Meet the Jolly Ramblers

Chuck Thiel
Chuck, the concertina player, lead vocalist, and leader, is the son of the band’s originator Albert Thiel, who passed away May 12, 1994. Chuck has been a Jolly Rambler since 1962. Father of Jason, Jeremy (died of cancer at age 34), and Jamison, he makes his home in Lester Prairie. After teaching high school English for 25 years, Chuck plays music and organizes and directs tours.
Ken Schmidt
Ken has been a Jolly Rambler since 1971. He plays trumpet, saxophone, and valve trombone and does many of the vocals. He also arranges much of the band’s music. Ken and his wife Cathy live in LeCenter where Ken recently retired as a high school science teacher. They have two grown sons.
Jason Thiel
Jason is a third generation Jolly Rambler who became a full-time member in January 1995. Jason most often plays keyboard and does vocals, but occasionally will be found behind the drums and even playing trumpet. A graduate of St. Cloud State University, he now works for WCCO-TV and Fox Sports in Minneapolis and lives in Bloomington with his wife Mary and sons Jacob, Noah and Benjamin.
Leon Haefner
Leon, a retired band director at Northfield High School, became a regular with the Jolly Ramblers in 2008. Leon plays saxophone and clarinet and also works with many other bands.
Jim Bartusek
Jim is the newest band member having joined full-time in January 2015. Jim played drums for Ivan Kahle for a number of years and most recently was the regular drummer for the Wee Willie Band.
Jacob Thiel
Noah Thiel
Other Musicians
Myron Muehlbauer
Myron has been a musician for nearly 40 years. He plays trumpet, saxophone, and clarinet. He plays about 20 dates with the Jolly Ramblers each year and works with many Minnesota and Wisconsin bands.
Gary Baggenstoss
Gary, a longtime musician who worked with the Deutschmeisters for many years and now works with Dale Dahmen, has played tuba for the band since July 2003.