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History of The Millionaires

Over 85 of the best Detroit-area musicians have played with The Millionaires...from 1999 to present.

The Magnificent Seven (1998-1999)

Back in 1998, this band debuted as "The Magnificent Seven with Special Guest Garfield". Original members included:

  • Bob Conner, bass
  • Doug Deming, guitar, vocals
  • Don Gruendler, Jr., drums
  • Mark Kieme, tenor saxophone
  • Mark LoDuca, piano and organ
  • James O'Donnell, trumpet
  • Roy Wachtel, baritone saxophone
  • Garfield, vocals

Jump Blues and Swing

The Magnificent Seven was a Detroit based Jump Blues and Swing band, formed in 1998 by leader Bob Conner. Their post-Swing Era style included favorites from the books of T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, Lionel Hampton and Louis Prima.

The Magnificent Seven earned a spot on the 1998 Ford Montreaux-Detroit Jazz Festival.

The Magnificent Seven - Event Flyer

The Early Years

In the summer of 1991 a musical tribute to R&B legend Louis Jordan was performed at the legendary Sully's Tavern in Dearborn, Michigan by a special edition of Detroit's "Sun Messengers" band. Based on the success of those shows, guitarist Paul Carey developed his “Blues Disciples" Jump Blues band and held forth for several years on Detroit's east side at Mahoney’s Lounge.

At the conclusion of the "Blues Disciples" run, in September of 1996 informal rehearsals including guitarist Doug Deming, drummer Donny Gruendler Jr., pianist Mark LoDuca Sr., trumpeters Kurt Beguhn and James O'Donnell, along with several others served as the beginnings of a new band eventually known as "The Magnificent Seven"

The Early Years
Doug Deming, Bob Conner, James O'Donnell, Mark Kieme, Darryl Winsman, Roy Wachtel
Photo credit - © 1998 Ed Schenk

"Keep A Dollar In Your Pocket" - The Debut Recording

"...their repertoire digs deep into the genre, as a read-through of the titles will attest. They take a swing at Roy Milton, Buddy Johnson and T-Bone Walker classics as well as contemporary material from the Stray Cats and Detroit pianist Bill Heid. (Bob) Conner, the man with the reet pleat and steady beat, has done it right."

- Jim Gallert / Detroit / March, 2000

Original Members of The Millionaires

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Bob Conner
Leader, Bass
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Andy Wickstrom
Trumpet
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Don Gruendler, Jr.
Drums
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Doug Deming
Guitar, Vocals
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Garfield
Vocals
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Larry Lamb
Tenor Sax, Clarinet
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Mark LoDuca
Piano, Vocals
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Roy Wachtel
Baritone Sax

Keep a Dollar In Your Pocket - Artwork by Chris Lena

The Millionaires - Complete Roster

Some of the best musicians around have played with The Millionaires over the past 20+ years. In fact, the number is 87...and counting!

($) charter member    (c) active roster
Last Update 5/29/17

VOCALS

  • Garfield Angove ($)
  • Dan Devins (c)
  • Camille Price (c)
  • Leonard King Jr. (c)

PIANO

  • Mark LoDuca ($) (c)
  • Bill Heid
  • Tim Brockett
  • Duncan McMillan
  • Chris Codish
  • Dave Gadd

BASS

  • Bob Conner ($) (c)
  • Hubie Crawford
  • Don Turner
  • Shannon Wade

TENOR SAX / CLARINET

  • Steve Wood (c)
  • Darryl Winsman
  • Larry Lamb
  • Keith Kaminski
  • "Showtime" Johnny Evans
  • Russ MIller
  • Robert Reeves
  • Nick Palise
  • Bobby Barnes
  • Jim Wyse
  • Ben Jansson
  • Mark Kieme
  • Len Temellini
  • Brian Romeo
  • James Hughes
  • Pete Kahn
  • Carl Cafagna
  • Doug Horn
  • Dave Bennett

BARITONE SAX

  • Roy Wachtel ($)
  • Mark Berger (c)
  • Steve Wood
  • Keith Kaminski
  • Paul Onachuk
  • Bobby Streng
  • Ernie Rodgers
  • Rob Mosher
  • Joe O'Mara
  • Andrew Nichols
  • Jim Wilpula
  • Joshua James
  • Cornelius "Ju-Ju" Johnson

GUITAR

  • Doug Deming ($)
  • Johnny Bassett
  • Kenny Parker
  • Paul Carey
  • Steve Nardella
  • Andy Perri
  • Evan Perri
  • George Bedard
  • Brett Lucas
  • Ron English (c)
  • Rick Matle
  • Jim McCarty
  • Tim Brockett
  • Jacob Schwandt

DRUMS

  • Don Gruendler Jr. ($)
  • Dave Marcaccio (c)
  • Joe Chila
  • Julian Van Slyke
  • Skeeto Valdez
  • Bill Higgins
  • Ted "Bear" Smith
  • Pete Berg
  • Honesto Villasurda
  • Vinnie Scalabrino
  • Chuck Golemba
  • Paul Sikorsky
  • Steve Tocco

TRUMPET

  • James O’Donnell ($)
  • Andy Wickstrom (c)
  • Kurt Beguhn
  • Bob Mojica
  • Leo Rea
  • Kevin Chreston
  • Paul Finkbeiner
  • Mark Byerly
  • Don Swindell
  • Jon-Paul Frappier
  • Dave Musczinski
  • Brandon Cooper
  • Luther Bird

TROMBONE

  • Davey "Bones" Lazar (c)
  • John "T-Bone" Paxton
  • Ron Kischuk
  • Anthony Buccilli
  • Matt Martinez

CONGA / BONGO / PERCUSSION

  • John Slitti (c)
($) charter member    (c) active roster
Last Update 5/29/17

The Millionaires - Early Event Flyers, News Clips

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Event Flyers - The Millionaires

The Millionaires logo

used from 2009 - June 2017