The Insight Band, with its 93-year-old leader, delights seniors at the JCC

On a recent Wednesday, the JCC was swinging with the sounds of the Insight Band, led by 93-year-old Bob Tyler on the piano and saxophone. Tyler and his band have been performing at the JCC for decades, drawing standing-room-only crowds at their monthly jazz lunch.

“I just love playing here,” Tyler said. “They’re a great audience. You can tell they dig it.”

Bob Tyler, leader of the Insight Band, is 93 and has been playing music for decades. CURRENT PHOTOS / LEIGH BLANDER

The Insight Band features Tyler’s wife, Fran, on vocals and another eight local musicians playing everything from the drums to accordion to violin. They perform jazz hits, pop songs and show tunes.

“This is the highlight of my life,” said Pearl Bass of Salem, who never misses a jazz lunch at the JCC. “They’re fabulous.”

Bass and Bea Paul, of Marblehead, have been friends since their days as kindergarteners in Revere and they meet up every month at the J.

The Insight Band performs at the JCC the first Wednesday of every month.

“This is the best day of the month,” Paul said. “The music is so good. You get a real lift from it.”

Her favorite song? “It Had to Be You.”  

“Mine is ‘Kiss Today Goodbye,’” added Bass.

Ronda and Stuart Spitzer, of Lynnfield, look forward to the jazz lunch every month.

The Insight Band has eight members who play everything from the drums to trombone.

“The band is excellent and there’s a very friendly atmosphere,” Ronda said. “ They play older music and it’s nice to reminisce.”

Tyler has been playing music his whole life, and taught music in the Burlington Schools for years. He’s been in many different bands, and even put out a pop record in the 50s with a band called “The Storm Trio.”

“The record was called ‘My Wonderful Lover.’ We played on the radio,” he said.

After the concert, the JCC serves a complimentary lunch. To reserve a seat, contact Sara Ewing at or 857-285-7913.

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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