BOB DENNEY
Favourite song in the repertoire:  High Maintenance

The title of Bob’s favourite song does not in any way reflect on Bob’s approach to life.  After 25 years of standing in front, directing and teaching high school bands, Bob was thrilled to move to the back of the band and play the first instrument on which he began his lifelong musical journey: the drums.  Bob enjoyed a wonderful career in teaching, where he directed both percussion and guitar ensembles that earned national awards.  Bob has played in rock bands, jazz groups, and orchestras from Ottawa to Victoria.  When not sitting in the drum chair, Bob loves to remain sitting at the back of the band and play guitar.  Bob is ecstatic to play once again with fellow musicians from “the good old days”, with whom he’s become reacquainted as a result of joining The Wild Cards

GREG KLOWAK
Favourite song in the repertoire:  Fascinating Rhythm

The backbone of our rhythm section, Greg became fascinated with the drums at an early age.  After banging on anything and everything, studies with the famous Jim Blackley helped Greg develop a musical drumming style.  Now an in-demand drummer and teacher, Greg plays in numerous bands spanning a wide range of styles and venues, and he considers himself fortunate to have shared the stage with some successful nationally and locally well-known musicians.  His innate ability to capture all styles of music is to our benefit.

MONDHER BENHASSINE

Favourite song in the repertoire: Where or When

Mondher is an avid guitarist who loves to play jazz, fusion and rock.  After stints with the Brian Downey Big Band and Big Band Caravane, he now plays with Big Band Ottawa, Draconova, and Wired.  Mondher’s only questions when called to sub with The Wild Cards are “Where?” and “When?”!!!

SHINYA SATO

Favourite song in the repertoire: How Sweet It Is
Hailing from Hakodate, Japan, Shinya relocated to Ottawa in 1997 and has been actively involved in the Ottawa music scene ever since. He plays piano with many, mostly smaller, groups in the area but How Sweet It Is that he’s always available when we reach out.  His big smile and sunny personality, in addition to his talent, are always welcome.

SARAH JALEEL

Favourite song in the repertoire: Down to the Nightclub
Sarah traces her jazz roots to her high school where, at  age 12, she auditioned for her school’s wind ensemble and, to her surprise, was also selected for the jazz band.  Although she had no idea what jazz music was (true story!), she was eager and excited to learn.  Sarah now has several years’ experience playing electric bass and double bass in  jazz bands, orchestras, and wind ensembles around the city.  She has been a member of the Nepean All-City Jazz Band, and has played with the U of O Community Concert Band, Standing Room Only, and the Ottawa New Horizons Two Beats Ahead Jazz Band.  No “Down To The Nightclub” for this girl!  She currently performs with the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra and the Ottawa Wind Ensemble, and is delighted with her newest role: big band charts with The Wild Cards. 

BOB BANGS
Favourite song in the repertoire:  That’s The Way (I Like It) – from KC & The Sunshine Band Medley

Robert took up the drums at age 12, starting with rudimental drumming and moving on to kit playing in his late teens.  He has since enjoyed a diverse musical experience, from new wave to classic rock, from lounge jazz to new country.  He also delved into more traditional music stylings as drummer with The Radio Kings and with Pat Moore.  Bob travelled around the world as back-up drummer for the Cirque du Soleil production Quidam, touring China, Mexico, Europe, the UK, and South America.  He performs regularly with Ball and Chain and the Wreckers, as well as local zydeco band The Vanier Playboys.  He is a member of the Grey Jazz Big Band and often subs in with Standing Room Only and Aardvark Big Band.  Having drumsticks in his hands is the way Bob likes it and he is thrilled to be the regular back-up drummer for The Wild Cards.​

MARK LEIGHTON

Favourite song in the repertoire: A Day In The Life Of A Fool

Growing up in Ottawa, Mark’s musical career started in 1975 when he began oboe studies.  He became interested in playing the electric bass several years later and, over the next three+ decades, Mark kept himself busy with many ensembles while enjoying a career in the television industry.  No fool this boy!  In 2007, Mark decided to pursue an Honour’s degree in Music at the University of Ottawa.  Since retiring several years ago, Mark now spends most of his time playing in several musical groups as well as working as a music engraver/copyist.  Mark is thrilled to be a member of The Wild Cards.

Copyright 2022 The Wild Cards. All photographs used with permission. All rights reserved.

DAVID MILLER
Favourite song in the repertoire: Papa's Got A Brand New Bag

David was a full-time musician in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.  He played in several local bands, including Atlantis (which performed on Parliament Hill on July 1, 1981) and Exit 18 (which won an MTV video award).  David also taught classical and popular music, and composed scores for TV shows and TV shows.  Later in life, David grew up, cut his hair and got a real job.  He had a successful career as a translator and editor, then moved into IT.  He is now retired and back into music full time, oriented mostly around playing and composing jazz  He has performed with a variety of musical ensembles, notably at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, the Merrickville Jazz Festival, the NAC Fourth Stage, the Shenkman Centre, and many local venues.  Papa’s got a brand new bag now: playing with The Wild Cards!

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Rhythm