Carl Gerhard recently retired from the U.S. Navy after 30 years of service. Carl’s musical background is extensive, it includes many years as Commander of the Navy Band – Northeast Region. His true love, however is playing traditional jazz in the New Orleans style. He has replaced Alan Shapiro, who retired, as Musical Director of the Dixie Diehards jazz Band.
Bill Dube grew up in Rhode Island where he played sax and clarinet in swing combos and big bands. His primary teachers were Bill Rossi and Attilio Poto. He’s played with the USMA Jazz and Concert Bands, 88th Army Band, and Jack Jessie’s Big Band. In addition to the Diehards, Bill also plays with the Sharon Concert Band and Roy Scott Big Band.
Paul Peterson, our tenor sax player started learning the reeds in the 4th grade. During his formative years on the reeds, he was a member of both All-State and All-New England Championship Bands. In fact, his musical skills were of a level that he was invited to play in a local college band while still in junior high school. After graduating high school, Paul joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard, and served in Viet Nam. He spent 30 years in the Guard, and played in several military bands. During that time, he added flute, trombone, and trumpet to his expanding musical skills. For the last 34 years, he has been teaching music in the Bridgewater–Raynham School District. He has been a member of many bands (too many to list), however he plays regularly with the Downtown Players, a blues band from Bridgewater. He and his wife Kathy reside in Taunton. They are parents of a son and a daughter, both young adults. We are delighted that Paul finds time to add his unique touch to the Dixie Diehards. His sax solos never fail to put a big charge into an audience.
Ron L’Herault recently joined the Diehards, and resides in North Attleboro MA. He has been active playing traditional jazz for many years. The first jazz band he played with was the Scollay Square Stompers, headquartered on the North Shore. He’s currently the first call sub with the Canobie Lake Park Dixieland bands, and a sub for both the Bay State Stompers (not their regular bone player any longer) and a sub with the New New Orleans Band. I lead the present version of Jim Burke’s Dixie All Stars, Jim having passed way. Although I am usually the “Band Aide” with the New Black Eagles, I have on two occasions played gigs with that band. Ron is a founding member of the Ma. Old Colony Antique Phonograph Society, and has an extensive collection of antique records and recording devices, that date back to the original gramaphone.
Bill KIesewetter Influenced by Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Floyd Cramer and of course, the Dukes of Dixieland, among others. Over the years, his playing has covered Folk, Country, Blues, Ragtime and Honky Tonk styles of music. Today, he enjoys playing a stride piano style with the Dixie Diehards. He attended Jazz Camp for a number of years, and also performed on a couple of Jazz Cruises. Bill is retired from many years in the computer industry and resides in Marion, MA., but winters in Florida. He leads the Flamingo All-Stars Jazz Band based in the Naples area. He has played with many Florida bands including the Marco Island Strummers, the Holiday Park Big Band, Bonita Village Band and more recently, the Dixielanders, based in Ft. Myers Florida.
Chris Wadsworth, from Cambridge & Cape Cod, fell in love with the banjo whileworking a summer job on Squirrel Island, Maine in the 1960’s when he heard Judge MacDonald play with a Dixieland group who summered on the island. After his first night of hearing Dixieland, he headed to the nearest mainland pawnshop and bought a banjo. After learning a few chords, he moved to Buffalo, New York where he joined the Buffalo Banjo Band and played with the Scajaquada Creek Stompers. During the 90s, he was one of Jeannie Kelly’s friends who played at the Colonial Inn in Concord on Tuesday night’s traditional jazz. Having spent 8 years living in Istanbul, he has returned to his native New England, and is happy to be rejoining the local trad jazz scene. Chris also was a member the Stone Street Stummers.
Bill Kass, from Foxborough MA, has recently joined as our regular tuba player. For many years Bill has filled in, but in 2017 he joined as a full time member of the band. Bill has been a member of the Bay State Stompers since the 1980’s another local dixieland band. In addition, he is a member of the Antiphonel Brass Society Band based in Bridgewater, MA. In the winters he travels to SW Florida to play with the Dixielander’s Jazz Band in Ft. Myers, and the Blue Dirt Band based in Cape Coral, FL.