My Town My Music’s Local Artist Spotlight
We’re shining our next Local Artist Spotlight on John Sievers, leader and trombone man of the jazz group The D’Sievers. He also plays in several other local groups, including a brass quintet called Brass Etc., a big band called Swing Street, the John Paulson Big Band, and rock cover band After School Special.
Occasionally, John can be found dropping in on other groups, such as reggae band Push and Turn or the Americana band Jagged Ease. He is also a freelance musician and has been hired to play for groups like Martha [Reeves] & The Vandellas and The Buckinghams. John loves recording with local musicians, and you can hear his trombone on tracks from The Shift, Root River Jam, Thomas and The Shakes, and Jailhouse Payback.
If that isn’t enough to make your head spin, John also frequently writes about local music events for 507 Magazine and hosts Jazz Jam, an open mic at Forager Brewery, every fourth Sunday of the month.
Music is a central part of John’s life. His childhood home was a sort of musical menagerie, making room for two pianos, a minimum of four guitars, assorted brass instruments, with a stray dulcimer or bodhran sprinkled in for kicks.
In junior high band, John’s future wife Beth caught his eye, and he hasn’t looked back since. He started playing with a local big band called the Quad City Kix Orchestra in junior high and had some of his very first paying gigs aboard riverboat casinos. In high school, he played in the horn section of a rock band called Ryan and the Tonsilsnails. He spent his college years at the University of Northern Iowa, where he studied music education and recorded two CDs with UNI’s Jazz I. It’s through his musical journey that John has met the most interesting people in his life, and for that he is grateful.
John is well-known and -loved in our city. He is a huge champion for community arts, music, and business. He has a kind, giving heart and an open mind. His local t-shirt project on social media has become one of our favorite daily posts. Rochester is incredibly fortunate to have him as an advocate for local awesomeness.
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