part of the Key West music gumbo

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Ray Spence  – part of the Key West music gumbo Rayfield Spencer Beazer, born to Elaine and Ralph Beazer, is originally from the Bronx, New York. His father was a huge jazz fan and would always to listen to John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Dave Brubeck with his son. Ray’s father was also a big Doo-Wop […]

It was always going to be music

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RB Tolar – “It was always going to be music.” Ronald Bryan Tolar, born in 1958 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, now claims “RB” stands for Rhythm & Blues. He grew up in Gautier, Mississippi, attending school there. He started playing music at 14 and turned ‘pro’ at 15. He began gigging too much, dropping out […]

Mark Rose – a life of musical adventures

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Mark Rose – a life of musical adventures Everyone knows how much I love horns and this week will include one of my favorites. Mark Rose was born and raised in front of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the son of Trudy and Forrest Rose. His mother was a piano teacher and taught […]

Remembering Mike Gillis

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Remembering Mike Gillis John Michael Gillis has passed. He now performs on a much bigger stage – you know they got a helluva band. We lost a lot of music in Key West in 2022 and none more impactful than Mike Gillis. I visited Mike a dozen or so times at his Kennedy Avenue apartment […]

the King of Key West cool

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Cliff Sawyer    … the King of Key West cool Cliff Sawyer was born to Robert and Naomi Saunders Sawyer. He along with brothers Randy, Lloyd, Thomas, Robert, and sister, Ruth were raised in Key West’s Bahama Village. Cliff has been singing since he was four years old. He remembers hearing street corner bands in the […]

The warmth and closeness of the Key West music brotherhood is uplifting

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Ross Brown  “The warmth and closeness of the music brotherhood is uplifting.” Ross Brown grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His father and grandfather were musicians. His father always seemed to have a Blues band. Ross has been playing music all his life. He graduated from Drexel University, in Philadelphia with a degree in Computer Science. […]

I Need music to be healthy and happy

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Tommy Tangie –   I Need music to be healthy and happy Tommy Levecchia and his two sisters are from Marlton, New Jersey, 12 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He came from a musical family. His father Tom played saxophone and drums and his mother Patricia played the piano. He starting playing drums early in life. At […]

…. learn how to make life worth living

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Joe Dallas Jr.      “…. learn how to make life worth living” Joe Dallas grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father, Joe Dallas Sr., was a Hall of Fame jazz trombone musician, and his mother was an Arts educator. Early in life, he knew what career path he would take. He starting learning to play trombone […]

Made His Uncle Kirk Proud

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Daniel Clark – Has made his Uncle Kirk proud Daniel Miguel Leggett Clark was born in Jacksonville, FL to Daniel Clark and Adriene Lynn Leggett Casamayor. The family relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina where he attended elementary and middle school. He started playing drums very early in life. The multi-generation Bahamian Leggett family had a […]

The Clarinet Came To the Rescue

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Channing Lynn Griggs  – the clarinet came to the rescue Channing Lynn Griggs and identical twin sister, Jillian were born in Pensacola, Florida to U.S. Marine Corp pilot Larry Griggs and Sheryl Lynn, a nurse.  The young couple already had a set of five year-old identical twin boys and  doubled the size of their brood […]

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