Meet the members of On Easy Street
Bob Duffy, guitar and ukulele
Bob's musical experience reaches back to his early teens. After a few years of formal lessons, the rest of his musical growth in guitar, ukulele and some piano was from personal study. Bob also performs with Duff Jam, an annual musical event that meets in various locations around the country. By day Bob works as an IT consultant; after hours he enjoys the camaraderie, the creativity, and sharing the joy of music with the community as a member of On Easy Street. An interesting bit of information about Bob: the guitar he plays today is an exact duplicate of the guitar that was stolen from him at gunpoint when he was a college student in Detroit.
Dan Duffy, bass
Dan has been playing electric bass on and off since childhood (he says mostly off). He was self-taught by ear and Carol Kaye books, followed by a year of formal lessons and ensemble. Dan also plays, in descending order of expertise, guitar, keyboard, cuatro, violin, and clarinet. He has performance experience in a wide variety of different settings, including guitar mass, wedding band, acoustic band, progressive rock band, and solo gigs playing guitar and singing. He earned a 2-year diploma from Berklee College of Music in jazz guitar and jazz bass. Dan's day job is in IT as a business analyst/supervisor, but he enjoys his fellow band mates and the unique music of On Easy Street. When not making music he enjoys spending time with his family.
Chip Hammond, drums
Chip began playing drums when he was 12. In his high school years he had the privilege of studying percussion with Dr. Alyn J. Heim and jazz drum set with Carl Wolf. By age 15 Chip was gigging around the New York metro area with various bands doing popular music, and with the Don Pierce Orchestra doing standards for up-scale events. In the high school music program Chip played in the marching band, orchestra, and the jazz band, and was the drummer in the pit orchestra for the school’s production of Godspell. His music began to take a back seat when he started college. His last musical endeavors included playing drums for the pit orchestra for his college’s production of The Fantastics. While studying at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, he played a one-night performance of blues for the student body and faculty with one of his professors, Rev. Dr. William Edgar (jazz pianist with a B.A. in ethnomusicology from Harvard). Education, marriage, family, more education, etc. led to a long hiatus from music. Today Chip is the pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Leesburg, a Teaching Fellow with the C.S. Lewis Institute’s Fellows Program, and a published author. After his long hiatus from playing music he is back at it. He enjoys the personalities and creativity of his band mates, the opportunity to make music with his wife, and greeting old friends and meeting new people at gigs, and sharing "the greatest music ever written."
Donna Hammond, vocals, keyboard, hand percussion
Donna's love of singing stretches back as far as she can remember. Although she had 8 years of formal piano instruction (plus brief efforts at cello and guitar), her vocal training has mostly come through workshops and excellent choir directors. Donna has performed with multiple school and church choirs and in several musical theater productions, and has experience as a choir director and soloist. In 2016 completed a class in vocal jazz performance at The Vocal Workshop in Vienna which culminated in a performance at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club with the Chris Grasso Trio. When her husband's jazz band lost its vocalist, they asked Donna to "fill in" and she never left. Now she thoroughly enjoys the friendships made with her On Easy Street band mates and their families and loves sharing live music with all kinds of audiences. When not working on music or in her job as a church administrator, Donna enjoys gardening, reading, and caring for her latest interest: several planted aquariums full of tropical fish.
Dave Sletten, guitar
With the distinction of being the youngest band member, Dave is also the most fastidious (the chords have to be exact) member. Singing was a part of his childhood as he lived in a variety of places and while in high school in Tokyo he played the role of Prof. Harold Hill in a production of The Music Man. Dave taught himself guitar as a young man and played for about three years before taking a long break from it. He picked it up again to come to a jazz jam in Purcellville about three years ago that eventually became the band. Today Dave plays guitar and ukulele, and takes formal lessons in piano and a very complex instrument called the Chapman Stick. In 2017 he completed a jazz performance class at Frederick Community College. By day, Dave is a software engineer who enjoys learning new computer languages as well as human languages. A former Chinese linguist with the U.S. Air Force, Dave speaks several languages. What does Dave like most about playing with the band? “I had never played jazz previously, so the band has provided a great motivation to learn a lot of new music. It’s also given me many opportunities to perform, and I feel that we give back to our community through our music.”