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Hot Jam!

Hot Jam! is New England's newest hot jazz band, dedicated to bringing traditional jazz into the 21st Century. Although comprising the expected instrumentation and including some of the hottest musicians on the East Coast, Hot Jam! injects new twists and turns into old tunes often switching gears to present more contemporary music in traditional jazz styling.

Hot Jam! members have been performing New Orleans Jazz, Big Band Swing, Gospel and Mardi Gras party music throughout New England since 1980. Hot Jam! members have appeared together at jazz festivals in Edinburgh (Scotland), Sun Valley, Sacramento, Hot Steam Jazz Festival (Connecticut), Pennsylvania Jazz Society, Potomac Jazz Club (Washington DC), Brecon(Wales), Bar Harbor Jazz Festival, Great Connecticut Jazz Festival, Bix Beiderbecke Festival (Davenport, Iowa), Bath (England), Friday Harbor and Victoria BC. Group members have also appeared at Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans 7 of the past 15 years. While in New Orleans the group presented special student matinees in Preservation Hall.

Hot Jam! Personnel

 Jeff Barnhart Piano

Jeff Barnhart is one of the world's busiest ragtime and traditional jazz pianists performing annually at every major Ragtime Festival in the United States. Jeff has appeared regularly at national festivals with both the Rent Party Revellers & Draga-Vax and has completed three European tours with Classic Jazz Epochs. Back in Connecticut, Jeff is the Director of the Mystic Music Studio and regularly produces solo performance CD's. 

John Banker Tuba

While completing his Bachelor's Degrees at Indiana University, John toured with top entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini and Mel Torme. After a one-year stint at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, John joined the U S Coast Guard Band and in 1990 was appointed Instrumental Music Director for the Coast Guard Academy. He has appeared on over 20 recordings, recorded numerous TV and Radio commercials and appeared on two National Public Radio artist features. John retired from the Coast Guard Academy in 1999 to become Director of Connecticut Entertainment, and Instructor at Wesleyan University and the Thames Valley School of Music. John is also a Stage Performer for the National Children's Musical Theater production "Patti's Green"

Scott Black Cornet

Scott Black began playing cornet at age 13 and studied with legendary jazz artist Jimmy McPartland. He worked for years as a feature performer at all of the Atlantic City Casinos including The Sands, Caesar's Palace and Bally's before performing a two year stint on the Delta Queen in New Orleans. Scott has written music for a variety of TV commercials that he has recorded with Leon Redbone. He currently tours with Leon Redbone and plays at major music festivals with the Rhythm Rascals. He has recently relocated to Norwich, Connecticut to become the newest member of Hot Jam.

Sherman Kahn Clarinet & Sax

Sherman Kahn has toured and performed with America's most famous big bands including Sammy Kaye, Vaughan Monroe, Bob Crosby and Vincent Lopez. He has played in pit orchestras on Broadway and regularly appears with the New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury Symphonies. Sherm has degrees from Yale University and Columbia University and has recently retired as a music educator after serving in the Wallingford, Hamden and North Haven public school systems.


Tom Boates Trombone

Tom Boates received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His performance credits include the PZAZZ Dixieland Band, the State Street Strutters, and the Riverside Dixie Six. Tom studied with Bennie Green, Steven Turre and David Sporny and has performed with jazz legends Jimmy Giuffre, Urbie Green and Bill Watrous. Tom plays in a variety of musical styles appearing with the Massachusetts Wind Orchestra, the JazzBones and Orquestra Cheveré Salsa Band. Tom is currently band director for the championship music program at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts.


Bob Barta Banjo, Guitar

Bob Barta has performed at the 21 Club and the Red Blazer in New York City, Gold Dust Saloon in San Francisco and the Delta Queen in New Orleans. Bob's performances around New York City include Carnegie Hall, NBC's Today Show and National Public Radio. He regularly plays with Smith Street Society, New York Banjo Ensemble, Isotope Stompers and the New Clef Club Orchestra. Bob has degrees from Suffolk College, SUNY Regents and Dowling College and is currently Asst. Professor of Computer & Information Systems at SUNY Suffolk.

Sal Ranniello Drums

Sal Ranniello received his Bachelor of Music from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. Sal is an extremely versatile drummer performing classical, jazz, Cajun, and rock. In 1992, he traveled as percussionist with the "Evita" World Tour. Sal currently performs with the Hartford Symphony and the Goodspeed Opera House and teaches at the Hartt School of Music.