All the members of our band take great delight in being able to play many different styles of music. We are close friends (three of us have been in this band since its beginning 33 years ago) and we have fun with what we do! This warmth comes across on stage and has contributed to the rather remarkable stability of our group over the years.
Lead vocalist, business manager
Ginny graduated from Barnard College and has taught at Southern Connecticut State University, the College of New Rochelle, and Yale. She performed as a solo singer-songwriter in coffeehouses, concerts and music festivals on the East and West coasts. She played bass and piano with Night Angels, opened for Bonnie Raitt, and has appeared on 15 albums. She wrote book, music, and lyrics for the full-length musical Stanton Women’s Chorus, which had its first Equity production in May of 1989. For this piece, she was named Songwriter of the Year for 1987 by the Connecticut Songwriters Association. She was a Fellow at the 1999 Cabaret Symposium at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She began performances of her cabaret show “I Sang at Your Wedding” (original songs and commentary based on her years of experience as a wedding singer) in 2001, her Cole Porter show in 2003, and her Rodgers and Hart show in 2005. Her songs have been featured in the Washington, DC Cabaret Network showcases in 2001 and 2004.
Musical director, arranger, keyboards, and vocals
When he was sixteen years old, Jay began playing professionally for major New York society orchestra leaders such as Lester Lanin and Steven Scott. He now has over thirty-five years’ experience in playing dance music.
Jay graduated from Yale College and also has a Master's in Music and a PhD in American History from Yale. He has published a number of articles on the history of the American West and is preparing a book on the history of popular music which will be published by Hill and Wang (U.S.) and Faber (U.K.). He is the executive director of the Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders at Yale. An article in the NY Times recently called him “one of Yale’s ‘don’t-miss-his-class’ professors” (Sept. 2000). He was named the Outstanding Lecturer at Yale in 2004.
Jay has played with Mike Brecker, the New Haven Symphony, Nutmeg Percussion Trio, and for shows at the New Haven Coliseum and Yale Rep (where he served as Musical Director for productions starring Sigourney Weaver and Carol Kane). Jay played percussion for the European premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. He was Musical Director and keyboardist on Sergio Franchi’s last album Encore. He played keyboards and wrote many arrangements for the six-album series Sing It! released by McGraw-Hill. Jay also played jazz accordion on At the Moment of Impact, which was called “one of the 10 best jazz releases of 1990” by the Boston Globe and was featured as the “hot jazz pick of the week” by the Village Voice in January 1991. Jay wrote the text for a CD-ROM introduction to music called MusicStar.
Bass and vocals
Since graduating from Hartt College of Music, Don has worked as a studio musician, playing on national jingles for companies such as Pepsi, Quaker State, Texaco, and Planters. He has also played bass and sung on many educational films, an MTV video, and on jingles for products such as Tuborg Beer, Hunt’s Tomato Sauce, and Gravy Train Dog Food, among others. In recent years, Don has been the official music copyist for a number of projects, including the Stephen King movie Nightstalker. He has written arrangements and been copyist for a number of television documentaries, including the PBS special History of New York. He wrote arrangements and was Musical Director for the award-winning McGraw-Hill series SingIt! He has played on a number of other recordings including Brian Keane’s Common Planet and an album by Jonie Madden. Don has backed many major artists at the Oakdale Theatre, he appeared on the NBC-TV Tomorrow Show with Mike Moriarty, and has also played for the Ice Capades and Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. He is happily married to the most wonderful person in the world.
Vocals, congas, bongos, guitar
Jordan has performed onstage with Southside Johnny and Tesla. He has toured in support of Bad Company, Ted Nugent, Tesla and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He also opened for Bon Jovi at The Meadows with his band Mamma Kettle and for The Indigo Girls on the New Haven Green with his band The Whole Shebang. Jordan worked with WPLR disc jockeys Smith & Barber doing live radio broadcasts with his band The Breakfast Band for more than eight years.
A former member of the Glenn Miller Band, Vinny has performed with many other major artists and shows, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., Manhattan Transfer, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Sergio Franchi, Annie, Grease, La Cage Aux Folles, and All That Jazz. He appears regularly with the Chick Cicchetti Orchestra and is Conductor of the Greater Enfield Community Jazz Ensemble. For more infomation please visit www.atouchofjazz.com.
Saxes, flute, and vocals
Chris Coulter has been performing on saxophones, flute, and voice in the tri-state area for over thirty years and has performed with such jazz greats as Clark Terry, Gerry Mulligan, Pepper Adams, Slide Hampton, Bob Brookmeyer, and Dave Weckl. He has recorded commercials, award-winning educational videos, and also several CDs with composer/pianist Rob Silvan. In addition to performing with the Bales-Gitlin Band, Chris also leads his own jazz quartet which recently appeared at the Westport Arts Festival and the Silvermine Tavern in New Canaan. Chris earned his music degree from the University of Bridgeport and studied with Philip DeLibero, Gary Klein, the legendary teacher Joe Allard, and Grammy winning jazz artist Joe Lovano. He now teaches instrumental music in West Haven, CT and also directs the Trumbull Summer Band Camp's jazz program. For more information, see www.chriscoultermusic.com.
Drums and vocals
Playing a wide variety of musical styles, Peter is a sought-after drummer/percussionist in the tri-state area. He has traveled the world through his music, playing national and international tours for four years after graduation from Hartt College of Music. He has also appeared in a variety of theatrical settings, including the Elmsford Dinner Theatre, the Downtown Bridgeport Cabaret, and the Sterling Barn. Peter presently conducts a middle school band in Greenwich, CT, and performs with the Norwalk and Ridgefield Symphonies in addition to his rock and jazz work.
LAWFORD (L.G.) MCKENZIE
L.G. has been called “one of the finest front men in New England.” He was the lead singer of Motown Revue for 4 years, has led his own hard funk band called Major Motion for the past 12 years, and has been appearing with the Bales-Gitlin Band for the past 15 years. His dynamic singing style, warmth, and charisma make him a hit with audiences all over New England. With Major Motion, he has recorded a CD of original hard funk called Put a Ring in Your Thing which is getting national and internet distribution.
Clarinet, saxes, and vocals
A 1973 graduate of the Yale School of Music, Vinny is best-known as a big-band clarinet soloist. He is the only clarinetist ever to do live performances of Benny Goodman’s parts on the “bolero” from the Benny Goodman Archives. He went on to found the Flip Side Jazz Orchestra which has given several successful concerts in Yale’s Sprague Hall. He also played all the clarinet solos with the Yale-sponsored re-creation of the Glenn Miller Band on the beaches of Normandy, France and in other venues in France and England as part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the WWII Normandy Invasion. He appeared as the Clarinet Player in Long Wharf Theatre’s production of The Lady and the Clarinet with Stockard Channing, and performs frequently on saxophone and clarinet with Orchestra New England. Vinny has served as Executive Officer of the Yale School of Music and as Director of Concerts and Press. He is also a graphic designer, editor, and photographer.
Guitar and vocals
Connecticut audiences have enjoyed Bob’s outstanding guitar solos for many years. He was a member of the Mobiles and the Geoffrey Crayon Gentlemen and has played on many recording projects. He graduated from the music program at Western Conn. State University and now teaches guitar in the Music Dept. at the University of New Haven. His CD, "Standard Interpretations" was called "a guitar lover's dream" by Music Web Express. For more information visit www.bobguitar.com.
E. GRAY FOWLER
Vocals & Guitar
The "techie" in the group and a well-rounded player, Gray has spent the last 20 years playing with diverse Connecticut groups including The Regulars - a three piece rock act, Cheryl Cormier - an award winning country singer from Hartford, an R&B act from the shoreline area, and, of course, the Bales-Gitlin band.
Sal is a member of the Hartford Symphony and has also played at Goodspeed Opera House for many years. He toured Europe with the musical Evita and the United Kingdom with the Hot Cat Jazz Band. He recorded 3 CDs with the Hot Cats and has played many jazz festivals all over the US and Canada over the past 15 years. He is also a member of the Cool Cat Jazz Band, the New England Percussion Ensemble, and the Riverboat Ramblers. Sal graduated from Hartt College of Music and has taught there for 27 years.