March 11, 2009
Dear THJB Fans:
It is the end of an era but what a fun time it was! Twelve years of jazz at Ashley's is something we can all be proud of - band and fans alike. Tuesday night at Ashley's has been an important social as well as musical event for many of us over the years. This would not have been possible without the loyalty of you fans. I have played with quite a few jazz bands (including several in Florida recently) and I have never seen such close fan/band interaction as with the THJB and fans.
I recall how startled Christian Doering (our contact in Munich) was when he invited the THJB to come to Munich and play and I responded: "yes we are coming, and we are bringing 15 jazz fans with us!" That is unheard of in Germany (and most places in the U.S.). Speaking of the wonderful THJB trips to Europe, it is important to recognize the link between Ashley's and the success of the band. Ashley's gave the band the opportunity to work on arrangements and get them polished beyond the point that a "wing it" band can achieve. This playing experience led to the production of 3 CDs during the Ashley's era. These CDs and the original 3-trumpet specialties of the THJB musicians led not only to the invitations to Europe but also to invitations to the Bix Festival in Davenport (two of which we actually had to decline because of conflicts!!!).
There are too many fond memories of nights at Ashley's to review here but I (and I'm sure all the THJB guys) will always remember these 12 years as one of the most satisfying of our musical careers. Thank you for being such great fans, and I hope you will continue to support us at our new venue at the Rusty Nail in Westerville.