• YouTube Social  Icon

© 2018 by Darci Griffith Gamerl

brad  bombardier

Playing with "A Band Called Truman" alongside trumpeter Jessica Olson.

Playing behind The Temptations at Big Top Chautauqua, August 10, 2018. (surreptitious photo by lead alto sax, Rich Mowers).

With Gaelynn Lea after the premiere of "Body of Work" with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and students of the Quartet Project, July 27, 2017

With my good buddy and All-Around Great Guy Jim Callahan, at The Bar in LeSueur, MN, 8/25/2018 - the 5th stop on our "South Central Minnesota Dive Bar Tour '18"....I particularly like my "Blue Moon halo"!

At Hoops Brewery with fellow Trumanites Dale Shimmin and Jim Pospisil (pronounced "POS-puh-shill") following the windiest gig ever, outside in Canal Park, September 7, 2018. Our waiter has already removed most of the empty glasses. Photo by lead Trumanite Leon Rohrbaugh (see below)

With "A Band Called Truman"s Lead Dog, Leon Rohrbaugh, tailgating at the UMD Bulldogs home football opener, September 8, 2018. Notice the selfie reflection in Leon's glasses. Artistic!

Sturgis, 1997. Trying on a hat I sadly didn't end up buying. Bill Bastian on the right, Annie Cizadlo on the left.

From my Duluth East High School senior yearbook (1978). I don't know what was wrong with us.

Playing sax with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, October 6, 2018. This concert was broadcast live on WDSE-TV, the local PBS station in Duluth. (I've heard the camera adds 80 pounds). Photo of his own TV by Aaron Hallsten (that's his Mustang I'm standing next to in the picture on the bottom of the "Arrangements: Popular" page of this website).

With my great good friend Mike Roemhildt. We've held down the bassoon section in the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra for 31 seasons... and counting. Mike is holding an incredibly rare bottle of Elijah Craig Small Batch Barrel Proof Kentucky Bourbon. This bottle is from release #3 of 3 for 2017, bottled at 131 proof! Don't even try to look for it, or you'll be sorely disappointed. If you're really nice, Mike might give you a taste. Photo by Mike's lovely wife Gina, Nov.5, 2018.

The UM-D Wind Ensemble Sax Section, on their fall 2018 tour. A finer group of individuals you will not find anywhere. When I start to feel apprehensive about the future, they renew my hope.

L to R: Allison Payonk, Molly VanAlst, BB, Laura Halvorson, Noah Stephens-Brown. Coon Rapids H.S. 11/7/2018

Thoroughly enjoying a Dairy Queen with my mother Gloria, in the family Studebaker Lark. Summer, 1961.

William Bastian singing the role of Emil Barton in the premiere of my one-man, one act opera "Night Call, Collect" (by personal permission of Ray Bradbury), performed by the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Warren Friesen, conductor, July 18, 1990. Stage direction by Christy Montour-Larson, scenic design by Ann Gumpper. This opera was produced by the LSCO again (with Bill as Emil) in the summer of 2010 at Sacred Heart Music Center.

L-R: Composer Arvo Pärt, my dear friend Tom Watrous (a shadowy character at best), BB. At the Winnipeg New Music Festival, January 26, 1996.

With one of my all-time heroes, Red Green, 1998.

Posing in front of the statue (designed by Al Capp) of Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin, Flin Flon, Manitoba, summer 2001.


"Biker Rushmore" - L to R: Bill Bastian, Jerry Cizadlo, Phyllis Cizadlo, BB. August, 1996, during our first Sturgis run. Photo by either Laurie Bastian or Annie Cizadlo, I can't remember. I'm sweating to death, and Bill never took off his full leathers. What can I say; the man's amazing!

Serving as Best Man at the wedding of my fantastic Master's school friends Bob Mueller and Theresa Delaplain, Ft Wayne, IN, August 5, 1984. They're still going strong! Bob and I were housemates, along with Blake Walter (far left) and John K. Boyle, Jr. (to my left). Bob, Tess, and I still collaborate on recitals - they're on the faculty of the University of Arkansas (see our posters on the "poster" page of this website).

With Tom Watrous on the front stoop of his authentic Finnish sauna "Saunanhengen Koti", located in the back yard of his home in Winnipeg, smoking what are undoubtedly very fine cigars. Keen-eyed observers may notice that the ashtray on the small table between us is an authentic stock oil filter cover for a Honda GL 1100 Gold Wing. Picture by Tom's amazing wife, Suzanne, sometime in the 2000s.

Here's a picture taken by French hornist Emily Borra, during a rehearsal of the Duluth-Superior

Symphony Orchestra, December 1, 2018. This is what I call the "Power Row" - the trumpets, bassoons, and clarinet. I'm third from the bottom, obscured by Mike Roemhildt. We all have something in common besides being in the D-SSO. Can you name what it is???? (It's too bad

Jefferson Campbell, the D-SSO's contrabassonist, wasn't on this particular concert. He would have sat to my left, and his head would have fit right in!)

The Lake Superior Saxophone Quartet, at the height of it's popularity. Backstage at Weber Recital Hall, UM-D, before performing the world premiere of Greg Kehl Moore's "Waves" featuring the LSSQ with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, July 27, 2005. L-R: Mary Claveau Lee, Randy Lee, BB (with my Keilwerth SX-90 straight, white lacquered alto), Jeff Cherne.

Yeah, I actually met Red Green twice; this was the first time, at a WDSE-TV fund-raiser at Barkers Island Inn, sometime in the early 1990s. Photo by Rich Mowers.

Matting and (unseen) framing by Fleet Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, on a design of my own.

Serving as Best Man at the wedding of Bill Bastian and his lovely wife Laurie, December

9, 1988. I must make a good Best Man - I've done it twice (1984 and 1988) and both marriages are still going strong in 2019! Bill would later return the favor, acting as my Best Man in 2004. L - R: Lisa Crandall (Laurie's sister), Laurie Bastian, Bill Bastian, BB, Our Saviour's Lutheran  Church, Duluth,  MN.

Two pictures from 1981:


L - from the photo shoot at Enger Golf Course for my 1981 alto sax recital poster (see the final product on the poster page of this website). We snuck onto the course and nailed my sax to the side of a groundskeepers shed when nobody was looking. Photo by Marta Soderberg. (You're busted, Marta!)

R - performing with the UW-S Jazz Ensemble in a jacket I bought for $1 at Goodwill. This picture was taken by a photographer from the Superior Evening Telegram and was used in their paper to publicize the concert.

Here's my sister Beth. She got all the good genes in the family, including the one for being super photogenic.

She's the best sister anyone could ask for, and get this; we've never had a single fight or cross word between us!

Also, she took the pressure off of me for providing our parents with grandchildren.

August, 2018.

With clarinetist extrordinaire Alexandra Hecker; we were the clarinet section (Alex being principal, of course!) with the Itasca Symphony Orchestra, led by Mr. Keith Swanson, on 16 February, 2019.

This was a fun gig, and provided a nice break from the constant shoveling and snowblowing that month!

In 2003 I wrote a piece for the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra ("Fish Above Water"), which provided musical background over which Duluth poet Louis Jenkins recited some of his wonderful and whimsical poetry. Here we are 6 years later at Carmody Irish Pub in downtown Duluth. Louis was a joy to work with - one look at him will tell you that he's exactly the kind of guy you'd want to drink a beer with in an Irish pub.  If you aren't familiar with his work, do yourself a favor and check it out!

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Here's a picture of my oldest friend, Frank (Tom) Katzele (L), with his cousin (and my good friend) Dave Beron, unpacking Tom's new plasma TV on the back porch of his house in St. Croix Falls, WI, sometime during the summer of 2009. Tom (as I knew him; I didn't learn that his legal first name was Frank - after his father - until a few years ago) and I met when his family moved into the Lakeside School district in 1967, and he was placed into my second grade class with Mrs. Cooke. We became fast friends, going through Ordean Junior High School together, and eventually graduating together from Duluth East High School in 1978. We lost touch with each other for several years when Tom went to UMD and I attended UWS, and then moved to Ohio for graduate school. We reuinted in 1984 after I moved back to Duluth, when I passed him walking along 4th Street by 21st Avenue East, and

we discovered that we lived in apartments only two

blocks away from each other, I on my own, and Tom with his cousin Dave. From then on, we remained in touch (except for a brief period when I got married and then divorced) for the next three and a half decades, even when Tom eventually moved to Roseville MN (twice), St. Croix Falls WI (twice), and finally to Centuria WI. Tom, Dave and I would regularly spend entire weekends "debauching ourselves" in what we called "knock-down, drag-out" marathons of beer drinking, eating junk food (but mostly beer drinking), movie watching, laughing, and being continually disappointed by the Minnesota Vikings. Recent evenings in St. Croix Falls, and then Centuria, would most often be capped by Tom lighting an entire bag of charcoal in his Weber grill, and the three of us drunkenly attempting to roast corn and assorted meats (Tom favored one or two pounds of ground beef, straight from the package) on a 700 degree fire around 1 a.m. Success in this endeavor usually eluded us. After we lost touch again in the early 2000s during the time I got married and divorced, the three of us were again reunited in 2006 when I ran into Dave at Best Buy, and we once more (my being single again, and both Dave and Tom being confirmed bachelors) began to hang out together, Dave and I traveling down to wherever Tom happened to be living at the time. It's been the same ever since.

2019 marks the 51st year that Tom and I have been friends - by far the longest I've been friends with anybody outside of my own family.

Frank Thomas Katzele was found dead in his home in Centuria on Monday, February 18, 2019. The exact day of his passing will likely never be known, as Tom lived alone and had no close family or friends in Centuria. I will miss him as one can only miss one's oldest buddy. You left us too soon, my friend, but you will never be forgotten. Words are woefully inadequate to thank you for 51 years of your unique and irreplaceable friendship. Rest in Peace.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

With Melanie Sever (L) and Darci Griffith Gamerl (R) on the campus of the University of Nebraska - Omaha. Melanie and I served as adjudicators and presenters at Darci's "Double Reed Day" on March 10, 2019 (Darci is the oboe instructor at UNO, and the wizard who constructed this website). The weather on this day was warm and sunny, but Melanie and I skirted a major winter storm driving to Omaha the previous day. We left Duluth at 4 a.m., staying just ahead of snow and freezing rain, but we were pummeled by torrential rain throughout most of Iowa. Melanie drove the second shift, so she had to deal with driving in the rain and the semis that were constantly passing us. When we left Omaha early on the morning of the 11th, I asked Melanie to drive the first shift, so she had to drive due East, straight into the rising sun. Contrary to popular opinion, I'm not actually a very nice person.

Another picture (by Darci) taken on our Omaha trip. This is at Dario's Brasserie, and I'm about to dive into a flight of Belgian ales, none of whose names I can pronounce (or even remember) but all of which were around 10% ABV. Melanie and I ate at some pretty amazing restaurants during our short trip; evidently, Omaha is known for it's impressive number of high-end eateries. Needless to say, I'll be back!

L-R: Randy Lee, Keith Zumbrunnen, BB.

This picture was taken on 3/29/2019, following a recital given by Greg Kehl Moore at UW-S in which Randy and I took part.  Keith was the Woodwind Itinerant for ISD 709 when Randy and I attended Ordean Jr. High School in 1973-75. We were lucky enough to get a weekly one-on-one lesson with Keith (UM-D Class of 1970/Music Ed) and I don't think it's going too far to say that it was in large part due to Keith's excellent instruction and example that both Randy and I ended up choosing careers in music. It had been close to 20 years since I'd seen Keith before this night, but even now, not a day goes by that I don't model my own teaching after his example, or utilize materials that he gifted me with after he retired. He's one in a million, and there's no way I can thank "Zummy" enough for everything he's done for me and for countless other music students. Picture by Devin Naumann.

My mother, Glor, and my father, Ken, meeting Col. Harland Sanders at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, during a Kentucky Fried Chicken convention in 1972.  My dad was the Supervisor of the KFC stores in the Twin Ports; it's also where I had my first job on an actual payroll (although I was only 15 at the time and it was technically illegal for me to be working at that age....but hey, I was the Supervisor's son!)

With my longtime good friend Liisa Saari (how's that for a Suomalainen tyttö?!), at the Choo Choo Bar and Grill in Allouez, WI, April 14, 2019. Don't let her innocent appearance fool you; she's an Iraq Vet who kicks ass and takes names - even Chuck Norris watches his step around her (JK - she's a total sweetheart). We've known each other since her UWS days. She's someone you'd want to go kayaking down the Brule with.....as I have. And I have the scars to prove it.

A couple of images from "A Band Called

Truman"s gig at the Lake Avenue tent during Grandma's Marathon, June 22, 2019. Behind me are trumpeter Dave Adams and Dale Shimmin on trombone.

Below: the band in action. L-R: Chris Modec-Halvorson, Leon Rohrbaugh, Ian Connell, Dale Shimmin, Dave Adams, BB. Photos by John Keefover, Keefography (www.keefography.com)

In hindsight, maybe I should have been wearing a Bent Paddle cap.

Another picture from Sturgis, 1997, sitting with Annie Cizadlo. Annie was a great traveling companion - she rode the entire way there and back on the back of her dad's Harley! We were tired, sunburned, dehydrated, our butts ached from all the cycling we did - and it remains one of the funnest trips I've ever been on (is "funnest" a word?)

Playing baritone sax (I'm on the far right in the hat) with the Bigtime Jazz Orchestra, with guest soloist Kenni Holmen, at the Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center in Solon Springs, WI, 7/13/19. Kenni is one of the most amazing musicians I've ever heard, and one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. A great outdoor gig!

Photo by Melanie Sever.

Here are a couple pictures of the 1964 Thunderbird I bought out of a barn in Ellendale, ND, June 1, 2014. My buddy Aaron Hallsten and I trailered it back, and we've been restoring it ever since. Below is a picture taken by Aaron while he was driving it from my old place in Lincoln Park to my new place in Lakewood Township, sometime in early 2016. Dig the crazy speedometer! The only things left to do on it are adjust the shifting linkage, finish the interior, and then it gets the special Hallsten custom paint job (Aaron's the best!)

The four gauges below the bar-style speedometer are (L-R): oil temp, fuel, engine temp, and amps. This was the car with the ill-fated swivel feature, where the entire steering column swung to the right to allow ease of getting in and out of the car. It's a true beast; it weighs over 2 tons (with only two doors!), has an enormous power plant, and is definitely NOT ecologically friendly! But you have to admit, it's got style. I'll add some pictures of the interior once it's finished, and of the exterior once it gets it's new paint job.