Charlotte County Big Band

Band Members

John A. Johnson

Director/ Owner of Charlotte County Big Band, Inc.

String bass, bass trombone, and tuba, originally from Charleston, IL, M S In Edu. from Eastern Illinois University, taught 42 years, charter member of the Kishwaukee College faculty, performed with Holiday On Ice, George Burns, Bill Cosby, Kathy Lee Gifford, and Abbey Lane, co-founder of Hope Academy of Music, serves on CCJS Board of Directors.

Fred Capitelli

Lead Tenor and Vocalist

Originally from “Little Italy” NYC, leader of INGROOV BIG BAND, head of Jazz Mass at Hope Lutheran Church, head of Charlotte County Jazz Society monthly jazz jams, studied at Brooklyn Academy of Music and Art, served in the 2nd Infantry Division Korea 1952-54, musical director for GI Variety Show touring Okinawa, Japan, and Korea. Major venues include NY, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, and the Bob Newhart Show, instructor and member of Board of Hope Academy of Music.

Chris Brown

Emcee/ Vocalist

Originally from Canada, taught high school and middle school chorus, toured with Billy Eckstine and the USO tour of military bases, night club singer in Toronto, international club dates in North and South America. Serves as treasurer of the Charlotte County Jazz Society.

Julio Guerra

Lead Alto Saxophone

Doubles on flute, clarinet, and tenor sax, born in Cuba, raised in NYC, BA degree in music theory and composition, Masters in guidance, currently employed full time as a school counselor in the Charlotte County School District, performed with Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, the Drifters, the Platters, Little Anthony, Otis Rush, written radio and TV commercials plus school bands and jazz.

Buz Terry (Dr. Ennis Bisbano)

Solo Trumpet

Serves as Chairman of the Board of Hope Academy of Music, Vice-President of Charlotte County Jazz Society, retired Superintendent of Schools in Rhode Island, performed with Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Della Reese, Al Martino, Johnny Nash, Jerry Vale, the Four Lads, Gerry Mulligan, Buddy Rich, George Shearing, Carmen McRae, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Phil Polson

Lead Trombone and Featured Soloist

Originally from Long Island, NY, BM from University of Miami, MS degree from Florida International University, taught many years in Miami as high school band director, performs locally with the Sarasota Jazz Project and Savory Swing Band.

Wanda Carter

Alto Saxophonist and Featured Soloist

Originally from East Detroit, MI, Masters degree, served as high school guidance counselor, taught art at centers in Punta Gorda, North Port, and Englewood, best known for portraits in pastels, held one women art show in 2003, member of the women’s Hall of Fame in Lansing, MI, plays lead alto sax with INGROOV BIG BAND.

Jennifer Scheimser


Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Master of Music degree from Kent State University, taught music in public schools and college, performed with INGROOV Big Band, North Port Concert Band, North Port Orchestra, Sigmund Romberg Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, and Tamiam Brass Quintet.

Dennis Johnson

Lead Trumpet

Originally from Astoria, Oregon, graduated from University of Cincinnati with a bachelors in business, owned and operated his own business, supply officer for Navy performed in Tamiami Brass Quintet, INGROOV BIG BAND, Sophisticated Swing Big Band and the Charlotte County Concert Band.

Jim Campbell

Bass Trombone

Originally from Pennsylvania, retired engineer, performed in numerous band in Pennsylvania, performs locally with Royal Aires and INGROOV BIG BAND.

Jay Havilin

Bass Guitar

Professional string bassist and teacher from Fort Myers.

Dave Edwards

Bari Sax,Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tuba, and String Bass

Dave can play all saxophones. He is the owner/operator of the Music Stand Store in Port Charlotte. Dave performs regularly with North Port Concert Band on alto sax, North Port Symphony on string bass, Charlotte County Concert Band on percussion.

Jamie Marshall


Music teacher, plays regularly with Sarasota Jazz Project and Jerry White Big Band

Tyler Farnsworth


attends Charlotte High School, active in band program

Mike Parmelee


Graduate of North Texas State University in Jazz performance, plays all the saxophones, piano, and flute, serves as Charlotte County Jazz Society concert contractor and Jazz Jam Session leader, performs in many Southwests Florida Jazz combos

Aaron Lucas


Retired thoracic surgeon, from Louisville, KY, performs in several Jazz combos, Ingroov Big Band

Shannon Underwood

Tenor Sax

Instruments played: piano, violin, cello, oboe, English horn, flute, clarinet; soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, sopranino ,soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders.

Starting with the 2004 season of the North Port Symphony I have performed as their assistant concertmaster. In 2005 I was hired to play with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra; adding on the job of music librarian in 2007, until resigning at the end of season 2014. So, then, I began the new adventure called BAND…..first with the clarinet, then a little time later, oboe/English horn….then, adding on the saxophones….I now play violin (assistant concertmaster) with North Port Symphony, first oboe and English horn with Charlotte County Concert Band and North Port Concert Band; tenor saxophone with Charlotte County Big Band and Ingroove Big Band, recorders with the Good Company Players, (American Recorder Society) concort; and whatever woodwind instrument is needed with the Suncoast Wind Ensemble summer band.

Jared Harmon


Jared Harmon plays trumpet in the Charlotte County Big Band, student at Charlotte High School.

Bobby Ryan


Bobby Ryan plays drums in the Charlotte County Big Band, teaches percussion for Hope Academy of Music, plays in a number of local musical organizations.