Niteflite (2006)July 7, 2009
Home: Chatham Kent Ontario Area
Style: Classic Cover Band
(From left to right in the above pic.)
John Leigh (Doc) – Baritone sax
Pat Bates – Trombone
Jim Smith – Bass/Vocals
Vaughn Pugh – Keyboards/Vocals/Brass
Rocco Desantis – Alto Sax
St.Clair Shadd – Tenor Sax
Eldon Brown – Drums
Al Rathwell – Trumpet
Doug Smith – Guitar/Vocals (foreground right)
The bands set lists include Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, Blues Brothers, Beatles, Los Lobos, Blood Sweat & Tears, Wilson Pickett, and many more.
Niteflite History (From Official Bio)
Niteflite assumed its current 9-man configuration in 2003, but has existed since the early nineteen-eighties. The rhythm section, comprised of Doug Smith, Vaughn Pugh, Jim Smith, and Eldon Brown, has been together since 1970, when they formed a group called “Seven“, which featured a 3-piece horn section. And, although short-lived, this early horn-band experiment was a foretaste of things to come.
Throughout the seventies, Doug, Vaughn, Jim, and Eldon, along with guitarist Shelley Browning, continued performing under the name “Sixth Concession“. Although lacking a full horn section, the group nevertheless continued to polish and perform tunes by groups such as Chicago and Blood, Sweat, & Tears, utilizing Vaughn on trumpet, and adding St. Clair Shadd on tenor sax.
As the seventies drew to a close, the band went into a period of inactivity, due in part to the family and career commitments of its members. Their love of music and performing was never lost, however. In the early eighties, inspired by the movie “The Blues Brothers”, and in particular by the line “We’re putting the band back together”, the boys decided to revive the group, this time under the name “Niteflite”. The band initially consisted of the same members as “Sixth Concession” and performed in that configuration for several years. For a short time in the late eighties, a three-piece horn section was added, featuring George Willson on trumpet, Jack Drobko on trombone, and St. Clair on tenor sax.
Throughout the nineties, Niteflite continued to perform primarily as a 5-piece group, but their love of the horn-band sound never diminished.
In 1984, Vaughn Pugh, himself an accomplished musician on both keyboards and trumpet, had become the director of the Chatham Concert Band. As such, he had access to many fine Chatham-area musicians, and in 2003 was thus able to select several of these talented people to form the present Niteflite horn section. The new members include Al Rathwell on trumpet, Pat Bates on trombone, Rocco Desantis on alto sax, St. Clair Shadd on tenor sax, and John Leigh on baritone sax. The group’s playlist includes tunes by Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Lighthouse, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Ides of March, The Beatles, and many, many more.