Editor, Webmaster: Phil Cartwright Editor@earlyjas.org
|Earlville Association for Ragtime Lovers Yearning
for Jazz Advancement and Socialization
his wife, Pam, and became a full time professional clarinet player. Meaning, of
course, after many years being ‘on call’ as a doctor, he is now ‘on call’ as a musician.
And he is called on a regular basis. Fortunately, for us band leaders, his hourly rate
as a musician is somewhat less than his physician fees.
Don is truly a NE Ohio guy. He was raised in Shaker Heights. His first musical
training began at the age of six. He took drum lessons. After three years, his parents
decided drums were too loud and he started playing saxophone. Eventually, he
migrated to clarinet and is known as an outstanding clarinet player. W/re volume.
Yes, the drums were loud but Don is one of the very few clarinet players who needs
no amplification! He plays a strong lead and has the vocal chords to back it up.
During his saxophone years, he played in lots of big bands and combos doing the
mainstream jazz of the 1930’s 40’s and 50’s.
Then reality set in, as it often does. He did his undergraduate work at Case Western
and then went on to medical school at CWRU. After five years of residency, he
started practicing internal medicine at Parma Hospital. He was so good that he
became Chief of Staff and Director of Medicine. In addition to medicine, Doc is
involved in exhibition photography, water color painting, cosmology and sailing. He
has a daughter, a law professor at CWRU and a physician son in Dayton.
During a sterling career in medicine, he happened upon a performance by the Sam
Fingers Dixieland band. Doc started paying more attention to clarinet and became
quite proficient on the instrument.
Soon thereafter, he became a charter member of the New Orleans Stompers, led by the
late Dick Mills. In addition to the Stompers, Doc has paid his dues playing trad jazz in
the Cleveland area with Ralph Grugel, Dan Zola, George Foley and other bands.
When in Florida and Cape Cod, Doc plays mainstream jazz.
It is a delight to welcome Doc to the EARLYJAS Board.
I only found one recording of Doc with the Stompers. Check it out at