d. ruzicka trio
Donna Ruzicka Altepeter: A native of St. Louis, Donna has resided in the Fox Valley the past 20 years. She has been involved in making music most of her life, performing on the organ, guitar and singing. Over the past four years, she has studied under Janet Planet, focusing on vocal jazz and collaborating with Tom Theabo and Jim Wilfahrt in performances and recording. Janet, Tom and Jim have been and continue to serve as important influences, mentors and teachers. She recorded (Oct. 2004) her first CD, "Song of Songs" which features Tom and Jim throughout the recording as well as many arrangements by Tom Theabo. The cd also features the wonderfully talented John Harmon, Tom Washatka, Mark Powers and John Gibson. Her Christmas CD "Seasons Greetings" was released Fall, 2005 and her most recent CD, "Favorites" is a collaboration with Tom and Jim which was released in November, 2006. Donna resides in Oshkosh with her children, Andy and Maria.
Tom Theabo: Tom has been a guitarist/arranger/writer for more than 35 years. A full time musician and teacher, his style is a unique voice in the jazz world and immediately recognizable. His recordings are numerous. He has been featured with Grammy nominee, Chris Swanson and John Harmon on the 1985 release of "Sweet Thunder" on the Seabreeze lable. He has shared the stage with George Benson, Chuck Mangione and Gene Bertoncini. He has also collaborated with Janet Planet over the last 25 years. He continues to shape his artistry on guitar as well as an arranger and song writer. Some of his original arrangements and songs can be found on his recent Stellar release, "A Fine Sample". He has also collaborated with Janet Planet in recording the "Consequence of Two" CD as well as the live performance recording "Get Happy". Most recently, Tom was involved in arranging for and recording with Donna on her upcoming Christmas CD, "Seasons Greetings". In 2000 and again in 2003, he toured Japan and helped to form the first "Fraternity of Musicians" between jazz musicians in Japan and the U.S. Tom resides in Oshkosh.
Jim Wilfahrt: Jim is originally from New Ulm, Minnesota. He came to Oshkosh as a college student and has remained here since. He has been a musician for over 25 years, playing the harmonica and the concertina. He has collaborated musically with Tom Theabo over the last 20 years. Their relaxed yet well integrated style speaks of their long history together. Jim has also played with Janet Planet and bands "Radio Flyer" and "Blues Pool". Jim is featured on Tom Theabo's CD, "A Fine Sample" as well as Donna's CD, "Song of Songs" and recently completed Christmas CD. His harmonica adds a unique sound not found in many traditional jazz collaborations. His versatility and improvisation makes the music alive and emotive. Jim has taught elementary education in Oshkosh for 23 years and lives with his wife Dawn and their two children, Kate and Calaf.