The Riverboat Jazz Band


Skip, together with  friends Tom Brown on drums and  Don LaVoie on cornet, organized the Riverboat Jazz Band in 1956.  The band became a success in the Albany, NY area very quickly and began to travel the college and night club circuit, in addition to many private clubs and night spots. In 1963 and 64, New York bound, the group found itself aboard the Oslofjord, pride liner of Norwegian-American lines, including shows with comedian Jackie Leonard. Later years of the 60's brought about concerts with some jazz celebrities -- Cutty Cutshall, Jimmy McPartland, Wild Bill Davison and several others. Radio and TV became a reality too with people like Woody Herman, Mary Ann Mobley and Jack Smith. 

During the’ 70's, Skip continued to front the band as well as making appearances with Pee Wee Erwin, Bobby Hackett, Ed Hubble, Russell Moore, Vic Dickinson and made several engagements with a band fronted by Doc Cheatham. 

1970's concerts with the Riverboat Jazz Band saw additional jazz players Joe Muranyi, Bobby Pratt, Jack Maheu, Will Alger, Spiegel Wilcox, Ed Hubble, Kenny Davern. Spanky Davis, and more.

To begin the ‘80's  the Riverboat Jazz Band was selected to be the official  jazz band at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics.  Employment by ABC sports projected the Riverboat Jazz Band sound, literally around the world on international TV, throughout the entire duration of the games. Skip and the group also presented the Lake George Hot Jazz Party into the new century.

Leader Skip Parsons’ desire to promote and produce musical events brought about his organization of the Great Northeastern Traditional Jazzfest 1978 and 1979, an event that the RJB was the main focus. This was the only and very successful event of its type to be in the Tri City Area. 

RJB Festival appearances include; Newport at Saratoga, Waterloo, Ottawa International,  Syracuse Bix Bash, and Pee Wee Russell Stomp, to cover only a few.

Late into the ‘80's, Skip began to promote some smaller groups, from trios and swing quartets or quintets to full size jazz bands, keeping the faith of early jazz alive.  His RJB continues to entertain throughout the Northeast in arts centers, concert halls, parks, gazebos, cruises,  festivals, educational programs, jazz venues and more.  Not to mention the RJB stint at the Fountain Restaurant second weekend of the month since 1971.

Let the “Good Times Roll” with the Riverboat Jazz Band!




Name: Kevin Pruca

Gender: Male

Age: 34

Birthday: March 27th

Status: Married Crestview, FL



Industry: Education

Occupation: Teacher

School: Lorem High

Location: Orlando, FL


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The Riverboat Jazz Band Story

Ways to reach us

Feura Bush, NY


(518) 768-2231

Listen to the Riverboat Jazz Band here.

Visit Cliff Lamere here for some great band photos and history
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