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Tri-State Jazz Society Presents...
The Atlantic City Jazz Band - November 24, 2013

PHILADELPHIA - The Atlantic City Jazz Band will play for Tri-State Jazz Society on Sunday, November 24, 2013 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. This concert will be at the Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA 19086. Following their last TSJS concert in October, 2010, reviewer Jim McGann reported: "Whether your taste was hot Jazz, popular song, or pure hokum, the Atlantic City Jazz Band provided for all, and left our TSJS faithful happy." Half-price admission is $10, available for first-time attendees and members; general admission is $20. High school and college students with IDs and children accompanied by a paying adult are free. Pay at the door; there are no advance sales or reservations. The Community Arts Center is less than a mile from the Media-Swarthmore exit of I-476 (the "Blue Route"). There's free parking. For information call (856) 720-0232 or visit:

The Atlantic City Jazz Band

Franny Smith - Leader, Banjo, Vocals
Bob Ferguson - Trumpet
Bob Rawlins - Clarinet, Reeds
Pete Reichlin - Trombone
Nancy Rawlins - Piano
John McClernan - Tuba
Chuck Harms - Drums

The seven-piece ACJB is an authentic "tuba and banjo" ensemble and specializes in playing the music that swept the nation when the first jazz recordings were issued in 1917. The members are seasoned players who love the traditional style and deliver it in an energetic fashion. But their repertoire goes well beyond that, featuring the prime output of the skilled Tin Pan Alley composers who dominated music through the 1930s and beyond, and their zesty, spirited instrumentals are punctuated by an occasional vocal to capitalize upon the catchy lyrics of the period. This repertoire is always growing and includes pieces as old as Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton rags as well as pop tunes of the jazz era by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.

In 2004, band leader and since-retired trombonist Herb Roselle organized a touring band for a 10-day excursion to Italy and selected some of the finest musicians in the area. The band was well-received and decided to tour again the following year. Then, after a few more years of being a one-time/one-tour band, Roselle and co-founder Bob Rawlins decided to morph the band into a permanent group - and thus, in the fall of 2008, the Atlantic City Jazz Band was born. They have since become a fixture on the traditional jazz scene and in the spring of 2009 released their first CD, “Making Waves.”

To hear the ACJB in action, please go to:

Wallingford Community Arts Center

The Community Arts Center, located near I-476 (the "Blue Route") between Media and Swarthmore in Delaware County, has become a favorite Tri-State Jazz venue. The piano at CAC is excellent, as are the acoustics, and the atmosphere is bright and congenial. Tri-State Jazz Society continues to present a number of band and solo piano concerts in the main gallery of the center as part of the center's expanded music program.


Franny Smith began playing banjo professionally at age 13 and is the longest working banjo player in Atlantic City history, entertaining for over 48 years with his Dixieland stylings and trademark mustache. Franny has opened various Atlantic City casinos including Caesars, Resorts and Harrah’s. He entertained daily at the Showboat Hotel & Casino for 16 years and starred in several of their commercials. His music has taken him to England and Italy, from Maine to Key West and over to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has had the honor of playing for US Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. in addition to many other public figures.

Trumpeter Bob Ferguson has been performing at concert venues throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean for over 30 years and has appeared at the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the Trenton Jazz Festival, the Music Fest in Bethlehem, the Chicago Blues Festival, the San Juan Caribbean Jazz Festival, the Cape Jazz @The Point, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival and the Cape May Jazz Festival. Bob has numerous recording credits, and his national TV broadcast appearances include "The David Letterman Show." He holds an MS from the University of Pennsylvania and is an adjunct faculty member at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Bob Rawlins has frequently played for Tri-State Jazz Society as a member of the Atlantic City Jazz Band and recently led our annual jam session. A lifelong show musician in Atlantic City and Philadelphia, he has performed with many of the legends of the music world including Dean Martin, Sarah Vaughan, Helen Forrest, Billy Eckstine, Nancy Wilson and Rosemary Clooney. He is a professor of music theory at Rowan University and is the author of several books on jazz including the theory textbook "Jazzology" and "The Real Dixieland Book," a collection of 250 classics he compiled and edited while living in New Orleans.

Pete Reichlin is one of those unique musicians who is equally comfortable playing jazz, commercial or classical music. In the classical realm, he has played with the Metropolitan Opera National Touring Company, the Trenton Brass Quintet, and in a trombone quartet at a Columbia University Stravinsky Festival with Stravinsky conducting. He has also played with the Princeton Chamber Orchestra, the Delaware Valley Philharmonic, the Greater Trenton Symphony, the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, Austria, and the Princeton University Orchestra. His commercial and jazz credits include performances with the Lee Castle-Jimmy Dorsey Band and with show bands at Harrah's, Caesars, Showboat, Claridge and other Atlantic City casinos. He has appeared with the Dixie Devils Jazz Band, the Independence Hall Jazz Band, Jerry Rife's Rhythm Kings, the Pat Practico Jazz Octet and various other jazz and commercial groups in the New York and Philadelphia areas.

Nancy Rawlins is an organist, pianist, choral director, and arranger. She holds degrees from Westminster Choir College, Rowan University and a D.M.A. from Combs College of Music. She teaches music theory and choral arranging at Rowan University. Her performance credits include solo recitals and ensemble performances at over 150 churches and concert halls throughout the region, including the Kimmel Center, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. She joined the Atlantic City Jazz Band in 2009 and has performed with them at local venues, on their CD "Making Waves," and on their concert tour in Italy.

John McClernan has been a professional performer since the age of fourteen, playing piano, double bass and tuba and traveling extensively throughout the country with some of the top performers in the traditional jazz field. His appearances range from television variety shows, TV commercials and convention shows to the wild and wooly Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming. A graduate of Glassboro State College, he holds a masters in Educational Technology from Ramapo College of NJ. After teaching at the Summer Fine Arts Camp at Glassboro, he spent five years as a high school band director. Taking a break from teaching to pursue his performing career, he then played a thirteen-year engagement at the Showboat Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, returning to teaching in 1991 as Director of Instrumental Music and Bands at the Cranbury School, Cranbury NJ.

Chuck Harms has been playing drums for over 40 years. He’s played in marching bands, orchestras, and dance bands and has appeared all over the tri-state area as well as in New York, Maryland, Florida and Arizona. He also plays the banjo and says, “playing an instrument that deals with chords, melodies, key changes, etc., such as the banjo, has greatly influenced my sensitivity in playing the drums.”

CONTACT: Sally Cannon 

(856) 720-0232

P.O. Box 896
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054


Tri-State Jazz Society, formed in 1988, is dedicated to the preservation and live performance of traditional jazz including Dixieland, swing, ragtime, and boogie-woogie. All concerts are open to the public and feature leading professional small jazz bands and soloists. Monthly concerts are presented at venues throughout the Philadelphia area. The society is a non-profit educational corporation supported by its members.

Photos: ACJB-gig.jpg



Concert Schedule:


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Tri-State Jazz Society
P.O. Box 896
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey 08054

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