Members of the Band

Fred Vigorito (Cornet & Leader, Guilford CT) - Fred has led the Galvanized Jazz Band since 1971. Since his retirement from the Southern New England Telephone company he has been a full-time musician. Studying cornet with Dick Fortino, Fred showed remarkable aptitude and played first trumpet in Connecticut’s All-State Band as a high school freshman. He has been playing New Orleans Jazz since 1963 when he joined Big Bill Bissonnette's Easy Rider Jazz Band. Fred is featured on more than 35 recordings, his most memorable being a 1965 GHB recording at Preservation Hall with jazz veterans Jim Robinson, Albert Burbank, Creole George Guesnon and Don Ewell. Fred plays a hot, driving cornet style, with a clear, defining lead. His major influences include Louis Armstrong, Kid Thomas, Kid Howard, Wild Bill Davison, Bobby Hackett, Muggsy Spanier, Ruby Braff and Thomas Jefferson.

Russ Whitman (Clarinet & every kind of Saxophone, Ansonia, CT) - Russ grew up in Chicago and attended Harvard University, where he encountered Herb Gardner and Tex Wyndham. He has managed to stay active in traditional jazz throughout his long career as a physicist and more recently as a computer programmer. Because of Russ's unsurpassed versatility on every member of the saxophone family, he is one of the most sought after reed men in the business. He has performed at more than forty-five jazz festivals and has recorded some twenty albums since 1970, many with the James Dapogny’s fabulous Chicago Jazz Band. His 1982 Atlantic recording with Sippie Wallace was nominated for a Grammy.

Bill Sinclair (Piano) - Bill grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, where he still resides. As a youth he studied piano privately with Donald Currier at Yale University. Eventually he discovered traditional jazz and was particularly inspired by New Orleans pianist Alton Purnell. Bill is a versatile pianist, with an incredible feel for New Orleans jazz as it should be played, from the heart, with deep meaning and poignant subtleties. Also a former Easy Rider, Bill has been playing New Orleans Jazz for over 40 years, and in addition to his GJB schedule, Bill leads his own band twice weekly. In terms of world travel, Bill leads the pack, having been invited to play in Germany, France and Belgium every year for the past 25 years. Bill also leads the pack in recordings with New Orleans Jazz veterans, appearing on approximately 35 CD recordings. According to the New York Jazz Gazette, "Bill handles solos with imagination and taste, and is well able to drive the rhythm section when required".

Arthur Hovey (Tuba & String Bass, Milford, CT) - Art grew up on Long Island in Riverhead, NY, where he played tuba in every organization that would have him. Art discovered traditional jazz as a student at Yale and managed to stay active through graduate school and 35 years as a high school physics teacher. As an original member of the GJB (and the Galvanized Washboard Band before that) Art has been active in traditional jazz for more than 50 years. He also recorded and produced most of the GJB's CDs, cassettes, and LPs, and is responsible for this website. Art was principal tubist with the New Haven Symphony for ten years, and currently performs with the CT Symphonic Winds and the Civic Orchestra of New Haven. As a jazz educator Art has organized many youth bands over the years, specializing in traditional jazz and ragtime. Notable among them is the very successful Sugarfoot Jazz Band. Art also coaches traditional jazz and ragtime groups at New Haven's Neighborhood Music School.

Bob Bequillard (Drums, Winsted, CT) - Bob is a true Dixieland veteran, having played for over 40 years, and with the best of them. He even traded fours with Teddy Wilson in the late sixties, and Teddy was impressed! Another highlight for Bob was a seventies RCA recording with Wild Bill Davison and Bob's personal friend, George Masso. Those of us who play with Bob, and occasionally with other drummers, have grown to appreciate Bob's ability to always hold that steady, solid beat, in spite of the sometimes craziness of the front line. And when it comes to solos, Bob is a master: exciting, yet always tasteful. In his spare time Bob works as an accountant.


Back to "About the Band"