Don Ingle

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This Midwest brass player is the son of Red Ingle, a clarinetist and comic who was definitely one of the wacky bandleader Spike Jones' right hand men. Don Ingle strongly recalls that his father left the…
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This Midwest brass player is the son of Red Ingle, a clarinetist and comic who was definitely one of the wacky bandleader Spike Jones' right hand men. Don Ingle strongly recalls that his father left the Jones band because of a not so comical disagreement about finances, and the son himself has also left behind any interest he might have had in musical shenanigans of the Jones variety, preferring a career in the exciting, but much more normal, world of straight jazz. He worked with the famous Chicago drummer Barrett Deems in the '60s as a member of the group Frank Assunto and the Dukes. One of his main projects in the '90s was the Michigan Nighthawks, a combo that has appeared at festivals and jazz clubs around the Midwest. The group had a house gig at Savory Street in Grand Rapids, MI. The Nighthawks naturally have no trouble staying awake the long hours required in a studio to produce three albums. Much of the band's repertoire is focused on the work of classic trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke, another of the musical legends papa Ingle worked with in various Goldkette units in Detroit, including the band lineup that recorded classic sides for Victor. Needless to say, Ingle had definitely grown up among musicians thanks to his dad. When it came to Bix Beiderbecke, the son had first just heard the legends. Since his father was a clarinetist, Ingle had also started out his musical career attempting to master the difficult licorice stick. All that changed when his dad played him a recording of Beiderbecke's tune "Clementine," an experience he recalled as electrifying. He threw the clarinet aside and acquired a cornet. It was a smart move and the junior Ingle has been able to support himself mostly as a jazz player and educator through the years. He also follows the always-fascinating subject of Bix Beiderbecke, not only in his band projects such as the Sons of Bix Jazz Band, but on various Beiderbecke Internet websites and chat rooms. The PBS television production entitled Bix Lives featured a segment on the Michigan Nighthawks, and the group has also been included on three Heritage Jazz videos. Other members of this group are Jerry Paauwe (trombone, clarinet, mellophone, and vocals), Steve Templeton (drums), Ralph Wells (bass and tuba), Ken Huisman (clarinet, alto and baritone saxophone), and Ann Lowry (piano and vocals).