Jennifer May
(bass)

Jennie Jones
(alto sax, vocals)

Claudia Andreas
(keys, vocals)

Peggy Scalzo
(drums)

Marcia Tichy
(alto sax)

Maggie Roston
(tenor sax)

Sheryl Rohr
(tenor sax)

Susan Fimbel
(baritone sax)

Teresa Leone
(trombone)

Karen Smith
(trombone)

Jillian Arnone
(trombone)

Jennifer Broome
(trombone)

Julie Winden
(trumpet)

Kristina Bordeleau
(trumpet)

Carol Svensen
(trumpet)

Stacey Nicastro
(trumpet)




Jennifer May

Founder & Bassist

   Jennifer started her playing career in 1985 at the historic Colored Musicians Club in Buffalo, New York. She has played professionally with many different groups, ranging from a guitar duet to full big-bands. In 1996 she founded a 6-piece jazz ensemble, the Ladies First Sextet, which played for several years in the Buffalo area before it was reformed into the now 16-piece all-female Ladies First Big Band.

   In 1998, as a bassist for blues/rock band Barb Wired, Jennifer joined Taylor Made Jazz (TMJ), an international touring jazz R&B group. As a member of TMJ, she completed six worldwide tours performing worldwide at military bases and embassies from Iceland to Mozambique.

   Jennifer received the Night-Life Magazine "Buffalo's Best R&B Bassist" award in 1999, 2001, and 2002. She received additional recognition as a member of TMJ when they also received Night-Life Magazine awards for the "Best R&B Group" in 2001 and 2002.

   As a working jazz musician, Jennifer also feels a responsibility to educate the next generation of players in this unique American art form. To that end, Jennifer has been performing jazz concerts in the Buffalo City Schools for over 20 years and currently works through Young Audiences of WNY, part of a national organization providing educational arts and music in schools.



Jennie Jones

1st Alto Sax & Vocals

   Besides her duties as musical director for Ladies First, Jennie has been associated with the Macy Favor Big Band, the Deutschlanders German Band, and was a founding member of the Buffalo Saxophone Quartet. With her husband, guitarist Dennis Warne, she co-leads the group Jazzline.

   Jennie studied saxophone under reed master Dave Schiavone, and also plays the flute, clarinet, soprano, alto and tenor saxophones. Jennie is also an accomplished jazz vocalist, and fronts the Ladies First Combo.



Claudia Andres

Piano & Vocals

   Claudia received her B.M. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, and her M.M. in Piano from Arizona State University. She currently heads the Choral program at Wilson High School and serves as Music Director at the First Presbyterian Church in Youngstown, NY.

   Claudia has been performing at classical venues in the Western New York area for over twenty-five years, in addition to playing with her husband in the Jerry Andres Band. This is her first Big Band experience and it's been fantastic!



Peggy Scalzo

Drums

   Peggy, a native of Endicott, NY, has performed in several musical genres throughout upstate New York, including concert and marching bands, musical theater productions, big bands and small combos, and pop, rock, and fusion bands. In addition to her work with Ladies First, she is also drummer for the Dave Schiavone Quartet and is a member of the nationally known American Legion Band of the Tonawandas.

   Peggy keeps busy with studio work as well, having performed on many demo sessions and independent releases. She also teaches privately at her home studio.



Marcia Tichy

2nd Alto Sax

   Marcia teaches instrumental music for the City of Tonawanda School District. In addition to playing alto saxophone, she can also been seen performing on flute and tenor saxophone.



Maggie Roston

1st Tenor Sax

   Maggie started her professional career as a flutist/saxophonist, performer and teacher in Minneapolis. After graduating from the University of Minneapolis with a BA, majoring in French and minoring in Music, she left for Los Angeles. While there, she was a regular performer for The LA Actors Theater, The Hollywood Orchestra, Maiden Voyage (an all-woman big-band), Passion and many other ensembles. She later moved to Santa Barbara, where she joined The Civic Light Opera, as well as forming her own Latin/Fusion jazz quartet.

   Later moving to France, Maggie continued with her own quartet as well as joining Comparsa and playing in l'Orchestre d'Aquitaine (Big Band). She also taught flute, saxophone and jazz workshops at the leading jazz school, le CIAM. Before returning stateside, Maggie toured with various Reggae, Jazz and Creole groups.

   Back in Minneapolis, she could be found playing woodwinds for the Minnesota Children's Theater and the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, in addition to playing in R&B Bands and Latin groups, at venues such as The Guthrie Theater and Orchestra Hall. Newly arrived in Buffalo, Maggie continues to freelance and teach in addition to joining the Ladies First.


To email Maggie...



Sheryl Rohr

2nd Tenor Sax

   Sheryl is a new addition to The Ladies First Big Band



Susan Fimbel

Baritone Sax

   Susan is a 2008 graduate from Akron Central School. She was a member of the Girl Scout Jazz Combo in 2007 and joined the Ladies First Big Band the following fall.



Teresa Leone

3rd Trombone

   Teresa is currently a senior Music Education major at Buffalo State College, with concentrations in piano and trombone. At Buffalo State, Teresa is a member of the Wind Ensemble,Jazz Ensemble, Philharmonia Orchestra and Trombone Choir.

   Additionally, Teresa gives private lessons on piano, and hopes to complete a Master's Degree in Trombone Performance after graduation



Karen Smith

4th Trombone

   Karen is a new addition to The Ladies First Big Band

   



Jillian Arnone

3rd Trombone

   Jillian Arnone is a student at Niagara-Wheatfield High School. She has been involved with music since 2007 and continues to play every day. She began playing guitar in 2007, moved on to euphonium in 2009, and then in 2010 to trombone when she was invited to play in the school’s jazz band.

   Jillian is in the symphonic and jazz bands at school, in addition to Dick Griffo’s Jazz Workshop outside of school. For the last three years, Jillian has been a member of the NCMEA All-County Music Festivals for both jazz and classical bands. Jillian was invited and accepted entrance to the Ladies First Jazz Big Band in 2014.



Karen Smith

4th Trombone

   Karen is a new addition to The Ladies First Big Band

   



Julie Winden

1st Trumpet

   After high school, Julie performed with the Niagara County Community College Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, and then took a break from musical performance to focus on a teaching career. Julie earned her B.S. from Niagara University and an Ed.M. from the University at Buffalo. She currently teaches biology and chemistry at Niagara Wheatfield High School.

   Julie's musical interests were rekindled in 2000, when she joined the Carl Filbert Band, arranging horn section parts, playing trumpet and singing. Julie also performs with the Ladies First Combo.



Kristina Bordeleau

4th Trumpet

   Kristina teaches instrumental music in the Niagara Falls City School District. She earned her B.M. from The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, majoring in Music Education and Music Business, and her Ed.M. from the University of Buffalo.

    Kristina has studied trumpet with Phil Christner, Douglas Sturdivant, John Ellis, and Evan Champion.



Carol Svensen

3rd Trumpet

   Carol hails from Jamestown, where she is a member of the Jamestown Municipal Band. She is also a part-time faculty member at Jamestown Community College, where she performs with the concert and jazz bands.

   Carol is also an avid jazz keyboardist, and is currently musical director for the Gloria Dei Church.



Stacey Nicastro

2nd Trumpet

   Stacey owns and operates Akron Music Studios Inc, located in the village of Akron, NY. She currently teaches private lessons on trumpet, trombone, French horn and baritone.

   In addition to playing with Ladies First, Stacey can be seen performing with The Polished Brass Quintet of Rochester, NY,the Worshipping Brass Quintet, The Amherst Chamber Ensemble, and the Akron Community Band.