The South Bay Stompers is a traditional jazz band playing the music of Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver
and Louis Armstrong. The band was founded in 1999 by a group of
musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area. The Stompers' schedule includes performances at various
local festivals, civic and private events, and up until its closing on
Jan. 1, 2007, have been featured on the first Sunday of each month at
the Cats Restaurant in Los Gatos.
Joe Doll, Trombone / Leader. Trombonist Joe Doll began playing in grade school, where the traveling music teacher observed his long arms and felt they were a good fit for the instrument. Joe's musical career in the Bay Area began in 1969 when he helped found the LeraTones big band. Joe has played lead trombone in several big swing bands, including the Johnny Lampson Orchestra and the Adrian Davis Orchestra. Since 1999 he has enjoyed blowing Traditional Jazz with the South Bay Stompers.
Larry Blake, Cornet. Larry Blake is an accomplished classical
and jazz musician in the Bay Area, who was influenced at an early age by
Louis Armstrong. Larry spent a number of years playing in Dixieland bands
and jazz bands, backing famous performers such as the Temptations, Lou
Rawls, Billy Eckstine, The Mills Brothers, Captain & Tennille and Frankie
Lane. Although he loves playing Dixieland, Larry spends an equal amount
of time as principal trumpet in Nova Vista Symphony, Palo Alto Philharmonic
and Mission Chamber Orchestra and performs regularly for weddings and other
ecclesiastical events on piccolo trumpet. Larry graduated from the Berklee
School of Music in Boston, known for turning out great jazz musicians, and
has been a music teacher and an educational fundraising professional for the
past 30 years in the Bay Area.
Ray Buhler, Clarinet. Growing up in Switzerland, Ray Buhler caught the jazz bug from attending live performances of Sidney Bechet and Albert Nicholas. Ray borrowed an old clarinet and taught himself to play, trying to emulate the early New Orleans clarinetists. At the age of 18, he co-founded a band called the Old-Timers Dixieland Jazz Band. Soon, education became his priority followed by the pursuit of a career in Research and Development that eventually brought him to the United States. He began playing again in 1998 and the following year he organized the South Bay Stompers. For many years Ray was active in the South Bay Traditional Jazz Society where he also was the founder and leader of the House Band, the Pastoria Avenue Jazz Band.
Bill Van Dorn, Tenor Banjo. A South Bay native, Bill began playing music in 1988 when he took up the tenor banjo. He has played with the Peninsula Banjo Band for six years and has played at several Traditional Jazz Camps in both San Diego and Sacramento. Professionally, he worked as a computer programmer from 1964-1990. Bill is an avid Trad Jazz fan. He has played with the SBS since its inception, and is also a founding member of the Pastoria Avenue Jazz Band.
Jerry Johnson, Piano. Growing up with a mother who had played
piano for the silent movies in the twenties, Jerry was required to take
piano lessons. However, the piano soon gave way to the saxophone and
clarinet with a teacher who had played with John Philip Sousa. Reeds
were his entree into the American Federation of Musicians (Hammond,
Indiana Local) while still in high school. He played through his college
years, but music was put on the shelf in favor of a more stable family
life. Like many others, retirement has provided him with time to return
to music. In addition to playing with the South Bay Stompers, Jerry
plays with the Pastoria Avenue Jazz Band, does solo piano work, and
fronts a trio.
Paul Bostwick, Tuba. Paul is a retired band director, serving for many years as Music Department chairman at Los Gatos High School. As a teenager, he organized a Dixieland group called “Three Hoots & a Holler.” While a music major at U. C. Berkeley (lower brass instruments) he was Student Director of the Cal Marching Band. He played with Cal’s Faculty Jazz Band for a summer, and with Dutch Deutsch, Gary Ryan, and Roger Snell for a year at Big Al’s Gashouse. Interest in Traditional Jazz was rekindled on a trip to New Orleans in 2000, and soon thereafter he joined The South Bay Stompers. Paul is also a member of the Toot Sweet Jazz Band and subs in several bands in the Bay Area.
Terry A. Loose, Drums. Terry began his musical career in Joliet, Illinois at the age of 10, taking private drum lessons and playing in the grade school band and orchestra. In 1963 he formed his first band, a five piece Dixieland band and played his first performance at the local Jr. High talent contest. In 1965 he began his professional career playing with local jazz and big band groups in the Springfield, Illinois area as well as teaching at the local music store. In 1984 Mr. Loose moved to Silicon Valley where his computer and music career changed once again. Mr. Loose finally realized his life-long dream and left the 'high tech computer world' and bought a music store in late 1997. A few months later 'a drummer' walked into the store looking for a place to practice. For the next twelve years Mr. Loose’s Musician’s Warehouse Big Band had a music library and guest drummer that never dropped a beat. Louie Bellson brought his music, his talent and his friendship that changed their lives forever.
Don Abel, Cornet. Throughout his school years, Don played trumpet with various marching bands and big band jazz groups. It was Sacramento's Jazz Jubilee, along with recordings by Lu Watters and South Frisco JB, that kindled his love for traditional jazz. Don's jazz training includes workshops and camps from Stan Kenton, Herb Patnoe, Bill Chase, Jim Cullum and San Diego's Traditional Jazz Society. A software professional, Don concurrently played lead trumpet with the San Jose Metropolitan Band. He has been a featured artist with various trad jazz bands and in festival jam sets. He fronted the SBS from 2001 through May, 2010.
Thomas Beckmann, Drums. Percussionist Thomas Beckmann began playing Jazz at age 16 in the Bourbon Street Five led by trumpeter Bruce Haag. He has performed and recorded in the San Francisco Bay Area for 30 years in various bands. His musical interests are varied and his influences range from Classical to Latin to Reggae to Rock to Drum Corps to Traditional and Modern Jazz.. This makes for a broad range of percussion instruments around the house. Basically, if he can hit it, he likes it!
Florence Beckmann, Vocals. Vocalist Florence Beckmann is from Long Island, New York where she studied voice in college. She dabbles with guitar, bass and piano, but singing is her passion. She has performed in groups and recorded since she was 17 years old. Although she spends a lot of time with her two babies, she still finds time to rehearse and perform with the South Bay Stompers on a regular basis.