Return Home

............

Click to see a larger version of this Jive at Five band photo

Click on the band member's name below to read his bio. Click on the image for a larger version.

Left to right; Frank Youngman, Gene Harris, Dan Giacobassi, David Zerbe, Tom Ball, Mark Schrock, Charlie Walmsley

top of page Tom Ball Tom T. Ball grew up listening to the pop sounds of his brother's record collection in the early 60's, but was introduced to the traditional strains of folk and blues music in the mid 70's. By the time 1975 rolled around, he was playing the guitar and washtub bass in the New Wexford County Rangers. He has played the upright bass in various groups since then and is known for his consistent and genuine ability, laying a solid foundation for Jive at Five. Tom has been active in the Wheatland Music Organization since it's beginnings in the early 1970's, currently serving as Vice President of the Board of Directors. He has hosted the popular "Homespun" music show on WCMU public radio since 1980. As a Marketing Representative for CMU Public Broadcasting in his professional life, he is seen at gigs hawking the band's recordings and contributes to the emcee work as well as some harmony vocals. Tom is a treasure trove of information about all forms of music, one of Jive at Five's founding members and the bands ‘resident musicologist’.
top of page
Daniel Giacobassi
Saxophonist and flutist Daniel Giacobassi started singing in his mother's church choirs as soon as he could walk and talk. He very enthusiastically chose to play flute at the age of 8 and followed his sister and brother into the world of professional music careers. Dan enjoyed the rich musical tradition and training of the Muskegon Public Schools and participated in a Blue Lake Fine Arts European tour. He received a bachelor’s degree in music education at WMU in Kalamazoo, MI and taught music for a couple of years. Dan started playing saxophone in his early 20's. He states, “I can never, it seems, say no to music and have thus played in a huge variety of musical groups and situations: Classical, Jazz, Big Band, Celtic, Appalachian, Japanese, and South American folk music, Country, Tex-Mex/Tejano, Rock, Blues, Pop variety, and numerous recording sessions in California and Michigan.” Dan also spent a year playing Western music in Japan, while studying Japanese traditional and classical music. He joined Jive At Five in 2001 as they were recording Forbidden Fruit, contributing as an arranger, saxophonist and flutist.
top of page Gene Harris Arthur “Gene” Harris has been a featured performer on his saxophone for more than a half century. His experience includes jazz, pop, polka, Latin and country music. Through the years he has been musically associated with the singing group Crew Cuts; the comic country duo Lonzo and Oscar; George Jones; George Morgan; Stan Kenton; The Holiday on Ice Show and many others. He has performed in the eastern U.S. and Canada from Sault Saint Marie, Ontario to the exclusive “Mountain Lake Resort” in Florida. Gene has been most recently involved with the big band sounds of The General Assembly, with the jazz oriented Bill Donahue Quartet dance band and the late great jazz bassist Eddie Calhoun. Some his most memorable experiences include playing for Richard Nixon, playing at the premier of “How the West Was Won”, appearing as a featured performer at Ferris State University, performing with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and playing concerts with Edgar Struble, music director for Kenny Rogers. Joining Jive at Five on stage in May 2000, he brings his wealth of musical experience along with a ready smile and boundless enthusiasm.
top of page Charlie Walmsley Keyboard player and singer Charlie Walmsley began performing with bands in Bay City, Michigan in 1966 and continues to perform regularly as a solo act or with various groups in Michigan. He has performed as regular member with The Draytons, Spice, No Brand Blues Band, Pepper Pie, The McCray Brothers Band, The Bluegills, Larry McCray Band, Myk Rise Band, Sharrie Williams and the Wiseguys, Earl Haynes Quintet, Earljam, The Cliff Badgers, Crazy Chestur, Jive at Five and Rising Walrus Band. Also an active songwriter, Walmsley’s song “Sunny Monday” was recorded by bluesman Larry McCray on his 1998 House of Blues release “Born to Play the Blues”. House of Blues records selected Walmsley’s “Sunny Monday” for four additional compilation releases. Walmsley wrote or co-wrote seven songs on Crazy Chestur “Harvest Party” (2015). Several tracks have been getting regular airplay on college and internet stations. “Back in the Day” reached #4 on Roots Music Report – folk singles chart in September 2015.
top of page Mark Schrock Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Mark Schrock was brought up in a musical family of singers, pianists, fiddlers, and other musicians. Born in 1954, he was growing up as the swing and big bands were giving way to Elvis and rock’n’roll. Mark received his first guitar from his grandfather when he was 8, formed his first band at 12, and played his first gig at 13, winning first place in the junior high school talent show. Since then he has been continually involved in musical performance with various groups including several years with the bluegrass/swing band Cabbage Crik, and as a member of the popular band Iowa Rose. Since the mid-seventies, Mark has been involved in recording and producing six recordings, contributing a number of original songs to them. A founding member of Jive At Five, he provides a blues inflected swinging guitar style to the group sound, citing influences from Charlie Christian to B.B. King, Wes Montgomery to Freddie Green. Mark especially enjoys jamming and songwriting with his sons Andrew and Jasen, who are both carrying on the family musical tradition with their own groups.
top of page Dave Zerbe Drummer and percussionist extraordinaire Dave Zerbe holds BME and MM from Central Michigan University. He is currently Director of Bands, the Percussion Ensemble, and Percussion Studio at Alma College. A founding member of the renowned Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble , Zerbe has also performed as a percussionist with the Alma Symphony Orchestra, Flint, Midland, Saginaw, West Shore, and Traverse City symphonies and a soloist with the Flint Symphony Orchestra's performance of Carman Moore's Gospel Fuse. He was also featured with Central Michigan University Jazz Lab 1 performing Rob McConnell's "I've Got Rhythm" at the Montreux International Jazz Festival and Buddy Rich's "Channel One Suite" arrangement at the Elmhurst and Aquinas Jazz Festivals. Performing as a freelance musician, he has appeared with Aretha Franklin, Michael Feinstein, Marie Osmond, Sharri Williams, Rich Little, and now is pleased to be in the rhythm section of Jive At Five. An active arranger, he has written for many outstanding high school and college programs across the nation.
top of page Frank Youngman Frank Youngman first saw Louis Armstrong when he was 8 years old and he seemed to know then that he also wanted to play music and entertain people. Starting on piano and trumpet, he played his first professional job at the age of 15 with a Glenn Miller style band, the Royalaires, who later became The Formalaires. It was during those many years playing the country club circuit, in big bands and Dixieland bands that he learned to dance and understand just how music moved people. The college years brought marching bands, a stint with a Chinese orchestra, and recitals, until he heard a guitar player named Joel Mabus play some music of Mississippi John Hurt. After that there was a new world to discover: banjos and pennywhistles, fiddles, guitars, button accordions, and stepdancing. Soon Frank found himself playing folk music from Michigan to Boston to New York City with The Pretty Shakey Stringband and The Lost World Stringband. Frank has performed with Martin, Bogan and Armstrong, The Fiction Brothers and Johnny Gimble. As a singer, guitarist and trumpet player, and founding member of Jive at Five, Frank came full circle back to jazz and swing and performs with a passion for music bringing every sound, style and beat he’s heard along the way.