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Boilermaker Jazz Band

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Biography

The word "Boilermaker" dates back to the early 20th century when it was used to describe either a handsome, virile ladies' man or any species of potent, alcoholic liquor. The term has since been commonly associated with a bartender's concoction created by dropping a shot glass filled with whiskey into a mug of beer. (A particularly devilish variation upon this recipe is the Irish Car Bomb: a mingled shot of Bailey's and Bushmill's tossed into a pint of Guinness). While the possibility exists that it also gathered inspiration from coal furnaces and steam locomotives, the Boilermaker Jazz Band almost certainly got its name from the shot-in-the-beer combination. Formed in 1988 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, this traditional jazz and swing band patterns itself after old-fashioned ensembles led by Bunk Johnson, Kid Rena, George Lewis, Jim Robinson, Natty Dominique, Wooden Joe Nicholas, Kid Thomas, Sweet Emma Barrett, Percy and Willie Humphrey and Narvin Kimball. Comparisons could also be made with Art Hodes and Albert Nicholas & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The Boilermakers have a family front line in trumpeter Andrew Cosentino, trombonist Jay Cosentino and Albert system clarinetist Paul Cosentino, who is the founder and leader of the band. Much of the group's propulsion is audibly traceable to the steady efforts of banjoist Dan Davisson and string bassist Ernest McCarty, with either Nelson Harrison or Mark "Baron Tomcat" Kotision at the piano, tuba wrestler Gerry Gagnon, and either Tomio Inomata or Rich Strong behind the drums. Vocals, when not generated by members of the band, are attributed to Jennie Luvv. Between 1995 and 2007, the Boilermakers released nine albums while performing extensively in Pennsylvania, throughout New England, and on the West Coast; they also toured through Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, and Switzerland.

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