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The Nighthawks

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The Nighthawks are a blues and roots music band based in Washington, DC. The Nighthawks are Mark Wenner (harmonica), Paul Bell (lead guitar), Johnny Castle (bass guitar), and Pete Ragusa (drums).


Formed in 1972, the Nighthawks underwent several personnel changes before stabilizing the lineup of Mark Wenner (harmonica), Jimmy Thackery (lead guitar), Jan Zukowski (bass guitar), and Pete Ragusa (drums). Keyboard player Greg Wetzel joined the band in 1983 and has continued to play at special performances as an “alumni” of the band.

The membership of the band remained relatively stable until 1987. At that time, tired of the band’s extensive touring schedule, Thackery (lead guitar) departed. Following his departure, several players temporarily filled the lead guitar spot. These included Danny Morris and Pete Kanaras.

Kanaras (lead guitar) and Zukowski (bass guitar) departed the band in 2004. They were replaced by DC musicians Paul Bell (lead guitar) and Johnny Castle (bass guitar).

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