The big band plays on: Rootabaga Jammers jammin’ for 3 decades and counting

From the Register-Mail:

Bob Clark has been playing clarinet and tenor saxophone with the Rootabaga Jammers since 1979, and since 2002, he has been the leader of this local big band.

“I front the band; I pretend I’m Benny Goodman,” he said.

The Rootabaga Jammers were founded in 1979 by piano player Mona Tourlentes, who retired in May 2008 but still lives in the area. Five saxophones, a handful of trombones and trumpets, piano, bass, drums and a singer or two have kept the band going for more than three decades.

The band’s next concert is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 25 at The Kensington.

“I wanted to start the band because I had a jazz group that I was teaching,” Jammers’ founder Tourlentes said. “I thought if they had an actual band and could play, then they would probably be more interested.”

Tourlentes, who has known how to play piano since the second grade, said some of the members from her jazz group are still playing in the band today.

“It’s been a pretty popular band,” Tourlentes said.