The Kennedy Center

Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Direct Jazz Band


Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Direct Jazz Band is an exciting and energetic Washington, D.C.-based band that specializes in traditional New Orleans Dixieland music, but its versatility encompasses other styles as well: from the music of the swing era, to society music to the Blues.

Although Dixieland Direct performs with as many as seven musicians, the nucleus of the group is a quartet. Fashioned after the Swing and Dixieland styles of Benny Goodman and Pete Fountain, Dixieland Direct features Henning Hoehne on clarinet, with Bob Boguslaw on piano, Dallas Smith on bass and Mike Flaherty on drums. Dixieland Direct has been performing together for almost two decades. Along with being featured on numerous recordings, members of Dixieland Direct have been featured at major jazz festivals and have toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad.  Dixieland Direct was named the winner of the 2010 French Quarter Battle of the Bands in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Focusing on musicianship as well as entertainment, the band combines humorous lyrics and a dose of bandstand shtick to make a fun-filled and enjoyable time for all audiences. The band is uniquely complemented with its own arrangers and an extensive library of over 500 arrangements. The collection includes arrangements from the early Scott Joplin Rags, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington, to name just a few. 


Henning Hoehne is from Hamburg, Germany. He started playing clarinet at age 13, joined Dr. Abbi Huebner's ' Low Down Wizards in 1954, and then Huebner/Vohwikel's Original Barrelhouse Orchestra. Mr. Hoehne came to the U.S. in 1955 and joined the United States Navy as a musician in 1957. He was the leader/founder of USNA Band's Original Crab Town Stompers. After retiring from the Navy in 1980, Mr. Hoehne earned a B.S. in I.T. from University of Baltimore in 1984. Along with being a freelance musician in the Baltimore/Washington area, Mr. Hoehne has performed with many groups, such as Southern Comfort, Paradise Jazz Band, and the Federal Jazz Commission.

Bob Boguslaw has been performing in many different capacities as a pianist in the Washington/Baltimore areas for the last 15 years. In the field of jazz, he has appeared with the likes of Louis Bellson, Manhattan Transfer, Marc Egan and Vinnie Colaiuta. A classically trained pianist, Mr. Boguslaw has performed with the National Gallery Orchestra, McLean Symphony, and The United States Marine Band Orchestra as a soloist. He has also appeared with the Royal Philharmonic and the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra. He has two CDs on the Summit Record label which have both received critical acclaim. He currently performs as a member of "The President's Own" United States Marine Band.

Drummer/Bandleader Mike Flaherty holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from the George Washington University. He studied music at the University of Central Florida, as well as George Mason University and Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona. Mr. Flaherty enjoyed a long military career, including over twenty years as a drummer with the famed United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, before retiring from the Army in 2003.  Mr. Flaherty has performed with many New Orleans musicians, including Ryan Burrage, Louis Ford, Tom Fischer, Jacques Gauthe, Tim Laughlin, David Boeddinghaus, Eric Glaser, and Harry Watters. Along with being a freelance musician in the National Capital Region, Mr. Flaherty is a member of the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble, Kaleidoscope Orchestra, and Swing Shift Big Band.  Mr. Flaherty currently works for the U.S. Marine Corps as the Exceptional Family Member Program Manager.

After attending The Eastman School of Music, where he studied clarinet, Dallas Smith has maintained a busy and varied professional career as a string bassist.  In 1972, he joined the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, the premiere jazz ensemble of The United States Army, based in the Washington, D.C., area. As a member of the Blues, Mr. Smith led a dual musical life. Initially a woodwind doubler – playing saxophone, flute and clarinet – he was equally comfortable on upright bass and electric bass and eventually moved full-time to the string bass chair. He performed regularly at the White House, the Vice President’s residence, and many diplomatic functions, as well as many concerts and jazz festivals, including the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) and the Monterey Jazz Festival (California). For the final 10 years of his career, he served as the Blues’ enlisted group leader and retired as sergeant major.  Mr. Smith has recorded and performed with such artists and personalities as Bob Hope, Steve Allen, Clark Terry, Patti LaBelle, Stanley Turrentine, Louis Bellson, Herbie Hancock, Arturo Sandoval, and Lou Rawls. He can be heard on recordings for Warner Brothers, Hal Leonard, CPP Belwin, Busch Gardens, and Kings Dominion.  In 2009, he joined Dixieland Direct and continues to freelance in the Washington, D.C., area.

Watch Past Performances

Video 1/25/2012: Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Direct Jazz Band

Styled after the Swing and Dixieland styles of Benny Goodman and Pete Fountain, these seasoned musicians are a healthy serving of the best in sounds and shtick for a fun-filled show.

Mike Flaherty's Dixieland Direct Jazz Band