Metro Jazz “Club Members”

Meet The BAND!!!!

 

SAXOPHONE SECTION (The Front Row)

Gary Dalton (Tenor Sax, Band Manager)

Gary started playing sax in the fifth grade and enjoyed many music opportunities in junior and senior high school marching, concert, and stage bands. He also played with a pop/funk band in high school that toured the local dance clubs. After college, the horn was stuck in the closet for about 20 years while career and family took priority. After being called to play again with his church orchestra, Gary has joined several community concert and jazz bands. Gary simply loves to play and is thankful that God has blessed him with opportunities to “make a joyful noise!”

 

Wayne Davis (Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Alto Sax)

After playing clarinet in high school and college with the UGA Redcoat Band, Wayne put his horn away. Then, in 2001, figuring he could still play bad clarinet better than he could sing bad tenor, he left the choir and joined the orchestra at Snellville First Baptist Church. When all the cobwebs were blown out of his clarinet, Wayne started adding other instruments to his tool kit – bass clarinet, alto sax, soprano sax and tenor sax. He now performs at churches all over the Atlanta area, in several community concert bands and jazz bands, and in the pit bands for a number of local productions of Broadway shows, including “Hello Dolly,” “Damn Yankees,” and “Kiss Me Kate.” He currently plays regularly with the Snellville First Baptist orchestra, jazz band, and praise band, Peachtree Symphonic Winds concert band, and with Metro Jazz Club.

 

Jenene Craig (Alto Sax) – on leave

Jenene grew up in a family of musicians. Her mother was the Bari Sax player for South Dakota State and played piano as well. Her dad played trumpet. Jenene started at a young age with piano and clarinet, but quickly discovered her love for other instruments. During high school she played alto sax in the jazz band with her sister, Charlene, who played tenor sax. Following in her mothers footsteps, she became the first girl to make the Georgia All-State Jazz band on alto sax. In the marching band, she played sousaphone, saxophone, clarinet, or whatever else was needed. She played BBb Contrabass Clarinet in the school concert band, and toured Europe with the 1977 American Collegiate Wind Band. After high school, Jenene went on a full music scholarship to college, where she enjoyed furthering her instrumental experience, managing a symphony orchestra, and playing the oboe. Her proudest musical moment during her college days would be trading licks with Chuck Mangione on stage! Jenene currently plays oboe in the orchestra and alto sax in the jazz band at First Baptist Snellville.

 

Scott Paretti (Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Bari Sax, Clarinet, Flute)

Scott was born and raised in New Orleans, and moved his family to the Atlanta area after Hurricane Katrina.  He started on the clarinet in elementary school, picked up the flute in middle school, and started on alto sax in high school. As he started gigging, and then playing through college, Scott started playing all the saxes.  In New Orleans, he played with oldies bands, swing bands, R & B horn bands, and dixieland bands.  With MJC, Scott has filled in where needed – on alto, tenor and bari.  Since moving to the Atlanta area, he has served in the music ministries at North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville. Scott cites Benny Goodman, Bobby Militello, Earl Bonie, and Gary Dalton as major influences.

 

 

Ron Wincek (Baritone Sax, Clarinet)

Ron started his music journey on clarinet in elementary school and later added the baritone sax and flute to his instrumental repertoire in the high school. College years were spent playing clarinet with the Florida State Marching Chiefs and summers playing alto sax in a youth group band called Exodus. It was music that influenced his decision to move to Atlanta after graduating from college to play saxophone in a Contemporary Christian Rock group called Ransom (despite parental pressures on getting a real job.)  Since then Ron has muscled that Bari to venues in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and Central and South America, and has had the opportunity to play in groups with Camp Kirkland, Babbie Mason, Lee Greenwood, Mathew West, and also the Guy Lombardo Orchestra. He currently plays baritone sax with several local Atlanta big bands and is involved in the music ministry at church. Ron is married to Patty, and has four daughters. Ron thanks to God for the amazing gifts and opportunities provided through music.

 

Holly Brubaker (Alto Sax, Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet)

Holly, originally from California, studied music at Cal State Fullerton – home of the perennial NCAA baseball powerhouse Titans. She currently resides in Snellville, and she teaches music at Roma Academy of Music and Art, Ken Stanton Music, and Music and Arts.  She is married to Todd – our Bass Trombonist.

 

 

 

TRUMPET SECTION

Fonnie Harlan (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)

Fonnie is the lead trumpet for MJC. He was born in New Orleans, LA., and moved to Chamblee GA. in 1969 at age 10. Fonnie has been playing trumpet since age 12, including 5 years at Chamblee High School and 3 years at DeKalb College and Technical School. He started playing in church at Dunwoody Baptist Church in the late 70′s, and has been playing trumpet and electric bass for First Baptist Snellville since 1988. Maynard Ferguson was the main influence to his playing.

 

Brian Cunningham (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)

Brian is our primary jazz soloist in the trumpet section.  He is also adept on the keyboards. He has a music degree from Belmont University, and also holds a Masters of Divinity from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis. Brian has served and played throughout the southeastern United States for over 30 years.  He also regularly travels overseas on music mission trips.  Brian currently serves at Briarcliff Baptist Church in Atlanta.

 

 

 

John Groeninger (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)

John has played the trumpet since an early age, following in his Grandfather’s and Dad’s footprints. He played in the Purdue University Marching, Symphonic, and Jazz Bands, and was fortunate to tour Japan and Venezuela with the Purdue Bands. After a hiatus to raise 4 children, John has playedwith various community bands in the Atlanta area. He currently plays with Peachtree Symphonic Winds, Metro Jazz Club and the McKendree United Methodist Church Orchestra.

 

Mike Ackerman (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)

Mike started playing trumpet the summer between 5th and 6th grades, and it was love at first sight. His first influence was trumpeter Herb Alpert. That changed dramatically one day when he was at his trumpet teacher’s house and heard a Maynard Ferguson recording. Mike couldn’t believe that anyone could play a horn like that. Since then, his playing influences have expanded to include Doc Severinsen, Al Hirt, Rafael Mendez, George Graham and Wayne Bergeron. Mike took 20-plus years off from playing, only to re-discover his love for the instrument in recent years. Mike also plays with the Peachtree Symphonic Winds and in his church orchestra.

 

Kevin Bundy (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)

Kevin started sitting in with MJC early in 2017. He studied music at the University of Memphis. He regularly plays with other groups in the Atlanta area.
Previously living in Nashville, he and his wife Karen now live in the Atlanta area.

 

TROMBONE SECTION

Don Presley (Trombone, Band Treasurer)

Don Presley plays tenor trombone, leading the section for MJC, and is also lead trombone for the Orchestra and Jazz group at First Baptist Snellville.   His background in formal/informal music education stretches back to 1980 and covers a number of different instruments. He currently operates an engineering/contracting firm out of Lithonia, but remains hopeful that the trombone will once again become a mainstream lead instrument in modern popular music, resulting for the first time in respect and demand for garage trombonists everywhere — and as long as I’m dreaming, I’d like a pony.

 

 

Mike Schmidt (Trombone)

Mike attended the University of Vermont.  He currently resides in Sugar Hill with his wife Kimberly and their 2 children Evan and Caroline.  He currently plays trombone and bass trombone in the orchestra at North Metro Baptist Church. Some of Mike’s major musical inspirations have been trombonists Carl Fontana and Guy Meador.

 

 

 

Jack Randall  (Trombone)

Jack went to Albany High School and The University of Georgia.  After graduating from UGA with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education, Jack taught band for 12 years and special education for 18 years.  He played with several swing bands before joining the Metro Jazz Club.  Jack served as the Director of the Gwinnett Community Band from 2010 until 2014 when he stepped down from this position to serve as the Assistant Director of the group.  He has always been active with music groups in church, and he and his wife are now playing with the Lilburn Christian Church orchestra.

 

Todd Brubaker (Bass Trombone)

Todd is originally from California and lives in Snellville.  He is self-employed as a Security Project Manager and has an MBA from Columbia Southern University.  He plays regularly with several big bands, orchestras and church groups, and also with the Atlanta Trombone Ensemble and the Atlanta Bone Collective. He is married to Holly from our sax section.

 

 

RHYTHM SECTION

Terry Creedon (Drums)

A graduate of the Naval School of Music and U.S. Navy Band, Terry performed professionally with Vegas show bands, jazz and pop groups, theater groups, and circus acts. His credits include Margaret Whiting, Della Reese, George Gobel, Nipsey Russel, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Maureen McGovern, and Ike Cole. Today, Terry plays drums/percussion in church, and plays regularly with several local bands.

 

 

Nada Long (Piano)

Nada spent several years as the Director of Worship and Music at Ebenezer UMC in Conyers, and now leads the music ministry at McKendree UMC in Lawrenceville.  She has a Bachelor of Music Education degree in voice and piano from Oklahoma City University, in addition to an associates degree in Audio-Visual Technology from Rose State College. Nada taught Junior High choirs for 7 years, and has been the choir director in many different churches since 1977. Nada directed a community chorus, “Atlanta Sings!,” from 1988 thru 1996. During that time period she also sang with a wedding band. She has also done some composing and arranging, including some commercial work, and has taught private voice lessons since 1978. Nada is married to Zip Long, and is the proud mother of Natalie Smith, who is a professional flutist, and mother-in-law to Brian Smith, a classical guitarist.

 

Andy Makely (Guitar)

Andy went to South Gwinnett High School and studied at Georgia Tech and resides in the Atlanta area with his wife Alison.  He is currently a lead developer at Moxie.  He has been playing in bands around Atlanta for a couple of decades. He currently leads his own blues group, The Andy Makely Band.

 

 

 

Dave Goodson (Bass)

Dave’s grandfather, an Alabama old-time/barn dance musician in the ’30s & ’40s, got Dave started on guitar and banjo when he was just a lad. Dave picked up the bass and tuba in the mid-’70s as a high school sophomore, and continued playing bass in the high school jazz and musical pit bands, as well as a local rock band “Exodus.”  He then went on to play bass in the Jazz Band at the University of Alabama, as well as playing drums with the “Million Dollar Band.” He continued to play bass in a melodic jazz group “Jazzmatics” in the late ’80s, while living in Washington D.C.  Since moving to Atlanta in 1990, Dave has played with several blues, R & B, and pop bands, including his current band, “Leonard Blush,” a power rockin’ blues band.

 

Vocalists

 

Amanda Richards

Amanda has an amazing voice and is always a crowd favorite.  She does a beautiful job with the old standards like “Cry Me a River” and “Skylark,” but also can dazzle you with her versions of Diane Schuur’s “Deedle’s Blues,”  Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” or Joe Cocker’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On.”

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Joines

From an early age, Jason loved music. From performing as a featured singer in his elementary school’s annual Irish program, to being a lead singer for Faith ‘n Pain, a late 80’s rock band, he found that he felt most alive on stage. While growing up, his parents introduced him to the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, and Nat King Cole. He quickly found a love for the Great American Songbook and came to the conclusion that he was born about 40 years too late. Over the next two decades, Jason watched as this genre came back to the attention of music fans with growing popularity of artists such as Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Buble. In 2007, Jason decided it was time to find a way to fulfill his dream of performing his favorite songs with a big band. After singing with a few local swing bands, Jason found his home with the Metro Jazz Club in 2010. In addition, Jason currently sings with the choir at Transfiguration Catholic Church in Marietta.

 

 

Former Founding members of Metro Jazz Club

Maxine Cummins (Vocals)

Born into a family that loved music, Maxine started singing at the age of three. With opportunities to sing solos, duets, trios, ensembles, and choirs, Maxine has sung music of various genres, including the classic pop standards of the Big Band era. Maxine has worked with dance orchestras and combos and has appeared on radio, television, and stage, and has released three CDs. In addition to having performed with Metro Jazz Club, she does a solo show for senior groups in the metro area.

Ed Cummins (Tenor Sax)

Ed played in his high school marching/concert band, helped start a dance band, and played with a pro dance band before moving on to a Rock-a-Billy band in the late 1950′s. Ed also plays guitar and helped form the “Georgia Fingerstyle Guitar Association” (www.gfga.org.) He put the saxophone down for 50+ years until his retirement, before coming back out in the early 2000′s to join a trio touring the RV resorts and retirement villages in Florida during the Snowbird Season. Besides the Metro Jazz Club, Ed also played with combos, concert bands, and his church orchestra. He is thinking about going back to work so he can take a day off once in a while.

Gary Smith (Bass and Webmaster)

Gary Smith was a founding member and great supporter, helping with web sites and logos etc.  Gary and his wife Jackie spent many hours working on our web site text and content. Gary’s health made it tough to keep playing regularly in recent years so he stepped aside to focus on life. But even after leaving the band full time, Gary continues to help us out. Gary will ALWAYS BE A CLUB MEMBER

Mark Pavlovich (Trumpet)

Mark played trumpet in another band with Gary Dalton and several other founding members. When that band “went sour,” Metro Jazz Club was formed! Mark has moved out of the area but he too will ALWAYS BE A CLUB MEMBER.

 

 

In Memory of Former members who have passed away

Kirby Wells – Trombone
Bruce Vrieland – Bass Trombone