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Welcome to the East Bay Banjo Club site! We are a group of people dedicated to enjoying and promoting happy music on the banjo.  This year (2013) marks fifty years of that dedication!

We practice together weekly on Tuesday, from 7 to 9 P.M. at Luigi’s Deli and Market in Martinez, CA. The public and all banjo players are welcome to join us for these practices. We play out at various events in the greater San Francisco Bay area.

View our latest events below!

Walnut Creek Senior Center Playout

April 18, 2014

By:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

What a wonderful playout!  We thoroughly enjoyed playing for a crowd of 60 or 70 seniors in a big, bright room for their April luncheon.  This was first time that the new microphones and mixer were used for a playout.  The setup was easy and the sound quality was excellent.  Overall, the equipment situation has improved tremendously.

We were led by Betty David in a selection of spirited banjo classics that really got the crowd involved.  At one point, a lady with a walker came up right in front of the band and did a solo dance, walker and all!   Our players were:  Guy Black, Betty David, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Terry Horner, Ardie Jarrett, Chris Lardge, Dina Melamed, Herb Moore, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, Larry Risner, and Sheila Welt.  Club member Jim Abele was in the audience and Bob Nelson took pictures.

Kit Nelson sang several songs, such as “St. Louis Blues,” “You Are My Sunshine” and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame, ” many in singalong style.  Bud Pearce sang “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” to thunderous applause.  Herb Moore, who has been absent from the group for awhile was back playing his banjo and sang “Bye, Bye Blackbird.”  Larry Risner took a solo on “Bye, Bye Blues,” which the crowd really enjoyed.  Chris Lardge sang “Margie” with style and Sheila Welt sang a lovely version of  ”Darkness on the Delta.”  We closed with “When the Saints Go Marching In” and about a third of the crowd got up out of their seats and started marching around the tables.  When the song ended (after 4 times through), there were cries of, “Darn, you ended!”  It was a fun performance and we left the crowd wanting more.

Posted in Gig

Orinda Masonic Center Playout

February 28, 2014

By:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

We played for a full house of around 150 happy and well fed people at the Orinda Masonic Center Crab Feed.  The place was packed!  Our fifteen players performed on a raised stage and had a great view of the festivities.  We had a little trouble setting up the sound equipment, but everyone pitched in and we figured it out.  For this performance, we were led by Betty David in a variety of crowd pleasing favorites.  Our singers were Jesse De Torres, Kit Nelson, and Sheila Welt.   We ended the performance with When The Saints Go Marching In and people got up and started marching in the aisles!  Deb Hodson got out of her seat, brought her banjo down into the audience area, and joined the parade.  The audience seemed very appreciative of our performance.  Our players were:  Guy Black, Tom Brunetti, Kermit Collins, Betty David, Jesse De Torres, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Deb Hodson, Ardie Jarrett, Dina Melamed, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, Larry Risner, and Sheila Welt.  Club members Jim Abele, Georgette De Torres (and her grandson), and Bob Nelson supported the players from the audience.

 

 

Posted in Gig

Snow Train 2014

February 6, 2014

By: Bud Pearce

Photos By: Phil & Linda Myers

All aboard for the Snow Train 2014! Several East Bay strummers boarded the train early Tuesday morning, February 4, bound for Reno, Nevada. The train made several stops along its journey from Oakland to Reno. Most passengers boarded in Martinez, but players also boarded in Emeryville and Sacramento, including Dick Martin, who rode a train from Oregon to Sacramento to join Jack Convery as a banjo “headliner”.

Fetze Pijlman playing tenor banjo

Fetze Pijlman playing tenor banjo

The event took on an international flair this year with the addition of Mr. Fetze Pijlman from Hilversum, Holland. Mr. Piljman, who organizes the Holland Jazz Banjo Festival (www.Jazzbanjo.nl), enjoyed playing traditional jazz on his tenor banjo while seeing the sights the High Sierra Mountains offer in the winter. There were some preliminary discussions about some American banjo players journeying to Holland to participate in the Holland Jazz Banjo Festival in the future. Jack was very excited about that possibility, which reminded us of our trip to the Czech Republic in 2005. Don’t be surprised if some East Bay strummers are performing in Europe in 2015!

As is customary, we played many traditional jazz tunes while riding the train to Reno. Kit Nelson sang using the sound system provided by Jack, and many of those riding in the car sang along using song books provided by Jack. We were also accompanied by a keyboard player, who managed to set up his keyboard between the seats and allowed just enough room for people to pass by in the aisle. The conductor, trying to avoid being a killjoy, held back his admonishments and looked the other way during his strolls through the train car. We arrived on schedule in Reno. After checking into our rooms, we were on our own to eat, gamble, or see a show. Some even jammed a little in their rooms!

The next day, everyone gathered in the Hobby Horse Room to practice some tunes that we were going to play that night in the Sapphire Lounge in Harrah’s. During the practice session, every player was given the opportunity to select a song to be played on stage. It was a huge thrill to play with talented people outside the EBBC.

 

Jack, Kit, Bud, Dick, and Ana on stage

Jack, Kit, Bud, Dick, and Ana on stage

Our appearance on the stage at the Sapphire Lounge was fun, even though a little cramped. The audience, comprised mostly of folks from our train car ride up to Reno, enthusiastically sang and danced to the music we created in the lounge. Frankly, the crowds in the casino were extremely sparse, so we could have easily attracted more people into the lounge, had business been better in Reno. While on stage, we were all informed that the train would arrive late the next morning. We were all advised to dial Amtrak directly to avoid missing its arrival. Some thought it was actually good news, since it meant we could sleep late the next day, and Harrah’s was willing to extend us all a late checkout.

Jack Convery event organizer

Jack Convery leads practice session

The next morning, Jack awoke each of us with a phone call that informed us of a bus that would leave in lieu of the 8:30 departure of the train. Apparently, the train was going to be close to five hours late due to a problem with a freight train blocking the tracks. Most people opted for the bus, which took us to Sacramento. From there, we were able to catch a train back to the Bay Area, stopping at all stops covered on the original trip to Reno. All is well that ends well! The train from Sacramento arrived at the East Bay stops before our original train schedule dictated we were to arrive.

Oakland Masonic Center Playout

January 25, 2014

By:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Georgette De Torres and Linda Myers

A crowd of about 120 people was gathered for the annual Crab Feed at the Oakland Masonic Center last Saturday night.  The East Bay Banjo Club was slated to perform background music as the patrons served themselves from the buffet line, waited for their crabs to be served at the tables, and then enjoyed their dinners.

Even though we had a nice turnout of 13 performers, it was a tough playout.   Due to the high level of ambient noise in the room and issues with the sound system, Betty was unable to hear the rest of the performers for much of the performance.  To compound the issue, many of the performers were unable to hear Betty.  However, everyone tried their best and, by the second half, things came together. Our wonderful singers, Jesse De Torres, Sheila Welt, and Chris Lardge, saved the day and provided great entertainment. The patrons seemed to appreciate our performance and, after the event was over, one of the organizers came on stage and thanked each performer individually and shook his/her hand.

Our performers were: Guy Black, Tom Brunetti, Betty David, Jesse De Torres, Karen Hefter, Terry Horner, Ardie Jarrett, Chris Lardge, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, and Sheila Welt. Club member Georgette De Torres was in the audience and was one of our photographers for the evening.

Posted in Gig

Mickie McDonald in Memoriam

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Members of the East Bay Banjo Club were very saddened to learn of the loss of Mickie McDonald on January 5, 2014. Mickie was one of the stalwart members who rarely missed our weekly practices or Club performances. She was always thrilled to sing or harmonize with others the songs that the club performed, and she knew the words to more songs than probably anyone else in the club. She took great pride in never needing music to play a song. Her jovial nature and her desire to decorate for parties made her a natural candidate to organize the annual Club end of the year party. Her relentless search for old original sheet music yielded the foundation for many arrangements in our music book today.

She had deep and genuine concern for anyone in the club.  It wasn’t uncommon for her to call and inquire about a member’s well-being when they missed a number of practices or were known to be experiencing troubled times. On several occasions, she would visit members in the hospital or their homes to cheer them up and let them know they were not forgotten. For years, she presented members with their birthday card that she had signed by all members she could locate. Mickie had a particular fondness for our youngest members, and would sometimes present them with stuffed animals.
She will be remembered for her passion for the music our club keeps alive, her jovial nature, and for her genuine concern for the well-being of members of the club.

Salem Lutheran Home Playout

December 17, 2013

By: Karen Hefter
Photos by: Bob Nelson

As we arrived to the Salem Lutheran Home an hour early to set up, several residents had already staked out their spots for our performance and were waiting with eager anticipation for us to start playing. In fact, one woman counted down the time for our performance to begin! The residents here really enjoy our music – this is the third time we have played for them in four months. There were around 30 audience members, which filled the room.

Many EBBC members sported festive hats, which helped set the holiday mood. Our Music Director, Betty David, led us in a performance of many standard banjo songs, as well as holiday favorites. Don Granberg hung up his banjo for the day and played the piano with all of the banjos. We were also fortunate to have Terry Horner join us with his gutbucket. Kit Nelson, Mickie McDonald, and Sheila Welt were our singers and they encouraged the crowd to sing along to the holiday songs. The crowd obliged…with enthusiasm! Two staff members put their dancing shoes on and danced with each other to “Five Foot Two.” Our performers today were: Tom Brunetti, Betty David, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Terry Horner, Ardie Jarrett, Diane Malucelli, Bob Malucelli, Mickie McDonald, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, Sheila Welt, and Ken Williamson. Club member, Treasurer, and Photographer Bob Nelson and loyal supporter Bernadette Espejo were in the audience.

East Bay Banjo Club Holiday Party

December 10, 2013

By:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Karen Hefter, Linda Myers, Bill Sullivan
Video by:  Karen Hefter

On a cold winter evening, the members of the East Bay Banjo Club were joined by family and friends for a holiday party at Luigi’s Deli in Martinez.  Many members were dressed in extremely festive holiday attire, which can be seen in the photos from this event.  After some social time, everyone thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful meal made by Luigi and his family.  He served salad, mixed vegetables, potatoes, chicken, and bread.  The food was fabulous, fresh, and very tasty.  For dessert, there were chocolate and vanilla cakes decorated to commemorate the EBBC’s 50th anniversary.

The annual meeting was held and the new board was voted in.  Our new board will consist of:  President -  Larry RisnerVice President – Bob MalucelliSecretary – Ardie JarrettTreasurer – Linda Myers, and Music Director – Betty David. A big thanks goes to our outgoing board, who succeeded in keeping the club together after the death of our longtime Music Director, Bill Cooper and in pulling us out of our financial situation and putting us back on a good footing.  Our outgoing board is:  President – Sheila WeltVice President – Bob MalucelliSecretary – Ardie JarrettTreasurer – Bob Nelson, and Music Director – Betty David. A special thanks goes to our Booking Agent, Phil Myers, who booked an extraordinary number of gigs for us this year, so that we could correct our financial situation.

After the meeting, our Music Director, Betty David, was presented with a gift and a raffle was held.  Raffle winners won either hand towels embroidered with the EBBC or banjo straps. Next, everyone got out their banjos and we played “Black and Blue” and “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” to honor our late Music Director, Bill Cooper.  We concluded with holiday favorites like “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and “Silent Night.”

 

Just A Closer Walk With Thee from East Bay Banjo Club on Vimeo.

Erich Bansner’s 95th Birthday Playout at Bayside Park

November 3, 2013

By:  Kit Nelson
Photos by:  Bob Nelson and Linda Myers

It was a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon  - a perfect day to celebrate a birthday.  Erich Bansner celebrated his 95th birthday, along with his family and friends, in the Bayside Park adult community in Emeryville.  Our banjo club was delighted to be asked to play at his birthday party.

The dancing began immediately and the guest of honor hardly left the dance floor during the entire hour we performed. The huge smile crossing Erich Bansner’s face as he danced was priceless.  Betty David, our director, did a wonderful job of selecting music with just the right tempo for dancing.  The dance floor (lobby) was quite full and the joy and laughter the banjos brought to the residents of this senior home could be felt by everyone.  Good job, East Banjo Club!

Banjo and gut bucket players who attended and made this a special day were:  Tom Brunetti, Kermit Collins,  Betty David, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Deb Hodson, Terry Horner, Bob Malucelli, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, and Sheila Welt.  Hopefully, we will all be asked to play next year at Erich’s 96th birthday party!

Halloween Costume Contest

October 29, 2013

By:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Linda Myers and Karen Hefter

Tonight was our annual Halloween Costume Contest and banjo practice at Luigi’s Deli. Just about everyone came in costume! The costumes were quite original. Our costume contest winners were: Most Original: Danielle Torres, Scariest: David Hefter, Funniest: Bud Pearce, and Best: Jesse De Torres.  One of the highlights of the evening was a vocal/banjo duet by Harry Higgins and Danielle Torres.  We had a great turnout for the evening and it was wonderful to see everyone in such great spirits!

Salem Lutheran Home Playout

October 27, 2013

By:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Karen Hefter and Linda Myers

When we arrived at the Salem Lutheran Home in Oakland, we were expecting to play “background music” as chartered.  However, it turned out that we were a main event for a completely filled room for our 2 hour performance!  It was a groundbreaking performance for the EBBC because neither our bass player nor our gutbucket player could make it to this gig, so Don Granberg turned in his banjo and washboard and played the piano with us.  This was a first (as far as I know) for the EBBC.  The piano sounded wonderful with the banjos!

I think the club members enjoyed the afternoon as much as the residents did!  We didn’t bring our sound equipment, but used a karaoke system for the announcements and for the singers.  It worked great and didn’t involve a lot of equipment hauling and setup.  None of the banjos were amplified. Bud Pearce, Sheila Welt, Jesse de Torres, and Herb Moore were our singers.  Jesse and Don did a piano/voice duet, which was really nice.  Our players were:  Betty David, Jesse de Torres, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Deb Hodson, Ardie Jarrett, Herb Moore, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Bud Pearce, and Sheila Welt. Club member Georgette de Torres was an enthusiastic audience member.  In honor of Halloween next week, Ardie sported a convict costume and Phil and Linda kept us all guessing with rubber snakes climbing over their music, a rubber tarantula that climbed up their music stand, and the various pieces of costume headgear that appeared on their heads from time to time.

A great time was had by all and the club members appreciated the fabulous snacks that were provided for us during our break. We look forward to a repeat performance in December.

Smith Family Farms Playout

October 26, 2013

By: Sheila Welt
Photos and video by:  Linda Myers

What a WONDERFUL venue! It was very festive, and centered on family participation. We played in a small gazebo that cozily held about 10 of our 15 players. Those that played this gig were: Music Director Betty David and banjo players Phil Myers, Linda Myers, Tom Brunetti, Bob Malucelli, Ardie Jarrett, Kermit Collins, and Tracy Woodard. Jesse DeTorres, Chris Lardge, Bud Pearce, Gerald Reeves, and Sheila Welt all sang and played their banjos. Don Granberg played the banjo and washboard and Guy Black played the bass banjo.  Our loyal “groupies” were: Georgette DeTorres, Robin Reeves, Yvette Lardge, and Bernadette Espejo.

We played songs written from 1900’s to the present. The gazebo was in the picnic area so the audience joined us when they wanted to eat or just sit and enjoy. They joined in when they knew the songs.  Some people clapped along and some of the children bounced and swayed to our music.

There were two little boys off to the side that decided to play in the dirt (remember those days?). I believe that all of the players enjoyed this gig. I know that I did and I certainly hope that we are invited back again. The Smith Family Farm turned out to be a really nice setting.

 

“Bye, Bye Blues” and “Carolina In The Morning” from East Bay Banjo Club on Vimeo.

Dallas Ranch Playout

October 17, 2013

By:  Diane Malucelli
Photos by: Bob Nelson

The people at Dallas Ranch Commons in Antioch were very friendly and they decided to have us play in their large dining room, which is off of the main entrance.  It is a very bright room with high ceilings and we played in front of the large windows and faced the audience in the rest of the room.

We had at least 35 residents listening to us and singing along with many of the songs.  Claire and Fred Miller, residents of the Commons and friends of Diane and Bob Malucelli, sat in the front row and smiled and sang the whole time.  Beverly Torres, Activities Director, and Dora Branch, Activities Assistant, were extremely enthusiastic about our group.  They clapped and sang along to a lot of the songs.  Several other employees also stopped by and enjoyed the performance.

Betty David, our leader, chose songs that the residents would recognize and enjoy such as “You are My Sunshine,” “Bill Bailey,” “Bye, Bye Blackbird,” “Cuddle Up,” “Nobody’s Sweetheart Now,” ”Saint Louis Blues,” and “America the Beautiful.”  The East Bay Banjo Club performers were: Guy Black, Jim Blankenship, Betty David, Don Granberg, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, and Ken Williamson.  We sounded great in that large room and it was really fun to play for this appreciative audience.

 

Orchard Nursery Playout

October 12, 2013

By: Karen Hefter
Photos by: Karen Hefter and Linda Myers

I was tempted to sing “It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” as we set up for the playout at the Orchard Nursery in Lafayette. It was a beautiful, sunny fall day and the band played in a gorgeous spot – a shaded area surrounded by lush plants. Our mission was to play background music for the shoppers at the nursery. We were a bit concerned about our ability to be successful in this endeavor, since we had a record turnout of 18 players for the gig! We weren’t quite sure if 16 banjos, a washboard, and a gutbucket could play quietly enough to be “background music”… We set up in a circular arrangement, which was really nice, because everyone could hear each other. There was no amplification whatsoever, which forced everyone to play quietly enough to hear our leader, Betty David. Bud Pearce attempted to sing with the group, but was drowned out, even with everyone playing as quietly as possible. So, he sang another song, accompanied by just Betty David on banjo and Terry Horner on gutbucket. This worked out quite well and the rest of the players just kicked back and listened.

The entire program was very laid back and consisted of 2 hours’ worth of banjo standards, crowd pleasers, and patriotic songs. The players all enjoyed the afternoon very much and lots of people stopped by to listen and sit down for awhile. One couple had heard about the band and drove up from Pleasanton to hear us! The players for this occasion were: Tom Brunetti, Kermit Collins, Betty David, Virgie Fitzpatrick, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Deb Hodson, Terry Horner, Chris Lardge, Diane Malucelli, Bob Malucelli, Mickie McDonald, Dina Melamed, Herb Moore, Phil Myers, Linda Myers, Bud Pearce, and Ken Williamson. Club members Jim Abele and Clyde Dedmon were in attendance as well.

 

Salem Lutheran Playout

September 17, 2013

Reporter: Bud Pearce
Photographer: Linda Myers & Bob Nelson

The crowd grew in numbers as the banjos rang out in the “Gathering Area” at the Salem Lutheran Senior Center in Oakland, CA. Betty David led the strummers playing tunes that were well known to smiling faces in the audience. After the performance, several residents approached the club members with lots of questions about the banjo, and expressed their gratitude for the chance to hear traditional jazz with lyrics they knew well enough to sing along as the vocalists sang the tunes.
The performers were honored to have jazz trombone legend Bob Mielke in the audience. Bob Mielke worked with, or sat in with, some of the traditional jazz legends like Turk Murphy, Lu Watters and Bob Scobey to name just a few.
The “Top Ten” performers of the day included: Tom Brunetti, Debra Hodson, Bud Pearce, Kit Nelson, Betty David, Terry Horner, Phil Myers, Linda Myers,
Diane Malucelli, and Bob Malucelli.

Providing moral support and mingling with the audience was Bob Nelson. Bob also helped capture some significant camera angles.

Banjo Jubilee

September 8, 2013

By:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Bob Nelson and Linda Myers
Video by:  Linda Myers

The East Bay Banjo club celebrated its 50th anniversary by giving a rousing performance at the 41st Banjo Jubilee.  We would like to thank our hosts at the Peninsula Banjo Band for putting on this wonderful event and we congratulate them on their own 50th anniversary!  We were extremely fortunate to have 2 top artists (and EBBC members) join the East Bay Banjo Club on stage for our performance:  the extremely talented Jack Convery and Hall of Famer Cathy Reilly.  Our band has never sounded so good!

In honor of our club’s 50th anniversary, Betty David, our new Music Director, selected classic banjo band songs for that have withstood the test of time.  She led us through a series of banjo favorites, including “Just Because,” “Shantytown,” “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby,” and many more.  Cathy Reilly added wonderful color and harmonies to our performance.  We had a small, but mighty group of performers for this event that included:  Guy Black, Jim Blankenship, Jack Convery, Betty David, Barbara Findlay, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Mickie McDonald, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, and Cathy Reilly.  We had lots of audience support from club members Mary Black, Rich Boss, Mickey Finn, Deb Hodson, Garry Kerr, Linda Myers, and Bob Nelson.

The rest of the day was filled with performances by the Sacramento, Peninsula, and Happy Time Banjo Bands, as well as performances by a number of talented artists, including Dave Marty, Bill Lowery, Mickey Finn and Cathy Reilly, Charlie Tagawa and many of his family members.  The Happy Time Banjo Band broke new ground as they closed their portion of the show by putting on sunglasses and rocking out to “Wipeout.”  All in all, it was a well organized and wonderful day.  We are looking forward to next year’s Jubilee!

 

“Nobody’s Sweetheart Now” and “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” from East Bay Banjo Club on Vimeo.

Aegis Senior Living Playout

August 29, 2013

By:  Bob Nelson
Photos By:  Bob Nelson and Linda Myers

It was a beautiful summer evening in Pleasant Hill. The weather was perfect and the audience was large and lively. The evening started with a very complementary introduction from Aegis Senior Living’s Activity Director, Ms. Kayla Brown, who explained that this was the last evening of their Annual Summer Concert Series and that they saved the best for last! Betty David opened the show with “Just Because” and quickly moved on to “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”  This was excellent timing because the large screen TVs in the activity rooms and outside porch areas had the Giants game on.

As mentioned earlier, the audience was lively and there was not a tune that they didn’t dance to!  In the front row, an energetic group of women just could not get enough of the music. After some investigation, I discovered that they followed the East Bay Banjo Club for years.  They rarely missed a Tuesday night at Round Table Pizza, just up the street, where we previously performed for 30+ years.

Our success goes to our players, Guy Black, Tom Brunetti, Kermit Collins, Betty David, Jesse DeTorres, Don Granberg, Deb Hodson, Ardie Jarrett, Mickie McDonald, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, Sheila Welt, and Ken Williamson. Special thanks and appreciation goes to members Jim Abele, Georgette DeTorres, and Bob Nelson, who blended into the audience very well. Rumor has it that they provided crowd control, due to the aforementioned mentioned “Lively Audience.”

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Kensington Playout

August 25, 2012

By: Bud Pearce
Photos By: Bob Nelson
Video By:  Karen Hefter

A large crowd arrived early to enjoy the music that is not only familiar to them, but brings a smile to their faces as well! Nineteen members performed at this gig, most sporting straw hats. With Betty David at the lead, we quickly played through most of the tunes on Show List #1, and completed the hour with folks asking for more.

It’s clear they loved us because people spontaneously danced!

East Bay strummers included: Mickie McDonald, Don Granberg, Jesse DeTorres, Bud Pearce, Kit Nelson, Betty David, Chris Lardge, Bob Hodson, Deb Hodson, Phil Myers, Linda Myers, Karen Hefter, Guy Black Sheila Welt, Ardie Jarrett, Herb Moore, Ken Williamson, Bob Malucelli, and Diane Malucelli.

Bob Nelson photographed the event and sold CDs while Georgette DeTorres provided moral support.

 

“Bill Bailey” and “Just Because” from East Bay Banjo Club on Vimeo.

EBBC Picnic at Landers’ Landing

August 24, 2013

By: Karen Hefter
Photos By: Karen Hefter and Linda Myers

Bobbie Landers hosted the EBBC Summer Picnic at her beautiful home on the Sacramento Delta. Many EBBC members brought their spouses and children and several of Bobbie’s extended family members were there as well. The food was wonderful – barbecued sausages, corn, salads, and desserts galore. There were all sorts of things to do, from holding down deck chairs and socializing, to waterskiing, pedal boating, kayaking, swimming, and exploring the crow’s nest and its 360 degree view of the area. The afternoon air was filled with the sounds of banjos as the EBBC played out on the shaded back deck. Some highlights of the play out were when a student visiting from the Czech Republic sang “Beer Barrel Polka” in Czech with the band, when Sue Horn played her flute, and when one of Bobbie’s relatives tried out a washboard for the first time. The weather couldn’t have been better and this picnic was a fabulous way to end the summer. Thanks again to Bobbie Landers and her family for hosting this wonderful event (and to David Miller for driving the ski boat all day for everyone).

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Forest Hill Farms Playout

By: Linda and Phil Myers
Photos By: Linda Myers
Video By: Linda Myers

Our gigs this year keep getting better and better! Our August 10th performance at the City of San Ramon’s “Forest Home Farms” was well attended and fun. Jack Convery led participants Betty David, Diane Malucelli, Chris Lardge, Tom Brunetti, Don Granberg, Bud Pearce, Ken Williamson, Guy Black, Mickie McDonald, Bill Sullivan, Herb Moore, Phil Myers, and Linda Myers in a rousing performance.

The venue was a restored walnut drying ranch, which was converted to provide a place where the public could relive what it was like to be on a turn-of-the-century rural farm. The farm featured a tour of an historic home, a restored tractor museum and tractor rides, an organic garden, sheep being herded by working sheep dogs, old fashioned games for the kids, and an abundance of ice cream and root beer floats.

The East Bay Banjo Club performed for two hours for an enthusiastic audience of kids and adults enjoying the day. Our music fit in well with the overall theme and ambiance of the venue. At one point during the performance, Bud’s chair suddenly collapsed, leaving him flat on his back. Players and audience alike were stunned and concerned, when suddenly Bud jumped up and declared, “Not to worry – It’s all part of the act. Indeed, Bud was fine and picked up the song as if nothing had happened. Singers Herb Moore, Mickie McDonald, Chris Lardge, Bud Pearce and Jack Convery kept the crowd wanting more. In fact, by the end of our two hours of playing, we had attracted a barn full of people clapping and singing along. It was truly a fun day and chances are very good we will be back to perform for them again.

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Five Foot Two from East Bay Banjo Club on Vimeo.

Chateaus of Pleasant Hill Playout

By:  Ardie Jarrett
Photos by:  Bob Nelson and Linda Myers

What a wonderful gig this turned out to be for the East Bay Banjo Club.  We played in a beautiful, shaded courtyard at the “Chateaus of Pleasant Hill”.  The weather was very pleasant….in fact it was a bit on the cool side for a change.  We were in the process of setting up the sound when we were approached by a nice gentleman who started asking us questions.  It turns out that he had played the Sousaphone with the club many years prior.  Several of our members remembered him.  It didn’t take long to find out that he lived close by, so we asked him to get his horn and join us.  Oh, how much fun it was to have Jack Martens playing with us.  His business card says “Music by Martens” and I think he is also known as “Music Man Jack.”   I didn’t know that a Sousaphone could be played softly, but he was able to do it!  Betty David led our group and Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, and Mickie McDonald were our vocalists throughout the program.  The other players were:  Guy Black, Don Granberg, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Ken Williamson, and Ardie JarrettBob Nelson took photos.  The residents of the Chateaus seemed to really enjoy our performance and the selection of songs.  I think we will be asked back again.

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Jack Martens sits in on the Sousaphone

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