BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Originally from Groton, Conn., Fred has performed, toured and recorded with international artists such as Pacific St. Records-founder and pianist Eric Doney, bassist Will Lee, and GRP artist Scott Jarrett. He has performed with artists such as guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, pianist John Coliani, Jeff Lorber, guitarist/vocalist Junior Marvin of The Wailers, vocalist Kevin Mahogany, Blue Note artist Bob Dorough, bassist Roberto Vally, the Harry James Orchestra featuring Art Depew, multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan, vocalist Jo Belle, trombonist Phil Wilson, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, Rich Matteson, bassist Steve Gilmore, Duke Ellington vocalist Lil Greenwood, trumpeter Longineu Parsons, Giacomo Gates, saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr., the Frank Stallone Big Band, Champian Fulton, the legendary Clark Terry and guitarist Gene Bertoncini.
Fred is a founding member of the jazz group The Guffman Trio. Fred is currently on staff as an adjunct professor of percussion and Jazz Band/Jazz Workshop director at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla.; music teacher and band director for Montessori School of Pensacola; and works as a freelance studio session musician.
His professional affiliations include Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Collegiate Music Educators Association, Florida Jazz Educators Association, Jazz Education Network, Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund, and the American Federation of Musicians Union #389. Fred is endorsed by Silverfox Drumsticks, Dream Cymbals and Taye Drums.
Originally from New Orleans, Dave grew up surrounded by music. His passion began in a school band program and continued into college, where he majored in music. Realizing an interest in instrument repair, Dave furthered his education by attending the Allied Music Repair School.
After relocating to Pensacola with his wife, Rebecca, Dave opened Schmidt’s Music in 1982. Since then, Dave has been a major contributor to local music education programs. Through his efforts, Dave has earned recognition as a “Champion of the Arts” by the Escambia County Fine Arts Department and a “Friend of Education” by the Escambia Association of Administrators in Education.
John graduated from Georgia Tech in 1957 and retired as a U.S. Air Force pilot with 22 years of active service and reserve. He is a retired airline pilot, having flown 25 years with Pan Am and seven years with United Airlines.
John has been married for 58 years to his lovely wife, Myrl. He grew up listening to jazz and has loved it ever since. In addition to jazz, John’s hobbies are golf and duplicate bridge.
Growing up in a home full of professional musicians allowed Ali to develop a unique perspective and appreciation for music across genres. Her mother is a professional singer, with a repertoire ranging from pop to jazz, and her father is a professional guitarist, specializing in the rock genre, but skilled and versatile. While not a musician herself, Ali has long ago learned the importance of music to family and to community, and as a board member of Jazz Pensacola she wants to help spread the word about great, live, local jazz.
With a Bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida in Communication Arts, and a thesis defense away from receiving her Master’s in Strategic Communication from UWF, Ali has worked across industries focusing on communication and public outreach to aid organizations in their approach to public engagement, and is excited to bring that skillset to Jazz Pensacola. Currently, Ali works in Graphic Design and Marketing at Current Products Corp., a local manufacturer of automated window coverings.
Tommy was born in Montgomery, Ala., during WWII, but he has been a resident of Pensacola since the age of 6 months. During the first six years of his life, Tommy and his mother traveled the Southeast with his father as he called on military bases. Tommy grew up in Warrington and was in the first graduating class to complete three full years at Escambia High School. After attending Pensacola Junior College, he attended Florida State University and Tulane University. Tommy graduated from Livingston University in 1966. Later, he earned a Masters of Education from the University of West Florida, thus beginning his teaching career. Starting in 1966, he taught for four years at Pensacola High School. He then worked for a short time at Gulf Power’s Crist Plant and sold life insurance for a brief time. In 1973, on the day his son was born, he began a 31-year teaching career at Woodham High School. Tommy retired from the Escambia County School System in 2004 after 35 years of service in the system. His wife, Brenda, was also an elementary teacher in the school system. Their son, Dr. Thomas J. Bell, resides in New Orleans.
Pensacola native Dustin Bonifay studied Music, Business, and Finance at The University of West Florida. Since graduating in 2003, he has been very active in the local music scene performing in numerous groups, church orchestras, and musical theatre productions. In addition to freelance work, Dustin is founding member of two local groups: the Pensacola Brass (2004) and the Palafox Horns (2009). Dustin currently is a Multiple Line Representative for State Farm Insurance. Additionally, Dustin has been very involved in the Pensacola JazzFest, serving as Logistics director since 2012.
John is a native of Connecticut, where he attended the University of Bridgeport as a music major. While there, he was fortunate to have studied with many top New York City musicians, including Gerry Niewood and Ed Xiques on saxophone, and Andy Laverne and Rob Aries on piano.
John enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1992 and spent 12 years as a research technician, developing defensive B-52 electronic warfare upgrades. In 2003, he won the Air Force Worldwide Talent competition and was invited on a 14-month world tour with famous Air Force Entertainment group Tops in Blue. Following this tour, John auditioned for and was accepted into the U.S. Air Force Band program as a pianist/keyboardist and bandleader. His tours with the band included stations in Ohio, Germany, and Georgia, and allowed him to travel the world with a number of world-class musicians.
Among his notable achievements in the USAF bands, he completed deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and also served as leader of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Big Band, considered to be the “direct descendants” of Col. Glenn Miller’s Army Air Force Band.
John retired from the military in 2014 and relocated to the Pensacola area. He has been active in many bands and musical organizations in the area and has played with the Curt Bol Band, Jones and Company, Fred Domulot Trio, vocalist Holly Shelton, and the legendary 50s/60s group The Drifters. Currently, John plays keyboards and saxophone in The Blenders and with the Holly Shelton Quartet.
Dr. F. Norman Vickers had a career as a busy gastroenterologist in Pensacola, Fla., from 1965-2001. His early experience as a serious amateur pianist, chromatic harmonicist and guitarist gave him a love and appreciation for jazz. On arriving in Pensacola, he connected with local jazz musicians and discussed starting a jazz society and festival, but everyone acknowledged that it would be “too much work.” In 1982, in conjunction with local the Arts Council of Northwest Florida the and University of West Florida radio station, WUWF, it was decided to start Pensacola JazzFest. Vickers spearheaded the effort of starting a jazz society as a support group. Pensacola JazzFest started in 1983, and the Jazz Society of Pensacola (now named Jazz Pensacola) was chartered as a not-for-profit corporation the same year. Initially, JSOP operated out of a corner of his Pensacola medical office. The community joke was that when you called the office and asked for Norman, the question would be: “Is it musical or medical?” Vickers was a board member of the Jazz Society and when his three-year term was up, the board appointed him a volunteer executive director to keep him engaged. Since 2004, Vickers has been retired from his active management role, by adding "emeritus" to his title of volunteer executive director. However, he continues as an active participant. Read Troy Moon's profile of Norman Vickers in the Pensacola News Journal.
Alice has been administrator of Jazz Pensacola since 2014. She handles memberships, financials, grant proposals, event organization and implementation, public relations/communications, the Pensacola JazzFest arts/crafts exhibitor process and many other duties that keep our group of jazz musicians and jazz lovers in perfect harmony. The award-winning writer and editor worked for 18 years for Gannett Co. Inc./Pensacola News Journal and USA Today and for seven years in the marketing department of Pensacola State College. Hers is the cheerful voice that greets you when you call the downtown Pensacola office.
To contact any of the board members or office personnel, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the office at (850) 433-8382.