Welcome to the Mile High Jazz Band Website







Past Performance Schedule


Rehearsal Schedule


About the Players


About the Alumni Players


"Jazz & Beyond: Carson City
Music Festival" (2016, 2017, & 2018)


Audio Samples


The Millennium Bugs


Jazz Extravaganzas


Press Releases


Membership form


Funding Priorities


How to contact us


  MileHighJazz.com QR code


Mile High Jazz Band

External Links


Carson City Symphony

David Bugli website

Carson City Arts & Culture Coalition

Sacramento Traditional Jazz
Society (STJS)



The Mile High Jazz Band Association formed in 2001 as a nonprofit corporation to support the MHJB and its subgroup, the Millennium Bugs (jazz combo), promote live jazz performance in northern Nevada, educate the public about jazz, and enrich the cultural life of the community. Member benefits include mailings, discounts on admissions, and invitations to special events, plus the satisfaction of helping big-band jazz to thrive!

To book the Mile High Jazz Band (big band) or Millennium Bugs (jazz combo), call 775-883-4154.

Mile High Jazz Band Association Updated Mission Statement - Adopted March 4, 2012, by the Board of Trustees:
Our mission is to enrich the cultural life of our community by promoting live jazz performance in and around Carson City; enhancing arts education in collaboration with other organizations and school programs; and supporting our resident big band, the Mile High Jazz Band, and its affiliated combos.

MHJB Assoc. Board and Officers
The MHJBA board, July 1, 2020:

  • Trustees class of 2022: David Bugli, Rita Geil, Ted Xie
  • Trustees class of 2023: Ellie Bugli, Steve Hayes, Randy Seeber
  • Trustees class of 2024: Kelly Dodge, Jennifer Simkins, Doug Conner

Officers (elected at 2020 Board Meeting):
  • President: David Bugli
  • Vice President: Kelly Dodge
  • Treasurer: Ellie Bugli
  • Secretary: Jennifer Simkins

Carson City Open Studios Tour (OST) Application
Posted: 3/14/2021

Snapshot of 'call to artists' flyer

The 2021 Jazz & Beyond Music and Art Festival this August includes the third annual Carson City Open Studios Tour on Saturday, August 21, and Sunday, August 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at multiple studios throughout Carson City.

This admission-free, contemporary cultural event will showcase about two dozen local artists, presenting a wide variety of exceptional visual art and art demonstrations, from painting, sculpture, and 3D art to jewelry, photography, and pottery in about a dozen individual and shared studio spaces.

Local and Regional artists have teamed up to bring this artistically eclectic event to Carson City. Many local artists are sharing their home studio spaces with artists from throughout the region in order to create an amazing collection of art in our fair hamlet. Artists will not only be sharing their works, but sharing their process as well. There will be hands-on art demonstrations at some locations and, where practical, the artists will share their process with visitors.

Click http://ccost_artist_application_form_2021v6a.pdf for the Open Studios Tour artists application form. Forms are due May 15, 2021. Participants are expected to share their process during the OST by demonstrating, story boarding, running video of demos, etc.

New this year: Artists accepted for OST may enter one piece in the Nevada Artists Association Summer Show, August 1 to September 11, at no extra cost. The piece must meet NAA requirements for the show and be brought to the NAA Gallery on Saturday, July 31. Detailed information will be provided separately with your acceptance notification.

New Applicants: If you did not participate last year, please email images of 5 examples of your work to be juried into the OST. Images must be emailed to ccopenstudio@gmail.com. PNG or JPEG files only, no more than 5 images. OST will select images for advertising purposes. By applying you are giving consent to use your images.

Jazz & Beyond Committee Announces 2021 Art Contest
Media release: February 11, 2021

Photograph of Karen Kreyeski with 2020 winning artwork

Mile High Band Association's 2021 Jazz & Beyond Festival Committee is sponsoring an art contest for northern Nevada artists, including teachers and students. Selected entries in the competition may be used to promote the festival, and the winning entry will be featured on the festival's advertising poster and program cover. Festival T-shirts this year may also feature the winning design. The entry deadline is April 1, 2021. Participation is free.

The artwork will be judged by the Jazz & Beyond committee. The winner of the competition will receive a certificate of appreciation from the Jazz & Beyond - Carson City Music and Art Festival and a cash award of $100. Alexander Cassimus, art project chair, said, "The artist's work will be front and center, viewed by thousands of festival patrons."

Entry forms are available for download from milehighjazz.com/artcontest2021.pdf (click HERE to download).

Artwork must be 11"x14" and may be in any two-dimensional medium (photography, digital collage and photography, watercolor, acrylic, oil, etc.). Artwork must be matted, backed, and submitted in a protective sleeve. Each submission must include the entry form.

Artists are to deliver their entries to the Nevada Artists Association Gallery, 449 West King Street, Carson City, NV, by April 1. Gallery hours are 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

The entry form and a digital image of the artwork (not to exceed 20 MB) must also be sent as an email attachment to info@jazzcarsoncity.com.

For more information about the contest and entry forms, contact Alexander Cassimus at 408-264-4423 or away4@earthlink.net.

Photo: Artist Karen Kreyeski shows her winning artwork, "After Midnight Jam," used for the cover of the 2020 Jazz & Beyond program.

Second Virtual Jazz & Poetry, "Play's the Thing"
Planned for Early 2021
Posted: Jan. 17, 2021 (revised 3/17/2021)

Logo for event

The Mile High Jazz Band is preparing to do a second Virtual Jazz & Poetry video based on the theme "Play's the Thing." Band Director David Bugli and MHJB Poet Wrangler Rita Geil are working with five poets to select poetry to be read. Musicians from the MHJB will record, on their own, an appropriate tune to match the mood or theme of the poem. The videos of the poets reading and of the musicians performing will then be compiled and posted on YouTube on the Mile High Jazz Band's new YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxNbOrzkkqfwwjhvoyPgWTQ.

The first Virtual Jazz and Poetry video, based on the theme "Running Out," was released in September 2020. It is available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqkA5QyRCtI.

Plans to record a second virtual big band video, similar to last year's "Moten Swing" video are also in the works.

Band members only! - Follow this link to the Second Virtual Jazz & Poetry "resource page" at http://milehighjazz.com/virtualjnp2.htm.

Mile High Jazz Band Presents
"Moten Swing, performed by Mile High Jazz Band"
Available on YouTube, Sunday, August 16, 2020

Composite picture of band from the video

The Mile High Jazz Band Assoc. presents a video called "Moten Swing, performed by Mile High Jazz Band." It is available as an unlisted video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhH-uEksGCg.

Mile High Jazz Band (MHJB) presents its first virtual big-band recording, each individual part recorded by band members and guests artists in their homes in July 2020. This endeavor is one way for the MHJB to continue to work together as a group, even though the coronavirus prevents us from rehearsing together and performing for our dearly missed audience.

As the MHJB explores the new technology for combining separate tracks into a whole, we like to pay tribute to some musical pioneers who came before us. Bennie Moten (1894-1935) wrote "Moten Swing" with his brother Buster in 1932 for his Kansas City Orchestra. It gained additional recognition when Benny Goodman (1909-1986) recorded it in 1938. But it is best known for being recorded in 1940 by Count Basie (1904-1984) and his orchestra. Basie had joined the Moten band in 1929 as a pianist, even though the band already had a pianist (Bennie Moten!). Some speculate that Moten aspired to bring his band up to the level of Duke Ellington's, and hiring musicians of Basie's caliber would help. Basie helped Moten develop the Kansas City style, in part by replacing the 2-beat-per-measure emphasis of the tuba with the 4-beat-per-measure feel of the string bass, an innovation that led to swing.

For information on the Mile High Jazz Band, please go to MileHighJazz.com. The Mile High Jazz Band Assoc. has sponsored the yearly Jazz & Beyond Music and Art Festival since the 100th birthday of Count Basie in August 2004 (see JazzCarsonCity.com).

Mile High Jazz Band Presents
"Virtual Jazz & Poetry - Running Out"
Available on YouTube Sunday, July 19, 2020

Image of poet/readers on Zoom conference call reading a poem.

The Mile High Jazz Band Assoc. is presenting a video that we are calling "Virtual Jazz & Poetry: Running Out." It is available as an unlisted video on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqkA5QyRCtI.

On March 10, 2020, the band did a live Jazz & Poetry event at Comma Coffee in Carson City, NV, on the theme, "Fate & Fortune." Little did we know that five days later the band's own fate was to be put in a lockdown for an undetermined period. Faced with this predicament of not being able to perform live, we decided to create a Virtual Jazz & Poetry video in lieu of the Jazz & Poetry event originally scheduled for June 9, 2020. We selected the theme, "Running Out."

Several poets, given the theme, wrote or selected appropriate poems to be read on the video and isolated band members recorded tunes related to the poems. The result of these efforts is this video in six short acts, each consisting of the reading of a poem and the performance of a related piece of music.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the band is also developing a virtual big band presentation of a golden oldie from the big band era. Be on the lookout for that, too.

Photo: Rita Geil (center) and other poet readers read a poem by Carl Sandburg, captured in a Zoom conference call, part of "Virtual Jazz & Poetry: Running Out."

Normally, many MHJB and MHJB combo gigs are on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9:00 or 9:30 p.m. Most of these are at Living the Good Life, 1480 N. Carson Street, Carson City, or at Comma Coffee. These events are on hold until further notice.


General Information

The Mile High Jazz Band, an 18-member "big band" composed of 17 instrumentalists and a vocalist, began performing in 1997. The group features music in the Count Basie-Duke Ellington-Woody Herman tradition, as well as more contemporary styles, selected from a repertoire of over 200 tunes. They play ballads, high-powered jazz tunes, and dance music arranged by Nestico, Niehaus, Taylor, and other great arrangers.

Mile High Jazz Band performs for community events, fundraisers, dances, receptions, private parties, and in concert. They have played benefits for New York Firefighters, Red Cross Disaster Relief, Carson-Tahoe Hospital Foundation, Douglas County Library Foundation, and the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. They have been featured in concerts at the Brewery Arts Center and on the Carson City Symphony's "Holiday Treat" and "Pops Party" concerts. They play monthly at Comma Coffee and collaborate with local poets in quarterly "Jazz and Poetry" events, alternating poetry readings with related musical selections. Mile High Jazz Band has performed in Carson City, Reno, Minden, Fallon, Yerington, Stateline, Incline Village, Virginia City, and Crystal Bay.

In 2002, Mile High Jazz Band won "Best Band" award in Carson City's "Taste of Downtown." In 2003, American Composers Forum selected Mile High Jazz Band and Bella Voce women's choir for a national Continental Harmony project. In 2007, leader David Bugli received the Nevada Governor's Arts Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts, and the band played for the awards ceremony. Mile High Jazz Band plays annual benefits with the Carson High Jazz Band to help the high school band attend the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Also, the Mile High Jazz Band Association founded and produces or co-produces the annual, multi-day Jazz & Beyond Music Festival in Carson City each August since 2004.

The band performs around the Carson City area. You can catch us on most second Tuesdays of each month at Living the Good Life, 1480 N. Carson Street, Carson City, or at Comma Coffee.

Millennium Bugs

The Millennium Bugs, a jazz combo associated with the Mile High Jazz Band, play a great variety of jazz styles. They performed for the Carson City Preservation Coalition/Historical Society, Olympic Torch Relay Ceremony in Carson City, Carson City Music Club, Westview block party, Camel Race Day in Virginia City, Carson Nugget showroom, Carson-Tahoe Hospital Foundation, Carson High Prom, BAC Beer Tasting, weddings, receptions, and parties.



Mile High Jazz Band Association board meetings are held quarterly. Call 775-883-4154 for details.



Help support the Mile High Jazz Band by placing your music orders through Sheet Music Plus. Just click on the link below to get connected.

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The Mile High Jazz Band Assoc. is a member of the Carson City Downtown Business Assoc.

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Last updated 3/17/2021