ABOUT FIRECRACKER JAZZ BAND

With jubilant vigor that spills from the stage to the streets, FIRECRACKER JAZZ BAND revitalizes the energy of the roots of Jazz. In paying homage to the pioneers of early 20th Century Jazz, including that of Dixieland and New Orleans, the Firecracker Jazz Band carries the torch that was once lit by such greats as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong & Bix Beiderbecke.

Je Widenhouse JE WIDENHOUSE (trumpet, cornet) has been traveling the world and playing professionally for 15 years. Previous projects include Squirrel Nut Zippers, Sex Police, and Hobex. This ensemble is especially rewarding and challenging, and Je has endeavored to accept Jazz as his personal savior.
Earl Sachais EARL SACHAIS (trombone) is a former music instructor and New York City hired gun for the performing ensembles such as Warren Covington and the Tommy Dorsey Band. He has backed Barbara Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr, and many others. Earl has a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
AJF Headshot FJBAJF-Headshot-FJB-sm ANDREW J. FLETCHER (piano) Playing a high energy style of stride piano loaded with generous dashes of Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller and early Earl Hines with a lethal dash of Jerry Lee Lewis on top, Fletcher keeps the raucous dance hall tradition of jazz vividly alive. Performing professionally since 2009, he embodies the tradition of jazz that aims to give attentive listeners an earful while giving dancers plenty to work with too. Mentored for many years by founding Firecracker Jazz Band member Reese Gray, Fletcher is now cutting his own path through the music world anywhere he can find a piano. He has recorded with Americana star Pokey LaFarge and routinely brings his trademark style to other groups across the country.
jason-krekel-931x1024 JASON KREKEL (guitar, banjo, fiddle, slide whistle) is a multi-instrumentalist and original member of the band from 2003. After an absence of a several years, Krekel is back in the band.
Craig Sandberg CRAIG SANDBERG (upright bass) got his start singing himself to sleep around the age of 3. Formal music training began with the piano at age 5, violin at 7, voice lessons at 8, and guitar/bass guitar at 10. At the age of 19, he joined a band that required he learned the upright bass. He immediately fell in love with the instrument and never looked back. Craig attended the University of Minnesota, Morris as a composition and theatre major, and moved to Asheville shortly after college.

Notable Performances by the FIRECRACKER JAZZ BAND include Bonnaroo 2007, Highline Ballroom in NYC, Sacramento Jazz Fest, Seaside Dixie Jazz Fest in Oregon, Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh, Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, OH, Redwood Coast Jazz Festival in Eureka, CA, Hot Steamed Jazz Festival in Essex, CT, Orange County Jazz Festival in Orange County, CA, Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival in Davenport, IA. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts Millennium Stage in Washington, DC.