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                              ~ Fred Jeselsohn - 1925 - 2008 ~

On Monday, May 19th, 2008 trombonist and Jazz Groove Jam Session member Fred Jeselsohn passed away.  A fine trombonist, Fred was an enthusiastic jam session participant, and long time member of Big Band Express, Full Count Big Band and other musical ensembles.  Fred loved swing and Dixieland Jazz in particular and he will be missed by his family and his many fans.

~ James Stowe - 1948 - 2009 ~

Trombonist James E. Stowe passed away on Sunday, August 2, 2009.  James brought a special spirit to our Consortium gatherings.  A fine trombonist and exceptional musician, teacher and human being, he always brought the Consortium and it's musicians to the next level, be it at the jam sessions or on gigs.     He will be missed; especially when we play "Up Jumped Spring", the first tune Jimmy exhorted us to learn and play back in 2006.

                         ~ Morris Nanton - 1929 - 2009 ~

Morris Nanton, 80, of Perth Amboy passed away peacefully at home Sunday morning, Nov. 15.  Mr. Nanton was born in Perth Amboy and lived there all his life. He served his country with honor in the U.S. Armed Forces with the 5th Army Division Band during the Korean War. He graduated from Perth Amboy High School and Juilliard Conservatory of Music in New York after attending on full scholarship. Known throughout the metropolitan area, The Morris Nanton Trio performed for over 50 years; 53 of those years together with bassist extraordinaire, Norman Edge. They completed an unprecedented 22-year stand at the Cove in Roselle, where such jazz greats as Rashan Roland Kirk, Don Elliott, Sal Nestico, Babs Gonzalez, and Joe Morello shared the spotlight with the group. They have performed at numerous jazz festivals and universities, sharing the stage with the Count Basie Orchestra and Tito Puente. They have accompanied vocalists Jack Jones, Mel Torme, Nel Carter, and Barbara Streisand, to name a few. Their recordings include "Flower Drum Song," "Roberta," and "The First Jazz Piano Trio" on the Warner Bros. label; "Ray Ellis Orchestra and Chorus," "Big Big Voice of Lovelace Watkins" on the MGM label, and "Something We've Got," "Preface," and "Soul Fingers" on the Prestige label. Their most recent recording on CD is "A Christmas Present." They have performed privately for Walter Cronkite, Eileen Ford, Architect Robert Moses, The New York Giants, and the Los Angeles engagement party and New York wedding of Marvin Hamlisch. Their recording of "Ja Da" was the first music to be heard on outer space, as the recording came over Apollo's radio during the first orbit around the Earth. Morris Nanton was inducted into the Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame in March 2001, "as one of the School's most illustrious graduates and acknowledges his exemplary history of service, leadership and many meritorious accomplishments." The New York Times covered the Trio's performance at Shanghai Jazz in May 2008, showering their performance with accolades in an article entitled, "Jazz Survivors." The Morris Nanton Trio has been performing at Shanghai Jazz in Madison up to and as recently as September 2009, and as a soloist at the Quay in Sea Bright on Sundays. Morris' last performance was Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009, the day before his 80th birthday. He was predeceased by his parents, Edward and Elsie, and beloved sister-in-law, Ena. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Lisa Nanton; sons, Seth and Jesse Nanton; brother LeRoy Nanton; nephews, Dennis and Hugh, and niece, Lori Nanton Harris, and their families.  Morris mentored and taught several of the musicians who play in the Consortium's jam sessions.

                ~ Wanda Maximilien - 1946 - 2009 ~

On December 20, 2009, Wanda "Maxe Millary" Maximilien, age 63, passed on after a battle with cancer.  Formerly of Bucks County, PA, Maxe was a music professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ for many years.  A graduate of Julliard School of Music as well as a classmate of Marvin Hamlisch, Maxe taught and influenced many musicians active in the Tri-State Area, including Noah Baerman, Jim Jasion and John Harrity, among others associated directly or indirectly with the Somerset Jazz Consortium.  A lover of all kinds of music, Maxe opened the eyes of many people to the beauty of music and performance art and the human spirit in general.  Her presentation of music played on period instruments in conjunction with the Mason Gross Theatre Arts Dept will always be remembered fondly.  Survivors include her parents, Rhea and Maurice; sisters Gladys Laguerre, Carol Montas and Regine; and her brother, Leslie.

                           ~ Charlie Russonello - 1951 - 2011 ~
On Friday, September 9, 2011, Our Sunday House Band Co-Drummer and Conguero Charlie Russonello passed away after a short, but unexpected and untilmely illness.  Charlie was one of the old guard, onboard with our jam sessions from the wild and woody days at the Sanctuary Coffeehouse in Somerville.  Previously to that, Charlie had been involved in many bands and many styles of music but mostly Jazz.  A "Jazz Club Kid" of the 1970's and 1980's, Charlie had seen and heard many of the greats play during the course of his many musical expeditions into The Village.  A successful businessman, Charlie has over the years built Capitol Signs into a force to be reckened with in the commercial sign industry in New York City.  Charlie was also an avid sportsman, particularly when it came to water, enjoying such activities as white-water tubing and kayaking.  A member of the 'Brain Trust' of the Consortium, Charlie's advice was always on-the-mark.  His enthusisam and commitment to Jazz was to the end, unstinting.  Survivors include his mother, his wife Jing, nephew Gio and a very large group of other cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces.  He will be missed greatly. 

                             ~ Leo Gayten - 1950 - 2013 ~

On Thursday, January 3, 2013, highly regarded musical associate and drummer Leopoldo J. Gayten made his transition to a higher level.  He lived for music, and played percussion in the band Snow and the Jazz ensemble New World Order, which he founded and led.  Leo was a natural-born teacher and mentor and he derived great joy in being helpful to those who sought his help and guidance.  His first passion in life was his children. He got great enjoyment out of coaching little league games, attending orchestra performances and dance recitals and any activities his children were involved in. Additionally, Leo was a Kung-Fu instructor for many years.  He was very knowledgeable and loved to educate himself in all genres of life and Spirit including the Kabbalah and its profound mysical truths.  He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Phoenix, and as a telecommications worker, was heavily involved in the 9/11 clean-up.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend his viewing on Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:50am at Holy Spirit Church, Sharon Hill followed by his Funeral Mass at 11:00am. Interment SS Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield.  Leo's entry into Glory leaves a painful void among all of us left behind.

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