Who We Are
BOBBY GRIMM (tenor banjo)Bobby is one of the outstanding tenor banjoists in America today. He has been a vital musical partner with Jean and Red in all three of their bands - the JAZZ INCREDIBLES, the five-piece OLD ST LOUIS LEVEE BAND, and the seven-piece JEAN KITTRELL & THE ST. LOUIS RIVERMEN. After childhood training on the violin, Bobby taught himself to play banjo at age 25 and has been in constant demand ever since.
In 1965 he played in the St. Louis's famed Gaslite Square at Your Father's Mustache, followed by a lengthy engagement on the River Queen, the authentic riverboat on which "Showboat" was filmed. For several years he played with Don Scherrer's BANJO BAND, then with Charlie Wiseman and the OLD ST. LOUIS LEVEE BAND at The Sting. He and Red joined Jean Kittrell in 1978 aboard the Lt. Robert E. Lee, where the OSLLB played weekly for thirteen years. With this group, he played pop concerts with the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY in 1987, 1988, and 1989, and with the HONOLULU SYMPHONY in 1990. In 2002 when the JAZZ INCREDIBLES became a quartet, Bobby became a member. This group and THE ST. LOUIS RIVERMEN have played festivals all over the country and several Caribbean cruises.
Bobby is now retired after many years in the Parts Department of a Ford Dealership but as a musician, he is busier than ever playing with many groups locally and across the country. Locally Bobby plays with the St. Louis Jazz Quartet, Dixie Banjos, Bob & MaryAnn Duo and is Musical Director for the St. Louis Banjo Club.
NOEL KALETSKY (clarinet, soprano sax) Hailing from Clinton, Connecticut, Noel with his hot jazz clarinet and sometimes yearning, sometimes fierce, soprano sax has played and recorded with Wild Bill Davison, George Lewis, Kid Thomas, Conrad Janis. He has two CDs with his own quartets: "It's About Time" and "Noel Kaletsky, Ham on Rye"
DAVID "RED" LEHR (sousaphone) A farmer, butcher with his own meat processing plant and market, real estate entrepreneur, and world-class sharp-shooter, Red is also an astounding virtuoso of the sousaphone, combining unique technique with showmanship. At five years old he stood on an orange crate to play his daddy's trombone. In grade school, as the strongest and tallest kid, he began to play the big sousaphone with which he has intrigued audiences ever since. His professional musical career began in St. Louis's Gaslite Square at Your Father's Mustache in 1963. St. Louis Cardinal baseball fans will appreciate the sentimental value of Red's playing at the very last baseball game in Sportsman's Park and also at the grand opening first ballgame in the new Busch Stadium.
In 1965 Red moved to the Banjo Palace with the OLD ST. LOUIS LEVEE BAND, followed by two years at The Sting. In 1978 he joined Jean Kittrell on the Lt. Robert E. Lee, bringing his OSLLB. They played to SRO crowds every Saturday nite for 13 years (1978-1990). In 1979 Red joined the JAZZ INCREDIBLES to play every Friday nite on the Lee; and in 1982 he joined the newly formed ST. LOUIS RIVERMEN. Red was hand-picked for an all-star 7-piece International Band at the 1994 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. He was selected by readers of The American Rag in a national survey in 2000 as their favorite of all jazz sousaphonists. Admired by classical as well as jazz musicians, Red has been starred in regional and national conferences of brass instruments (Champaign IL, 1973; Lexington KY, 1990; Bloomington IL, 2005). He has appeared in concert with Billy Butterfield, Jack Maheu, Barrett Deems, Ernie Carson, Jerry Fuller, and Pee Wee Mateese.
In July 2008 Red took on the demanding and yet rewarding leadership of the St. Louis Rivermen, the Jazz Incredibles, and the Old St. Louis Levee Band. And he also remains the essential incredible sousaphonist of these groups.
STEVE LILLEY (cornet, trumpet) Steve, a public high school history teacher for 30 years with three published books on American history, joined the RIVERMEN, much to the satisfaction of Jean Kittrell, in 1999. His hot horn and authoritative melodic lead reveal his long-time study of the music of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke, Bobby Hackett, Bunny Berigan, and the Dukes of Dixieland. Steve formed his first jazz band at age 15 to play in dance halls in Lincoln County, Missouri. A master of spontaneous arrangements on stage with the RIVERMEN, he is also the leader of his own classic jazz band, the ST. LOUIS STOMPERS, who play tightly arranged, always interesting classic jazz. (See www.stlouisstompers.com for their festival schedule and CDs.)
And as of 2006 Steve Lilley's authoritative hot horn has been added to the personnel of the OLD ST. LOUIS LEVEE BAND.
JIM MAIHACK (trombone) Jim hails from the Midwest (born in Rock Island, IL). The first of many musical instruments he mastered was the accordion when he was six. In the late '50s, playing banjo, Jim joined the DIXIE LADS JAZZ BAND with Bill Allred, Stan Black, and Don O'Dette (who later directed the Bix Beiderbecke Fest in Davenport, IA). By this time Jim also played piano, trombone, and tuba, and for the next ten years he played with many groups on both piano and trombone, including Clyde McCoy and Smokey Stover. Late in 1969 Jim moved to San Francisco to join the TURK MURPHY JAZZ BAND playing tuba. Leaving San Francisco in 1975 for Florida, Jim joined ROSIE O'GRADY'S GOOD TIME JAZZ BAND, playing piano, banjo, trombone, and tuba. For a few years he also led that band. In 1986 Jim rejoined the TURK MURPHY JB, this time playing piano. During this second stint Jim played Turk's Carnegie Hall concert in 1987. Jim spent 1991-1992 playing the Main Street Station casino in Las Vegas with the Mickey Finn band.
Showcasing Jim's amazing mastery of musical instruments is his tour de force, "Never Mind, I'll Do It Myself," a CD on which he plays every instrument and sings with himself in three-part harmony. Jim joined the RIVERMEN permanently for festivals and cruises after their amazing success on a January 2004 Caribbean cruise.
DON SCHROEDER (drums) Don, teacher, composer, arranger, played skins first in a high school band, then in a military band in the 1950s. He was on the road with CLYDE McCOY, TEX BENEKE, and CARL SAND in the late 50s. In the 60s he played in the house band at the Chase Hotel, St. Louis. From 1965-70 he had his own club, followed by a stint at Marty Bronson's "Make Believe Ballroom" at the Chase (1970-76) and at the Missouri Athletic Club (1975-83). Don led his band, the HAPPY GO LUCKIES, for many years and now leads his FOXFIRE band. He is in demand in St. Louis by big bands, traditional and modern jazz groups, by small combos, and for commercials. Don joined JEAN KITTRELL & THE ST. LOUIS RIVERMEN in 1988. He is also a member of the JAZZ INCREDIBLES QUINTET since 2002. Don provides an excellent variety of rhythmic ideas for ensembles, occasionally highlighted by puckish humor, and adapts adroitly to each soloist's lead. He took over as the Festival drummer for the Rivermen recently when Jack Tartar retired in 2008.
Ray Templin (piano) From Chicago’s jazz clubs to "Ray Templin’s Bar" on NBC’s Matlock, Ray Templin’s career has covered just about all aspects of the entertainment industry.
Templin has gained acclaim as a propulsive, swinging stride pianist and vocalist. Credits include playing and recording with many noted artists such as Steve Allen, Banu Gibson, Blues legend Brownie McGhee, Howard Alden, Zeke Zarchy, Dick Cary, Bob Havens, Dan Barrett and Bob Schulz. Having performed in a variety of venues, from pizza parlors, dinner theaters and cabarets to the country’s largest jazz festival, Templin has proven to be quite a versatile entertainer. His acting and voice-over talent has also led him to the world of television and commercials. A three-year stint as the piano playing proprietor of "Ray Templin’s Bar" on Matlock also afforded Ray composing credits on the show.
As well as putting in 26 years at Disneyland as an entertainment fixture, Templin is also a founder of several bands including the park’s Swing Soufflé, and the Chicagoans, a seven-piece Dixieland group. The high caliber of musicianship from each of the members, together with Templin’s ebullient personality has made Ray Templin’s Chicagoans a hit with fans of Dixieland jazz. Performances have included major jazz festivals, concerts, cruises and Ray’s critically acclaimed theatrical production, "Jam "38". He has also played and/or recorded with The Great Pacific Jazz Band, Bob Schulz's Frisco Jazz Band, The Independence Hall Jazz Band, The Dixie Kings, Side Street Strutters, New Orleans Hot Jazz, The Riverboat Ramblers, The Jazz Minors, Banjomania, Bryan Shaw's Hot Shots, Palm Springs Yacht Club, you get the idea.
Recently relocated to Tucson, Arizona, Ray continues to delight audiences in these venues. Ray has joined the Original Wildcat Jass Band - featuring UofA world class instrumentalists - on percussion, and hosts an internet trad jazz show: "Hot Stuff" on tucsonjazzradio.org. He is the newest member of the Rivermen, stepping into Jean's shoes, but declining to wear the fringed dresses.
Pat Arana (trombone) Pat began playing professionally at age 14, when he discovered that getting paid for playing music on happy occasions was like havind a license to steal. With a Masters in Music Education (SIU-Edwardsville), Pat taught at an elementary school in St. Louis County for 30 years. He inspired a group of 15-20 kids to meet him voluntarily each morning at seven - before school started - to learn to play jazz. Pat has played trombone in just about every type of instrumental group but specializes in playing melody lead in the Old St. Louis Levee Band, formed in 1978. Now retired from school teaching, Pat has added a challenging new dimension to his skills, playing tailgate trombone in Steve Lilley's St. Louis Stompers.
Pat Joyce (piano) When, at the age of four, Pat began playing his older sister's piano lessons by ear, his own classical training began. This young musical genius spent a summer at the famous Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria (1968); finished a Bachelor of Music degree from Webster College (1969); and, then pursued the academic life and a Ph.D. in music for two years before devoting himself fulltime to jazz performance.
Much in demand because of his impressive pianistics, crazy sense of humor (evenings spent with him are both awe-inspiring and hilarious), and ability to blend a band together with his supporting harmonies contrapuntal melodic lines, Pat is a charter member of five St. Louis Jazz bands; and he is the first musicican requested to accompany jazz greats coming to St. Louis to perform.
RICK SCHAUMBURGER(drums) Rick puts his Master's in Music (Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville) to work as a businessman and as a musician. He is president of Audio Duplication & Services, Inc., with skills as a producer/editor of recording sessions, cassettes, CDs, and videos. He is the producer of all OLD ST. LOUIS LEVEE BAND recordings. His past professional experience includes being principal percussionist with the ST. LOUIS MUNICIPAL OPERA, extra percussionist with the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, and drummer with numerous jazz bands in the St. Louis area. Rick is the designated driver when the OSLLB is on the road. His uncanny internal compass never lets him take a wrong turn.
Mary Ann Schulte (piano) Mary Ann has been in numerous bands over the span of her lifetime. Ones that come to mind are Tiger Rag Forever and the St. Louis Stompers. She has subbed for Jean Kittrell in the St. Louis Rivermen and for Trebor Tichener in the St. Louis Ragtimers. Presently she "gigs" around town with Spectrun, the Midwest's premier wedding band, the Tony Viviano Band, and occasionally a wedding ceremony here and there. Her musical styles are varied, but her favorite type of music is good old Dixieland with banjos, horns and brass. She recently joined the Old St. Louis Levee Band upon the retirement of Jean Kittrell and is thrilled to be playing with them.
BRETT STAMPS (trombone) Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Brett has performed and composed professionally for the U.S.Army Field Band (the JAZZ AMBASSADORS), the STAN KENTON ORCHESTRA, the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI CONCERT JAZZ BAND, and various ensembles in the St. Louis metropolitan area including the KIM PORTNOY BIG BAND, HORNS IN THE HOUSE, the FOX THEATER ORCHESTRA, the MUNY ORCHESTRA, LEGACY, and HAYDON/STAMPS JAZZ ENSEMBLE, the LEE HYDE ORCHESTRA, the EDDIE FRITZ QUARTET, the JACK ENGLER ORCHESTRA, the GARY DAMMER BIG BAND, GALAXY, and the JIM WIDNER BIG BAND. He teaches jazz improvisation, jazz arranging, jazz brass, jazz education, jazz history, and has directed both the MISSOURI and ILLINOIS HONORS ALL-STATE JAZZ BANDS. He remains active nationally as a clinician. He joined JEAN KITTRELL & THE ST. LOUIS RIVERMEN in 1998, and now plays all local and some festival gigs with them. In 2005 Brett began playing with the CORNET CHOP SUEY JAZZ BAND, one of the hottest and most popular bands on the traditional jazz festival circuit today.
Brett adds an exciting, unique voice to a band's front line with brilliant technique and gutsy tailgate slides.
Jack Tartar (drums) Jack grew up, as he says, running around in the woods of Southcentral Missouri with his father, a half-Indian State Conservation Agent for the Missouri Department of Conservation. Jack was an eagle scout, then worked for five years as the Waterfront Director of a Boy Scout summer camp, teaching all aquatic skills. He has completed National Red Cross certification for advanced water safety instructor and life-saving. And when, following in his Dad's footsteps, he worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation for seven years in the law enforcement section, he taught survival swimming and small craft safety to new employees. A man of many talents and interests, he has also worked at the St. Louis Zoo, driven Laclede cabs, run a jack-hammer.
His grandpa bought him a set of drums when he was in High School, and he's been playing in bands ever since. He graduated from the U.S. Naval School of Music in Washington, DC in 1962. As a Vietnam veteran (musician), he spent five years as a disc jockey on KOSO (Modesto CA) and KXTR (Kansas City MO) while he continued playing drums with local groups. He played with Steve Allen, backed the INK SPOTS and FOUR ACES in concert, and toured with the SAMMY KAYE SWING AND SWAY ORCHESTRA for over three years throughout the U.S.A. With this group he was required to spend at least four weeks of each year in Hawaii (how terrible!). Settling in St. Louis he drummed in the MERAMEC JAZZ LAB BAND for 10 years. Audiences are intrigued by his complete immersion in and enjoyment of the swinging drums he plays.
Jack's love of jazz is balanced by his love of the outdoors--biking, canoeing, kayaking, or quietly enjoying the beauty of butterflies, flowers, birds, wild animals.