Bob Hanisch (Piano)
Bob hails originally from Wisconsin, where he started piano lessons at age 6 and took up jazz at age 15. He attended Lawrence University, whose LUJE (Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble) has over the years won numerous awards from Downbeat magazine. He studied jazz piano with John Harmon as well as classical piano at the Lawrence Conservatory, and had the pleasure of performing in the LUJE with Fred Sturm. Fred later became the director of the jazz program at Lawrence and composed and arranged many pieces for big band.
Bob’s primary career has been in astronomy. After getting his PhD at the University of Maryland--College Park, he spent three years in The Netherlands as a post-doc. He worked for 30 years at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the organization that operates the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA. He helped to build the Hubble data archive, assuring access to the spectacular images from Hubble for the research community, students, educators, and the general public. In 2014 he moved to the National Institute of Standards and Technology where he leads activities in data management and analysis.
Piano is a treasured avocation, including playing jazz with a colleague from the National Institutes of Health and supporting amateur theater musical productions (including Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, Urinetown, Weird Romance, A Musical of Musicals, The Follies, The Fantasticks, and Beauty and the Beast) as a rehearsal pianist and pit orchestra member (the “glue” that holds the orchestra together). Bob met OBB tenor saxophonist John Gottdiener at the Tritone Jazz Camp in Wisconsin, in the summer of 2018, so you can blame John for bringing me to the OBB!
Herb Nachmann (Bass)
Bassist Herb Nachmann has a very musical life. In addition to playing with the OBB, he currently plays in the BSQ (Bob Schwartz Quartet), which has performed at Twins, Malmaison, Alfios, Bourbon Boulevard, Blackwall Hitch, and a host of private events. With vocalist Kim Scudera and pianist Chip Smoley, Herb also performs regularly at
various retirement communities.
He studies with Pepe Gonzalez, focusing primarily on all aspects of the acoustic bass and its role in music.
Previously, Herb has played in the Difficult Run Jazz Band under the direction of Gordon Ramsey, and The Potomac Jazz Orchestra under the leadership of John Blount.
Notably, Herb played at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for honor flights, which made it possible for veterans to visit their war monuments here in D.C. Their group was led by vocalist Christiana Drapkin. These performances occurred from 2014 until the pandemic required flights to stop.
Ken Kilpatrick - (Guitar)
Ken, a native of upstate New York was inspired to play guitar after hearing his father sing and strum the
songs of Hank Williams. A strong High School music program provided opportunities in vocal groups,
shows, musicals, and pit bands. Weekends were spent playing in rock bands.
Ken attended American University, playing in the AU Jazz Ensemble led by Dr. Robert Tennyson. After
college came several years playing with DC based Chicago style blues bands, often opening shows for
the blues greats. Over time Ken found his own personal heroes, Barney Kessell, Herb Ellis, and Freddie
Green. He studied privately with jazz guitar great Paul Wingo.
Ken spent 25 years with DC’s Satin Doll Trio, playing locally, and up and down the East Coast.
Appearances include The Kennedy Center, The Corcoran Gallery Hammer Auditorium and Embassies, as
well as The Ritz-Carlton, The Carlyle Club, and Twins Jazz. Out of town he performed at the
Metropolitan Room(NYC) and The Jazz Corner(Hilton Head, SC). Media venues include Black
Entertainment Television (BET on Jazz), WJLA, and WPFW. The trio released four albums.
Prior to joining OBB, Ken spent six years playing with The Difficult Run Jazz Band led by Don Junker and
he currently plays with the Shenandoah Valley’s Yesterday Swing Orchestra. Along with solo and duo
performances around the DMV, Ken plays with The Walt Johns Trio and leads his own trio, appearing
regularly in the DC area.
Ralph Cornwell (Drums)
After playing drums in middle school, Ralph studied percussion at the University of North Texas. Over the years, he has performed with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Helios Jazz Orchestra, Tampa's Late Night Brass, The Difficult Run Jazz Band, Dan McMillion's Jazz Orchestra and legendary jazz singer Mark Murphy.
In addition to playing drums with the Olney Big Band, Ralph plays the vibraphone with the Bob Schwartz Quartet. He has also been the house drummer for the last eight years for the annual Empower Music and Arts Posi-Awards show in Tampa.
Ralph lives in Silver Spring with his wife Linda and dog Godiva.