Mile High Jazz Band - Player Information









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 QR code


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 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.

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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 photo
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 on YouTube.

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. "

Wayne Theriault photo
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.

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.

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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 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

Don Smaltz photo
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 photo
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 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.


Bruce Theriot photo
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.

  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.



Last updated 12/13/2017