Jazz band spreads the love

By Tammara Fogle | November 1, 2021

When the Heartland Jazz Band played back-to-back shows in Wichita last month, one member flew in from Florida and another did the same from Texas to take part.

Considering that members don’t get paid, that’s a pretty good indication of how much they love the music.

“This group likes to play fun music,” said Dennis Schmidt, the band’s tuba player. “We like to share it with folks, bring some joy into their lives.” 

Heartland specializes in Dixieland or traditional jazz such as “When The Saints Go Marching In” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”  

Schmidt put the group together about a year ago but like most members, he’s been playing music nearly all his life. Members range in age from 92 (banjo) to 61 (drums).

Band members are hoping to play more shows this fall and winter, adding Christmas songs to their set list as the holidays approach. Groups who are interested in scheduling them should contact Schmidt at (316) 263-5555.

“We don’t want money,” Schmidt said. “We did get a nice donation from Wesley Friends which we donated to a charity. We just want to spread fun for people.”

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