The Seajamz 7 band was born on the shores of Lake Erie — more specifically at The Baithouse River Bar on the banks of the Portage River in Port Clinton.
“A couple of us had just returned from a jazz rehearsal at Terra State Community College, and we were enjoying a relaxing beverage at the Port Clinton Yacht Club. Our friend, Don Clemons, proprietor of The Baithouse River Bar, happened to be at hand,” said trombone player Duane Waite of Port Clinton. “When we asked Don about the possibility of bringing in some jazz on Sunday afternoons, he immediately responded with “sounds good, what’s the name of your band?”
The musicians didn’t have a band! They told Clemons they’d get back to him on that. They figured they could put some musician friends together with four horns and a rhythm section, so seven players made sense.
Their name comes from a combination of being born by the sea (Lake Erie) and their love for jamming and jazz.
Hence, Seajamz 7.
Seajamz 7 is made Jeremy Sneath, tenor sax, Port Clinton; John Calhoun, alto sax, Fremont; Tim Ellenberger, trumpet, Fremont; Duane Waite trombone from Port Clinton; Tracy Behrman, keyboard and vocals, Wauseon; Lonnie Shuey, drums, Fremont; and Kris Bert, bass, from Norwalk.
It might not be coincidental that their name rhymes with an iconic adult beverage that future band members might have been exposed to at the time of their inception. They’ve evolved into a group that likes to play a variety of styles and genres including jazz, rock, R&B and blues. Performance dates, locations, and booking information is available online at seajamz.com.