TRAVERSE CITY — Don Havenstein just likes to play music that makes people dance.
The 87-year-old sax player from Bellaire is one of a trio of senior musicians who play in “The Reflections," a dance band which performs regular gigs at the Traverse City Senior Center on the fourth Saturday of every month.
He loves the work so much that he returned to play just two days after his birthday in August. It's all about getting people dancing, he said.
Halvenstein is joined once a month at the center by Dee Boik, a keyboardist from Houghton Lake and Matt Lucas, a double bass player from Farwell to provide a live soundtrack while seniors hit the dance floor.
The band takes on a fourth member occasionally when Ken Perry, a guitarist for another band joins in, as he did at the group's August performance.
Havenstein and Boik have a long history, much longer than the four-year history of the band. They began playing together in the Detroit area in the 1970’s. Lucas is the youngest of the group at 73. All are lifelong musicians, but without Havenstein’s wife Ann, who manages the trio, they might not still be performing at this stage of their lives.
Don and Ann Halverstein, both widowed, married 12 years ago. Don said he was content and busy with his own business as a handyman when Ann presented him with an opportunity to perform again.
“I pushed him into it,” she said. “Don’s daughter got an engagement and we had to get some musicians together. We knew a lot of people, so I called and emailed and pushed. You find a lot of people when you look."
Ann admits she’s pretty persuasive, “I talked to a drummer and he said, 'I can’t do that,' I said, 'Sure you can.' So he went out and bought a new set of drums.”