Born, January 10th, 1934 in Brooklyn, NY.
In 1942 moved to Vineland, New Jersey. At age 15, I took up the clarinet after hearing a Benny Goodman recording with the Ben Pollack band.
I studied with Bob Magarry who was a wonderful reed player and teacher who taught at the local Music Store.
In 1950 I joined a local Dixieland band, The Saints and stayed with them until I was drafted into the Army in 1957. After my tour in Germany, I was discharged in 1959 and relocated to Haverstraw, NY (about 30 miles north of NYC), I started to work with local musicians, but they were "club date" players who really didn't know the Jazz repertory.
In 1961, I started my own Jazz Quartet, then I joined the Herman Bradley Quartet from 1963-1965.
From 1965-68, I worked with a Westchester, NY group called the "Basin Street Five".
About this time, I heard Bob Wilber, virtuoso jazz clarinetist and soprano sax star and "world class musician", was living in my area. I became his student for about a year.
About 1968, I joined a non professional Westchester Group called "The King Street Stompers" which was led by Jinny Avery. We met for jam sessions once a month on Sundays
Eventually, this band had their debut on "The Today Show" with Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters.
In 1970, I played with "Wild Bill Davison" at the Show Boat (Greenwich, Ct.) for about 3 months every Friday and Saturday.
In 1972, I joined the Riverboat Jazz Band, led by singer Rocky Rockman, who got the best musicians available, like "Big Chief Russell Moore", Cliff Leeman, Tommy Benford, Conrad Janis and Howard Johnson, as well as many others.
I've played with the following bands over these years.
- Balaban and Cats
- South Hampton Society Jazz Band
- Red Onion Jazz Band
- The Galvanized Jazz Band
- The Grove Street Stompers
- Your Father's Moustache
- Speakeasy Jazz Babies
- New Orleans Funeral and Ragtime Orchestra, and many others
In 1976, I joined The Speakeasy Jazz Babies, led by Cornetist John Bucher. We worked at The Red Blazer Too, in New York City every Friday and remained there for over 5 years. During that time, we played for Jazz Festivals and Stomps, Jazz Societies, Concerts, etc.
We have 3 recordings from that time.
Also about this time I was playing a lot of jazz clubs around New York City,
like the new Eddie Condons, Jimmy Ryans, Michaels Pub, with great players such as, Connie Kay, Bob Haggart, Vic Dickenson, Pee Wee Erwin,
Roy Eldrige, John Bunch and others
In 1980, I went to Aruba for a Jazz Festival with vocalist Natalie Lamb and her New Orleans Hot Six, featuring Dill Jones on piano.
From 1981-83 worked with the bands of Warren Vaché Sr.and his Syncopatin' Six, Johnny Blowers Giants of Jazz, Dill Jones Trio and the Bernie Privin Quartet.
From 1984-89, worked with the Chuck Slate Trio.
1987, I became a permanent member of The Red Onion Jazz Band.
1990-91, I worked with Banjo player and vocalist Cynthia Sayer and her trio with Greg Cohen.
In 1996, pianist Dick Voigt formed a new band called The Big Apple Jazz Band and I became a permanent member. This band has featured such players as Ed Polcer, Warren Vaché, Tom Artin, Herb Gardner, Randy Reinhart, Dave Hofstra, Steve Little and many others.
In 1998, Larry Weiss, pianist and cornetist and myself formed a band called "Swing Time", playing the music of the great composers such as George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter and others.
In 1996-2004, I had the good fortune to work with radio host Jim Lowe. Some of you may remember him from WNEW 1130 AM on your dial. In the 50's he had a hit record, "The Green Door". We did a syndicated radio show from the Museum of Radio and Television.
Please see Jim Lowe & Friends to see some of the guests we had the priviledge to work with.
We taped 4 shows every month for weekly syndication for over 40 stations coast to coast. We had a live audience and great guests from Broadway, Cabaret and the Jazz world. The house band was The Smith Street Society Jazz Band. Eventually Jim Lowe had enough and retired in 2004 and that was the end of my radio career.
Sometime in 2000, cabaret star Julie Wilson was on the Jim Lowe Show and sang with the band. She liked it so much, she took the band into the Algonquin and we did 3 shows a week for 5 weeks. It was called "Julie Wilson in Dixieland" and special arrangements for the band. We went over so well she stated to book us for other things like Pace University, Town Hall, The Red Blazer Hideaway and others.
In June of 2001, Julie wanted to do the Dixieland show in San Francisco at the York Hotel. She didn't ask the whole band as it would cost too much to fly everyone, but she did ask me and Tuba player, Barbara Dreiwitz to go to San Francisco. The rest of the players were from there. We had wonderful times with Julie Wilson. The next time we heard from her was to do New Years Eve at the Algonquin.
Today I am content with playing with the present bands around such as "the Red Onion Jazz Band", "The Grove Street Stompers", "The Speakeasy Jazz Babies", "The Big Apple Jazz Band" and others, including my own groups.
I am still having a ball and enjoy every minute of it!

Clari1 Productions
539 South Mountain Rd.
New City, NY 10956