The Band

Andrew Oliver – piano, bandleader
Sam Dechenne – trumpet, cornet
David Evans – clarinet, tenor sax
John Moak – trombone
Doug Sammons – guitar, banjo, vocals
Eric Gruber – bass
Tyson Stubelek – drums

Andrew Oliver is a pianist from Portland, Oregon, specializing in stride piano, 1920s jazz and blues, ragtime, and tango.  His playing is energetic and authentic, drawing on the styles of pianists such as Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, and Earl Hines to deliver a stomping style which emphasizes the exciting groove and drive which brought jazz to the forefront of popular music in the 20th century and continues to excite and captivate audiences today.  Andrew brings his love of 1920s jazz to contemporary audiences, bringing the diversity of styles within early jazz to life.  After 7 years in London, England, Andrew returned to Portland in 2020 and continues to bring his love of jazz history and styles to modern audiences, as well as pursuing a career in urban planning.

Originally from Alabama, David Evans lived in New Orleans throughout the 80s and 90s and was the musical director on the National Historic Landmark steamboat Delta Queen among many other performing and arranging gigs in the Crescent City.  He relocated to the Northwest in 1994 and has become a highly sought-after clarinetist and tenor saxophonist on account of his versatile and lyrical sound.  He has played with a pantheon of big names including Pete Fountain, Mose Allison, and B.B. King, and also works as an educator at Lewis and Clark College.  David is one of Portland’s most in-demand musicians, performing across many styles of music with a highly crafted and historically informed melodic sensibility and swing.

John Moak has an abundance of playing and teaching experience across the U.S. with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dave Brubeck, and Ella Fitzgerald, and displays a standard of virtuosity on the trombone rarely approached anywhere in the country.  A winner of numerous International Trombone Association competitions, John taught at the University of North Florida and the University of Central Oklahoma (his native state) before relocating to Oregon in 2006, where he also had a successful career as the proprietor of Jazzy John’s BBQ in Vancouver, WA.

Doug Sammons has been involved in a diverse range of roots music projects in Portland and elsewhere for years.  A former NYC taxicab driver and rock guitarist in his youth, he relocated to Portland in the 1990s and became involved in a variety of projects, most notably the bluegrass band Sam Hill and the vintage swing/Hawaiian band the Midnight Serenaders. More recently he and his wife, singer Dee Settlemier, can be seen playing with their band the Hot Lovin’ Jazz Babies, a favorite of swing dancers in the Portland area. Now retired from a career of teaching kindergarten and 1st grade, Doug specializes in authentic 1920s and 30s rhythm guitar and tenor banjo, as well as a unique vocal style blending old-time bluegrass, country, and jazz styles.

Eric Gruber began his musical career as a teenager playing bluegrass in California and teaching himself jazz from Ray Brown records.  After studying in Colorado, Washington, and Portland, he has become highly sought after across all facets of the Portland jazz community. He is often seen performing with various notable Northwest musicians including Darrell Grant, Devin Phillips, Marilyn Keller and Dmitri Matheny; as well as playing frequently throughout Oregon and Washington with the folk group Skybound Blue. He is frequently recognized for his harmonically innovative solos, driving rhythms, and superb sense of time.

Portland native Tyson Stubelek began playing music at the age of 3 under the guidance of his father, also a drummer. After studying with Portland drum legends Alan Jones and Mel Brown in his youth, Tyson moved to Boston in 2005 to study at the New England Conservatory, receiving several graduate level degrees. In 2009 Tyson moved to New York City where he continued to work and live as a professional for 4 years. In 2013, Tyson returned home to Portland where he performs in a variety of stylistically diverse projects and teaches regularly, both privately and at the University of Portland. He remains entirely dedicated to learning new things, bettering himself as a person and musician, and passing on positivity through music community.

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