Meet the Band Our great musicians
Capitol City Xpress was founded in 2006 as a group to keep the music alive. We all love Big Band music from the tunes of the 1930’s to the modern charts of today. Members of Capitol City Xpress are from the greater Atlanta / north Georgia area, and have many diverse interests and backgrounds. Our band members work day jobs in sales, marketing, information technology, retirees, business owners, and even have a few professional musicians. As diverse as our backgrounds, we have one thing in common… playing great music! Take a few minutes to meet the band.
Diane is so happy to be back with CCX after a 7 year hiatus! She is an actual Atlanta native with a colorful and varied career that spans musicals, theatre, cabaret, jazz and big band. From her first stint in college as a vocalist with the UWG Jazz Ensemble and lead singer for 80’s rock band Hit the Dek, after graduation she worked as an actor and travelled across the US, then made the move to New York where she starved, studied at the National Shakespeare Conservatory, Jean Cocteau Rep and performed with various theatres and groups for several years.
She returned to the Atlanta area and Pine Mountain, GA, her home town, in the mid 1990’s as one of the founders, along with her husband Sterling, of the Innsbruck Theatre and Artist’s Colony. She moved to Atlanta with the 1996 Olympics, did a bit of theatre and sang for bands around Atlanta, where she met many of her now much loved, fellow CCX friends! She was a regular with Take Note Big Band, The Usual Suspects, Atlanta Jazz Krewe, and has subbed in with Sentimental Journey and Atlanta Swing Orchestras. She was was part of the original CCX and happily returns to do what she truly loves – singing big band music! Diane has two almost grown daughters, Hannah and Kat. When she is not singing, she’s working at IBM as a product analyst.
She thanks her family and her musician friends for all their support!
Dan grew up in a family of vocal performers. By age 14 Dan’s voice was able to sing bass in his family’s quartet. He has sung with the Tampa Bay Oratorio as well as with many ensembles and praise teams over many years.
From 1989 to 2001, he sang with a traveling gospel quartet called “Freedom”. He enjoys singing different styles of music. Even Freedom sang several songs in the 50’s and big band style with rewritten lyrics. He has always loved big band crooning songs and is happy for the opportunity to stretch his range by singing jazz and swing music with the band. Dan and his wife still sing Christian duets together whenever the opportunity arises.
Charles “Buzz” Alford
Buzz plays guitar in the Rhythm section. He has been playing the guitar since he was a teenager but only got serious when he became an adult. His early ensemble experience was playing in a couple of bluegrass bands until he had the opportunity to play with Atlanta’s Little Big Band back in the 1980’s.
In the early 1990’s Buzz joined The Take Note Big Band and played with Take Note until the band broke up in 2006. He is one of the founders of The Capitol City Xpress and current business manager.
Tim is a self taught musician. At an early age he was exposed to many kinds of music and influenced by his father who sang and played piano. But it was Rock and Roll (or maybe the girls) that inspired him to pick up the bass guitar and join in a band. Tim is a newcomer to Jazz but wanting to continue and grow as a musician he joined in to learn the Big Band Music which had always loved to hear since he was a young boy.
Tim has become versatile in many styles of music and logged hours upon hours in the recording studio working on various original music projects. He has been laying down the foundation for local recording artists Liberty Jones for 10 years. Tim also can be heard in Shades of Gray, St. Lawrence or maybe just sitting in with friends at your local pub.
Denise grew up in California. She’s been playing the drums since she was 10 years old. She studied privately all through high school and on into college. Denise received her music degree at Piedmont College in Athens, GA in 2003. Denise has always loved jazz, and thinks she was born in the wrong decade.
So, a bio, huh? I could talk about the bands I’ve been in, the degrees I have, my education, but that would be boring. What you will get is that I didn’t attend a music school (rather, GA Tech/BS in ICS) but I have been around music all my life. From piano lessons as a kid to being involved in my kids’ music lessons, to being worship director at my church for a number of years and more ensembles than I will name here. And from time to time, still take jazz piano lessons. I was, believe it or not, a charter member of CCX back in the day where I played lead trombone; had to drop out for a while and came back to be part of the rhythm section, on keys. I’ve dabbled with harmonica, play a little bass guitar, and of course trombone and piano, but my passion is a Hammond C3/B3.
Growing up in a family of musicians, Jeff picked up the Saxophone at age 10 and started teaching himself. In the early years, Jeff played in high school, state and county honor bands, as well as college concert and jazz bands. Through the years he had the opportunity to play in various rock bands, jazz big bands, as well as jazz combos, spending much of that time working Mardi Gras balls. Jeff also played in church bands, community bands and theater orchestras.
Fresh from his 3-year stint on Ecuadorian Buslines with Freddy Beltone and the Pacemakers, Paul is now free to engage in his latest passion – Country Ska on the accordian. Widely acclaimed for his avante garde approach to neo-Euclidian tonal studies, and renowned for his discovery of the H-minor 7th augmented 12th (concert) during one particularly introspective ad-lib solo, provides the perfect credentials for being the director of CCX.
“No comment“, reports Downbeat Magazine.
David joined CCX in 2017. He started playing saxophone at the age of 10 and studied under Paul Hooker and Ken Fischer. He played in various bands while attending the University of Georgia and was the Drum Major for the UGA Redcoat Band his Senior year.
After a 25 year “pause” to pursue a business career and family, he began playing again in 2014 in various community bands, including the Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band, Sawnee Swing Band, The Bob Russell Orchestra and has performed in various productions at The Cumming Playhouse and The Historic Holly Theater.
Ron Wincek started his musical career on clarinet but fell in love with the baritone sax sound while playing it in his high school jazz band. Music followed him to college where he played clarinet with the concert band and was a member of the Florida State Marching Chiefs. It also influenced his decision to move to Atlanta after graduating to play alto saxophone in a Contemporary Christian Rock group called Ransom (despite parental pressures on getting a real job). After two years Ron stopped playing to complete two graduate degrees, marry wife v1.0 (pronounced version one oh), get real job v1.0, have child v1.0, get job v2.0, have child v2.0, start company v1.0, have more 0’s, and finally start company v2.0. After a 12 year hiatus Ron returned to music upon the insistence of his wife because “playing golf four times a year is not a hobby”. With limited time and resources he felt he needed to choose whether to age gracefully as an clarinet player or a saxophone player. The decision was made to take up the saxophone after noting the difference in sound quality between the girls’ screams when playing high “E’s”, “F’s”, and “G’s” on the clarinet versus those recalled while playing in Ransom. After joining the church orchestra on alto Ron had the opportunity to be a founding member of a jazz saxophone quartet called Crosswinds. Unfortunately a quartet with three altos and a tenor lacks a bottom end. Remembering the sound he once loved so much he graciously volunteered to switch. (Ron denies that the low “A” was instrumental in that decision.) The rest they say is history.
Since then he has lugged that Bari to venues in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and Central and South America. He has performed with Camp Kirkland, Babbie Mason, Lee Greenwood, a number of charities, and the Guy Lombardo Orchestra. Ron currently plays with the Capitol City Xpress big band, Metro Jazz Club, Atlanta Blue Notes, Victory Jazz Orchestra, and leads the orchestra and performs specials at church. Ron and Patty have been married for over 25 years and they have four daughters. Ron gives thanks to God for the amazing gift and opportunities he has been given through music. Occasionally, he still plays the clarinet when his back gets tired.
Jim is a West Coast native, and graduated from Cal State University at Hayward with a degree in Trombone Performance. As he also wanted to eat, Jim quickly embarked on a career in Sales, and is currently the sales manager for Comprehensive Technical Group. Jim’s musical experience includes touring overseas and in the states with several Christian music groups.
He also has 13 years of experience with Dixieland and Traditional Jazz bands in California and in Iowa, and worked with an Alternative/Indie/Americana group as the entire horn section. Also, Jim played two years in a Community Orchestra. Jim moved to the Atlanta area in 2011, and tells us, “I am enjoying playing with CCX!”.
A native of Maryland, Ted grew up in a musical family. In 4th grade, Ted began his trombone playing career and quickly challenged himself to become involved with county and state honor bands. In high school, he was a fixture in the band program as part of the Marching, Concert, Orchestra, and Stage Band groups. Ted especially enjoyed playing in the Stage Band which performed Big Band and Jazz music with a full compliment of musicians.
After college in Philadelphia, Ted moved to the Atlanta area to begin his career in IT. Over the past 20+ years, he has participated in several local groups and, in addition to CCX, currently plays in the Broad St. Concert Band of Sugar Hill and in his church. Ted has 3 school-aged children who have a talent for music and ER visits.
While he still piddles on piano and guitar, he says he loves playing Big Band bone again with the great folks in CCX.
Todd began playing trumpet in the 5th grade and after moving a few times, ended up in Northeast Ohio where he played in high school, and eventually at The University of Akron. During that time, Todd played with numerous groups, and was a member of the United Way All Collegiate Band and has played at Disneyland, Rose Bowl Herald Trumpets, and various performances including the Kennedy Center with the “Pershing’s Own” Herald Trumpets.
After college, Todd got a real paying job (to pay for his fascination of buying different trumpets), married a trumpet player from Ohio U (Carla), and now has 3 kids (all playing trumpet). During moves in 5 states & global travels – Todd seeks out local groups to play with, most recently Gwinnett Community Band, and local Atlanta jazz groups including CCX. Todd combines his interest in trumpets and marketing through the creation of popular trumpet websites such as BrassReview and BachLoyalist.
Richard was born and raised in Lebanon, TN and graduated from Samford University, in Birmingham, AL with a degree in pharmacy. He played in the college wind ensemble and jazz band as well as several jazz bands in the area. Later Richard served in the U. S. Air Force as a pharmacy officer in the hospital, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 35 years.
Richard also took a 50 year break from playing trumpet resuming in 2006. His wife Barbara and Richard have 2 daughters, Nancy and Carol and 2 grandchildren. They live in Big Canoe, Georgia.
Carlos is the stereotypical “comeback player” of the section! He started playing trumpet in the 7th grade and quickly discovered that he was not very good. However, he continued to practice and upon entering high school in West Texas quickly found himself climbing from 3rd section to 1st by the time he was a sophomore. His talent continued to grow as he found himself winning various regional and state competitions along with a few scholarships for college. He attended the University of Arizona and while he did not formally declare a music major, he was quickly heading that way.
However, like many a music major he reached a crossroads and eventually went a different direction. He became an accounting major. He continued to play in various Chicago style rock bands sprinkled with a bit of Mexican Mariachi and Folk music until the late 80’s. After that he rarely picked up his horn more than a few times a year until about 5 years ago. Starting to play again has reinvigorated his interest in music and playing with CCX is one of the things he looks forward to every week! He currently plays in CCX, the Gwinnett Community Orchestra, and with the First Baptist Church of Sugar Hill Praise Band. Carlos is married and has two children.
Jeffery Cutchins picked up a trumpet 40 yrs. ago and never put it down. Jeff plays, sings, acts and ministers in the metro Atlanta area. He comes from a family of brass players, actors, educators, ministers, and rodeo stars. At the University of South Carolina, he had the privilege to perform with Carolina Alive, a 40 voice pop ensemble representing the university around the world. Jeff performed for Madame Jehan Sadat, widow of the former President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat. Jeff has played at Disneyland, and the Gator Bowl. While playing with the awesome musicians of Capital City Xpress, he also plays in the Sugar Hill Baptist Church vocal band. His musical philosophy is to blend and enhance total sound.
Jeff is a native of Atlanta and owns a contracting business serving Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina. He is married to Joyce, an actress from Greenville, South Carolina, who ministers to women throughout Georgia at the Georgia Baptist Convention. They have 2 children, Christopher and Amy. Other interests include Broadcast and Amateur Radio.