Past Performance Schedule
About the Players
About the Alumni Players
How to contact us
Carson City Symphony
David Bugli website
Carson City Arts &
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),
Speedy Garfin - alto sax
Howard "Speedy" Garfin, creator and leader of the legendary Garfin Gathering, was
inspired to take up music by Benny Goodman at nine years old. His folks had an old 78 album,
a Benny Goodman Sextet, and he used to fall asleep to it practically every night. The clarinet
was his first instrument. He's been playing professionally since he joined the union in New York,
when he was 15. He attended the famed High School for Performing Arts, and when he was in his
teens he got together with bands which would go up to the Catskills and play at the resorts
in the summertime. He went on the road at 17 with trios and quartets. He was drafted into the
army and continued playing through the service for two years. His quintet won an all-Army
entertainment contest. He was on tour for a year conducting a pit band for a year calling
"The Rolling Along Show" in 1958. The show was made up of all army personnel, and was
somewhat like a Broadway show with special lyrics and music. It was put together in New York
City, and the ensemble took it on the road and performed wherever there was an army base. They
did one-nighters for a year. His band played on the Ed Sullivan Show, and when he was discharged
he went back to work with a Latin band playing in Brooklyn, New York. That's when he switched
to saxophone and when he started listening to jazz artists. His favorite alto sax player turned
out to be Paul Desmond, with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He started playing lounges in Las Vegas
and Lake Tahoe in 1960. (He had come out from New York with Don Rickles to back him. He had
set his sights on moving out of New York and getting on the Nevada circuit, what they called
the "Silver Circle," playing Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe.) In 1965 he was in a
quartet called the "Cary Garfin Four." When that group disbanded, after being together
for 6 years, he put together the Garfin Gathering in 1971. Lynda Carter, AKA "Wonder
Woman," was one of the original members of that group. (Basic source of
information: Interview with Speedy posted at
More information on Speedy can be found in the "Nevada Appeal" article
of March 31, 2011. Click
to access it.
Speedy retired from the band in June 14, 2011.
Dan Lancaster - lead tenor sax - Dan has returned to play with the
MHJB after a hiatus. Here's his fantastic musical resume (in bullet format):
- Began the study of clarinet at age 12 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin under
- Bought his first alto sax at age 14.
- Got into jazz in Beloit, Wisconsin, where he played 1st clarinet in the
concert band, lead alto in the jazz band, and was director of the basketball
- Joined the Musician's Union at age 17 and played in combos and big
bands in the Southern Wisconsin area.
- Dan was principal clarinet in the Wisconsin Allstate band and Allstate
Orchestra in 1954.
- Received a Bachelor of Music degree from Hardin-Simmons University in
1959. While at HSU Dan played first chair clarinet in university bands,
and was a featured soloist in his senior year. Dan played lead alto in their
jazz band which did a USO tour in December of 1957. Dan played in the
Freddie Woolridge band and the Jack Free orchestra while in college and
also performed on a weekly musicial TV show for 2 years.
- Dan spent the summer of 1957 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania playing in the
National Wind Ensemble, a position he gained through national auditions.
- Dan played lead alto with the Al Galante Orchestra from Chicago in the
summer of 1958.
- 1959-1962 Dan was principal clarinet in the Fourth Army band and Lead
alto in their jazz band. During this time Dan also toured the 4th Army area
with a jazz octet backing Steve Lawrence.
- 1962-1967 junior high band director and assistant high school director
in Andrews, Texas.
- 1966-67 did graduate work at University of Colorado during the summer
while playing principal clarinet in the University Orchestra.
- 1968 taught clarinet and Sax on a graduate assistantship at Texas Tech
- 1968 played lead alto with the Ralph Marterie Orchestra.
- 1969-72 played with various bands and combos in the West Texas area.
- Principal clarinet with the Midland-Odessa Symphony for 8 years.
- Dan has also played in many musicials and several times with the Ice-capades.
- 1972-1974 traveled with a quartet called the Hamiltons. This group
made the Beverly Hillcrest their home for 8 months of each year.
- 1974 moved to Las Vegas and played in the house band at the Sands
- 1975-1980 played weekends at the Mount Charleston Lodge in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- 1990-1996 played weekends at the Christmas Tree in Reno, Nevada.
- Since 2000 with the Mile High Jazz Band (with a break) and the Jazz Guys.
- Since 2009, first clarinet with the Carson City Symphony.
- Dan plays clarinet, alto & tenor Sax, and flute.
Dan retired from the band Aug. 20, 2011
Gerry Wright - baritone sax - "Gerry on the Bari" came to Carson City in late
2000 from Oxnard, CA. His experience in Oxnard was as a member of a big band in which he played
lead tenor for almost 20 years. During those years he fronted two small groups of six to
seven men and vocalist, back when there was a lot of work. Being so close to Los Angeles,
he got chances to play with some "heavy people." He learned a lot, despite no formal training.
He remarks, "I just love to play. I have often said that when I go, I want it to be with a horn
in my hands."
Gerry retired from the band in September 2009.
Jacki Montgomery - guitar - When it came time to add a guitar to the rhythm section,
we were fortune to find the talented Jacki Montgomery. She is an avid pilot, as well as being
an excellent musician with years of studio experience.
Jacki retired from the band in June 2010.
George Worth - bass - Dr. George Worth has been
bass player for the MHJB, on and off, for several years. He also plays
trombone and tuba. He worked professionally in the music business for
George was born in Utica, N.Y. When he went into the Air Force
in 1950, he was part of a musical group that played at the officers' club
and the NCO club, where he played string bass, tuba, slide trombone,
and drums. Later, he was in the band at Edwards Air Force Base. When
he got out, he formed a group called the Kings IV, which headlined at
Lake Tahoe. The group was in business for 18 years and opened for Judy
Garland, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, and Danny Thomas. The group
played the Sahara when it opened in the mid '60s.
George got into chiropractics "because it was something I
could do that I could control and still give something to people." He
has been practicing chiropractics in South Lake Tahoe since 1973. (His
website is at
He is active in several musical groups, including the
Carson City Symphony, the Jazz Guys, the Millennium Bugs, 9th
St. Jazz Band, the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra, and Dr. Worth & His
Medicine Band. He has been known to play electric bass and valve
trombone at the same time.
George retired from the band the summer of 2011.
Lee Warner - drums - Lee has been teaching
private drum lessons since 1971, and at Maytan since March, 2000. He has about 40
students, and he always welcomes
new students of all ages. Lee plays the drums in groups around the Reno area, including 50s band
"Papa Clutch and the Shifters." Visit "Papa Clutch and the Shifters" web site
at www.papaclutch.com. His
teaching at Maytan’s gives him a chance to pursue his three greatest passions: music, children and
teaching. He is part of the ten-piece Maytan Soul Band, which includes many Maytan teachers and
employees. It is a horn band like
Tower of Power. They present concerts of funk and soul music (James Brown, Stevie Wonder,
Average White Band, etc) in local elementary schools. They also do clinics for middle school and high
school music classes.
Lee can be reached at: (775) 348-0000 in Reno or by
Lee left the band in 2012.