Van Baines
Ruben Barrera
Sean Cameron
Joe Casseb
Dave Parent
Brett Rowe
Richard Ruiz
Bobby Trevino
Doug Walsdorf

The Court Jesters are ten musicians that LOVE to make music! We have been playing in and around San Antonio for many years. We have a common thread besides our love of music: We are all (most) local attorneys! That's right--when the lights come up, we trade in our law books for our songbooks, our legal cases for instrument cases, our trial notes for eighth notes, and our wing-tips for blue suede! What's more impressive, the lawyers stop arguing and start playing some of the best music in the San Antonio area! The Court Jesters are a horn driven rock band and play a variety of Rock & Roll and R&B classics spanning from the late 1950's to the mid 1980's. We are based in San Antonio, but we can travel to surrounding areas to meet your needs. The Court Jesters play for civic functions, company/corporate parties, benefits, holiday parties, reunions, birthdays, graduations, or any other similar gathering.

The Court Jesters history begins in September of 2005. However, the band's foundation originally began to take shape in 1987 when Mark Luitjen (vocals/bass guitar) asked Ruben Barrera (trumpet/flugelhorn/trombone) to join him and other musicians to play at a Bexar County District Attorney Follies show in October of that year. Mike Jackson (vocals/guitar) joined for the following year's Follies show. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Ruben and Joe Casseb (guitar/vocals) were practicing law together at a local law firm. Ruben and Joe teamed up with Mark, and Joe's brother, Sol Casseb (drums) to play their firm's annual holiday parties.

Despite their love for music and entertaining, their professional careers and family obligations pulled them away from the music scene for a number of years. In 2005, Mary Doggett (vocals) approached Ruben and Joe with the idea of putting together a lawyer band to perform that fall at the San Antonio Bar Association and Bar Foundation Installation Dinner and Dance Gala. Ruben, Mark, Mike, Sol, Joe and Mary then set out to find the remaining musicians necessary for this band in the hopes of playing together long past this event. Added to the mix were Steve Barrera (guitar), Brett Rowe (trumpet/flugelhorn/vocals), Doug Walsdorf (trumpet/flugelhorn/vocals), Jim Frost (saxophones) and the band's only non-lawyer, commercial real estate broker Bobby Trevino (keyboards).

The Court Jesters have been performing continuously since September 2005. Mary retired from the band in May of 2008. Mark Luitjen retired in April of 2013, after a long and wonderful time with the band. Mark did more for our band than we could ever express. Jim Frost retired from the band in May of 2013, while David Parent joined the band as its bassist and vocalist at the same time.  Frank Menchaca joined the band as its saxophonist (alto and tenor) in September of 2013. 

A change in a band’s lead vocalist can be a defining moment because of each singer’s unique vocal qualities and style. The Court Jesters are no exception.  After 9 years of being the band’s lead vocalist with a unique country/rock style, Mike Jackson retired from the band in April of 2014.  Mike was succeeded by Shawn Smith whose vocal style is described as soulful/rock. Shawn served as the band’s lead vocalist from August of 2014 to August of 2018. He is retiring from the band in order to move to Colorado. Thankfully, the band has once again been blessed with the addition of Michael Bell who joined the band as its lead vocalist in September of 2018. His vocal style is also described as soulful/rock.

In late September of 2018, the band’s lead guitarist, Steve Barrera passed away. The pain of losing a band brother digs deep within us. To say we miss him is an understatement. Nevertheless, because of his effervescent love of live music performance, we shall strive to go forward in tribute to his memory. Van Baines will assume the role of lead guitarist. As always, the Court Jesters encourage fans to welcome our newest band members.

The Court Jesters pay tribute to our former band alumni who contributed their vocal and instrumental talents to the band.

Mary Doggett
Mark Luitjen
James (Jim) Frost
Mike Jackson
Shawn Smith
Steve Barrera
Michael Bell
Frank Menchaca
Sol Casseb