The History of Wamba Jamba

Wamba Jamba was born in the basement of Chuck Hardy’s house in 1989. The vision for the party was to drink lots-O-beer and Jam, no rehearsals allowed. WJJ II was moved to Dutko’s Farm in Pittsford and as was the case with WJJ I the fuzz spoiled the party. Needing to have a place where loud music was not an issue, Ellison Park was selected and continues to host WJJ today. During WJJ IV, the South Lodge (occupancy 60) was swamped with 230+ fans. Wamba V received notoriety in a column written in the Rochester D&C. A trademark of Wamba Jamba is the "psychedelic" flyers that find themselves posted all over and of course the collectors Wamba Mugs. Wamba Mugs were first introduced at Wamba IV. The idea was, instead of buying tickets, buy a Mug. The Mug is your ticket and makes a really nice holder for the cold beer. The "mug is your ticket" innovation has now developed into a cult collector items, each is different, and each tells a story. Since Chuck left Harris in 2001 Wamba has continued to evolve into a "reunion" of sorts for other former co-workers and new found friends. Though the numbers have dwindled, your always sure to find some old friends (and meet some new ones) at Wamba. People often ask what is the meaning of Wamba Jamba? All I can say is:

"you gotta go to one to find out".

The History of Wamba years and "Themes"

Wamba Jamba I - Chucks House 1989 "Pseudo Woodstock Festival" (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba II - Frank Dutko's House 1990 (flyer)

Wamba Jamba III - Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge 1991 (flyer)

Wamba Jamba IV - Ellison Park South Lodge 1992 (flyer)

Wamba Jamba V - Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge 1993 (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba 6.5 - Ellison Park Hazelwood Lodge 1995 "Wish you were Here" (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba 8.8 - Ellison Park Hazelwood Lodge 1997 "In synch with Oz" (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba 9.8 - Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge 1998 "Its the real thing" (flyer)

Wamba Jamba 10.99 - Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge 1999 "the Good, the Bad and the Wamba" (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba W2K - Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge 2000 "Thanks for the Memories" (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba "2001: a music oddity" - Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge 2001 (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba XIII - Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge 2002 "Wamba the 13th" (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba 2003 - Ellison Park Hazelwood Lodge "Weapons of Mass Music Destruction" (flyer) (pics)


Wamba Jamba 2004 - Ellison Park Hazelwood Lodge "Dazed and Confused" (flyer) (pics)


Wamba Jamba 2006 - Ellison Park Hazelwood Lodge "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" (flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba Jam 20th Anniversary Tour 2009
Ellison Park Hazelwood Lodge "What a Long Strange Trip it's Been"
(flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba Jam 25th Anniversary 2014
Ellison Park Hazelwood Lodge "Peace Love & Wamba"
(flyer) (pics)

Wamba Jamba Jam 30th Anniversary 2019
Ellison Park Hazelwood Lodge "the song remains the same"
(flyer) (pics)

**COMING Saturday August 10th, 2024** Wamba Jamba Jam 35th Anniversary 2024
Ellison Park Pavilion Lodge "Theme TBD "

here is our Wamba 30 logo, a new logo for 2024 will be coming soon!!! please check back in the spring of 2024 for more info on our next reunion event... cant wait to see everyone at the 2024 Wamba!! its going to be a blast... --wamba-master Chuck

Original members of Wamba Jamba include:

Chuck (Bonzo) Hardy

Doug (GrayDog) Gray

Chris (YoYo) Yockel

Bill (the Soul Man) Soule

Don (Strez) Strenczewilk

Steve Letkauskas (RIP)

Barry Christ (honorary)

 Other "Jammin" Players for Wamba over the years

Kathy Cronin

Jeff LaPlante

Donna LaPlante

John Stevens

Andy Remillard

Jack DiPolito

John Davis (RIP)

Dennis Newberry

Joe Pasquale

Dennis Koch and band

April Blair (RIP)

Mike Reed

Mike Wadsworth

Melissa Joy

Pete Francz

Bob Litoff

Kate Chesbro

Charlie Datz

"Frito" (RIP)

Scott Meyers

Bill Campbell

Joe Curley

Adam Yervasi

Jack Miner

Bryne Mowers

Greg Mowers

Dave Mowers

Sue Lamb

Ed Morey

Don Mancuso

Jay Yockel

Tammy Gruendike

Al DiFranco


Greg Brockway

Patrick Henry

Bob Kaimer (RIP)

Tom Porpiglia

Russ LaTour

Barry Christ

Geoff Bright 

Joe Digioia

Greg Walker

Jim Archibald (RIP)

Bob Latragna

Steve Latragna

Dawn Logan

Jerry Lovelace

Bob Lovelace

Bill Christinao

  and many could be next!!

Many Special Thanks over the years to:

Bill Soule (my right hand man and coproducer)

Barry Christ (honorary Original member and guitarist extraordinaire)

Ray Riggerello (the Chef) -RIP

Dan Smith ('the Man', first one in and last one out!!)

Steve and John Robida (Keg Kooler)

Robin Ryan (printing)

Chuck Brockler (marketing)

Kathrine Krylov (marketing)

Paul Garrett (utility man)

Mike May of May Marketing

Linda Carlson Jamalkowski (Photos)

Mike Kidulich (Photos and craft beer)

Steve Zugnoni (grill and truck)

Terry Brown (grill and trash extraction)

and my wife Debbie for being patient with me

and More I forgot to mention ....

Thank you all for making Wamba such a fun and memorable event!!!

-- Wamba Master Chuck