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Jazz in June


Steve Dokken: 20 Years at Second
Jazz in June

By Steve Dokken, Bass Player in the 2PC Jazz Ensemble

I started performing at Second Presbyterian over twenty years ago with Jack [Gilfoy], Marvin [Chandler] and me. Today, the ensemble includes Erin Benedict, Gary Walters and Chris Pyle.

I grew up in Minneapolis and moved to Indianapolis around 1975. Some of my earlier gigs were playing in a Polka Band when I was in 9th grade. That proved to be helpful years later when performing with Myron Floren of the Lawrence Welk Show. When he saw that I was in the band, he would say “Let’s play some Polkas, start in G.” He knew I would know the songs with my background. While in high school, I started to work at several theatres around Minneapolis playing musicals, the last one being Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.

After moving to Indy in 1975, I eventually met Jack Gilfoy. That led to us starting the Naptown Afro Jazz Quintet. Marvin Chandler would later join the group, and we played hundreds of performances for Indiana school kids for many years. Jack then gave my name to Henry Mancini for some upcoming gigs. That turned into 15 years of working with Hank around the country!

After coming to Indiana, I keep busy doing a lot of recording sessions for different publishing companies and Broadway musicals that come through town. I also play with Direct Contact and Projecto 54 performing Latin Jazz and Salsa music.

Today my days off are spent hanging out with my grandchildren. The oldest one Lorelai (10) does some singing on recordings I’ve done.

One of my earliest memories of playing at Second Presbyterian was when Jack, Marvin and me played “On The Sunny Side of The Street”, and Pastor Enright starting his sermon singing the last phrase of that song!

We welcome the 2PC Jazz Ensemble in worship services again for “Jazz in June” on Sunday, June 23 with services at 9:30 and 11 a.m.