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20240320 Paradise Resort Estates 1 webSince December, Rock & Roll music jams have been standard this season each Friday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Since February 2024, Country/Gospel jams are new to this park each Tuesday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Each jam is managed by the park’s activity director, Jim Stiles. The ‘balanced sound system’ is a feature designed by sound engineer Craig Clampitt allowing each musician to be easily heard over the supporting music generated by the two outstanding stage bands. Each jammer is announced by the jam’s MC David Harston for the country jam and Cathy Squier for the rock & roll jam.

The rock & roll jams feature the Esquiers Band with Cliff Squier on drums, Claude Babin on keyboard, Allen Cully on rhythm guitar and vocals, Gilles LaFlamme on lead guitar and vocals and RK Welander on bass guitar and vocals. The music played is primarily classic rock & roll from the 1950’s to 1970’s.

During this season, there were 26 individual musician jammers who performed with the five-piece band. On average, there are seven to 10 musicians who routinely perform each week.

The new six-piece band includes Andy Anderson on lead guitar, Howard Bedient on keyboard/piano, Allen Cully on bass guitar, Dale Eichor on rhythm guitar, Troy Reese on drums and Rich Rohrback on pedal steel guitar. The music played is primarily traditional country-gospel classics.

20240320 Paradise Resort Estates 2 webAt the March 5 country jam there were 23 musician jammers.

This article will feature three musicians. The first one is Howard Bedient (keyboard/piano/vocals) who lives full time in Alamo. Howard is a retired tool and die maker who began his musical journey at age nine and began performing at 15. Howard was self-motivated to study music through his mother who played piano. In high school, Howard played the trumpet, trombone, and tuba, and sang in school and church choirs and performed with local bands.

Howard has performed with Super Cirkus, Fruitgum Co., plus bands in Grand Island, NE, Wichita, KS and currently with bands here in the RGV. He also performs for the American Legion and Elk organizations. He performed with his wife, Barbara, as well until her death in 2016. Barbara was a brilliant Canadian accordionist who encouraged him to work harder to achieve excellence as a musician. Howard is driven today by the thrill of making great music with high quality musicians.

20240320_Paradise-Resort-Estates_3-web.gifAllen Cully is from Missouri. Al started his musical journey at age 13 playing the guitar, bass guitar and singing. He currently performs with local Missouri bands, RGV bands and has performed on radio programs. He has performed with Dealers Choice for 15 years, Missouri Valley Boys for 20 years and currently with the High Noon Band.

Al has performed with musicians such as Jim Cox who is in the Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame and with Don E. Curtis. Al continues to perform at numerous jams here in the RGV and in Missouri. Al owes his musical career to many musicians who helped him get to where he is today. “It’s been a long road and a great ride. I thank them all.”

Jim Stiles manages and performs in both jams and is the activity director for the park. His home is in Ontario, Canada where he worked on aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force and retired as a sergeant for the Ontario Provincial Police.

20240320 Paradise Resort Estates 4 webHis musical career started later in his adult life taking piano lessons. He started playing the guitar thanks to his wife Karen who purchased it for him. Jim took guitar lessons and began singing primarily after reaching retirement in 2015 while playing at jams in the RGV. He has started ‘song circles’ at Paradise Estates and also in Canada where starting a ‘Masonic song circle’ helped encourage fellowship among his fellow Masons

Paradise Resort Estates first opened in 1973 and was located at the corner of Jackson and Kelly Roads in Pharr. In 2003, this park was closed and moved to its current location at 301 East Hall Acres Road in Pharr.