The following musicians make up the core membership of the BALLYHOO FOXTROT ORCHESTRA. Click on the performer's image to hear an excerpt.


JOHN BENOIT (leader, arranger, trombone, piano) is a Professor of music at Simpson College where he teaches music theory and trombone.  He also plays trombone with the Party Gras Classic Jazz Band, the House of Bricks Big Band, and the Festival Brass Quintet.  John is originally from in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  He holds degrees from Louisiana State University and the University of Texas at Austin and taught music theory for two years at Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York) prior to moving to Iowa.

JIM BOVINETTE (trumpet) is the director of the Jazz Ensemble Program and Professor of Trumpet at Iowa State University. As a symphony musician, jazz artist, and recitalist, he has toured and performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe.  Dr. Bovinette performs regularly with Des Moines Symphony, the Cedar Rapids Symphony, the Des Moines Civic Center Show Orchestra, and his own jazz quartet, "The Jazz Quartet of Ames".  He is also currently involved with Diana Upton Hill and her latest CD Projects and tours.



KURT BOWERMASTER (drums) is the leader and drummer with Party Gras Classic Jazz Band and is one of the busiest first-call musicians in central Iowa.  His achievements include planning and organizing the Good Times Jazz Festival in Des Moines and playing with the Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans.

BOB LOHRENZ (banjo) is well known to traditional jazz fans throughout Iowa.  He founded and, for many years, led the popular Red Sneaker Jazz Band.


 JAMIE POULSEN (piano) is an Instructor of music at Simpson College where he teaches piano and ear-training.  He is also a free-lance composer.  His music for commercials and corporate videos has won numerous awards.  Two of his compositions for orchestra have been premiered by the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.



MICHAEL SHORT (tuba) is a native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he played for the famous composer, Karl King.  After earning music degrees at the University of Northern Iowa, he moved to Chicago to study with the world-famous tubist Arnold Jacobs and perform with some nationally known traditional jazz and ragtime groups.  Currently, he is Senior Teaching Artist of Low Brass at Drake University and Simpson College, and Principal Tuba in the Waterloo - Cedar Falls Symphony, the Des Moines Metro Opera and the Des Moines Symphony Brass Quintet.

DAN STEVENSON (clarinet, tenor saxophone) graduated from Drake University with a degree in Music Education and teaches clarinet privately in Des Moines.  Dan has performed with numerous orchestras, combos, and big bands, including the Party Gras Classic Jazz Band, the East Village Quartet, the Downtowners, and the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.


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