Meet The Band
Dave Crump (Banjo & Vocals)
Dave is proud to be an ear trained rather than a paper trained musician. He hosts big band and do-wopp jam sessions in his living room each week and has been an active member of the Pick'n, Sing'n, and Gathering Folk Society as long as anyone can remember. Dave knows more songs than you'll ever hear in your lifetime.
Randy Jennings (Bass & Band Leader)
Randy is a founding member of the Cats and can remember when he still played electric bass. Proficient in many musical disciplines, Randy also plays classical music with the Delmar Community Orchestra and Bluegrass with Thirteen Feet of Bluegrass
Russ Myer (Percussion)
Russ Myer, Current drummer for the Nisky Dixie Cats started playing drums in
the 4th grade after hearing his cousin play the 60s rock tune, Louie Louwha
(sorry for misspelling)
Russ's formal musical training started with classical percussion under George D'Anna , Principle Percussionist of the Buffalo Philharmonic. After playing in a rock band in high school, Russ studied Jazz percussion with
Brud Bunker, noted percussionist from Bradford, PA, who played with the
likes of Charlie Parker and jazz organist Mac Sue. Other notable instructors
include Rusty Jones, drummer for George Shearing, and Ed Soph of the Woody
Herman Thundering Herd. Musically. Russ studied under Jamie Aebersold and
Woody Shaw at SUNY Brockport and Nathan Davis at the University of
Russ reads music well, enjoys playing all kinds of music from musicals to
Latin , to Polkas to Dixie Land. Good Music is just that, Good Music..Russ
enjoys it all
Don Nania (Trumpet & Cornet)
Don grew up in the Rochester, NY area first studying trumpet with Rochester Big Band trumpeter Sam Cordaro, and later, with trumpet legend Vince DiMartino. Don played with the “all State” award winning West Webster Fireman’s Band and the Webster Town Band plus High School ensembles. While attending College, he played with various Rochester area wedding/party bands and with the Nazareth College Jazz ensemble.
After settling into his career as a Fiscal Analyst with the NY State Office of Mental Health, Don returned to his love of music about fifteen years ago performing with the Guilderland Town Band, Rotterdam Town Band and Jazz Ensemble, and the Delmar Community Orchestra. Don has been playing with the Dixie Cats for more than ten years and has added the cornet to his instrumental arsenal to give that traditional Dixie style timbre to his sound.
Lew Petteys (Tenor Sax)
Lew has been a music educator for many years and continues to instruct the Cats when they run afoul. His first love was the violin but that soured when he discovered the clarinet. He finally came to his senses and settled on the tenor sax where he is currently ensconced.
John VanVoris (Clarinet)
John Van Voris has been making music professionally in New York’s Capital Region since the age of fifteen. A versatile player, he is frequently in demand as a “doubler” on clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, flute, and piccolo. John has performed with the Schenectady, Albany, and Catskill symphonies, The Joey Thomas Big Band, Spectrum Dance Band, The Georgie Wonders Orchestra, and many other regional ensembles. As a pit orchestra member and backing musician, he has played shows at Proctor’s Theater, The Cohoes Music Hall, The Palace Theater, and The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and with such luminaries as Andy Williams, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Johnny Mathis, and Ron Carter to name a few. John currently performs regularly with The Zephyr Winds, The Glaston Duo, The Capital Region Wind Ensemble, The Nisky Dixie Cats, The Old Time Dance Band, and the Brass-O-Mania Big Band.
In addition to his performance work, John serves as the president of The Albany Musicians’ Association, Local 14 of the American Federation of Musicians.
Dave Rhodes (Trombone)
Dave learned to play the trombone in West Hartford, Connecticut where he was a member of the award-winning Hall High School Pops and Jazz Band. After graduation, he took a brief hiatus until he heard the cry of the Cats and took up where he left off (somewhere around fifth position).
Dave has played trombone with the Cats for over sixteen years. Dave also plays trombone with the Georgie Wonders Big Band and bass and guitar with the bluegrass group Three Quarters North. Quote: "The Dixie Cats have been very good for me. I even think some of the color is starting to return to my cheeks."
John Bobrowich - Clarinet
Addie Boyle - Saxophone
Maurice Calis - Drums
Lynne Colose - Saxophone
Ken Fleming - Trumpet
Tom Pratt - Clarinet
Marion Rhodes - Piano
Chandler Rowell - Drums
Mary Watso - Clarinet
Marty Rawlens - Clarinet