DAMARISCOTTA — After a busy summer series of concerts around the state featuring the works of Ellington and Strayhorn, the Novel Jazz Septet will return to the Skidompha Public Library 7-9:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the library, 184 Main St., with music from the Great American Songbook. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 years and older, $7 for young adults 12-18, under 12 accompanied by a parent go free.
Novel Jazz performances at Skidompha began with the observation that lovers of books often are lovers of jazz. The superb acoustics of Skidompha’s atrium, plus the seating around the performance space, make it a superior place to see and hear jazz, all in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. It was while performing at Skidompha that the band decided to forge deeper into the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, which they continue to this day. Novel Jazz trombonist Barney Balch began visiting the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to work in their Ellington collection, digging out gems of these musical icons and performing them in summertime concerts. To liven things up during the cold winter months, the band broadens their performance program from Ellington and Strayhorn to the larger “Great American Songbook.”
The musicians of this group have been playing straight-ahead jazz for audiences throughout Maine and beyond for several decades. Collectively, they share more than two centuries of experience in the jazz idiom. Performing will be David Clarke on guitar, Mickey Felder on piano, Mike Mitchell on trumpet, David Harris on reeds, Herb Maine on bass, Bill Manning on drums and Barney Balch on trombone.