Mile High Jazz Band - Player Information









Past Performance Schedule


Rehearsal Schedule


About the Players


Audio Samples


Press Releases


Membership form


How to contact us



External Links


Carson City Symphony

David Bugli website

Carson City Arts & Cultural Coalition



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.


Rich Davis photo
Rich Davis - lead alto sax (plus flute and clarinet)
Richard Lane Davis began with clarinet in 4th grade, age 9, and began saxophone in 7th grade, age 12. He played in junior high and high school bands, as well as the South Gate Youth Band for seven years, and the Aristocrats Dance Band in junior high and high school. Rich served three years in the U.S. Army Band from 1963 to 1966 and studied at Naval School of Music in Washington, D.C. He was in the 8th Army Band in Korea and the 36th Army Band at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. He was a member of a big dance band called The Bell-Airs for 21 years in southern California. He joined Mile High Jazz Band and The Tahoe Dance Band in 1999 and still performs with both groups. He recently took up flute at age 64.

Liz Eubanks photo
Elizabeth Eubanks - alto sax (plus flute and clarinet)
Liz grew up in far Northern California, earning her AA degree at Shasta College, BA and CA teaching credential in music at CSU, Chico, and her MA in Music at Southern Oregon University, American Band College. Some of her undergraduate scholarships include the areas of double reeds as well as the Bravo Opera scholarship at CSUC.

During her undergraduate years, she studied with oboist Neil Tatman and Mike Bankhead. She has worked under several international composers, conductors, and artists such as Robert W. Smith, Johan de Meij, James Barns, and Francis Macbeth, through her MA studies. She has taught in the public school system for many years and is now looking to enter the medical field. She has taught symphonic, concert, jazz and marching band, string orchestra, as well as beginning through advanced choir, in addition to piano and guitar. While teaching at Corning Union High School, she coached track & field as well as alpine snowboarding, and also coached Nordic Skiing at South Tahoe High School.

She has performed in a variety of ensembles - as an oboist/English horn player for organizations throughout Northern California, such as the Paradise Symphony Orchestra, Chico Symphony Orchestra, Simpson Sinfonia, and has performed as the principle oboe for the Shasta Symphony for over a decade. She has performed on baritone saxophone for the Straight Ahead Big Band and has been a woodwind "doubler" for various ensembles, organizations, and pit orchestras such as the Redding City Theater Company, Shasta College theater productions, and for Lake Tahoe Community College.

Liz is currently the principal oboist for the Carson City Symphony and performs vocally and on oboe/English horn from time to time for TOCCATA (The Orchestra and Community Choral Artist of the Tahoe Area.) She conducts the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra as well as Rosebud's Dance Band and also teaches private music lessons. She enjoys all that greater Tahoe area has to offer. In her spare time, she is an avid outdoor enthusiast and revels in activities such as rock climbing, skiing, and cycling, taking delight in many other activities in between.

JoJo Sheeley photo
Joseph (Jojo) Shelley - lead tenor sax (plus flute) writes:
"I’m sure I heard jazz in the womb. My mother was an amateur jazz singer in the bay area and my father played Dizzy, Shaw, Herman and all the other jazz greats constantly throughout the years."

Joe was born in Oakland California in 1951, and grew up surrounded by music. His sisters were both woodwind players and his brother played a mean piano as well.

Choosing sports rather than music, Joe went through his high school days heavily involved in field and track. It wasn't until discharge from the Navy in 1972 that he developed an interest to play the favorite instrument of his, the saxophone.

Joe attained his inspiration to learn to play a saxophone while on a midnight walk through the streets of San Francisco. The soloist was nowhere to be seen due to the maze of buildings and fog which cloaked the city that evening but the voice was mesmerizing. The rest is history.

Joe played for community bands to get his "chops" working and attended San Francisco City College to gain experience in jazz formats.

Today Joe enjoys playing his horns throughout the Carson Valley and Sierra foothills.

Jake Page photo Jake Page - tenor sax - He writes:

At about the age of 5, my mother showed me how to read the notes on sheet music and what key to press on the piano for each note. A couple months later, my dad got rid of the piano. I never understood why.

One Christmas, I got a keyed harmonica. Soon, the most frequent request was to play "Far Far Away." In fifth and sixth grade I played trumpet. Once again, I was often asked to play "Far Far Away." That sure is popular.

I always liked to tinker. Just before my senior year in high school, I found a broken clarinet in a second-hand store for three dollars. I figured out a way to repair it with epoxy glue and cotton sewing thread. I then proceeded to see if I could figure out how to play it. I just can't believe it -- the most frequent request was to play "Far Far Away" - some tunes are just classic! In my senior year of high school, I played the B-flat clarinet in the freshman band for the first semester. The second semester, I played the much larger E-flat contra-alto clarinet in the school's concert band.

After graduating from high school, I spent almost 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. While enlisted, I was in the pest control field. I later went to college and spent the last 16 years in the Air Force as a Systems Analyst and Engineering Physicist. During that time, I played in community bands where they were available on clarinet and bass clarinet. Whenever I practiced at home, our dogs would go "far far away." There's always a critic.

I moved to Reno after completing my Air Force career in 1992. When a local rehearsal big band started in 1995, I began playing tenor saxophone in that group, learning playing techniques from fellow band members. I joined the Mile High Jazz Band in 2009.

Casey Finnerty photo
Casey Finnerty - baritone sax - Casey Finnerty is one of the original MHJB members. He writes the following about himself:
"I started playing in the MHJB back in 1997 originally on the 2nd alto chair, which evolved to several years playing the 2nd tenor chair. In the fall of 2009, the coveted baritone chair became available, and I jumped on it. Now I love anchoring our talented sax section playing on the big horn. It has brought on a new challenge for me and I have enjoyed every bit of it. I also have big band experience with Russ Lindquist's Sierra Swing Band and the Tahoe Dance Band. I also enjoy playing at the local open mic jams around the area. I am a lifetime Carson City resident and longtime State of Nevada employee. I am married, with three lovely daughters, two dogs, and one cat."



Gil Linsley photo
Gil Linsley - Rev. Gil Linsley started in the music business at age 15, leading his own band in southern California. At the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, he played for Louis Armstrong, Vic Damone, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dick Haymes, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, to name just a few. He moved to Lake Tahoe in 1960 to join the house band at Harrah's and played for Nat "King" Cole, Mac Davis, Wayne Newton, Barbra Streisand, and others. He played with the "Jazz Guys" combo for Woodwind Sailing Cruises out of Zephyr Cover. He currently plays with several groups in the Reno-Tahoe-Carson area. He and his wife Gail are ministers with the Center for Spiritual Living (where the band rehearses).

Rich Sheldrew photo
Barbara Molt - Barbara Molt is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA., where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance. She also holds a Certificate of Recording Engineering from The Grove School of Music in Van Nuys, CA, and worked as a sound engineer at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks, NV. She has been the director of the Truckee Meadows Community College Jazz Ensemble for more than ten years. She was previously the director and lead trumpet player of the Sierra Society Swing Band in Carson City. Along with playing in the Mile High Jazz Band, she is currently a member of the Reno Municipal Band, plays lead trumpet in the Let's Dance Band, and subs in various other bands in the area. Her playing repertoire includes orchestra, concert band, rock bands, funk bands, pit orchestra, brass quartet/quintet, studio work and of course big bands.

Rich Sheldrew photo
Richard Sheldrew - Rich is retired from the Nevada State Department of Transportation. He also performs with the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra and Rosebud's Dance Band (which is named after his donkey).

Joi Cerveri photo
Joi Cerveri - Joi works at the Grand Sierra (the old Reno Hilton) and enjoys performing in a number of local groups.



Dean Carter photo
Dean Carter
Dean supplied the following information:
  Background: I grew up in a musical family, my dad was a high school music teacher that played trombone. I studied with Lester Lehr( a Remington student while at Eastman ) in Sacramento as a high school student during which time I played in the Northern California Junior Symphony under Fritz Berens. I came to Nevada on a music scholarship to UNR and studied under Eugene Isaeff. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from UNR.
  Experience: I worked as a full time musician, playing trombone, bass trombone and tuba in the house bands in the Reno/Tahoe area for around twenty-five years. During that time I worked for Bob Crosby, Nelson Riddle, Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini and Wayne Newton. I worked for Paul Anka in a trombone section that included Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana and myself. I worked television shows for Carol Burnett, Perry Como, Andy Williams, the syndicated Sammy Davis Shows, in a section with Kai Winding and the Mike Douglas shows when he came to Tahoe. I played for many years in the Harrah’s Lake Tahoe band working for Brian Farnon and for ten years with the Johnny Russell Relief Orchestra. I have played just about every act that ever came to Reno/Tahoe from Frank Sinatra (and Frank Sinatra Junior and Nancy Sinatra) to Frank Gorshin. I also played principal trombone for three years in the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and I played Tuba in the Nevada Brass Quintet for close to 10 years. Currently I play in the Carson City Symphony, the Mile High Jazz Band and the Reno Jazz Orchestra, and have a day job as a software engineer. Now I get to play for fun.

Dean can be reached at His website is at

Mike Allen photo
Mike Allen - Mike wrote the following: I received my first musical instrument at the age of ten; it was a guitar. Then in junior high school I began playing a baritone horn. The individual that recruited me was Kevin Workman, and my first music director was Harry Stover. Through the efforts of my father and the school music director's suggestions, I began commuting to Reno from where I lived to play with the Reno Municipal City Band on numereous occasions and later, in High School, the trombone became the instrument of choice. I received instruction and lessons for playing the trombone from Leo Elmen of Maytan Music, and later Mac McGrannhan III of the University of Reno music department. I participated in a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York City to play with the McDonald's All-American High School Marching Band in 1976 under the direction of Paul Lavaell.

Years later I returned to play horn again with various local jazz bands and (small) big bands in which I had so graciously and humbly been allowed to take part. An owing of gratitude has to be given to the likes of those people that ran the bands and they are: Larry Holloway, Mel Hilbert, Barbara Molt, Brian Farnon, Al Smith, Danny Yale, and David Bugli. Other influences came from the local barbershopper's quartet chapter as well as Church and from time to time friends playing popular rock music with guitars, drums and mayhem. Jazz has and continues to be always a favorite genre and the opportunity for me to play my trombone alongside such wonderful talent has always been a great privilege.

Ed.: Besides being a fine trombonist, Mike sometimes takes on additional duties as vocalist with the band.

CJ Birch photo
CJ Birch - CJ Birch served as band director at Carson Middle School and Carson High School. He is retired and enjoys fishing.

Curt Barnes photo
Curt Barnes - bass trombone - Curt Barnes played tenor trombone in swing and dance bands in Los Angeles and in the Army. He played bass trombone in the community stage band in Mt. Shasta, Calif., and in the Tahoe Community Orchestra and Tahoe Big Band. Barnes is married happily to Hillis, and has four children and three grandchildren. Barnes feels privileged to "blow my horn with very high caliber musicians in the Mile High Jazz Band" and to continue to develop his musical skills. He also has a passion for skiing, takes to the slopes daily in the winter, and runs House of Ski up at Lake Tahoe (at Highway 50 and Kingsbury Grade, Stateline, NV).


Rhythm Section and vocalist

David Bugli photo
David Bugli - Piano and Leader
David C. Bugli has a Bachelor of Science Degree in music education from Ithaca College, New York, where he studied composition for four years with Karel Husa. He has a Master of Music Degree from the University of Massachusetts. He has participated in Conductors Workshops presented by the American Symphony Orchestra League in San Francisco and St. Louis. In addition to conducting, he plays classical and jazz piano, tuba, and trombone, and he composes and arranges music.

David Bugli conducts the Carson City Symphony and was Assistant Conductor of the Foundation Orchestra in Reno. For the Carson City Symphony, he arranges music that features guest artists on the Symphony's annual Holiday Treat and Pops Party concerts. In the past he organized the annual Reno TubaChristmas event and led the annual Capitol Tree Lighting on the steps of the Nevada State Capitol in Carson City. The latter featured performances by the Holiday Brass Ensemble (generally about two dozen players) and a group of about two hundred elementary school singers. Along with his wife Ellie, and with the Brewery Arts Center, he has been instrumental in creating and running an annual multi-day jazz festival in Carson. Originally called "Basie @ 100" (2004) and "Basically Basie" (2005), the festival is now called "Jazz & Beyond" and features over 20 performances. He is the recipient of the 2007 Nevada Governor's Arts Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts.


Steve Hayes photo
Steve Hayes - guitar - As a big band guitarist, Steve follows the tradition of Freddie Green, playing an acoustic orchestral guitar strictly as a rhythm instrument.

Steve played trumpet at 8, banjo at 14, and picked up guitar at 17 studying with a local jazz guitarist, Vern Older, in Palo Alto, CA. He played rock and blues until one night in college he heard "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis, which transformed his outlook on music and improvisation.

Steve's big band experience included a two-year stint in the late 1970s with a rehearsal band comprising retired and ex-Count Basie members. He was in the No Fault Big Band and the Russ Button's Swing Orchestra in the SF Bay area in the 1990s.

Throughout his musical career Steve has taught guitar, played recording sessions, casual and stage engagements. He has been an active participant in jam sessions throughout the SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Northern Nevada. Steve continues to seek opportunities to play improvisational electric guitar in a jazz and blues vein.

Contact Steve via electronic mail via: lefty.guitar (at) charter (dot) net

  Iannetta photo
Frank Iannetta - bass - Frank writes:
I'm originally from Cleveland, Ohio. I started playing upright bass after I saw an old Kay in the window of a music store; I paid $100. I started taking lessons from a graduate student from The Cleveland Institute of Music. That was 1972. Aside from that, I'm largely self taught. I moved to Lake Tahoe in 1975. I played electric bass with numerous cover bands in the '70s and '80s. I worked with Brian Farnon with the Lake Tahoe Community Orchestra.

I joined the Tahoe Dance Band in 2006. I've maintained a roofing business since 1988. I've been married to my wife Phyllis for 25 years. I'm an avid golfer. I also like to mountain bike and ski, and have a strong interest in military history.

Brandon Dodge 
Brandon Dodge - drums - Brandon Dodge started playing at the age of 10 when he received a drum kit for Christmas. He sharpened his chops as part of the CHS band program as a member of the jazz, marching, and concert bands. He was a part of the high school all state music performance at UNLV. Brandon can also be found joining in other local groups and jazz jams in the Carson City area.

He is currently (2012) studying percussion with Dr. Andrew Heglund at the UNR. He plans to graduate from high school in 2013 and go on to play in college and beyond.

Sheryl Adams photo
Sheryl Adams - vocals (currently on leave from the band)
Sheryl Adams studied theater and musical comedy at San Francisco State University. She was a member of Group Repertory Theater, appeared in shows, films, and television, and directed a theater program for the Downtown Women's Center in Los Angeles. She studied singing with Joe Newman and Oscar Robinson, and jazz stylings with Carol Ettman in Reno, and sings with several big bands, combos, and duos. She has sung with Brian Farnon's Big Band; the Reno Municipal Big Band, Dixieland, and small swing bands; the "Satin Dolls" a capella trio; "Three Mezzos in concert: I, II, and III," and the "Fine and Mellow" combo. In 2008, she completed a theater degree at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she appeared in a number of theater productions there (including "The Threepenny Opera").



Last updated 7/9/2012