The story of Novel Jazz
Novel Jazz is a group of Maine-based musicians with over two centuries of collective musical experience performing swinging jazz from the Great American Songbook. The year 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the band (our "vicenial"). We specifically focus on the great works of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, ranked as two of America’s finest composers. Through regular trips to the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian Museum as well as the Strayhorn Collection at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., we have collected and arranged selected works from the several-thousand-composition repertoire of these two prolific composers. Concerts include both the music plus the rich history behind each piece. Our audience includes jazz lovers of all ages, dancers, classical music enthusiasts, big band/traditional jazz lovers, people interested in the history of jazz, church congregations (we now include a show of Ellington’s sacred music). We've performed hundreds of concerts over the years around New England: opera houses, clubs, concert halls, churches and live performances on Public Radio (four in all). A description of our CDs can be found here. In our videos on this site, you can hear clips from our recorded music. We’d love to perform for your next concert, dance event, sacred service or whatever! Contact Barney Balch at 'Noveljazz "at" gmail dot com' for more information.