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 polkas. 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, and he never misses a Bears game.
The Honky Cats
The Honky Cats
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 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 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.
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
Terry “Sonny Lee” Tritt is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign. He’s been a music educator since 1971 and has taught on the Elementary, Secondary, and Community College levels. Terry was a clarinet and Music Education major, but spent most of his career playing saxophone and flute. He’s a performer, an arranger, and a composer, having credits in the TV industry, and having made his mark in countless original, contemporary, jazz, symphonic, and orrchestral groups. As the Brass Section Leader for Elton Jeff & The Honky Cats, Terry brings to the project a talented network of horn players that compliment our performance. Terry’s family includes his wife Jill of 45 years, his son Corey, his two daughters Noreen & Sarah, and his grandson Christopher.
An active musician, teacher, and lifelong student of the trumpet, Dan is equally at home performing in classical, jazz, and commercial arenas. He has over sixty musical theater productions throughout the Chicagoland area, and performs regularly with multiple ensembles, including The Naperville Winds, South Suburban College Adult Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with symphony orchestras including the Portage Festival Orchestra, South Shore Chamber Orchestra, and the Columbus Philharmonic. He’s appeared with Mark Colby, Charley Davis, Dave Stryker, and the great Bobby Vinton. In 2013 Dan toured China with the premier musical, “Rhapsody in Swing”, and returned in 2017 to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Chris Linstrot is from Crown Point, IN. He graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in music education in 2012. He’s taught students in beginning band camps, private lessons, and he’s assisted concert bands, jazz bands, and marching bands at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels. In 2014, he turned his focus to instrument repair and is a professional brass and percussion repair technician, fixing instruments from all over the region, including most of the area schools. Chris also plays lead trombone in the Calumet Ridge Jazz Ensemble, and is regularly featured in “the pit” at the Memorial Opera House for their musicals. When he isn’t gigging, you can find Chris manning the grill and cheering on his White Sox and Da Bears.