Whiskey Jacks

Bend, Oregon

Original High Desert Swing, Jazz and Blues

The Whiskey Jacks are a 4-person band playing original High Desert Swing, jazz and blues in Central Oregon.  Whiskey Jacks (also called Gray Jays) are intelligent, friendly and hardy songbirds often seen near the tree line on the Cascade slopes.  Whiskey is a grain-based alcoholic beverage that some people drink.  Some people who drink whiskey are named Jack. We encourage birders, whiskey drinkers, people named Jack and anyone else to enjoy our music.

 

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Sheila Neumann...vocals
Sheila grew up singing country songs with her dad, and later singing with choirs and bands.  She sang in her first band at 21, Fliphouse, which was an all original 80's funk band.  Following that she sang with the Prevailing Westerlies for 6 years, singing British pop, American rock and originals.  In the mid 90's Sheila began classical voice lessons, and then switched to show tunes and torch songs from the 20's, 30's and 40's.  In addition, she sang some of the original player piano versions of these standards with classically trained pianist David Carroll.  This venture lead to 6 years with Sunny Gets Blue, a jazz trio, featuring Guy Fiorentini, and Paul Jonas.  Sheila took a sabbatical from singing and then started up again 6 years ago in Bend, beginning with Jupiter and Teardrop and now with Whiskey Jacks.
 

 

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Jeannie Sifneos...keyboard, guitar, background vocals
Jeannie has been playing piano since she came home from kindergarten and plunked out “My Country Tis of Thee”.  As an outlet for her teenage angst, she started playing guitar and writing songs.  She has a B.A. degree in music from Tulane University in N.O. where she spent most of her time listening to music at Tipitinas; and bartending and playing piano at the Maple Leaf Bar.  Most of her adult years were spent being a parent, wife and worker but she continued to play piano and guitar, learned violin/fiddle (thanks to Suzuki lessons with her kids) and discovered singing in choirs (e.g., Eugene Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra Chorus).  Now she has found band mates that make her laugh and is happily writing songs and playing with Whiskey Jacks.
 

 

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Jeff Woodruff...upright bass
Jeff was raised by a pack of feral drummers who subjected him to years of polyrhythmic cacophony resulting in a long, agonizing recovery period. Vulnerable and alone in the high desert with only an acoustic bass and a tenor ukulele, slowly he came to his senses.  "It was a pivotal time in my life," explains Jeff. Although he remains a highly undisciplined player, Jeff will try anything if he thinks, a) he can get away with it or b) it will be an ego-boost.  Asked if he's played bass his whole life, he responds, "...well, not yet."  Drawing on a background as diverse as Central Oregon Symphony to Bend Ukulele Group, Jeff has worked with bands including Anvil Blasters, The Reputations, Range Benders, Mean Willy and Whiskey Jacks.  "Thanks!" Jeff says in a typical, one-word response to all former bands that have gotten pissed off at him enough to throw him out. "Sheesh!" he adds, as further explanation of his true feelings about the whole thing.
 

 

 

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Larry Gregerson...guitar, fiddle, mandolin, background vocals
With a musician father, Larry was born into the joys of making music and has fond memories of falling asleep to the rehearsal sounds of his dad’s latest band.  Banging out chopsticks at age 4 on the old family upright piano started his own musical career, but since his sister was already becoming the family piano player, his father offered to teach him guitar.  While learning the F chord nearly sunk his ambitions, he managed to persevere and his love/hate relationship with the instrument continues to this day. His musical interests over the decades evolved from earning movie money as a guitar player in his father’s country band, to tenor in an award winning high school choir to keyboard player for a college “Elvis” impersonator group.  Over the years, he’s added fiddle, banjo, dobro and mandolin and he brings these varied musical influences to the Whiskey Jacks.