Seniors get together for casual ‘jam sessions’ |

Seniors get together for casual ‘jam sessions’

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal A group of music enthusiasts get together to make music at the Carson City Senior Citizen Center on Tuesday. From left, Alice Gregor on bass, Richard Taylor on banjo, Reba Tawlks on keyboard and Bob Chambers on guitar.

The term “kitchen band” has been tossed into the conversation, but music enthusiasts meeting at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center for an afternoon of jamming, prefer not to hear it.

“It just doesn’t sound good,” said Reba Tawlks, keyboardist.

Some of the seniors meeting at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoons are seasoned musicians, some are recent learners, but overall they are enjoying the casual jam sessions.

Tawlks, 84, of Carson City has played keyboard since she was 5. She was born in a town just south of Nashville, Tenn., an area rich in music.

“I have millions of tunes in my head,” she said.

Tawlks lived and played in Virginia City for 25 years before moving to Carson City several years ago.

“I played up and down C Street all those years,” she said. “It was great fun.”

Also taking part in the jam session Tuesday were Alice Gregor, 59, on electric bass; Bob Chambers, 71, on acoustic guitar; and Richard Taylor, 70, on banjo.

After settling in and tuning their instruments, the group went into a version of “Heartache by the Numbers,” by Ray Price. Chambers led on vocals.

Working without drummer Tony Morangi, may have led to a not-so-steady tempo, but the overall effect of the song came through.

“I hate everyone hearing me,” Gregor said.

The group also encourages each other and offers constructive criticism for improving technique and ability.

One person will suggest a song and then they all agree on a key. Once in agreement, the music begins.

“We hope to get more members,” Tawlks said. “We’ve only been together about two or three weeks. We welcome anyone who would like to come in.”

Taylor, whose main interest has been piano, enjoys playing the banjo but prefers traditional jazz on the piano.

“The old ragtime style, not Dixieland stuff,” Taylor said.

Taylor heard about the music session from Tawlks. The two have been friends for about 20 years.

The group plays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center, 911 Beverly Drive, in the Leisure Hour room.

For information, call 883-0703.

— Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.

If you go

WHAT: Senior Band

WHEN: 2:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays

WHERE: Carson City Senior Citizens Center, 911 Beverly Drive

COST: Free

CALL: 883-0703