The Who Behind the Sound

Gage Clawson 
Instrument: Trumpet 
Residence: Manteo / Chapel Hill, NC 
Place of Birth: Chesapeake, VA. Grew up in Manteo, NC.
Alumni of: Current student at UNC Chapel Hill
Favorite band or artist: Wynton Marsalis and The Grateful Dead 
Hobbies/Passions: Jazz and classical trumpet, soccer, college basketball 
Bio: Gage has been playing trumpet since he was in sixth grade, and played piano from the age of 2 to 11. He was a John Phillip Sousa Award winner and a member of the North Carolina All State Band in high school. He now attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is pursuing a double major in Mathematical Decision Sciences and Music. He plays in the UNC Jazz Ensemble, UNC Wind Ensemble, and UNC trumpet studio.

Dave Seyler
Instrument: Trumpet, flugelhorn
Residence: Kill Devil Hills, NC
Place of Birth: Lock Haven PA, grew up near Washington DC
Alumni of: University of Maryland
Favorite band or artist: John McLaughlin/Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miles Davis, Gentle Giant
Hobbies/Passions: Playing jazz trumpet, reading, online baseball, over-spicing recipes
Bio: Dave has been playing trumpet since the 1960s, and was a band teacher briefly back in the 1980s. As a kid he was a two-time John Phillip Sousa Award winner and a member of the Maryland All-State band. He has played in jazz, rock and wedding bands that took him into just about every hotel in Washington DC and numerous clubs and other venues. Locally, he dusted off his trumpet in 2014 to become a regular guest of alternative rock group Shaky Town, then was accepted into Just Playing Dixieland, and the rest is history. 

Robert Jacobs
Instrument: Accordion, piano
Residence: Duck, NC
Place of birth: Brooklyn, NY
Alumni of: American University and George Washington University Law School
Favorite band or artist: accordionists Art Van Damme and Eddie Monteiro; pianists Bill Evans, Nat King Cole, Wynton Kelly, Harold Danko and Marc Copland
Hobbies/Passions: My passions are my wife and music. My hobbies include travel, sports, theatre, art, movies, reading and cooking
Bio: Robert got his start in the early 1960s playing engagements in New Jersey and New York, including the Catskill Mountain resorts and the 1964 NY World's Fair. During his years in Washington D.C., he played engagements at The White House, Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, State Department, embassies, hotels and private clubs, and has a track record too long to list here in its entirety. He has been heard on radio, seen and heard on TV and the internet, and his recordings are available on CD.

Dock Sawyer
Instrument: Tuba
Residence: Manteo, NC

Gray Pugh 
Instrument: Clarinet 
Residence: Powells Point, NC
Place of birth: Elizabeth City, North Carolina but grew up primaily in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina 
Alumni of: University of North Carolina at Greensboro​
Favorite band or artist: Benny Goodman and Pete Fountain​
Hobbies: Teaching is my main passion, but I do enjoy reading a good book or watching a good movie from time to time. I, also, enjoy most things outdoors, like fishing and hiking.

Bio: Gray is currently the music teacher at Central, Griggs, and Jarvisburg Elementary Schools. Having been born in Elizabeth City and raised on the Outer Banks, he is delighted to be working in an area he knows extremely well. When in middle and high school he performed with a youth dixieland jazz band called The Dixie Do Daz for six full years. Upon graduating from First Flight High School in 2007, he started studying clarinet and working on his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. After graduating from there in December 2011, he officially began his music teaching career in Perquimans County at Hertford Grammar School, where he taught music to students in grades three through five. Three years later, he is working in Currituck County.

Rick Eller
Instrument: Drums
Residence: Manteo, NC
Place of Birth: Wilmington, NC
Alumni of: Pitt Community College, United States Army
Favorite band or artists: James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Led Zeppelin, Parliament-Funkadelic, Baby Dodds, Gene Krupa,The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Kool and the Gang, Early R&B, Sex Pistols, Misfits, Watazumi do roshi, Frank Zappa, Danger Doom, Son Seals, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters, Ondrej Smeykal, Black Sabbath, Mike Patton, Tinariwen, Ravi Shankar, John Fahey, Robbie Basho, James Gadson, Herbie Hancock, Mandrill, Waylon Jennings​
Hobbies/Passions: Playing drums, guitar, bass, harmonica, ethnic woodwinds, didgeridoo, Producing music, Kayaking, nature walks, photography, drawing​
Bio: Rick began playing drums in his early teens and added guitar, harmonica and a variety of ethnic woodwinds later in life when he took a break from drumming in order to not disturb his sleeping babies.  Rick is a member of Drumeo ( an online drumming school) and currently plays drums and harmonica in Nature Out Loud!, a funky-family-friendly outfit that plays upbeat, positive tunes inspired by nature and Just Playing Dixieland, the original and only Dixieland Band in the Outer Banks, NC.

Paul Lesiewicz
Instrument: Tenor Sax, Vocals (one vocal, anyway)
Residence: Kitty Hawk, NC
Place of Birth: New York City
Alumni of: Fordham University, Bronx NY
Favorite band or artist: Elvis, Johnny Maestro, Jimmy Sturr Polka Band, Any Broadway Show
Hobbies/Passions: Music, Fishing, Beach
Bio: Paul has been playing sax since 1958. Music has been a big part of his life from high school and college to playing in wedding bands and "Fifties theme groups," even including a mummers band. Biggest musical experience was playing in a marching band led by Paul Anka at the NYC World Premiere of the war movie “The Longest Day.” A close second was in a backup band for Brian Hyland (“Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”).

Jerry Manolas
Instrument: Trombone
Residence: Powell’s Point, NC

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Paul Seyler
Instrument: Guitar
Residence: Kill Devil Hills, NC
Place of Birth: Alexandria, VA
Alumni of: First Flight High School
Favorite band or artist: Good ol' Stevie Wonder
Hobbies/Passions: Not getting off your dang lawn
Bio: Paul was a guitarist in the First Flight High School Advanced Jazz Band. He is also a former plastic drummer in his dad's band. But he's just a wee lad and has little experience in the music world as of yet. This is the first out-of-school band he's been in. Paul is currently serving in the United States Navy.

The Only Dixieland Band on the Outer Banks!