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Personalities -- by Phil Cartwright
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Mark Mossey: The Real Doctor Jazz               June 2005
Mark nailed the difficult, semi-solo verse.  I knew that a major new traditional
Mark nailed the difficult, semi-solo verse.  I knew that a major new traditional
jazz talent had just arrived on the NE Ohio jazz scene. And he’s only a kid
compared to many of us trad jazz players! Mark continued to play with the
Hot Jazz 7 and with other local bands from time to time and made a
significant impression upon both jazz fans and musicians.
significant impression upon both jazz fans and musicians.

Now here’s the bad news:  Mark is a great player and has a great future
playing with bands in this area.  He could make nearly minimum wage like
the rest of us if he would hang around.  Here’s the story:
In spite of strong counseling, arm twisting and promises of Big Money in
Dixieland, Mark is moving away.  We tried to help him but he just couldn’t get
his priorities straight.  You see, Mark came to us as a recently minted M.D.
with his degree from the University of Virginia Medical School.  In Cleveland,
he was a resident at the Metro Health system.  That residency kept getting in
the way of playing jazz!
On top of that, he’s getting married!  He and Mindy Miller will be married on July 2.  Then, in August, Mark starts his new job
as an Emergency Room doctor at the Conway Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Mindy is completing the Ph.D. in
Economics at the University of Michigan.
Mark comes about his talent quite naturally.  Both parents are organ enthusiasts.  His mother has been a church organist for
many years.  His father actually rebuilt an old pipe organ in his garage!  He is interested in using the organ and other
instruments to accompany old silent films – Buster Keaton, especially.
As a child, Mark had a few years lessons on piano. (He still plays ragtime piano!) While in junior and senior high he played
clarinet and then trumpet.  Later, he taught himself guitar, string bass and tuba.

Dr. Mossey got into jazz when he was a college student.  He was a Computer Science major at Williams College but took
especially enamored with Ellington’s classic composition “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo”  By the way, Mark also marks several
other musicians as important influences: Henry “Red” Allen, Louie, Fats Waller, Jim Cullum, Ernie Carson and  Ted Des
Plantes, as well as Winton and Ellis Marsalis.

The next major influence was while Mark was living in the Washington, DC area.  There he met Dave Robinson.  Some of you
may know Dave as the founder of the Traditional Jazz Educators’ Network (TJEN).  (See their web site: http://www.prjc.

Dave invited Mark to become a part of the Federal Focus Jazz Band (now called the Capital Focus JB) for 18-26 year olds. Dave
was able to pay these young people for rehearsals, for gigs, and for travel.  He was very strict in his rehearsals and made it a
point for the youngsters to hear and play major styles of traditional jazz – New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco.  He said “It’s
all about style, not how high you can play.”

I talked with Dave Robinson about Mark.  Among other nice things, Dave recalls, “In addition to being a peach of a guy, Mark
developed into a fine horn player.  He went with the CFJB on trips to New Orleans a few years ago, sitting in with the
CFJB at its gigs in Preservation Hall, Fritzel's Jazz Pub and other jazz spots, and he sounded great.  Mark exemplifies what I
try to achieve in the CFJB program: Getting young players enthused about trad jazz enough to continue with it after they
graduate from the band.”  They even had a ‘girl’ singer occasionally (Carol Leigh!).  The band  also played at the famous
Sacramento Jazz Festival in 1995 and 1996.”

When Mark was in med school at UVA, he found that there was little traditional jazz in Charlottesville.  He fixed that
problem.  He started a band that played the kind of music he liked – traditional jazz.  The band varied in size from five to
seven pieces and often included Mark’s sister Ann on vocals.  They put out a CD which has become a collector’s item.  The
name of the band:  The Steamboat Willies.  For those of you who don’t watch the Cartoon Network, Steamboat Willie was the
very first Mickey Mouse cartoon (in black and white, of course).  

Actually, his whole family was involved with the band in one way or another.  Thanks, Mom and Dad for moral and financial
support and driving their limousine.  His sister Patti was their official photographer.  One great job for the band was playing in
Cincinnati’s Tall Stacks Festival.

Could Dr. Mossey’s departure for the sunny South be called a trumpet drain?  NE Ohio has lost another fine trumpet player.  
Mark and Mindy -- we’re going to miss you! Come back and see us when you can!
Charlotte Reid -- Jazz Evangelist
Jack Botten -- Jazz Enthusiat
Charlotte Reid met her friend Jack Botten at a New Orleans Stompers performance at the
Lion’s Den in Westlake.  She noticed Jack sitting by himself at the bar.  Charlotte said he
looked lonely.  Jack said he was enjoying the performance!  At any rate, Charlotte, shrinking
violet that she is, got enough courage to approach Jack and ask him to dance.  I stand
corrected:  Charlotte did not ask Jack to dance.  Rather, she demanded, “You are going to
dance!”   They’ve been dancing ever since.  
Jack and Charlotte are regulars at performances of the Stompers (??? Where?), the Night
Owls (Barking Spider), the Hot Jazz 7 (Barking Spider) and the New Orleans Jazz Ensemble
(Raintree Restaurant).  All told, they average five or six such events per month.  
Charlotte is a former EARLYJAS Trustee and continues to serve as Publicist for the Club.  She
is tireless and fearless in promoting the Club’s activities.   Most of you readers no doubt have
seen her at various band gigs doing two things: Dancing and publicizing.  She always has a
supply of EARLYJAS newsletters and Festival flyers and does not hesitate to put them into
the hands of prospective jazz fans.  
I am sure she holds the record of bringing in new members to the Club.  Charlotte also emails weekly information about gigs
for 5 bands and for EARLYJAS events.

In addition to those activities, Charlotte sells and Jack prepares ads for the EARLYJAS Festival program.  There is still time to
place an ad so contact Charlotte if you are interested.

Gordon Kirk and Charlotte’s friend Kay were instrumental in enticing Charlotte to become involved in traditional jazz.  Kay
took Charlotte to the Lion’s Den the first time.  Charlotte thanks them both for introducing her to the wonderful world of
traditional jazz.

Charlotte has a strong interest if the visual arts that goes back a long way.  She has been a member of the Lakewood Art
League for 49 years!!  She is also Publicist for the Cleveland Inventors’ Society.
Thanks, Charlotte!  Thanks, Jack!

Regina & Bill Knapp - Those Cakewalkin' Babies
If you have stopped in at one of the EARLYJAS jam sessions lately, you likely will
have seen Bill Knapp playing three roles at once:  musician, EARLYJAS Trustee and
Bill and Regina Knapp have been serious dancers for 25 years.  Around 1980, they
started taking ballroom dancing lessons through an Adult Education class at
Mayfield High School.  They continued those lessons for five years.  

Bill is in his second year as EARLYJAS Trustee.  Both Bill and Regina are faithful
attendees at EARLYJAS Board meetings and the annual jazz festival.  He and
Regina, like Charlotte and Jack, go out of their way to support jazz.

Bill’s music expertise is in bass, guitar and banjo.  He started playing bass and guitar
professionally with three polka bands.  Later he switched to banjo still with polka
bands.  Bob McQuire influenced Bill to branch out into traditional Dixieland jazz.  
Bill was taking banjo lessons from Bob and suggested to Bill that he might like to
join a new band that was just forming.  The Dixie Dreamers was led by Bill Davis
and they needed a banjo player.  Some of you remember Dan Zola’s regular gig at
Theo’s.  Bill and Regina frequented Theo’s and danced to Dan’s music.  It was there
that they met Charlotte, tireless zealot on behalf of EARLYJAS.  She introduced the
Knapps to EARLYJAS.

Bill Parthe introduced Bill to the Hot Jazz 7 and the Knappster has become a regular
with them.  Bill  often subs for Dick Mills in the New Orleans Stompers.
Bill and Regina have other hobbies and there is quite a range of interests.  For example: Jewelry making. Customized
1948 Ford PU street rod; rebuilding a 1930  Oldsmobile. Restored 1934 Harley and 1960 BMW motorcycles.  
Gardening.  I’m not sure who does what but it seems like a great team. All that plus the music and dance.  Wow!
Tango is the current dance of interest to Regina and Bill.  They are members of the Western Reserve Tango Society
and are mastering the intricacies and styles of the tango.

Bill and Regina like to dance to the music of the Night Owls (2nd Sundays at the Barking Spider).  Next time, we’ll get
the Night Owls to play the “Spanish Shawl” so the Knapps can demonstrate the tango!
Keep strutting!
Earlville Association for Ragtime Lovers Yearning
for Jazz Advancement and Socialization