David “Knife” Fabris
Mudsole is emerging as an extremely energetic and highly characteristic team, finely tuned to cater to an audience’s imagination and to bringing out their high spirits.
New Orleans Jazz, one of America’s original musics, is being rediscovered in modern times. People are finding that vibrant energy and upbeat enthusiasm of “Dixieland” are as irresistible as ever; it never fails to get a smile out of even the most modest of participants.
Dave Fabris (banjo, guitar, vocals) formed the band in the early 1990s with a few New England Conservatory classmates. They busked on the streets from Boston to New Orleans and were featured on an Entertainment Tonight national TV broadcast from Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The band used that tape to secure performances at both of President Clinton’s inaugurals.
Mr. Fabris moved to New Rochelle in 2015 and has reformed Mudsole to the delight of their new audiences in Westchester. The band began playing a Mardi Gras party on behalf of Habitat for Humanity Westchester in 2016 (now an annual event) and has not looked back!
Fabris has enlisted his local friends to augment the sound of the band:
Jim Ballentine (bass, vocals) is a member of two Westchester based bands - the Shovel Ready String Band and the Flying Fingers Jug Band - playing roots, blues and jazz. He also hosts a monthly acoustic jam at the Green Growler in Croton, NY.
Rafael Castillo-Halvorssen (trumpet, vocals) just graduated with distinction from the New School as a jazz major. His instructors included Reggie Workman, John McNeil, and Lew Soloff.
Drummer, Rudy Feinauer, played with Fabris from the early days in Boston and returned to his native Westchester playing for the renowned Springsteen tribute band, Tramps Like Us.
Jennifer Griffith (piano, vocals) is a New Rochelle neighbor of Fabris’ and sings jazz at NYC venues and is featured vocalist on reedman Steve Elson’s cd, Mott and Broome. Griffith is also an award winning composer and lecturer on the great jazz bassist, Charles Mingus.