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River Rogues Jazz Band

Grand Rapids – Jim Everhart (Piano) David Wells (Trombone) David Schock (Trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn) Dave Ksycki (Drums) Paul Keen (Trombone and tuba) Ken Huisman (Clarinet and sax) Dave Kadwell (Banjo)

The River Rogues Jazz Band  (L-R) David L. Wells, David Schock, Dave Ksycki, Jim Everhart, Paul Keen, Ken Huisman, Dave Kadwell

The River Rogues Jazz Band (L-R) David L. Wells, David Schock, Dave Ksycki, Jim Everhart, Paul Keen, Ken Huisman, Dave Kadwell

River Rogues Jazz Band

Formed in 1996, this group of friends share a love for New Orleans jazz. They have appeared as closing act for the Lowell Showboat and are the highlight of the West Shore Jazz Society year after year.Tickets available starting in May. Contact the Fine Arts Center Box Office at 616.493.8966 for more information

About Us

Jim Everhart founded The River Rogues Jazz Band in 1996. From the beginning, it was always about the music and NOT the money. The River Rogues invigorates the spirit of the traditional New Orleans sound and carries the torch for such legendary greats as: The Dukes of Dixieland, Bix, Sachmo and many others. Each member of the Rogues ensemble is, singularly, a stand-alone talent with decades of experience and accolades confirming incredible musical prowess. The result of this avalanche of ability is a HOT, yet tempered Dixie-jazz collaborative that is enjoyed by the seasoned jazz enthusiast and the casual listener alike. Over the years The River Rogues Jazz Band has performed for impressive venues such as, but not limited to:

  • The Grand Rapids Symphony Summer Outdoor Pops Series at Canonsburg
    (pre-show opening act)
  • The West Michigan White Caps
    (pre-and-post-game featured entertainment)
  • The Grand Rapids Griffins (pre-game featured entertainment)
  • The Lowell Showboat (featured entertainment)
  • The West Shore Jazz Society Summer Series
    (opening act seven years running)
  • The Gilmore Collection of Restaurants
  • Social Events For Some of The Largest Companies in West Michigan
  • Social Events For Families, like yours!

David L. Wells

Dave is a retired band director for the Northview Public Schools. Wells is currently the music director for the Rogues as well as leader of The River City Jazz Ensemble big band, The Northview Community Band, The Dave Wells Strolling German Oompa Band, and The Ein Prosit German Band. Besides being a freelance trombone performer, he is a published composer and arranger.

David Schock

David is a frequent jazz performer in West Michigan. He has played with the Bruce Early Big Band, the Truth in Jazz Orchestra, and his own eponymous group, Schock Effect. A writer and filmmaker, his latest book is Judicial Deceit; Tyranny and Unnecessary Secrecy at the Michigan Supreme Court. His latest film is The Road to Andersonville; Michigan Native American Sharpshooters in the Civil War. David holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Albion College, a master’s in journalism from Central Michigan University, and a doctorate in creative writing and literary criticism from International College (where he studied with Russell Kirk). He also has completed post-doctoral studies in telecommunication at Michigan State University. He taught for 20 years at Central Michigan University and Hope College.

Dave currently plays trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn with the River Rogues.

Dave Ksycki

Dave studied in the Chicago State University Jazz Program with jazz greats Hal Russell and Bunky Green. He graduated in 1976 and moved into teaching and performing full time. Dave performed in a five-night-a-week gig at the Matterhorn Supper Club in suburban Chicago and also as an affiliate with Moody Broadcasting for 13 years, as the house drummer for the live radio concert series “The Friday Night Sing”. Along the way he played for numerous well-known gospel artists. In 1995 he moved to West Michigan to work for Yamaha Corp. He now performs regularly with the River Rogues Jazz Band and the HarkUp Ministries Down Home Horns. He continues to make his family and gospel music a priority.

Jim Everhart

Jim has played his piano in local and regional venues for over 45 years. In the early days Jim played organ and keyboard for several rock and roll bands, including the Ramrods. His interest expanded to traditional dance bands, then jazz and novelty offshoots like sing-a-long environments. He founded musical ensembles in each niche: The Epsilons, The Magic Toyshop, The Gentlemen of Ragtime and now the fabulous River Rogues Jazz Band. This is a hot brand of traditional New Orleans style jazz.

Paul Keen

Paul has demonstrated his ability to play his trombone and tuba in venues from the east to the west coast. His musical career gained prominence with his first recording session in Los Angeles for Hanna-Barbara Studios. Subsequently, Paul has played on the soundtrack for 147 motion pictures, 1200 cartoon episodes, several television shows and record albums. His education credentials are impressive and his performance brag book of notables are more impressive: Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson, Don Ellis and the Stan Kenton Orchestra.

Paul currently plays his Tuba with the River Rogues

Ken Huisman

Ken Huisman, a professional musician since 1963. After a two-year stint with the 79th Army Band in Panama, he performed a solid schedule of club dates, including big band venues, trios, orchestra positions and jazz combos. His brag book includes: Arthur Fiedler, Ray Price, Boots Randolph and Sonny Stitt.

Ken was a musical instrument technician for 43 years until his recent retirement. He currently plays the clarinet and sax for the River Rogues.

Dave Kadwell

Dave acquired an old banjo during his military tour of Viet Nam. Dave had played guitar as a kid but it was while overseas that he developed a deeper passion for stringed instruments. After his discharge, Dave became a featured banjo player for the Village Inn Pizza Parlor, a job that lasted for two decades. Dave has played for many bands and musical ensembles performing for festivals, corporate events and much more.

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Jim Everhart:

I toook pian lessons for many years as a youngster and, later, majored in Music Education and Performance at Western Michigan University.  I pursued a career in business but always maintained music as an avocation. 

In my sophomore year of high school,  I played with “The Ramrods”, a regionally popular Rock band from the 50’s and 60’s.  In 1965 I founded “The Epsilons”, a 4-peice pop group and early in 1966 I formed “The Magic Toy Shop”, a 5-peice rock group that performed almost exclusively for local college fraternity parties. 
In November of 1967, while pursuing a college education, I disbanded “The Magic Toy Shop” and retired from the “Ramrods” to play five nights each week for the Village Inn Pizza Parlor of Michigan. 
This position endured for almost twenty five years while I settled into sales/management as a career.  In the spring of 1998 I co-founded the popular “River Rogues Jazz Band” and created “A Sentimental Journey” in 2005.  I am currently the business manager and performing piano player in both groups.  I am also the General Manager of Molesta Floral Co.
I have performed for many venues over the years:
* Restaurants
* Country Clubs
* Corporate Events
* Festivals
* Conventions
* Etc., Etc.
I am very proud of “A Sentimental Journey”!!!!
Contact Jim Everhart for more information
Telephone: (616) 915-9840
E-mail: jameseverhart1354@gmail.com


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