Past Performance Schedule
About the Players
About the Alumni Players
"Jazz & Beyond: Carson City
Music Festival" (2016, 2017, & 2018)
The Millennium Bugs
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),
Rich Davis - lead alto sax (plus flute and clarinet)
Richard Lane Davis joined The Mile High Jazz Band and The Tahoe Dance Band in 1999 and still
performs with both groups. Other current affiliations include the Sierra Swing
Band and the Joel Gray Big Band. Rich began studying clarinet in 4th grade and added
saxophone in the 7th grade. He kept busy 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
and senior high.
Rich served three years in the U.S. Army Band from 1963 to 1966 and
studied at the Naval School of Music in Washington, D.C. He was in the 8th Army Band
in Korea and the 36th Army Band in Ft. Huachaca, Arizona. He later enjoyed 21 years
in a big dance band called The Bell-Aires in Los Angeles, California.
Randy Seeber - alto sax (plus clarinet)
Background: I began playing clarinet when I was 12 years old. I played in junior high and high school concert bands when, at the age of 17, I was asked to join a local youth band that needed an alto sax player in their jazz band. When I began playing the dance band music, I was hooked.
Musical Influences: There have been many musicians who have influenced me. These include (but are not limited to): Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, the Dorsey Brothers, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Lester Young ….
Musical Ambition: My ambition is to continue striving in being a well rounded musician. My desire is to be able to play any chart at a level of great saxophone/clarinet players of today and yesterday. Additionally, I want to continue my Jazz Improvisation journey (clarinet and saxophone) which is a separate skill unto itself. Sometimes I look at what still has to be learned to achieve these goals and it seems that like such a giant task. But as long as one focuses on the enjoyment learning brings and not the amount one has to learn, you realize that this process is a journey with no true end or destination.
Current and Previous Bands that I have played in:
- 159th Army Jazz Band
- Sacramento City College Jazz Band
- Desert Swingers Dance Band (Ft. Huachuca, AZ)
- Capital City Community Band (Carson City, NV)
- Mile High Jazz Band
- Rosebud’s Dance Band (Gardnerville, NV)
Derek Fong - tenor sax - Derek joined the MHJB in early 2015. He started out
on clarinet and is a 2010 graduate of Vacaville (CA) High School. He is a student
at the University of Nevada, Reno. He performed with the UNR jazz band in April 2015 at
American River College, where he was a jazz studies major in 2012. Derek got to play with
Wynton Marsalis when the legendary jazz musician dropped by the
Vacaville Jazz Festival in 2010. Derek can be seen and heard playing
soprano sax with his quartet on "Summertime" at the 2012 Vacaville Jazz Festival
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
Wayne Theriault - Wayne Theriault (pronounced "Terry-oh") plays the principal
jazz trumpet solo chair in the Mile High Jazz
Band. He has extensive experience playing in military bands and playing various gigs around the
region. He is often heard with the MHJB playing exciting and highly improvised solos.
His album of ballads, "Trumpet by Candlelight," shows off his mellower and beautifully
controlled style of playing.
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 - Joi works at the Grand Sierra (the old Reno Hilton) and enjoys performing in a number of
Bob Masters - trumpet - Bob currently plays trumpet with
Zephyrus Brass Quintet, Carson Valley Pops Orchestra,
Rosebud's Dance Band, and Mile High Jazz Band and plays French Horn in a Carson Valley
Woodwind Quintet. He is the former first trumpet with the Carson City Symphony. He was
featured on Trumpet in Aaron Copland's "Quiet City"
with the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra. He is currently studying jazz and
improvisation under Paul January. Bob has performed with the Hickman Brass,
Ruby Mountain Symphony, Capital City Community Band, and the
Toccata Lake Tahoe Orchestra.
In his spare time Bob enjoys swimming, backpacking,
fly fishing, alpine and nordic skiing, kayaking, both road and mountain biking,
rock climbing, and photography.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. His
website is at http://mysite.ncnetwork.net/resu5r8u.
Don Smaltz - trombone - Don joined the MHJB on a regular basis in January
2015. He grew up in Lebanon, PA, the heart of the
Pennsylvania Dutch Country. He started playing Boogie Woogie piano at age 5 and
was performing publicly at age 8, playing Boogie Woogie and doing singing impersonations
of Al Jolson. After his parents required him to study classical piano at age 13, he
switched to trombone playing in the Junior and Senior High School marching & concert
bands and the school orchestra. In high school he formed a Dixieland band that appeared
on the Paul Whiteman show. At Penn State Univ. he formed a band which played in a
variety of venues and paid his way through college and then law school.
Following his admission to the Bar, he served in the JAGC Corps and, when his tour of duty was
completed, moved to Los Angeles as an Assistant US Attorney and became a federal prosecutor.
Three years later he transitioned to private practice.
Don's family obligations (wife and eventually 4 daughters) and his professional obligations did not allow
any spare time for trombone practice. After 30 of absence from the trombone, Bill
Watrous encouraged him to begin playing again and directed him to Roy Main to
study jazz trombone. When Roy moved from the Los Angeles area, Don began studying with
Bill at the USC Jazz Institute. While in the LA area he played with the Pacific
Coast Jazz Band VI and a variety of big bands.
His wife Lois retired as a Superior Court Judge in 2007 and they moved to Sequim, WA,
where he continued to play in big bands and small groups until moving to Reno in 2013.
CJ Birch (bass trombone) - CJ Birch served as band director at Carson Middle School and Carson High
School. He is retired and enjoys fishing. He enjoys studying about the American Civil War
and making presentations on the making of long rifles.
Rhythm Section and vocalist
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.
Bruce Theriot - guitar - Bruce joined the MHJB on a regular basis in July 2014.
He is retired lawyer, living in Gardnerville. He studied at Western Connecticut State
University (music and social sciences) and Vanderbilt University Law School. He was a senior attorney and director
of the artist contract section of Capitol Record's law department. Before leaving the
EMI-Capitol organization, he had advanced to become the Senior Vice President
Business Affairs and A&R Administration for Manhattan Records as well as Blue Note
and Windswept Pacific Records - all Divisions of EMI-Capitol Records. Subsequently,
he went on to become President of Filmtrax Copyright Holdings, a music publishing company,
later bought and incorporated into EMI Music Publishing. From there, he went to Universal
Music Group and became VP of Business & Legal Affairs - the position from which he retired.
Bruce started playing in garage bands in high school and, after that, continued to
play in small groups and in jazz ensembles while in the service, college and at
law school. After law school and for the next thirty years as an executive and attorney
in the entertainment industry, career demands took over, keeping guitars, for the most part,
in their cases save for a now-and-then nostalgic strumming session. When he retired from
Universal Music, the company surprised him a new Gibson, Custom Shop, B.B.
King Artist Signature Model Guitar. (As Bruce says, "Maybe somebody was trying to
tell me something?") Happily, the retirement door opened wide allowing him to get back
to spending time with the guitar (now out of its case) and time to focus and work once
again on music.
Following the post retirement move to Gardnerville, from Los Angeles, Bruce had the
opportunity, from time to time, starting in the fall of 2012, to play as a substitute
guitarist for the Mile High Jazz Band. In 2014, he was, in his own words, "lucky enough
to be able to join the Band as its guitarist."
Regarding his favorite guitarists - all time, hands down, Joe Pass. However, lots
of listening time spent with the likes of: Freddie Green, Herb Ellis, Jim Hall, B.B. King,
Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel, Django, and many others.
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.