at the Van Dyck Restaurant in Schenectady with guitarist Herb Ellis, as well as several engagements with pianist Benny Harris. In the later ‘70s, he was asked to join Skip Parsons’ Riverboat Jazz Band, where he still remains.