Here's some background information on the band: Who we are, how we got together, and why we do what we do...
In January of 2011, six seasoned Connecticut jazz musicians gathered for a simple jam session. It was clear after playing just a few tunes: The makings were there for a first-class, hot Dixie/Swing band. Quickly, the group settled on the name "20th Century Jazz Limited", in recognition of our common desire to select tunes and stylings specifically from the early to mid-1900's.
All of us have played this type of music for many years. We know it and love it, and we have immense fun performing it. Improvisation is the name of our game, so every time we play a particular tune, it's different from the last time we played it. To paraphrase the musical "Mr. Holland" (the gentleman famous for his "Opus" in the eponymous movie), "It's not about the notes on the page. It's about having fun!" That we do, for sure!
The following fellows make up our merry crew:
Jeremy Alston (Drums) - has played drums and solo piano in Connecticut for many years. A long-time member of the local jazz group Music From The Heart, he also teaches music and has performed all over the country in bands of various genres.
Greg Butko (Reeds) - has long been active on the Connecticut music scene, e.g., playing every week in the Charlie Kaman Band at the Duncaster in Bloomfield for the past nine years. On many weekends he can be found performing with various groups in restaurants and other venues around the state. Greg has also performed internationally.
Lauren Humpage (Bass, Vocals) - has been musically active in Connecticut since the early 60's and has made a half-dozen professional recordings. For fifteen years he was a member of the house band at the Griswold Inn.
Emil Mark (Piano) - played in Earl Capron's Bourbon Street Seven tradjazz band for many years, performing all over Connecticut and New York, and even for President Reagan at the White House. Emil was a co-founder of Jive By Five and for many years a member of the Blue Book Jazz Trio and the Funky Butt Jazz Band. He has numerous New Orleans-style jazz recordings under his belt.
Dave Mechler (Cornet) - was a founding and long-time member of the aforementioned Bourbon Street Seven Dixieland Band, also playing the Reagan White House gig. He also played with John Banker's Riverboat Ramblers and several other fine traditional jazz groups from Connecticut to Vermont, as well as internationally and in Hawaii.
Bill Steinhauser (Banjo/Guitar) - also known as Bill Lee, was a long-time NYC studio musician and recording engineer. He has worked and recorded with the likes of Mel Torme, Jack Teagarden, Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra and other famous artists. He has played with many Connecticut jazz groups over the years. Besides being a superb musician, Bill is a master guitar-builder and clock-maker, the latter talent perhaps helping to keep our musical timing right on the mark!
So, as a group we know our melodies and harmonies well --"practice has made perfect"--and how it all fits together stylistically. If it's a "good old good one", we've probably played it far more than once. We strive to keep the great tunes alive, listenable, danceable, and enjoyable today, as much so as they were when they were first written.