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Davey Yarborough

Dave Burns’ Hot Mustard is one of the longest tenured and most successful of PRJC bands, and Dave has had the band since 1974.

   A long time PRJC member, Dave, who is retired from the Foreign Service, plays trombone with Hot Mustard these days and sings the vocals. (He is also conversant in bass, piano, and even tuba, if the need be). Dave, as you might imagine from the band’s recorded output, is a lover of good songs, and Hot Mustard concentrates on the presentation of versions of popular songs, not only well-known tin pan alley output, but of lesser known nice tunes that he has found. (The band’s most recent CD, “Nothing Loved Is Ever Lost”, features Dave's vocals, along with Ron Hockett on reeds, Davey Yarborough, flute and alto sax, Charlie Byrd, guitar, Larry Eanet, piano, Steve Novosel, bass, Harold Summey, drums, Sam Turner, percussion, Chuck Redd, vibes, and Steve Abshire, guitar.)

   Dave’s delivery all these years remains silkily smooth (no mean trick, when, for example, you are rendering “Sister Kate” as Dave did on a Voice of America broadcast with the old Sunshine band years ago).

   The notes to their earlier release, “Don't Postpone Joy”, (the band has 7 CD's out) express that they utilize two styles, swing and dixieland. Lee Lester, in his notes to the band’s recording, “Happy Feet” said:

   “Webster defines classic as of enduring excellence; adhering to traditional values of simplicity, restraint, and proportionality; in fashion year after year. Can we not therefore confidently assert that the decade of the 1930’s is THE “classic” period of American popular song? Same with jazz: styles come and go, but lyrical invention and swinging pulse and taste endure. ...It’s a winning combo: classic tunes rendered with classic swing”.

   Mike Joyce gave “Happy Feet” a fine review in the Post, complementing the then rhythm section of Dude Brown and Steve Jordan, two names that PRJCers may recognize, along with Ron Hockett, Wally Garner and Country Thomas, who have recorded with the band on clarinet. The current configuration also received a nice mention in the Post in conjunction with a relatively recent appearance on the Kennedy Center Millenium stage. The band’s flier contains a list of other places they have played, not the least of which in terms of interest is the Aryaduta Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, along with concerts in Bali and Sumatra. Buck Hill, one of the most highly respected tenor saxes in jazz, and who has played with many other jazz stars during his career, frequently plays with the band. Recently, Hot Mustard played a Jazz Cabaret at the Cosmos Club, on a program that also featured Buck Hill and vocalist Ronnie Wells.

   Dave Burns

   Dave early on studied voice, and sang and played bass with a local dance band (The Masqueraders) when he was stationed in D. C. in the Air Force. While attending Princeton U. he was in the famous Triangle reviews. On one of his Foreign Service assignments, he studied trombone at the Conservatory of Music in Algiers. In the mid 1960’s, he founded the New Sunshine Jazz Band, (which was a founding PRJC member band), and in subsequent years toured abroad with Buck Clayton. In discussions with Dave, whom I have known for some time, I am consistently reminded that he remains someone who has a flood of positive ideas for the future of the club as well as jazz in D. C. We could surely visit these ideas in the future.

   Hot Mustard has its own website, a good way to keep up with what the band is doing now - www2.dgsys.com~davesand. (And you can order the band’s recordings from Midnight Music, 888-843-0933, or contact Dave Burns Music, 1712 19th St., NW, DC 20009, 202-462-2129.)

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