Get involved with the PRJC!
Notice: The PRJC Board is actively seeking additional Board Members to join our forces.
The Board meets monthly, generally an hour prior to our monthly concerts. If interested in joining, please
contact us at prjclub at gmail.
The PRJC initiates Jazz Education Discussions
When Life gives you lemons, or a pandemic, sometimes wonderful new initiatives are born.
Stuck at home and unable to host our entire 2020 concert series, the PRJC shifted into high gear to transform our monthly concerts into online events.
Starting in July, we teamed up with several of our local favorites to offer online concerts:
Jefferson Street Strutters, Seth Kibel, Ken Matthews, and Halley Shoenberg.
In addition, the PRJC initiated a new online monthly Jazz Education Discussion series, presented live on Zoom with top Jazz scholars/musicians across the US.
John McCusker lead off the season in September with his presentation on the 1811 Kid Ory Historic House - John's presentation.
This was followed by Louis Armstrong's Heart Full of Rhythm presented by Ricky Riccardi in October - Ricky's presentation,
The Banjo and other Strings: The History and Context of the Banjo and String Bands in New Orleans -
presented by Seva Venet in November - Seva's presentation,
and Dr. Michael White closed out the year with his research and personal stories of Kid Thomas Valentine: New Orleans Trupmpeter and Band Leader in December - Dr. White's presentation.
All of the PRJC Jazz presentations and concerts are available to watch on the PRJC Youtube channel. Be sure to subscribe and "like" our featured presentations, as we plan on continuing this series into 2021!
PRJC Veteran Passes: Charles Bitterli
1 January 2021
Longtime jazz club member and frequent presence at PRJC's monthly concerts, Charles Bitterli, 98, died on January 1. Charles was an early club joiner, along with his late wife, Doris. He once served as Membership Chair. They both had a passion for traditional jazz and attended every concert possible. Doris, in her youth, was among the frivolous members who danced on tabletops.
Charles, his son Paul reports, was more reserved. But for years they were known as the dancing couple with the hanky and kept stepping around the dance floor into their 90's. He was easy to spot as the fellow who wore his pants halfway up his torso. |
Charles, a Pittsburgh native, was an accomplished mathematician who, in his work at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, created the program to track the Russian space marvel Sputnik. That code was later used to build our critical GPS system and, according to Paul, is still in use today.
Charles and Doris loved puzzles, travel, and family. Paul remembers Charles as being "loved by all who knew him, a very gentle man."
PRJC extends condolences to the Bitterli family of two children, seven grandchildren and two great grands.
Capital Focus at the Satchmo Festival
8 August 2014
The PRJC received some great feedback regarding the Capital Focus Youth Jazz Band's performance at
the 13th Annual Satchmo SummerFest in New Orleans. Sonny B. wrote: "Today your 'youth' band played a fabulous set at the Satchmo Summer Fest!
I am lucky to get to hear great trad jazz here all the time, and I don't usually like bands just because they are 'young'. I was headed to another
stage when I passed near the Capital Focus group and the sound drew me in. I had no idea young people outside New Orleans even knew what trad jazz was,
much less could play at this level. Your organization and band director are doing a wonderful job. Thanks so much for sharing the band with us. We hope
to see them back again soon." Thanks Sonny, for your comments and photo!
Date Night with Lena and the Guys
4 July 2014
Photo by Darwyn M. Dave
Our great Independence Day weekend included watching fireworks with friends at the Tidal Basin,
but of more interest to the PRJC, it all started that Thursday with some excellent trad jazz. On the evening of July 3,
Lena Seikaly and The Conservatory Classic Jazz Band (CCJB) performed at the Thursday "Date Night" at the Carlyle Club
in Alexandria--a perfect evening complete with dinner and a dance--of course! From the very start of the evening,
Lena had the crowd (a full house) under her control. The CCJB was led by Dave Robinson on cornet/trumpet,
Brian Priebe on trombone, Gary Gregg on clarinet/sax, Dan Hall on bass, Jeff Reynolds on banjo and guitar, and
Anders Eliasson on drums. We again heard Lena's rendition of Fats Waller's little known song, "Willow Tree," which
she and the CCJB first introduced to PRJC members in June at the concert with Neville Dickie. The first set included
"After You've Gone," "I'm Nobody's Baby," "A Good Man is Hard to Find," and "Bei Mir Bist Du Shein," and ended with a
roaring "I Double Dare You." (We were tempted to start waving our white dinner napkins above our heads!)|
The CCJB opened the second set with a tune that again got the crowd going, the old New Orleans favorite,
the 1916 hit song "Down in Honky Tonk Town." This was followed by the most haunting song of the evening which started off,
surprisingly, with a drum solo by Anders Eliasson--Cab Calloway's "Sweet Lotus Blossom." No one moved a muscle until the
last note had faded away. Not knowing the song, at home I Iooked the tune up on YouTube and heard an older version,
which I must admit was not as haunting. I also learned from Lena that the song was from the Paramount picture Earl Carroll's,
"Murder At The Vanities" and originally titled "Marahuana" (1934), composed by Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow. The CCJB closed
out the evening with the 1930 spiritual "On Revival Day." If you missedhttp://prjc.org/prjcevents.html the Carlyle club performance, I suggest you ask Lena,
Dave, and the CCJB to play a few of these tunes at their next Normandie Jam session.
20 May 2014
The PRJC Board is saddened to share with its members the following obituary for Douglas Powell.
As Dexter Gordon once said "Jazz to me is a living music. It's a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people."
Graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, Richmond, class of 1952. Douglas Carter Powell, an original member of Bill Zickafoose and the Continentals.
A musician and band leader who expressed his love for jazz all throughout Northern Virginia, took his final breath listening to Count Basie at age 80 on May 20, 2014.
Douglas Carter Powell, will be remembered for his impromptu sense of humor and unforgettable passion for jazz.
He is survived by his wife Liz Powell. His sisters Kay and Margaret. His children; James, Jeffrey, Elizabeth, Michael, and Brian. Grandchildren; Alex, Emily, Rachel, Brittany, Jessica, Tori, and great granddaughter; Alice.
In memory of Richard Davis|
The PRJC Board is saddened to announce the passing of
long time PRJC member Richard (Dick) Davis, 93, who passed away on February 22 at his daughter's home.
Dick was always the first to stand up and give the band a thumb's up. Born April 22, 1920, in Brockton, MA,
he was the husband of the late Dorothy Wendler Davis, his wife of 65 years. He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont and had served during World War II.
He retired from a career with the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Dick enjoyed outdoor activities and of course listening to Dixieland jazz, traveling extensively with his wife by motor home and especially being with family.
He is survived by daughters and sons-in-law Sherry and Dann Finch, of Westminster, and Susan Davis (who in 2013 often accompanied him to PRJC events) and her husband Baird Straughan, of Annapolis.
Our sincerest sympathies go out to his family and friends.
In memory of Don Rouse|
John Donald Rouse, (5/04/1937-9/10/2013), long time PRJC clarinetist, passed away on September 10th, and will
be greatly missed for his music and involvement in the community. Don was a renaissance man in many ways, a superb
jazz clarinet player who also played slide whistle with Razz'm Jazz'm; a TV producer and TV host for the Green Hour
program on the Arlington Independent Media (AIM); an excellent writer, who served for a while as co-editor of
Tailgate Ramblings, and a lover of nature and good walks.
In memory of Stuart Parcher|
January 30 2013
Stuart Michael Parcher, 82, a retired Navy Captain, died peacefully with family at his side on January 30th in Lafayette, Colorado, after a long struggle with Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia.
A native of Glendale, CA, Stuart graduated from the University of Southern California (Journalism) in 1952. After completing Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, he was commissioned in 1953. He served at the following commands: Naval Communications Station, Pearl Harbor, HI; Naval Communications Stations in Washington DC and the Philippines; Government Communications Headquarters, Cheltenham, England; Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA (student); Headquarters, Naval Security Group Command (Washington, DC); and Naval Security Group Activity, Hanza, Okinawa. At several of these duty stations, he edited or was officer advisor to the station newspaper. His San Miguel "South China Sea Sentinel" won a Navy-wide award for best paper in its class.
As executive officer at Hanza, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and became the commanding officer of that activity. He then returned to NSGC Headquarters as inspector general, and then assistant commander for SIGINT Operations. Assigned to a three-year tour as Director, Naval Security Group Europe (and Cryptologic Advisor, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe) in London, he returned to NSA for a year before retiring in 1982 after 30 years of active duty. His awards include two Meritorious Service medals.
In late 1982, he joined the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Arlington, VA and as an Operations Research Staff Specialist and deputy manager of the Space Systems Division's Advanced Programs. During this period he organized and chaired an informal luncheon group which grew to more than 100 retired NSGC officers working in the defense industry in the Washington metropolitan area. He retired from LMSC in 1995.
Stuart and his wife of almost 62 years, June Frances Parcher, moved to Rockville, MD in 1976. They had developed a love of traditional American jazz, often called Dixieland jazz, when they were dating in CA in the late 40's and enjoyed many jazz events including festivals and cruises over the last twenty years. Stuart served on the Board of Directors of the Potomac River Jazz Club and organized quarterly concerts of their favorite band, the Buck Creek Jazz Band.
Besides his wife, survivors include their two sons, CDR Donald S. Parcher, U.S.N. (Ret.) (Laraine) of Boulder, CO and Kenneth M. Parcher (Linda) of Hanover, MD, his older sister Margaret (Peg) Faulkner (Ray) of Silver Spring, and, four grandchildren, Jeffrey, Matthew, Gregory and Elizabeth.
In memory of Stan Klein|
Stan Klein was known by those who frequent the Normandie Farm jam session as "the washboard guy." He was devoted to playing the washboard and attended washboard conventions to keep up with technique.|
We hope to have an obituary for Stan in the coming days.
In memory of Randy Adams|
Lt. Gen. Ranald T. Adams, Jr., USAF (Ret.) of Alexandria, Virginia, died on December 30 at Inova Loudoun Hospital of
complications from lymphoma. He was 87 years old.
A fighter pilot, Gen Adams was serving with the 68th FIS in Japan when the Korean War broke out. He flew the F-82G Double Mustang "Rhapsody in Rivets" in early combat action and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, four Air Medals, and the Commendation Medal.
After the war he was Assistant Professor of Military Topography and Graphics at West Point, attended the Air Command and Staff and Air War Colleges and earned a MSIA from George Washington University.
After retirement from the Air Force, Gen. Adams worked in investment management and served as a consultant to the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee before retiring again in 1991.
Randy Adams, Jr. was born on March 7, 1925, at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. He graduated from high school in Columbia, SC in 1941 at age 16, where he was deemed "Most Musical" in his class. After attending what is now Virginia Tech for two years, he received an at-large appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point, where he was an Air Cadet, and sang and played clarinet in the Cadet Dance Band. He also had a Jazz group at West Point called "The Sunday Seven" because they played on Sundays in a Language Lab. He played clarinet and provided vocals.
He graduated in June 1946 commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.
Gen Adams was married for 58 years to the late Jeannette C. Adams. He is survived by his son, Ranald T. Adams III, of Hyde Park, NY; his two daughters, Jeannette M. Adams of Bothell, Washington and Mary Adams Lafsky, of Great Falls, Virginia; his three grandchildren, and his companion, Doris Goffus of Locust Grove, Virginia.
In memory of Dave Brubeck|
The PRJC joins jazz loves throughout the world in morning the loss of Dave Brubeck on December 5, 2012.
Pianist and composer Dave Brubeck helped make jazz popular again in the 1950s and 60s with
recordings like "Time Out," the first jazz album to sell a million copies, and "Take Five," the
still instantly recognizable hit single that was that album's centerpiece.
Born on Dec. 6, 1920, in Concord, Calif., near San Francisco, Brubeck would have turned 92.
Mr. Brubeck first met his most important musical colleague, Mr. Desmond, the alto saxophonist, in an Army band in 1943.
For a detailed write-up of Mr. Brubeck's musical history, please see the New Your Times obituary at:
Capital Focus Jazz Band|
The Capital Focus Jazz Band (CFJB) marching in the Rockville Memorial Day Parade. Of special mention - CFJB won the Judges' Award for their parade performance!
William David "Bill" Rowe|
Bill Rowe, 82, of Chesapeake Beach, MD passed away May 16, 2012 at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Fairfax, VA.
Born January 7, 1930 in Newark, NJ, Bill was employed as an environmental consultant for
Peak Performance of McLean, VA. He formerly was a self employed consultant operating Rowe Research and Engineering.
The PRJC will remember him as the accomplished musician we all knew from the monthly jam sessions at St. Elmo's Coffee House and at the Westlawn Inn.
Bill managing and playing the drums for The Not So Modern Jazz Band. In addition to being a member of the Potomac River Jazz Club, he was also
a member of the Masonic Order and Kena Shrine in Fairfax, VA, and the Kiwanis Club of Northern Virginia.
He was also a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Sunderland, MD. He was involved with the Twin Beach Players, Treasure of the Bay Business Group
and often performed at the Wine and Arts Festival at All Saints Church.
He was a brew master who enjoyed making his own beer, and was very athletic and enjoyed jogging, lifting weights, swimming and biking.|
Bill is survived by four children William D. Rowe, Jr. and wife Teresa of Annandale, VA, Andie Rowe and husband Robert Jones of Germantown, MD, Dede Rowe of Savannah, GA and Ryan Rowe and wife Sandra of Ft. Myers, FL, as well as six grandchildren and a brother Howard Rowe of Indianapolis, IN.
Bon Voyage, Ms. Audrey|
By Charles Enlind, PRJC Vice President
About 10 years ago a new face showed up at a PRJC venue, enthusiastically sharing the music. And she kept showing up until she became an old friend. That new face turned out to be Audrey Van Dyke. Sadly, now that Audrey has retired from federal government service, she has moved to far northern Michigan. In fact, to an island in the middle of Lake Michigan.
Shortly after that initial foray into the local trad jazz scene Audrey became involved with just about every function of the Potomac River Jazz Club.
Her contributions as PRJC president, Tailgate Ramblings editor, and selecting the bands performing for our specials have never been equaled. As an attorney for the US Navy she travelled extensively to areas that coincidentally had trad jazz and became familiar with the best bands nationwide playing our kind of
music. If you mention her name to a jazz devotee hundreds of miles away they'll probably ask to be remembered to their dear DC jazz fan friend.
An avid sheet music collector, Audrey is the unofficial go-to librarian for bands and players all over the country who need some authentic old arrangement of a rare tune.
Her love of music also extended to the Northern Virginia Ragtime Society where she actively served in various capacities. We wish you well Audrey and
hope to see you come back to this area as often as you can. Until then, as the song says, PRJC has them "Beaver Island Blues."
Street Talk in New Orleans
By Audrey Van Dyke, Editor Tailgate Ramblings, PRJC
Its hard to practice without my piano.
This cornet plays like crap. (followed by a demonstration of valve action after immersion in water for several days).
All my arrangements are gone. I made two decisions. Not to mourn anymore, and not to try to replace them.
Our lives are downsized.
A friend sent me a few of my favorite CDs. I can listen to music again.
Someone offered to send me a computer file with all my favorite old jazz records. But my computer is gone too.
These were fragments of conversations by New Orleans musicians overheard by some of the 33 PRJC members who went to French Quarter Festival back in April 2006.
This was not another plea for money. Instead, the PRJC took action to address a specific need, at no out of pocket expense, and maybe just a little bit of pain on our parts. As a jazz club, we came up with a pile of CDs to send down to the New Orleans traditional jazz musicians, in an effort to return a little music to the people who have given it to us over the years following Katrina.
The two rules for the CD drive were: First, we only took CDs, produced commercially and in good condition. A couple of the musicians still liked vinyl, so we also gathered good condition LPs. Second, we only asked for historic/classic/early jazz. Much as we all love our favorite hometown and festival bands, that was not the point of this mission. CD's included 20s jazz, for Chicago and New York jazz of the 30s and 40s, and a little of the California revival in the 50s.
The one exception to the two rules: we also collected cassettes or recent recordings featuring any of the contemporary New Orleans trad jazz musicians as part of our CD effort. It wasnt just their collections of historic jazz recordings that the musicians lost. Also destroyed in the flood were their recorded musical histories of their own playing.
Dave Sager, a PRJC Board member and musician who once lived in New Orleans, found a great person to be our distribution point. Sue Fischer works in the archives side by side with the music collection at the Old Mint in New Orleans, is a dedicated traditional jazz historian, and previous recipient of a scholarship to an adult jazz camp. She has a list of all the traditional jazz musicians in New Orleans, and what they lost. Sue was delighted to act as our Santa Claus, and see to it that everybody received several CDs of their choice. Sue mentioned our plan to a few of the musicians who play at Fritzels, and reported they were really excited and pleased that we were doing this.
We also compiled short messages into one letter to be handed out with the CDs--something along the lines of Hope somebody likes Fess Williams and Ted Lewis as much as I do.
Sue brought the box of CDs to Fritzel's and the Palm Court, two places where most of the traditional jazz musicians frequent on a regular basis.
She first selected the few CDs that featured local musicians performing on them, and offered them first dibs on those.
She then presented the CDs to the musicians that had lost their homes and record collections. They were so thrilled to get them, and as no one took more than a handful, there were plenty to go around.
Audrey also sent two boxes of sheet music, which were distributed the same way.
Jazz Clarinetist Wally Garner Dies at 77|
Local jazz clarinetist Wally Garner, 77, died Wednesday, August 24, 2005, at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He had lung cancer.
Garner was born in Washington, D.C. and in the mid-forties attended Western High School (now the Duke Ellington School of the Arts) with other well-known local jazz musicians such as cornetist Wild Bill Whelan; pianists Gary Wilkinson, Charlie Howze and Walt Coombs; reed player Jimmy Hamilton and trombonist Glen Woodmansee. Whelan and Garner formed a band and played private parties before getting their first paying job at North Beach. Appearances at the Charles Hotel in Washington and the Bayou in Georgetown followed. Wally also played with pianist John Eaton at the Mayfair Cafe of All Nations in the Warner Building in downtown Washington, and at Mr. Smiths in Georgetown.
Garner was a member of the house band at Georgetowns Blues Alley jazz club along with Charlie Butler or Slide Harris on trombone, Eaton or John Phillips on piano, Bertell Knox on drums, the late Keter Betts or Billy Taylor on bass and Steve Jordan on guitar. For about 10 years, ending in 2002, he was the clarinetist with the Tommy Cecil Trio at the Four Seasons Sunday Jazz Brunch in Georgetown.
In recent years he had been the regular clarinetist with the Not-So-Modern Jazz Quartet playing Thursday nights at St. Elmos Coffee Pub in the Del Ray section of Alexandria, VA. He also played frequently with the Federal Jazz Commission at its weekly Tuesday night appearances at Col. Brooks Tavern in the Brookland neighborhood of northeast Washington and was a member of the recently-formed Washington Conservatory of Music Traditional Jazz Ensemble which plays as the house band at monthly PRJC jam sessions at the Calvert House in Riverdale, MD.
In his non-musical life he was a long-time employee of British Aerospace with an office near Dulles Airport. To read his obituary in the Washington Post go to www.washingtonpost.com and search news for obit Wally Garner.
2008 & 2007 PRJC Picnics Available on DVD|
If you missed the old PRJC Picnics from 2007 and 2008 at Blob’s Park, or if you particularly enjoyed these two great events, you will want to order a three-DVD set of the picnic music produced by Ron Israel, a professional videographer and longtime jazz fan.
Both sets contain the full performances of all picnic bands (2008 Bands: Big Bertha’s Rhythm Kings, Hal’s Bayou Jazz Band, and Bob Thulman's Special Jazz Band. 2007 Bands: Fallstaff 5 +2, Federal Jazz Commission, Big Bertha’s Rhythm Kings, Hal’s Bayou Jazz Band, WCM Traditional Jazz Band and Jim Ritter’s New liberation Jazz Band).
These DVDs are bound to become collector’s items, and are wonderful not only for the great music, but also as great gift ideas for all your jazz-loving friends.
The DVD set is only $15 (plus $3 postage and handling). If sufficient copies are sold, PRJC will receive a portion of each sale.
To check on availability, contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-866-6951.
Classic Jazz by Floyd Levin|
The PRJC recommends a book written by noted jazz writer Floyd Levin,
titled Classic Jazz, A Personal View of the Music and the
Musicians. The book is a compendium of Levin essays which have appeared over
the years in a variety of publications, many with only limited
distribution. They form a cross-section of articles about classic jazz written over a
period of fifty years. Most of them put the spotlight on a classic jazz
luminary whom Levin has known or interviewed (or both) -- such as Wild Bill Davison --
or an event he has experienced -- like a memorable Jack Teagarden record date.
The paperback book is generously illustrated and contains a comprehensive index.
Dan Morgenstern, Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers
University, says Floyd Levins dedicated and unselfish life-long work
for the cause of jazz has illuminated many a corner that would otherwise have
remained in the dark. All who care about the music are in his debt.
Classic Jazz, like Floyd himself, is a classic.
Bands of the Potomac River Jazz Club CD|
A special PRJC CD featuring many of the clubs top bands was professionally produced to commemorate the
PRJC's 30th anniversary. They are available for $10 each, while supplies last, at our monthly
concerts. Please enquire at the ticket table.
BEALL STREET SEVEN When|
BIG BERTHAS RHYTHM KINGS Drums of Fire
BROOKS TEGLER BIG BAND Ive Heard That Song Before
BUCK CREEK JAZZ BAND At the Mississippi Cabaret
DIXIE POWER TRIO Limehouse Blues
DOC SCANTLIN AND HIS IMPERIAL PALMS ORCHESTRA Old Man Blues
FALLSTAFF 5 + 2 Black and Blue
FEDERAL FOCUS JAZZ BAND Oriental Strut
FEDERAL JAZZ COMMISSION Mabels Dream
LA SALLE DANCE ORCHESTRA Alexanders Ragtime Band
LAST CHANCE JAZZ BAND Rose of Washington Square
NEW COLUMBIA SWING ORCHESTRA Jump Jumps Here
NEW TRADITIONAL JAZZ BAND Blame It on the Blues
PARAMOUNT JAZZ ORCHESTRA Deep Hollow
PEABODY RAGTIME ENSEMBLE C Jam Blues
WHITE LIGHTNIN WASHBOARD BAND When the Saints Go Marching In
|To receive a sample electronic (pdf) copy of
send an e-mail to the PRJC
with "Sample Newsletter"
as the subject line and include your name in the text.