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Upcoming Concerts

Novel Jazz Septet Concerts, 2019

"I'm Just a Lucky So and So"


 2019 marks our 15th consecutive season of the NJS and will be a special year indeed!   The Novel Jazz Septet is proud to announce that we will be performing at the season kick-off event, an Ellington-themed gala party for the Maine State Music Theater's new season (which includes their production of "Sophisticated Ladies", featuring the works of Duke Ellington)!  This will be a very special evening of E&S music featuring a cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres, buffet dinner, music by MSMT performers plus the Novel Jazz Septet.  Finally, 2019 (June 21 to be specific!) also marks the release date of our fourth and newest CD, "Ellington & Strayhorn Novellas".  This new album features tunes from our 2017 and 2018 seasons. In honor of the release, we will do a special Skidompha evening on 21 June with some sneak previews of our new compositions from the 2019 show. 

Our  tunes this year will cover the period from the Ellington Band  between the 1920's to the 1960's, with classic jazz compositions from these iconic composers, both standards and lesser-known gems. We have tunes lined-up this year 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 2019 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 2019 

Novel Jazz Septet Dates  for 2019       Version 4-18-19;

(*= GAS (Great American Songbook

** Ellington &Strayhorn shows)

Date                        Where                               Time 

Fri. 22 Mar          Skidompha Library, Damariscotta*  7PM

Sat. 1 June    Maine State Music Theater gala party for their production, "Sophisticated Ladies" featuring Novel        Jazz  and vocalists from the upcoming MSMT production; St. John's Community Center, Brunswick ME; 6:30 PM

Fri. 21 June- Skidompha Public Library*; CD Release party for "Ellington & Strayhorn Novellas"; 7PM

Thurs. 11 July- Camden Library**; 7PM

Thurs. 18 July- Old Town Library**; 6:30PM

Sat. 20 July- Private jazz party** 5:45PM

Sat. 27 July- Chebeague Island, Methodist Church**; 7PM

Sun. 4 Aug- Bayside Arts, Bayside, ME **; 7:30PM

Wed. 7 Aug.- Little Brown Church, Round Pond**; 7:30PM 

Tues. 20 Aug- St. Andrews Village, Boothbay Harbor**; 1PM

Fri. 23 Aug- Skidompha*, 7PM

Sat. 21 Sept.- Saco River Theater, Bars Mills**; 7:30PM

Fri. 4 October- Frontier Café, Brunswick**; 8PM

Fri. 15 November- Skidompha Public Library*, 7PM

Sat. 30 November- Cadenza, Freeport, ME, 7PM: SPECIAL: Billy Strayhorn Birthday Party, an evening of all              Strayhorn

Barney Balch and Friends;  Dates for 2019

Date              Where                               Time

Sat 9 Mar    Novel Jazz Trio, Benefit; 1812 Farm, Bristol*        6:00PM

Sun.  14 July- Boothbay Harbor Congregational Church; 10AM; Quintet

Sun.  11 Aug- Schooner Landing; 4PM-7PM; with Bob Page and the Downeast Jazz Babies

Sun. 18 Aug- Coveside Restaurant, South Bristol; 2-5PM; with Bob Page and the Downeast Jazz Babies

Thurs. 22 Aug.- Granite Hill Estates; 2-3PM; with Mickey Felder (piano)

Sat. 7 Dec. Tandem Glass open house, Dresden, ME; 1:30-3:30; with Mickey Felder (piano).

Fri. 13 December  Boothbay Opera House Quartet; Dough Ball (with Herb Maine (bass), Bill Manning (drums)  & Mickey Felder, piano)