About

About
Jeff Gajewski
Jeff Gajewski
As Elton Jeff

Jeff Gajewski was born and raised in Whiting, Indiana. His interest in music began at the age of four, when he plucked out the notes to the theme from “Little House on the Prairie” on the family organ.  Mom and Dad quickly signed him up for organ lessons and he learned to play a variety of polka favorites. Among his favorites were “Who Stole the Kishka,” and “She’s Too Fat for Me.”  Soon came the piano, voice & dance lessons, along with the shiny sequins, tap shoes & top hats. In 1984, Jeff thought it might be cool to buy his first electronic keyboard and grow a mullet.  The mullet was probably a bad idea.

Jeff Gajewski began playing professionally at the age of seventeen and never looked back. He is no stranger to live theatre, either. He’s been featured in over fifty productions, both on stage and off, having directed and provided musical & vocal direction for several. Most recently, Jeff retired his fictional character, “Walter Melon,” in “Dick Diamond & The Dusters” and remains involved in a variety of different acoustic projects that perform throughout Northwest Indiana, some of which include the members of “The Honky Cats.”

Jeff enjoys camping on his weekends off, is a Chicago White Sox fan true and true, and he never misses a Bears game.

The Honky Cats

The Honky Cats

Jeff White
Jeff White
Bass

Jeff White was born in Gary and resides in Crown Point, IN. He has two sons and a very energetic cat. Jeff’s early childhood included a home where music from Motown to 70’s country could always be heard. In his teenage years, he started to learn guitar but only became serious about music as a profession at age 20 when he switched to the bass guitar. He’s been fortunate to spend many years as the bassist for some of the most successful Chicago area bands.  Jeff loves cross country skiing and follows the Kentucky Wildcats college basketball team.

Kurt Bonomo
Kurt Bonomo
guitars

Kurt Bonomo has been teaching guitar lessons for the last 34 plus years, and has been playing in the local music scene for just as long. His most recent credits include the (Slash) guitar role for Chicago area Guns n’ Roses cover band, Night Train. Other recent endeavors include the guitar duties for 80’s Enough. Kurt played for several years with Chicago Southland classic rock band, Shortcuts. He has accompanied solo artist Lisa McClowry, singer and co-writer of various movie soundtracks, and Las Vegas fame performing with “Legends In Concert” as Cher. Kurt is excited to reunite with Jeff Gajewski, Jeff White & Dee Dee Bonomo, as they have performed together countless times over the past 15 plus years in their acoustic act titled, 2 Trailers Down.

Andy Sutton
Andy Sutton
drums

Andy Sutton hails from Crown Point and currently plays, tours and records with a variety of renown acts such as Dick Diamond and the Dusters, Liz Mandeville, Joe Marcinek Band, Keith Jackson and Stop.Drop.Rewind. He has also backed up Scott Ellison, Chris Shutters, Jamey Aebersold, Voo Davis, Buddy Guy, Marty Sammon, Slim Gambill (Lady A), and several other well-known musicians.  Andy holds a roster of about 35 students, is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team, the Jazz Education Network, and the Percussive Arts Society.

Denise Bonomo
Denise Bonomo
vocals

Dee Dee Bonomo is the voice behind Elton Jeff in this new adventure. Teaching 3rd grade has been her profession for the last 20 plus years. But well before that career began, Dee Dee has performed in many clubs, fests & casinos with various bands. After college, she formed the top 40 country band, Desert Road. Although heavily influenced by country music, Dee Dee has performed with bands covering many styles including classic rock, 80’s rock and traditional. She was a member of Chicago band Shortcuts, Velocity and more recently, 80’s Enough. Dee Dee also sings with current bandmates Jeff Gajewski, Jeff White & Kurt Bonomo in their acoustic act, 2 Trailers Down.

The Brass Cats

The Brass Cats

Fred Cantu
Fred Cantu
trumpet

Fred Cantu is one of the busiest musicians on the scene today. Currently, he is featured as the lead trumpet with the Buddy Rich Big Band, and he also performs as a regular member of Grammy nominated Cuban jazz pianist Chuchito Valdes’ Ensemble.  He also tours worldwide with the Elvis Tribute Tour for Elvis Presley Enterprises.  Fred’s trumpet playing can be heard and seen every Sunday on WGN’s TV show Singsation.  As a trumpeter and vocalist Fred has been a featured artist at the Chicago Jazz Fest, Viva Chicago, Telluride Jazz Fest, Aspen Snow Mass Fest, Detroit Jazz Fest, and Sangria fest. Fred released his second album M.F.G. in 2021.

Nick Roach
Nick Roach
trombone

Nick Roach has established himself in Chicagoland as an in-demand composer, arranger, educator and performer. As a trombonist and singer, Nick’s had the privilege of recording and performing with many respected musicians including Arthur Barrow (Frank Zappa), The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Harry James Orchestra, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Heritage Jazz Orchestra, East Hubbard Jazz Orchestra, Guy King, Robert Irving III, Ari Brown, Ray Olan y su Nuevo Sason, Salsa del Norte, Dee Alexander, Sal Lozano, Nicholas White, Jacob Slocum, as well as the Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Choral Artists, Chicago Freedom Ensemble, Chicago Jazz Orchestra and the Chicago Composers’ Big Band. Nick holds a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Trombone Performance from the University of North Texas.”

Ian Letts
Ian Letts
saxophone

Ian Letts is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with degrees in Jazz Performance and Music Education.  He’s had the privilege of studying with saxophone professors Stephen Duke, Rich Moore, and Geof Bradfield, as well as other jazz faculty members including Ron Carter, Art Davis, Kelly Sill, Fareed Haque, Willie Pickens, Tom Garling, and Rodrigo Villanueva.  Ian  performs with a diverse array of bands, including Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters, The Pete Ellman Big Band, Jose Valdez and the Mambo All-stars, Breezy Rodio and the Windchill, and Bill O’Connell’s Skyliners Big Band.