The George Myers 12 piece Big Band performed at the Downbeat Club on Sunday nights in Minneapolis, MN starting in 1958 and continuing regularly through the 1970’s. The Downbeat Club opened in 1958 as the Downbeat Ballroom but was advertised as the Downbeat Club in 1963. Some have also known it as the Downbeat at Lake Minnetonka.
The members of the band had careers outside the group. Bruce Paulson, a trombonist, along with a tenor sax player known as Tom Peterson, went on to join the tonight show band. Other members of the band are known to have performed with Buddy Rich. George Myers played trombone with Woody Herman briefly in the early 1960’s. Tommy Nygaard, lead trumpet, joined Myers’ band after first playing in Herman’s.
George Myers lives now in Kansas City and is a cancer survivor. He no longer performs but instead plays golf every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
More on jazz in Minneapolis can be found in Jay Goetting’s Joined at the Hip: Jazz in the Twin Cities.
Sources: interviews with George Myers; http://www.jeanneandersen.net/venues.html