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Pioneer Village
San Leandro
and Lafayette
(San Francisco
East Bay)

This Eastern San Francisco Bay jazz club had two locations: Lafayette in the hills east of Oakland, and San Leandro to the south. 

Bob Scobey, Ralph Sutton and various formations of Mielke’s Bearcats appeared at both venues.

Mielke's Bearcats on a Pioneer Village stage in a large, high-ceiling dance-hall.

L to R: Mielke, Frank Goudie, P.T. Stanton, Dick Oxtot, Pete Allen
Recovered contact sheet
Mielke collection

Twin Venues

Only a few facts can be gleaned from the handful of tantalizing photos and ephemera extant from the intriguing Pioneer Village.  It had two locations: Lafayette in the hills east of Oakland and San Leandro to the south. 

Bob Scobey, Ralph Sutton and various formations of Mielke’s Bearcats appeared at both venues.  Photos of one venue (above) reveal a large, high-ceiling barn-like hall with an old west stage motif.  But I've yet to determine which stage was which location.

By contrast, the other Pioneer stage (left) appears to be a more conventional commercial space or banquet room. 

L to R:
Oxtot, unknown bass, PT Stanton, Bill Dart, Bunky Colman and Mielke.
Bob Mielke's Bearcats at Pioneer Village during a July-August 1957 gig. 
Oxtot collection.

A Mielke band at Pioneer Village, March, 1958. 

L to R:

Bill Dart (drums),
Bob Mielke (trombone), 
Bob Short
(not visible),
Jack Buck
(piano, trombone),
Mel Leiberman
(clarinet, tenor sax)

Leiberman was an Oakland car salesman who began clarinet at age ten and once played with Jimmy Dorsey. 

Mielke collection

Same date.

L to R:
Bill Dart (drums),
Bob Short
(string bass),
Jack Buck (piano),
Bob Mielke (trombone),
Mel Leiberman (tenor sax)

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