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Upcoming Concerts

Novel Jazz Septet Concerts, 2018

"Duke & Swee'Pea- Love You Madly"


We are building this year's schedule at the moment and the band is rehearsing new tunes from the Smithsonian, so stay tuned.  Our 2018 show will be covering tunes from the Ellington Band  between the 1920's to the 1970's, with classic jazz compositions from these iconic composers, both standards and lesser-known gems.  We have tunes lined-up that were written to feature many of the instrumental voices of the Ellington orchestra.  The instrumental configuration of the Novel Jazz septet (three horns with a four piece rhythm section) was Ellington's favorite small band combination for those times when he wasn't composing for the 18 piece orchestra. 

Terry Teachout remarked in his brilliant biography of Duke1, "Unlike many artists who won fame during their lifetimes, Ellington underwent no posthumous decline in his reputation.  He is universally acknowledged as the greatest composer in the history of jazz and, increasingly, as one of the greatest of any kind in the history of American music, as well as a peerlessly creative big-band orchestrator, a pianist of formidible originality, and an enduring exemplar of black accomplishment and pride."  Strayhorn's talents were equally laudible.  As the author, David Hajdu, put it in his book, Lushlife2, “Billy Strayhorn was one of the greatest composers in the history of American music, the creator of a body of work that includes such standards as “Take the ‘A’ Train”. Yet all his life Strayhorn was overshadowed by his friend and collaborator Duke Ellington, with whom he worked for three decades as the Ellington Orchestra’s ace songwriter.” 

Our 2018 Ellington & Strayhorn shows will highlight each composer, together and separately.  We look forward to seeing you at our shows!   (Always contact venues in advance to confirm times, directions, ticket details, etc.).   

 1 Teachout, Terry.  2013. Duke- A life of Duke Ellington.  Gotham Books, New York. 483pp.

2  Hajdu, David. 1996. Lush Life- A biography of Billy Strayhorn.  North Point Press, New York.  308pp.

Novel Jazz Septet Dates  for 2018 

(Note: Season schedule still under construction!)

Novel Jazz Septet Dates  for 2018       Version 4-18-18

(*= GAS (Great American Songbook

** Ellington &Strayhorn shows)

Date                        Where                               Time 

Thur 13 Jan      UU Church, Brunswick **         7:30PM    

Fri 9 Feb          Skidompha Library, Damariscotta*  7PM  

Fri 27 April       Skidompha Lib., Damariscotta*

(Jazz Appreciation Month [JAM!] & Duke B-day)   7PM

Thu 31 Jul       Camden Library Camden**       7PM    

Sat 4 Aug       Chebeague Methodist

                      Church, Chebeague Island**    7PM 

Fri 10 Aug       Skidompha Lib., Damariscotta** 7PM

Sat 8 Sept       Vienna Union Hall,Vienna**       7PM    

Fri 14 Sept       Frontier Café, Brunswick **       8PM     

Sat 15 Sept     Trinitarian Church, Castine**    7:30PM?  

Fri 9 Nov         Skidompha Lib., Damariscotta*   7PM 


Barney Balch and Friends;  Dates for 2018

Date              Where                               Time

Sat 10 Mar    Novel Jazz Trio, Benefit*        6:30PM

Sat 5 May & Sun 6 May     Handel’s Israel in Egypt

(classical Orchestra w/ St Cecilia and Sheepscot

Choruses; 2nd Cong. Church, Newcastle)    4PM               


Sun 22 Jul    Lincoln Arts Jazz Service, Boothbay

Cong. Church (Quintet w/ Mickey Felder, Herb

Maine, Lefty McAuslin, Bill Manning) *    10AM


Fri 3 Aug   Bill Manning Quartet; Harpswell

(private party)*                                      4:30PM 


Fri 14 Dec   Gingerbread Spectacular, Boothbay

Opera House (Novel Quartet)*               5:30PM