ABOUT

The Tempos have a long and interesting history playing music in the Greater Seattle area. Read all about them below.


The Tempos: A Brief 55+ Year Summary

In 1958 a Seattle Boeing engineer named Henry Fichtner (piano) got together with some musical co-workers and formed a group. A few months after the group formed, Dr. Vern Harkness, a school principal (trombone) teamed up with Henry and co-led the band for many years. Henry was with the group until 1976 and Vern played until 1980.

They practiced and performed for the first five years before coming up with a name for the band. In 1963 Wayne Watling (bass) suggested "The Tempos" for the nine piece group and it stuck.

Today Ron Dillon plays bass and joined the band in 1976.

In 1969 the band began expanding with the addition of Vern's son Kelly (tenor sax) and Alan Waldron (alto sax). During the early 1970's Lloyd Fetz (trombone) and Doug Wilbert (trumpet), both award winning musicians from Tyee High School, along with Gordy Holt, school teacher, (trumpet) rounded out the brass sections.

The long time drummer Bob Gidney retired in 1972 and was replaced by Kenny Bloomquist, a Kent-Meridian grad who had played with Capitol recording artists 'The Serfs' throughout the late 60's.

1974 introduced The Tempos first singer, Sharon Lacey. She had a warm voice and an outgoing personality that the audiences just loved. While she was entertaining to the audience out front she endured the constant antics from the band behind. Sharon moved on after 22 years with The Tempos.

Sharon was replaced by Diane Sweeney in 1999. She is a strong vocal talent and entertainer as well. She has been a wonderful addition to the band.

The Tempos have the father and son duo of Dennis (baritone sax) and Curtis (tenor sax) Broderson. Dennis joined the band in 1980 and Curtis in 1989.

Our wonderful lead tenor sax player Steve Uhrich, who also plays flute and clarinet, joined the group in 1981.

Our talented piano player joined the band in 1986. Surprisingly, Kenny and Wayne played together in the first Kent Meridian High School jazz band back in the early 1960's.

Dan Witmer, engineer (alto sax and clarinet) joined the sax section in 1989. As the band grew so did the performance schedule. The band was becoming fairly well known in the Greater Seattle area and as far away as Yakima. The events where they performed were quite varied and included the Sea Fair Grand Ball, corporate parties, car shows, concerts in many of the parks around the area and wedding receptions, just to name a few. They even were in one of the "Northern Exposure" episodes.

With a history of over 55 years the band has maintained its current roster of eighteen by always finding new and talented musicians to replace those who chose to retire.

The makeup of the band is: five saxes, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, guitar, drums and singer. Some of the more recent additions are Bill Bagnall, school principal (trumpet), Eric Lucas, Woodinville High Music Director (trumpet), Stan Green (trumpet), Ron Nauman (trombone), Gary Uhlig (trombone) and Henry Lamkin (guitar) to name a few.

As you can see we have a long heritage of really good musicians. While people do come and go with the band the core group have been together for many years and the turnover rate is extremely low.

While our favorite events include "Arts in the Parks" summer concerts around the area and car shows, private parties like the "Man Deals Wine and Whiskey" event at the Russell Barn in Bothell are a lot of fun.

If you are looking for a fun, entertaining and classic big band group, get in touch with us and we'll make your event something to remember.

Before we go, we'd like to mention the wonderful spouses who put up with all the rehearsals and performances that quite often take us away from then and our families so we can entertain you. Without them this group would probably not exist! Thank you all.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you at YOUR next event.

Email to: thetempos@runnerduck.com