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1 FEATURE - By the Fireside - album cover

By the Fireside with Dan Gabel and The Abletones

By the Fireside with Dan Gabel and The Abletones features the authentic vintage sounds of Gabel's 18-piece big band, along with the Moon Maids vocal group and special guests. The classic appeal of the big band era brings the listener back to the 1930s and 40s, sitting "By the Fireside" with family and friends. Timeless classics such as White Christmas, The Christmas Song, and Let it Snow were arranged by Gabel, along with some swinging versions of God Rest Ye, Merry Gents, Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, and even The Nutcracker Suite. With over an hour of music recorded "live" on stage using vintage tube and ribbon microphones, the album is the perfect music to share with loved ones this holiday season, "by the fireside," in your car, or on the dance floor!

The Musicians: 

I. Reed Section

Reed 1: Bruce Krasin (Alto Sax, Clarinet, Flute, Alto Flute)

Current Town: Northampton, MA

Bio: Bruce Krasin has performed extensively in the United States, Canada and Russia as a soloist, orchestral and jazz orchestra musician. Bruce has performed in Phil Wilson’s Thursday Night Big Band, Herb Pomeroy’s Studio Orchestra, and toured New England with the noted jazz singer, Tony Bennett. He served with the United States Air Force NORAD 504th Air Force Jazz Band of the Colorado Rockies, Colorado Springs, performing extensively in North America.

With Dan Gabel: regularly with The Abletones since 2010.

Interesting Fact: When not playing music, Bruce, and wife Ludmila, can be found hiking or skiing in the mountains of Vermont.

Favorite tune on the album: When asked, Bruce replied “Man, they’re all great; I’m just sad you cut my big Oboe solo on the 5/4 jam-blues version of ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’.....” He’s also the band comedian and we love him for it!

Reed 2: John Clark (Clarinet, Alto Sax, Flute)

Hometown: Natick, MA

Current Town: Norwood, MA

Bio: Dr. John Clark is a well-known woodwind musician, bandleader, educator, musicologist, historian, and lecturer in New England and beyond. He founded the Wolverine Jazz Band in 1995, and has played many national festivals including internationally with Billy Novick's Blue Syncopators, a ballet version of The Great Gatsby. John has toured the UK with the Paramount Jazz Band of Boston, appears on over thirty CDs and DVDs.

With Dan Gabel: John has been playing regularly with Dan Gabel/The Abletones since 2011

Interesting Fact: John is an early Jazz scholar - written a book on Bessie Smith, published numerous record reviews and articles in collector's magazines and academic journals.

Any additional comments: “I want Brenda Gabel's recipe for Swedish Meatballs!”

Reed 3: Joel Lincheid (Tenor Sax, Clarinet)

Hometown: Newton, Kansas
Current Town: Roxbury, Massachusetts
Bio: Joel is currently a DMA candidate in Jazz Performance at New England Conservatory. Prior to moving to Boston, he taught at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas. Joel has also held adjunct teaching positions at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Hutchinson Community College (Kansas) and Friends University (Kansas).
From 2012 to 2013, he toured the U.S., Canada, and Japan with The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. He’s had the pleasure of performing in educational or professional settings with many notable musicians, including Dave Douglas, Bobby Watson, Dave Holland, Brad Leili, Allen Vizzutti, Wycliffe Gordon, Tanya Darby, Brad Goode, Jerry Hahn, Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis, The Temptations, and The Four Tops.

With Dan Gabel: August 2017
Interesting Fact: “I’ve been to 49 U.S. states—somebody hire me for a gig in Hawaii!”
Favorite tune on the album?: “Les Brown’s Nutcracker!”
Any additional comments: “It was a pleasure to be a part of this recording—great music and a fantastic group of musicians to play it with.”

Reed 4: Marcus Sholar (Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Bari Sax)

Hometown: Needham, MA

Current Town: Quincy, MA

Bio: Marcus is a freelance woodwind player around New England. He enjoys playing a variety of styles of music and enjoying the differences each one brings to the process of music playing as a profession. Music has afforded him the opportunity to travel to 53 territories across the world (so far!)

With Dan Gabel: “Started as a last-minute sub: a happy coincidence! Playing regularly with The Abletones since 2016.”

Interesting Fact: “After playing soccer for 10 years as a child, if I come across a soccer ball, I can still keep the ball in the air with some latent foot skills.”

Any additional comments: “I enjoyed digging into the details of this music, big band music was some of the first music I ever enjoyed listening to. The old music has a lyricism in it that I enjoy.”

Reed 5: Tyler Burchfield (Baritone Sax, Alto Sax, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Arranger)

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida

Current Town: Brooklyn, New York

Bio: As a leader: Burchfield-Vituri Project (tenor sax, clarinet, compositions), The Ward Eights (musical director, bari sax, keyboards); as a sideman/collaborator: Dingonek Street Band (bari sax), Terraza Big Band (tenor sax, bari sax), The Four Tops (tenor sax), The Temptations (tenor sax), Dan Gabel’s High Society Orchestra and Dectet (all sax chairs); as an arranger: The Ward Eights, the Abletones, Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Elise Roth and her Harvard Squares.

With Dan Gabel: Played regularly with many Gabel Music bands since 2012

Interesting Fact: “Next to music, my greatest interests are animals and food. My favorite way to combine these interests is having dinner parties with fellow animal-loving musician chefs, where we try each other’s recipes, put on great records, and play with the host’s pets.”

Any additional comments: Says ‘Burch’:I’m honored to contribute to this album both as a performer and as an arranger. Thank you to Dan for including my music in this project and thank you to everyone involved for all their hard work!”

II. Trumpet Section

1st Lead Trumpet: Don “Clutch” Clough


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2nd Split Lead Trumpet: Dan “Snow” Fleury

Hometown: Londonderry, New Hampshire

Current Town: Burlington, MA


With Dan Gabel: Playing all sorts of gigs together since 2011, plus great friends.

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3rd Jazz/Split Lead Trumpet: Adam “Hot Lips” Mejaour

Hometown: Millbury, MA

Current Town: West Boylston, MA

Bio: Adam enjoys an active freelance schedule, regularly performing in a wide variety of styles/settings. When not with the Abletones, he has recently performed with BJ Thomas, The Company Theatre, Elise Roth and her Harvard Squares, and the Quintessential Brass Quintet. When not playing trumpet, Adam teaches a private trumpet studio and is the Department manager of the repair shop at David French Music Co. By his side through the craziness of life is his lovely wife Ronni and their two cats Simba and Bagheera.

With Dan Gabel: “A great story. I first met Dan when we both were in High School when he came and played at the Millbury HS Musical in 2005. We both ended up at UMass, and we’ve been playing together regularly since 2012 in many musical settings.”

Interesting Fact: “I love to cook.”

Any additional comments: “I have a lot of respect for the hard work and dedication Dan put into this project. Being part of this project was highly enjoyable and I look forward to performing this music again in the future. Learning and recreating the Jingle Bells solo was a lot of fun! Getting that authentic vintage sound isn't always easy, but with the right team it feels natural.”

4th Jazz Trumpet: Eric Smith

Hometown: Londonderry, NH

Current Town: Waltham, MA

Bio: Trumpet player and UMass Amherst grad, Eric Smith has played with Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble, The Ward Eights, Uncle Brothers, and is leader of the STGS Quartet.

With Dan Gabel: Playing regularly with the Abletones since 2017

Interesting Fact:“While I am a musician by night, I spend my day developing software for a breathing monitor used in hospitals across the country.”

Favorite tune on the album: “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” because of the wonderful trumpet stylings of Don Fagerquist. And in stepping into his role, playing along his compatriot and original pianist Donn Trenner!

III. Trombone Section

1st Trombone: Dan Gabel (bandleader, arranger, lead trombone, tuba, vocals)

Hometown: Webster, MA

Current Town: Millbury, MA

Founded first band: 2003 with best friend/drummer Jim Gancarz for the High School talent show! The rest, as they say, is history!

Interesting Fact: When not on the bandstand, writing, or teacher, Dan can often be found chasing trains, exploring historical places, reading/researching history, studying politics, or traveling.

Favorite tune on the album: “I really enjoyed writing the “Christmas Fox Trot Medley” because I knew I wanted to create something the dancers, our dearest fans, would enjoy. I loved playing “March of the Toys” because as always, Tommy Dorsey is my hero. Hopefully that comes through on both of these titles.”

Any additional comments: “I’m particularly proud of our band’s ability to really dig into a variety of vintage styles. From our “2-beat bounce” to our flag-waivers, the orchestra really shines. We also do not copy styles, and I do believe have a unique style and sound. I am humbled and honored to have every single musician included on this incredible project.”

2nd Trombone: Craig Robbins

Hometown: Uxbridge, MA

Current Town: Westborough, MA

Bio: Berklee undergrad, MMEd - Gordon College '20. Craig is a proud middle/high school band director, freelance commercial musician in the greater New England area, and baseball umpire at all levels for over 10 years.

With Dan Gabel: Since 2010 in many musical capacities

Interesting Fact: “I have a point on my left ear, my "elf ear" as my students call it. It tends to bring me luck!”

Any additional comments: “I’m proud to be a part of the project, process, and look forward to the audiences that will listen and hopefully enjoy our sharing this music with them!”

3rd Trombone: Joe Burke

Hometown: Medway, MA

Current Town: Uxbridge, MA

Bio: Dan Gabel says: “A musician and educator for over 50 years, Joe Burke has touched countless lives through his incredible teaching, compassion, and mentorship.” Married to Joan Burke for 50 years, with three sons and eight grandchildren. Joe is currently a member of a four-piece brass ensemble Touch of Brass, a five-piece German band (tuba), fifty-piece brass ensemble, Birch Alley Brass.

With Dan Gabel: After encouraging Dan Gabel in 2003 to start his own band, joined The Abletones full time in 2010.

Interesting Fact: Founded music department at Holy Name High School. Every year membership included over 200 in the Chorus and 100 in the Band, including former students (on this album) Dan Gabel, Jim Gancarz, Steve Gagliastro, Craig Robbins, and Sarah Callinan! 

Any additional comments: “This project was been a thrill to be a part of. The music is great, but the camaraderie is something special as well. Dan sure knows how to bring all aspects together to produce an awesome product.”

Bass Trombone: Leslie Havens

Current Town: Waltham, MA

Bio: Leslie Havens is a member of the Diva Jazz Orchestra and has toured extensively around the world with Paul Anka, the Artie Shaw Orchestra and other groups. She performs regularly on bass trombone and/or tuba with the Salem Philharmonic, the Boston Brass Ensemble, the Compaq Big Band, several pit orchestras, her own groups Quintessential Brass, the Solstice Sackbuts and the TubaFrau Hofbräu Band, and other professional ensembles. Other performances include Barnum and Bailey’s Circus, Big Apple Circus, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Monarch Brass Ensemble, the Tommy Dorsey Band, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Al Martino, Lorrie Morgan, the O’Jays, Bernadette Peters, Kenny Rogers, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and others. She appears on at least 17 CDs with 8 different musical groups and has performed multiple times at such venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl and others. Leslie also teaches private brass lessons at various public schools.

With Dan Gabel: Leslie says: “Played with the Abletones for the first time in 2010 at the recording session of “Yes, Indeed” and played my first gigs with the band a couple of years later, after reminding Dan that I was on the first CD!

Interesting Fact: “When not playing music, I’m playing Frisbee with my dog in the park.”

Favorite tune on the album: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve and The Nutcracker Suite.

IV. Rhythm Section

Special Guest: Donn Trenner, piano

Hometown: New Haven, CT

Current Town: Guilford, CT

Bio: Donn Trenner is an Emmy Nominated musical director, conductor, arranger that came up in the ranks of early bebop pianists playing with the likes of Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Oscar Pettiford, Charles Mingus, and Ben Webster, appearing on over 100 jazz albums from 1950 onward. During the Big Band era he played with Ted Fio Rito, Buddy Morrow, Charlie Barnett and Tommy Dorsey. While with the Les Brown Orchestra, he worked with Bob Hope for seven years as his personal accompanist and occasional music director, participating in six of the Bob Hope International Christmas tours.

As an accompanist, he has worked with such artists as Lena Horne, Anita O’Day, Vicki Carr, Dick Haymes, Jose Feliciano, Jack Jones, Frances Faye, Nelson Riddle, Paul Broadnax, Rita Moreno, Nancy Wilson, Ann-Margret, and Shirley MacLaine.

A much sought after musical director, Donn Trenner appeared nightly on the famed “Steve Allen Show,” leading theDonn Trenner Orchestra. He was also Ann-Margret’s musical director for 18 years. He worked extensively touring with Shirley MacLaine which led to an Emmy Award nomination for music direction, arranging and conducting the television special, “Gypsy In My soul,” and in 1977, a three-hour television special from the Kennedy Center on the eve of Jimmy Carter’s Inauguration. As musical director for Nancy Wilson he conducted many International orchestras and performed in television specials for Swedish Broadcasting, German broadcasting and the BBC, and in 1978, again at the Kennedy Center, he was the musical director for the “Happy Birthday Bob” show honoring Hope’s 75th birthday. In 1996, he moved back to the East Coast where he now makes his home in Guilford, Connecticut. Weekly, you can hear him leading The Hartford Jazz Orchestra, a role he took on in 2000 upon the death of acclaimed arranger and bandleader Chic Cicchetti.

With Dan Gabel: Donn has been a guest with The Abletones several times, including on Homesick for New England (2013). Dan has played with the Hartford Jazz Orchestra, guest since 2011

Interesting Fact: “I'm interested in aviation, and have piloted my own plane.”

Any additional comments: “I am honored to be selected and very happy to be part of the project. Les Brown would be proud, Dan!”

Special Guest: Herb Gardner (piano; arranger, “God Rest Ye, Merry Gents”)

Hometown: Winchester, New Hampshire

Current Town: Norwood, MA

Bio: “I spent 50 years in New York playing with my classic jazz heroes: Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett, Roy Eldridge, Jimmy Rushing, Gene Krupa and many more. (List at Also played many years with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, Stan Rubin’s Orchestras, among many others.”

With Dan Gabel: “I think it was 2014 at least!”

Interesting Fact: “Thanks to my daughters, Abbie and Sarah I’ve become known as “Pops” in the Folk music and Americana world and play with both of their groups whenever I can.”

Favorite tune on the album: My favorite part of this recording project was getting to arrange “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” for the band. It turned out to be quite a trip!

Guitar: Bill Doyle (Rhythm Guitar and Banjo)


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String Bass: Justin Meyer

Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC

Current Town: Boston, MA

Bio: An in-demand Bassist in New England, Justin Meyer has played with Bucky Pizzarelli, The New Black Eagles, Indian Hill Symphony, Ken Peplowski, The Four Freshmen, any many others. He also leads his own swing dance band The Meyertet “featuring the trombone and weaselhorn shenanigans of Dan Gabel.”

With Dan Gabel: Regularly and in countless (timeless?) musical settings since 2011.

Interesting Fact: “I played for a short time in the Clyde Beatty/Cole Brothers Circus Orchestra, perfect preparation for my life playing in the Abletones!!”

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Any additional comments: “Recording this album was a real pleasure! Being able to stand right next to Donn Trenner and watch him in action was a truly invaluable experience. Can’t wait to re-create it live!”

Drums: Jim Gancarz (Drums, Vocals)


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Percussion: Sarah Selin “Happy” Kim

Instruments: Vibraphone, xylophone, bells, chimes, jingle-bells, triangle, wind-chimes, and of course, triangle beater on 12oz glass on “Jingle Bells” !)

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Current Town: Amherst, MA

Bio: Hailing from Seoul, South Korea, multi-percussionist and pianist Sarah (Selin) Kim is currently a student at UMass Amherst. She graduated from Holy Name High School and is a former student of Dan Gabel. Musical groups: Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra, NEC Preparatory Orchestra, UMass Amherst Symphony Orchestra.

With Dan Gabel: Since 2016!

Interesting Fact: “I am an earrings enthusiast and currently own about a 100 pairs of them. I love music, movies, and meows; and cheesecake is my absolute favorite dessert.”

Any additional comments: “This is certainly something that I have never done before. I had lots of fun recording this album and getting to know new people who were also involved in the process. Since Christmas is my favorite holiday, I enjoyed listening and playing all the tunes on the album.”

V. Vocals

Elise Roth, voice

Hometown: London, UK
Current Town: Boston, MA
Bio: “Growing up in London, I listened to the Andrews Sisters, Artie Shaw, and Helen Forrest, and never imagined that singing this kind of music could be my career one day! It's been such a treat to sing with a Big Band for the past 6 years - there's really nothing like that sound. Besides singing with the Abletones and the High Society Orchestra, I sing with a number of other Boston-based jazz groups, and also lead my own band, Elise Roth & Her Harvard Squares. In London, I'm part of a Boswell Sisters-style close harmony trio, The Shout Sisters.”
With Dan Gabel: “October 2013 - wow!”
Interesting Fact: “I'm really into birds and will try to make friends with almost every bird I meet. Usually the reason why I have snacks on me at all times.”
Any additional comments: “Excited to be on my very first Abletones album! Next year we're doing a Hanukkah one, right guys? ... guys??...”

Steve “Gags” Gagliastro, voice

Hometown: Worcester, MA

Current Town: Worcester/NYC/LA

Bio: An accomplished performer, Steve’s career has brought him across the globe from Tokyo to Beijing, Seoul to Jakarta, Hong Kong to Bangkok as well as across the US and Canada. Steve has performed with Keith Lockhart/The Boston Pops, Seth MacFarlane, James Franco, Sally Struthers, and Lea Salonga. TV: “Billions”(Showtime), “The Detour"(TBS), “The Deuce”(HBO) and in the films Ted 2, Eve and American Hustle. “Gags” holds a Bachelors of Music Education from UMass Amherst and is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors Equity.

With Dan Gabel: 2017

Interesting Fact: “I Started playing trombone under the tutelage of Joe Burke at Holy Name HS!”

Any additional comments: “It was a pleasure to work on this album, especially singing with Dan and the Moonmaids, my wife Annie being one of them.”

Annie Kerins, voice

Hometown: Sutton, MA

Current Town: Worcester, MA

Bio: Annie has performed Off-Broadway, toured nationally, and appeared onstage at The Hanover Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, New Repertory Theatre, The Majestic Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Company, Ivoryton Playhouse and the late great Foothills Theatre Company. She holds a BFA in musical theatre from The Hartt School.

With Dan Gabel: Since 2017

Interesting Fact: “This past winter, my husband and fellow vocalist, Steve Gagliastro and I drove cross-country to California for the first time. We pursued performing opportunities and recorded a few film projects while we were there. Once the snow melted in New England we came home!”

Any additional comments: “I love Christmas…’It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’! Recording these tunes with such a talented group of musicians in the middle of the summer was a gift even Santa can’t top!”

Sarah Callinan, voice


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Emily Greenslit, voice

Hometown: Boston, MA

Current Town: New London, CT

Bio: Connecticut College student and Holy Name High School graduate, Emily is currently a member of Connecticut College Chorale, and Vox Cameli A Capella (which is about to release an album!) Emily has been in musical theater throughout her entire life, and plans to continue performing after college.

With Dan Gabel: 2017 with the Moon Maids vocal group

Interesting Fact: “When not performing, I love to read, seek out deals on vintage dresses, and eat sushi. I have also run a few half marathons!”

Any additional comments: “I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a fantastic project, and for the trust that Dan Gabel and Sarah Callinan have continuously placed in me (love you guys the most!!)”

Helena Greenslit, voice

Hometown: Worcester, MA

Current Town: Framingham, MA

Bio: Helena is a professional model at Dynasty Models and Talent, a seamstress, actress, vocalist, a recent Holy Name High School graduate, and currently attending Framingham State University for food and nutrition.

With Dan Gabel: 2017 with the Moon Maids vocal group

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Any additional comments: “I would like to thank Dan Gabel and Sarah Callinan for giving me the opportunity to perform beside them. It’s been a pleasure!”

Cara Brindisi, Voice


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