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Paul Preston – Clarinet and Soprano Saxophone

A professional career that has exceeded fifty years began in 1954 when Paul was discharged from the United States Army and began his extensive musical activity in the Western New York area.  While in the service, he was attached to the 1st Calvary Division Band stationed in Japan.

1954 was also a landmark year in that Paul and Jim Koteras began performing side-by-side continuing into 2005.  After a year at various venues, the pair was joined by Eli Konikoff and formed The Yankee Six Dixieland Band.  The Yankee Six were active until the formation of The Bar-Room Buzzards by Paul and Jim in 1966.

Paul continues today on clarinet and soprano sax with The Buzzards, not only looking back on great memories, but also looking forward to performing with the outstanding musicians in the group.

Also of note:  Paul was Chairman of the first four successful years of The Queen City Jass Society Jazz Festivals beginning in 1987.  He was honored by the Society with a Life Membership presented in October of 2004.

For band bookings call Paul Preston at (716) 674-7301


Lew Custode – Trumpet

Lew Custode, trumpet player and vocalist with the "Bar-room Buzzards", started playing traditional jazz at an early age. As an accomplished musician, he has performed with a wide variety of music ensembles including rock bands, jazz and commercial dance groups, big bands, brass quintets, pit orchestras and concert/marching bands. Additionally, Lew continues to be a much sought-after and featured trumpet soloist for church services and Religious Functions throughout the Western New York area. While he approaches each style with unbridled enthusiasm, Lew seems most at home playing and singing with the "Bar-room Buzzards". His love for traditional jazz, along with his seemingly endless enthusiasm to perform before an audience, has been described as nothing less than contagious.

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Warren Stirtzinger – Guitar and Banjo

Warren Stirtzinger, our "Canadian Contingent", joined the Buzzards in 1999 on guitar and banjo. He hails from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, where he has been a full-time musician since graduating from Brock University in 1977. He has worked in a variety of groups in the Niagara area, including the John Sherwood Trio, the Bill Stevens Dixieland Band, and the Niagara College Jazz Band. Performance credits include appearances with trumpeter Guido Basso, vibist Peter Appleyard, and guitar legend Mundell Lowe. He is also a member of the Stringed Edition Guitar Ensemble of Western New York. Warren resides in Vineland, Ontario with his cats "Suki" and "Kiko". Warren plays a Paul Saunders custom archtop guitar.

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Paul Zapalowski – Bass and Tuba

As a bass player, Paul Zapalowski is an artist skilled in many different types of music. From symphonic to dixieland; from jazz to big band, "Zap" is a favorite with audiences as well as fellow musicians.

Paul is a graduate cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY) in Bass Performance. He has played both classical and pops concerts with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Erie Philharmonic, and the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. He has also been a featured performer in Buffalo Philharmonic concerts with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and vocal artists Five by Design. BPO audiences have had the frequent pleasure of seeing "Zap" on stage as a member of Doc Severinsen's rhythm section.

"Zap" has toured extensively with groups such as the Woody Herman Band and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. His tours with the Dorsey group took him across America as well as to Europe and Scandinavia. He has also had the pleasure of working with such artists as Joe Pass, Tom Harold, Barney Kessel, Abbie Lincoln, Nancy Wilson, and Mark Murphy.

Paul currently teaches both classical and jazz bass methods at Buffalo State College, in addition to his busy performance schedule.