Rhythm Section

Michael ArringtonMichael Arrington – Piano and Keyboard

Michael was born in Washington DC and started playing piano at the age of seven, trumpet at age 11, and composing at around the same time. Michael holds a degree in music from The Catholic University. His teachers there included Dr. David Flowers (trumpet), Dr. Walter Pate (piano), Martin Piecuch (jazz and woodwinds), and Dr. Robert Garafalo and Frederick Fennell (conducting).

Upon graduation from Catholic University, Michael began a career as a conductor for the New Music Orchestra in the Washington, DC. The ensemble specialized in world and national premieres and works of local composers. He also served as choral director and organist for several denominations and congregations throughout the District of Columbia and Maryland and he continues his career today as a church musician, conductor and jazz musician.

Due to his versatility, Michael has been a member of many professional and amateur ensembles. Notable experiences include performing piano with the Potomac Trio, playing a 19th century cornet with Heritage Americana, serving as musical director of cable television shows, conducting 150 voice choirs at National Presbyterian Church, and happily, the occasional cocktail piano/piano bar gigs around the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Michael is a member of the Rockville Concert Band playing both trumpet and cornet and also has distinguished himself as a guest conductor of that ensemble.

Jack BilbyJack Bilby - Guitar

Jack was born in Washington, DC. His earliest musical memory is of regularly singing “Happy Trails to You” with his mother at the end of every Roy Rogers TV show in the 1950s. (She was Dale to his Roy.) Jack’s singing became more serious during high school when he sang with the James Madison Madrigal Singers from Vienna, Virginia. This superb group performed to glowing reviews in such places as the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral, the Phillips Collection, the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and Carnegie Recital Hall. He even got to meet President Johnson and Lady Bird after performing for a White House luncheon.

Jack’s first guitar? A Roy Rogers model from Sears Roebuck, of course! Jack’s first performing experiences with guitar (now a Gibson Les Paul Junior) began during junior high school playing in a rock band. Enjoying some local success, he continued to perform throughout high school. At age 14, he studied jazz guitar with a local jazz professional. Because he couldn’t really apply what he was learning at the time, Jack says he could never have guessed how valuable the information would be some forty years later.

Since 2004 he has played with the Civil Air Patrol Big Band and since 2005 with the Olney Big Band. Jack says, “It’s been really satisfying to perform again with a great group of musicians before audiences that love the music.”

Ray LombardoRay Lombardo - Drums

Home grown, Ray was born raised in S.E. Washington, D.C. His interest in big band music and the drums was ignited the first time his dad let him listen to Gene Krupa playing Sing! Sing! Sing! During grade school he was very fortunate to have studied with many of the top local military band drummers in the area. In high school like many of the players in OBB, he was an active participant in the school’s music program playing in the concert, jazz and marching bands. He also played gigs for the high school’s teen club, C.Y.O. and many local bands.

After completing high school he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston which was the first U.S. school to teach the popular music of the time, jazz. He subsequently enlisted in the Army and played with the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” (TUSAB) and The U.S. Army Blues, the premier 18 piece jazz orchestra assigned to TUSAB. In 1994 he joined the Admirals, one of the longest running local bands in the metropolitan area having started in 1959 playing all the best clubs.

Rays main inspiration is Vinnie Colaiuta (an American Drummer based in Los Angeles ). He was also inspired by the drumming of Mike Zack who played with a rival D.C. band “Lawrence and the Arabians”. Interesting enough one of our trumpet players, Bruce Morris, was one of the founding members of that band. Ray currently works as a respiratory therapist and says he is glad to be part of a musical ensemble where he is not the oldest person!