Musician Bios

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Arthur Bakopolus, saxophone

Arthur Bakopolus leads his own quintet (AB5), quartet and trio. He is also an in-demand woodwind specialist playing in ensembles from theater pit orchestras to full big bands of all musical styles. He has played and toured with many groups, such as The Coasters, The Drifters, The Marvelettes, Johnny Mathis, Fabian, Liza Minnelli, The Four Tops, Barnum and Bailey’s Circus, The Artie Shaw Orchestra, The Tommy Dorsey Band, The Guy Lombardo Band, The Benny Goodman Tribute Band, The Las Vegas based Rat Pack Band and countless Boston area groups.

Arthur is also an accomplished educator, holding his Master’s in education and currently keeping a full private lesson teaching schedule. As a clinician, he holds regular jazz improv workshops and is also musical director for the Chelmsford Community Jazz Band, where he was commissioned to compose and arrange a piece for the band to perform in May 2019.

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Dennis Cecere, keyboards

A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Dennis Cecere began performing at the age of 14, playing accordion with his jazz quintet in the New York Pavilion at the New York State World’s Fair. He has played concerts on piano and keyboard with Boston Big Band, Ovations, Full House, Big Dig, Hop Pocket Orchestra, Timelight, Compaq Big Band, Itchy Feet and The Silver Bullet Orchestra. He has also performed on keyboards with the Shangri-La’s, The Platters, The Drifters, The Coasters, The Marvelettes, Freda Paine, Johnny Preston, Kathy Young, Carl Saunders, Eddie Holman, Martha and the Vandellas, The Capris, The Teenagers, Merrilee Rush, Lou Christie, Ayla Brown, Rex Smith, Framingham Orchestra, Wayne Bergeron and many more.

A personal highlight of Dennis’s performing career was his performance with the Platters at a birthday celebration for the Queen of Thailand. In addition to his performing career, Dennis has also had a busy career as a composer, orchestrator, arranger and producer. Dennis also performed and orchestrated a rock concert for the Framingham Symphony. He has composed, arranged and performed radio jingles for both local and national clients, including major corporations such as Chevrolet and Toyota. He wrote arrangements for Forever Motown which performed throughout the country and was the arranger and orchestrator for lead singers of the Temptations and Spinners for their Motown Explosion Tour. Dennis is also an independent producer in the pop and rock recording market, performing, producing, and arranging for numerous record labels.

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Fred Woodard, guitar

Originally from Kansas City, MO, Fred Woodard attended Berklee College of Music, where he received a degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging. He also studied jazz improvisation with Jerry Bergonzi, Charlie Banacos and Ritchie Hart.

After graduation from Berklee, Fred performed with a variety of jazz, R&B and reggae bands in the Boston area, and performed locally and internationally with classic R&B artists such as Sam & Dave, William Bell, The Drifters and the Marvelettes. In addition to his own band, The Fred Woodard Collective, he also currently performs with The Pocket Big Band and the jazz quintet AB5.

Fred has been leading his own jazz groups since 1988. His groups have performed extensively making appearances at Boston area events such as The Newton Jazz Festival, The DSNI Multi Cultural Festival and The Big Head Community Festival. Outside of Boston his groups have performed at The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, The Providence Jazz and Blues Festival and The Iowa City Jazz Festival. In 2016 he founded and organized the Dudley Jazz Festival and it has been an annual event since then.

Fred established his own recording label, Ujam Records, in 1997 and has produced three recordings: “Arrival,” “1715,” and “Urban Garden.” In 2006, The Fred Woodard Trio was named “Best Band Jazz” at the 1st annual New England Urban Music Awards. In 2013 Fred was awarded the Community Catalyst Award from the Madison Park Development Corporation. He shares the love of his craft as a teacher at the Roland Hayes School of Music in Roxbury, MA.

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John Doherty, bass

John Doherty is an autodidact and has been playing bass since his teens. His broad range of playing has allowed him to perform in numerous music genres and venues over the past three decades. Helping to achieve that broad range has to be credited to fellow bassists and teachers, John Hunter and Jeremy Hill, as well as author, saxophonist and clarinet player, Paul Coombs, who has provided John with a mentorship that has spanned almost two decades.

John played with a number of rock bands before transitioning to jazz and folk. He played with Local Citizens and later toured with The Makem and Spain Brothers, playing numerous theaters and festivals throughout the US and Canada.

Eventually his passion for jazz brought him back to a style he enjoys playing the most. Over a dozen years ago, he started playing at The Chit Chat in Haverhill with the Pocket Big Band. Eventually, he became the booking agent for the many jazz bands that have played there. Sunday Jazz in Haverhill can now be found at The Tap, where John continues to organize the Sunday jazz schedule. He can also be found teaching jazz clinics in Chelmsford at the Arts Center. Currently, John is playing with The Pocket Big Band, AB5, and Clyde Bisbee and the Wheelhouse Revelers, and is in demand as a bass sub.

John Arcaro, piano

John Arcaro is a national and international pianist, recording artist, and clinician. He has performed with such well-known jazz acts as Boston Musica Viva, Nick Brignola, Richie Cole, Hal Crook, Alan Dawson, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Faddis, Fred Lipsius, Bob Mintzer, Bob Moses, Jimmy Mosher, Rebecca Parris, Gray Sargent, Carol Sloane, Ed Thigpen, Bill Watrous, Phil Wilson, and others. He has also performed in shows with Diahann Carroll, Pat Cooper, Vic Damone, the Drifters, the Four Aces, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Jimmy Tingle, and Fred Travalena. His piano playing is featured on recordings with Garrison Fewell, George Garzone, Jamey Haddad, Skip Hadden, John Lockwood, Jimmy Madison, Michael Moore, Jack Pezanelli, Bill Pierce, and Mark White; on Brownstone, BCM, and TBA.

John has held artist-in-residence status at Centro-Cultural Costariccense Norteamericano in Costa Rica and has played at major jazz festivals with the Jack Pezanelli Quartet alongside artists such as Richie Cole, Maynard Ferguson, Shirley Horn, and Rebecca Parris. He also was the pianist for special performances of The Moses Project by composer Walter Robinson with special guest artists Vox One.

John received his Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music, where he is now an Assistant Professor.


George Farrell, drums

George Farrell studied drum set performance at Berklee College of Music. Private studies include lessons with internationally renowned author/educator Gary Chaffee. He also studied for many years with legendary drummer Joe Morello, formerly of the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

George is an active performer leading numerous performances with his jazz trio and quartet, the George Farrell Group. He has performed with New England jazz icons Herb Pomeroy and Dick Johnson and with New York pianist Ted Rosenthal. Notable performances include Boston jazz venues, including Scullers and the Regattabar, and the Cape Cod Jazz Festival. He has performed at Danny’s Skylight Room, the Laurie Beechman Theatre, and the Metropolitan Room in New York City, and at the Friends of Frick concert series in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jody Bregler, drums

A veteran of the jazz scene in the Greater Boston area for the past 30+ years, Jody Bregler began by studying with Bob Gullotti and Joe Hunt at Berklee College of Music. Jody has performed on drums (and cymbals) throughout New England and beyond with numerous artists and bands, most notably with The Dave Rasmussen Jazz Orchestra, The Paul Combs Quartet, The Pocket Big Band, AB5, and many others (so many that Jody has forgotten quite a few names).

A sensitive and versatile drummer who is well schooled in the jazz idiom, Jody’s playing is in high demand for a variety of groups across multiple musical styles and settings. Out of all the drummers on the scene…Jody is one of them.