Ben Pokluda – General Manager

During his time in high school, Mr. Pokluda played 3 years in the high school band. Being that he came from on old farm town, Flatonia, TX, music was mostly learned and loved from playing with his family. The Pokluda family grew up on a farm and the father, Mr. Paul Pokluda and his two sons, Leonard and Ben, provided entertainment to the family by playing music. Ben began playing in a local polka band and recalls one of his fondest memories; during an intermission with the polka band, he went to the juke box and put in his nickel, selecting a song without knowing anything about it. This was his first time to ever hear Clyde McCoy’s “Sugar Blues” and he has been hooked on jazz ever since. Ben took a hiatus from music to begin his own life as a husband and a father, devoting the next several decades caring for his family. Mr. Pokluda met his second wife in 2003 when he began taking ballroom dance lessons. It was the late Mrs. Connie Pokluda that reintroduced her husband back into the jazz world when she bought him the documentary “How Jazz Started” by Ken Burns.

After the passing of his wife, Mr. Pokluda realized this was the perfect time to do something great. He began taking trumpet lessons with Professor George Chase. During one of his sessions with the Professor, Mr. Pokluda wondered what it would be like to take his passion for the Dixieland era and combine it with his love of the big band. With encouragement from the Professor, family and friends, Mr. Pokluda began his dream of starting Jazz Forever. Uniting traditional New Orleans Dixieland jazz with the Big Band era is what Jazz Forever represents to him.