The original elements of the band started up in 1990 when Joe Masters decided to pull together local musicians to play traditional jazz. Over the initial few years it more resembled a pick-up band as numerous musicians rotated from  gig-to-gig  through its ranks.  The mix usually added a second banjo and a vocalist.  In the early days they were known as The Classic Jazz Ensemble.  By 1995, however, a core group of players emerged - three of whom continue to the present day:  Phil (piano), Steve (clarinet), and Richard (drums).




Fred Shaw (vocalist), Joe Masters (leader), Bob Gauguin,  Phil, Larry Baxter,  Steve, and Pierre LeMieux


Soon the band developed a musical style of its own and gained a reputation for quality of play and a bandstand humor (schtick) that audiences found quite amusing.  The name was upgraded to The Riverboat Stompers, as it was thought this better communicated the lively nature of the band’s repertoire.  Appearances followed at such venues as the Regatta Bar, WBZ radio talk show hosted by Dave Maynard, Quincy Market, WGBH radio jazz show hosted by Ron della Chiesa, Ryles Jazz Club, and repeat invitations to do summer concerts at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate.  The band has since further evolved and continues to please audiences across New England at public and private events. 


Pierre, Dave Maynard (radio host), Larry, Steve, Joe Masters, Alan Engborg, and Bob Gaughin.


Jimmy Mazzy - banjo, vocals

Jimmy is one of the best-known tenor banjo players in the country and has a following internationally as well. His virtuoso musicianship and unique singing style makes him a popular addition to the Riverboat Stompers. Jimmy is a 2019 inductee into the American Banjo Museum’s Hall of Fame and one of a limited number of honorees coming from the traditional jazz musical style.

Steve Straus - clarinet, soprano sax, vocals (Musical Director)

A retired dentist, Steve has a long-term dedication to music having majored in music in college. He has played reeds professionally and semi-professionally ever since . In addition to the Stompers, Steve plays, directs, and arranges for the "Generations Saxophone Quartet", and plays with the "Southeastern Massachusetts Wind Symphony" and the "Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra".

Frank Batchelor - trombone . . . (Business Mgr.)

Frank's musical interest is in both improvisational Dixieland music and Big Band style music. A band member now for a decade, Frank additionally performs with the Westwood Swing Band. As business manager, Frank is the one to contact to arrange performance dates for the Riverboat Stompers.

Neil Flewelling - cornet, vocals

Neil has the ability to get people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor with his lively and infectious play. A career musician, Neil started out playing with US Army dance bands while stationed in Europe. Subsequently he has toured the world with a variety of swing bands as a sideman on trumpet/cornet. In New England he is well established as a top-tier player in the Dixieland style as well as often appearing with jazz combo's.

Phil Hower - piano

Phil's heroes are the great stride pianists of the 1920's and '30's, and he does his utmost to emulate their technique and style. His strongly rhythmic left hand has enabled Phil to be continuously on the roster of trad jazz groups since his college days. Professionally, Phil has been a semiconductor device engineer.

Stu Gunn - tuba

Perhaps the most serious musician among us, Stu holds a degree from Boston Conservatory and is a long-standing member of the Cape Cod Symphony. In addition to his prowess in playing tubas, both large and small, Stu commands the string base when circumstances call for "swing". Stu is a veteran of various, now-defunct trad bands that were highly popular in their heyday.

Richard Malcolm - drums

Richard is the Audio/Visual Director of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee as well as a graduate of this Conservatory. His musical interests are ever-so diverse, playing musical styles that include Dixieland, blues, Brazilian, Broadway, country, and jazz. Much in demand, Richard drums with too many bands to count. His talented play has enabled him to go on tours across Europe, Asia, and North America.

Dave MacMillan - banjo, vocals (alternate)

Dave has long been associated with the band both on banjo and as a vocalist. He also is a major contributor to the amusing banter that goes on between songs. Dave can periodically be found "busking" underground at Boston's subway stations or on busy street corners.

Mike Hashem - banjo, vocals (alternate)

Mike performs on banjo around much of New England, sometimes as a one-man show, at gatherings and fairs. He brings his infectious personality to vocals, and keeps the band always entertaining.

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Frank Batchelor




Steve Straus




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