Conrad Janis on the Bandstand

I first heard Conrad Janis back in the 1960s at some of the monthly concerts staged by the Connecticut Dixieland Society. The club’s concerts featured Connecticut musicians along with big-name guests from New York city such as Bobby Hackett, Max Kaminsky, Wild Bill Davison, and many others. Conrad always drew the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds. This was when he was still living in New York, working as an actor on Broadway and performing on trombone at Manhattan’s Central Plaza. When the Galvanized Jazz Band got started early in the 1970s, Conrad became one of our regular guest trombonists, and I remember hearing about someone’s wife saying that he could put his trombone under her bed any time. He was happy to drive out from the city to work with us for something like $50, and use that money for a motel room. One of his frequent feature numbers with our band was “Savoy Blues.” He would get the last solo, and it often continued for many choruses before he would finally give the signal for us to stop on the downbeat of the eleventh bar, where he would begin a long, dramatic glissando up to the “Dipsy Doodle” chorus. Sometimes he would stand up on a chair or even on the piano, (if it was stable enough) for the final chorus. On one occasion we were performing in a Yale dining hall with magnificent acoustics and he disappeared before it was his turn to solo. We contin
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Art Hovey plays bass and tuba with the Galvanized Jazz Band. For more please visit


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