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  • A Brief Introduction to CCJS Leadership & Staff

    Dave Nims

    Dave Nims, president of CCJS, also serves on Annual Meeting, Finance, and Long-Range Planning Committees. Originally from New Hampshire, Dave earned BA and Master’s degrees from Keene State with additional study at Oberlin and Trinity Colleges, University of Illinois at Urbana, University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University. He was a teacher of English, grades 9 to 12, for 40 years and department chairman in New Hampshire and Massachusetts public high schools. A largely self-taught pianist, Dave has performed with several small jazz groups and vocalists at area clubs and restaurants. A member of CCJS since 2000, he has served on the Board of Directors since 2008.

    Chris Brown (Fitzgerald)

    Chris Brown (Fitzgerald) is treasurer of CCJS and a frequent vocalist at Jazz jams and concerts. Educated in Canada, she taught high school and middle school music while performing in supper clubs, lounges, jazz festivals, radio & TV. She did international club dates in North and South America and USO tours with Billy Eckstine. Chris has been a member Of CCJS for 17 years and a Director for ten years.

    Fred Capitelli

    Fred Capitelli is a native of the “Little Italy” section of New York City. After high school he studied at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Art. Fred served with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea from 1952 to 1954. After the Korean War he became the musical director for a GI variety show touring Okinawa, Japan and Korea. Major Venues: NY, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware, Las Vegas, Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and The Bob Newhart Show. He is a member of the Top Hats, Charlotte County Big Band, Jerry White Band, leader of INGROOV BIG BAND and Jazz Quartet/Quintet, member CCJS Board Development Committee, Instructor and board member of Hope Academy of Music.

    Ken Franckling

    Ken Franckling, of North Port, is a veteran arts writer and freelance photographer specializing in jazz journalism, music photography and occasional portraiture. For over 20 years he wrote a regular column, The Jazz Condition, for United Press International, and is a contributing writer/photographer for Jazz Times, Jazziz, Hot House, AllAboutJazz.com, CCJS InTune, and other publications. In June 2003, Ken was named Jazz Photographer of the Year by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and was presented the Lona Foote-Bob Parent Award.  CCJS is proud and honored to have Ken as its photographer

    Connie Gean

    Connie Gean works part-time for CCJS as administrator preparing financial reports, advertising, e-mail communications and is editor of CCJS InTune Newsletter. Born in West Virginia she moved to Ohio, worked 26 years into first-line management at Alcatel-Lucent from which she retired in 2000. She and husband Bill moved to Florida and became very active at the Port Charlotte Golf Club where she now helps with the golf tournament for Hospice in addition to her work for CCJS.

    Tom Osborne

    Tom Osborne is vice president of CCJS. Raised and educated in upstate New York, he owned and operated an insurance agency before moving to Port Charlotte. For over 50 years he has played drums with jazz combos and big bands in New York state and New England and now in Florida. He joined CCJS in 2010 and has served on the Board since then.

    Aaron Lucas

    Aaron Lucas is a native of Louisville, Ky., where he was educated in the public schools and the University of Louisville. He practiced general, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery in the Louisville area for 30 years. He played trombone in elementary school, high school, college and medical school in orchestras, concert bands and various jazz ensembles. During his years of medical practice, Aaron also performed in and managed a big band consisting mostly of doctors. After his retirement, he expanded his interest in musicology and instrumental performance involving early traditional jazz and Big Band Swing. Aaron lives in Punta Gorda, and performs with the Charlotte County Big Band, INGROOV Big Band and Tamiami Brass Quintet.

    Jim Howarth

    Born in Rochester, N.Y., Jim graduated from West High School in 1956. At the age of 17 he joined the U.S Army reserves and served for 10 years. Jim worked for his father’s Building Company as equipment operator and office assistant until the Company opened a party house and Golf course west of Rochester N.Y. He managed the party house for 8 years. Jim was appointed building inspector and tax assessor at 29 years old, and served the town of Ogden, N.Y. for 10 years. During that time he was elected President and appointed Executive Secretary for the N.Y. State Assessors Association, serving 10 years. He was hired as General Manager for Earthborn Builders, eventually owning the company along with Howarth Builders, a sister company. Jim developed lots and built homes for 20 years. Small commercial construction and Condo projects were part of the companies’ activities. Jim has lived in Punta Gorda for 14 years, is retired and enjoying Florida and activities like the Charlotte County Jazz Society. He is on the board of directors for Hope Academy of Music, and also serves as a director on the CCJS Finance Committee.

    Dan Cobb

    Dan grew up near Detroit Michigan. He joined the U.S. Navy where he served, after two years of schooling, aboard a Polaris Missile Nuclear Submarine. Dan then worked at a civilian Nuclear Power Station until gaining employment at Marion Power Shovel which provided large mining equipment to the surface mining industry. There he served in several management positions. Later he served as Safety Service Director for the City of Marion, Ohio. In between times Dan obtained a series six securities license as well as licenses for Life and Health insurance. Dan learned of The Charlotte County Jazz Society from his Uncle, board member Jerry Renirie, long before re-locating to Port Charlotte last November.  Dan serves on the Finance Committee.

    Buz Terry (Ennis Bisbano, PhD)

    Buz Terry (Ennis Bisbano, PhD) is Chair for Education & Scholarships Programs and assists in concerts and Jazz Jam events. Buz served as chairperson of the 25th Anniversary Celebration Committee. He retired as a superintendant of education in Rhode Island before permanently settling in Florida. A trumpet player, since age 9, Buz has performed with dozens of bands and artists, i.e. Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Della Reese, Al Martino, Johnny Nash, Jerry Vale, Frankie Laine, the Four Lads, Gerry Mulligan, Buddy Rich, George Shearing, Carmen McRae and Sammy Davis Jr. He presently performs with the INGROOV Big Band and the Charlotte County Big Band.

    Charlotte Quinn

    Charlotte Quinn was born in Iowa to a family that encouraged participation in all musical activities available.  Her mother taught Char to play piano and her father taught her tap dancing.  In fifth grade, Char’s school offered her a free baritone euphonium.  She could barely carry it, but she became accustomed to its weight and carried it all the way through high school.  Char’s mother worked with Band Boosters and Music Mothers to get the music and uniforms that Char needed, and Char did the same when her two children were involved with music in the Detroit schools.  In the 1970s and ’80s, she had to work with community organizations to keep music in the schools.  Her children sang in the choir and community chorus, and were active in all areas of community theater in Detroit.  She continued her community involvement in music and theater for 15 years in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, before moving to Punta Gorda nine years ago.  For seven years, Char was an usher for the Charlotte Symphony, until that program was disbanded.  Char is an active volunteer with Punta Gorda Police Department, Military Heritage Museum, Punta Gorda Historical Society, Charlotte County Jazz Society, and Hope Academy of Music.

    We all know the required three Rs (reading, ‘riting, rithmetic), but if it was up to Char there would be a fourth R, rhythm (music.)  Studies show that starting young and staying active with both music and dance is good for the brain and body, and keeps people young.  Her goal is to do anything she can to promote musical activities in any way for youth and adults.



    Mike Parmelee

    Mike Parmelee has been a member of CCJS since its founding in 1990 and has served as talent coordinator ever since, being responsible for securing bands for our concerts. Mike teaches music privately and performs on saxophone and piano with a variety of groups around south Florida. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he majored in music at Florida State and North Texas State University. After college he performed with touring big bands under direction of Les Elgart and Buddy Morrow before settling down in Virginia. During the 1980s Mike worked as staff musician at several resort hotels including the Greenbriar in West Virginia, the Homestead in Virginia and the Naples Ritz-Carlton. He moved to Florida permanently in 1989.

    Jeff Powers

    Jeff Powers is the CCJS webmaster. He developed a love of jazz In the late 1940s after hearing what Bird and Diz did to the chord changes of standards. Jeff was instrumental in putting CCJS on the internet. Born in Salt Lake City and raised in Brooklyn he served in the Air Force (Alaskan Air Command) during the Korean conflict. After earning a degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute he founded a sales and consulting firm which designed, sold and maintained municipal and industrial water and air pollution control systems throughout the New England area.

    John Johnson

    John Johnson is CCJS Director and secretary.  John is also responsible for handling the CCJS FaceBook page, and for maintaining contact with our website and webmaster Jeff Powers.  For 42 years he taught high school bands in Illinois and California, retiring in 2004. In 2006 he founded the Charlotte County Big Band and for five years directed the Charlotte County Concert Band. Presently he plays string bass in the INGROOV Big Band and in the North Port Symphony. John also plays tuba in the North Port Concert Band and The Stein Swingers German Band.

    Pam Koontz

    Pam Koontz is a native of Newark, New Jersey. She performed extensively in the New Jersey/New York area with the likes of Chico Mendoza (piano/vibes) and Freddie Roach (musician/playwright) before moving to Florida. Since then she has teamed up with such musicians as Nathan Page, Kenny Soderblom, Jack Petersen, Marcus Hampton, Richard Drexler and John Lambert. She has also enjoyed a career as a stage and TV actress, appearing at Lincoln Center and other noteworthy venues. Pam joined the CCJS Board of Directors in 2014. Her committee assignments include Education/Scholarship, Board Development and Long-Range Planning. She also assists in coordinating our CCJS volunteers.

    Lynda Platt

    A native of Kentucky, Lynda has moved to or traveled in 45 states and 23 foreign countries. Move #40 to Punta Gorda is the last! Lynda is a graduate of Bethany College (WV) with a degree in Elementary Education. In addition to teaching, her professional career includes experience in business administration, commercial banking, retail, events production and radio broadcast. While living in Cleveland, Ohio, she served as Director of Kidsacks which made and distributed over 6,000 sleeping bags to homeless children. Other non-profit associations include board positions with The Lydia Project, Relay for Life, Celebration of Character, Cedar Creek Ladies’ Club, Aiken Women’s Heart Board and founding member of the Aiken Jazz Society (Aiken, SC). She also served as publicist, photographer, wardrobe coordinator and house manager for South Boundary, a men’s a cappella chorus in which her husband sang. Since taking up residence in Florida, Lynda has also been elected to the board of the Hope Academy of Music. She is thrilled to serve on the CCJS Long Range Planning Committee and helping to promote this music genre throughout the community.