Jack Kuncl, 86, passed away December 7 from complications of Coved-19. He was best known as the banjoist with the Salty Dogs Jazz Band since 1969. He also played banjo for the Chicago Cubs Dixieland Band for many decades, performed with Roy Rubinstein’s Hot Six and The Dixie Stompers. His simple 4-beat New Orleans rhythm and knowledge of chords to a thousand tunes made him the perfect sideman.
Perhaps less known was his unique close friendship with “Banjo Ikey” Robinson. Jack made numerous visits to Ikey’s Southside Chicago home where Ikey and his wife Tressie, a former cabaret dancer, reminisced about the old days and sang some of his tunes. This personal connection led to the Salty Dogs’ tribute to Ikey recording on GHB, called , “Joy, Joy, Joy.” Jack will be remembered for his passion for trad music, the joy his music provided and his sunny disposition.