Are you interested in booking live jazz into your Seacoast venue? Are you planning an event that would be enhanced by the presence of live jazz? What follows is a list of jazz groups that perform on the Seacoast, with contact information for each. Isn’t life better with jazz in it?
Attention band leaders: If your band plays jazz on the Seacoast, let us list your information. Click here to send us an email to include a short description of your band and its repertoire, a band photo or logo, if any, and contact information (band name, contact name, email, website if any, phone).
THE BEAT NIGHT BAND
Beat Night has been a Seacoast tradition since 1998, known for its monthly events at The Press Room in Portsmouth. Bringing together some of the Seacoast’s leading writers, poets and musicians, Beat Night continues the creative explorations of the Beat Poets of the 1950s, who first fused spoken verse with modern jazz. Beat Night's literary and musical themes have expanded to include the breadth of contemporary musical styles and literary themes. The Beat Night Band’s core group is Scip Gallant, keyboards; David Tonkin, guitar; Scott Solsky, guitar; Chris Stambaugh, bass; Mike Barron, drums; and Frank Laurino, percussion. Host Mike Nelson assembles a roster of featured readers for each performance. Email contact: Mike Nelson
BRAD TERRY/PETER HERMAN DUO
“I have been playing this wonderful American music called ‘Jazz’ ever since my neighbor Benny Goodman convinced my mother to buy me a clarinet when I was fourteen. I’ve been lucky to have known and be challenged by, played and recorded with some of the world’s greatest Jazz players and now, at seventy nine I’m being challenged again by guitarist/friend Peter Herman. Our duo plays tunes I’ve known for 50-60 years that he’s hearing for the first time, and he brings with him a flood of new and refreshing harmonic and melodic ideas. He has mastered a lot of amazing technique and throws musical curve balls at me, definitely keeping me on my toes. We play a variety of standard jazz tunes and spontaneously create musical conversations that take us to surprising and often unlikely places. We’re looking for living-room concerts, quiet places, any venues where people can un-plug and listen.” --Brad Terry Email contact: Brad Terry Bath, ME 207.441.7194
CHRIS KLAXTON GROUP
Trumpeter Chris Klaxton leads an expandable/contractible band ranging from duet to octet. Email contact: Chris Klaxton
CLYDE BISBEE & THE WHEELHOUSE REVELERS
The sextet is a swing jazz and western swing dance band specializing in music from the golden era of jazz: the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Also in the repertoire: a bit of 1940s and early ’50s jump blues and some original music in keeping with the era. Email contact: Clyde Bisbee
COCHECO STREET JAZZ
Cocheco Street Jazz is a combo that includes a lineup of as many as six bandmembers. Their instrumentation typically includes guitar(s), keyboard, bass, drums, saxophone, and trumpet. They play a variety of bebop, swing, Latin, jazz standards by artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Milt Jackson, Charlie Parker, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins and others. Cocheco Street Jazz has been performing in the Seacoast Area of New Hampshire since 2014. Email contact: Nils Crusberg, Portsmouth, NH 603.303.5873
This jazz trio led by drummer Terry MacDonald took its name from the famous comment by alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, “I think I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini.” “That’s our formula!” decided MacDonald. The trio’s guitarist/composer is Marion Campos-Gullotti; Jeff Lind is the bassist. The repertoire is a mix of American Songbook standards, modern jazz classics, Latin jazz, some funk, and some of Marion’s originals. Email contact: Terry MacDonald, Portsmouth, NH 603.436.6710
Flying Home, with bases both on the Seacoast and in Brooklyn, New York, is a Benny Goodman tribute ensemble. An instrumental sextet that also features special guest singers, Flying Home performs the classic repertoire of the BG small ensembles as well as many big band hits of the ’30s and ’40s. A group of top Seacoast and New York players led by drummer John Mettam takes listeners and dancers on a musical journey of the classic swing era with a modern live ensemble. Email contact: John Mettam. Visit flyinghomeband.com.
The quartet describes itself as “an improvisational special ops team taking musical excursions into the unknown.” Repertoire: “Classic jazz and rock themes, inventive atmospherics, sonic ingredients from around the world, and highly infective trance-rhythms. New, yet familiar…and never the same way once.” Members: Dave Tonkin, guitar and devices; Tim Webb, bass; Frank Laurino, drums; Chris Chitouras, guitar. Keyboardist Tom Robinson is a frequent special guest. Email contact: Frank Laurino. Or call 603.740.4440.
IN EARS ‘N’ EYES
A collaboration between visual art and improvised jazz, In Ears ‘n’ Eyes was the invention of saxophonist Matt Langley and abstract painter Roger Goldenberg, known for his vivacious, colorful paintings on irregular shaped canvases that have come to be understood as visual jazz. Performances are offered for corporate and school workshops. Email contact: Chris Klaxton
IRIDESCENCE JAZZ QUARTET
Dave Nathan, writing for All About Jazz, wrote of Iridescence that they are “Smooth — not in the sense of the saccharine stuff served up by contemporary jazz players, but smooth as in a classy unpretentious playing.” Iridescence recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. The members are Charlie Jennison, saxophones; Jim Butka, piano; John Hunter, bass; and Ken Clark, drums. They play concerts, club dates, weddings, parties and play a mix of originals and standards. Email contact: Charlie Jennison Or call 603.438.0323.
JAZZPUTIN AND THE JUG SKUNKS
Jazzputin is described as “an uncanny and at times diabolical combination of genius half wits, raised in families of jazz, hillbilly music, old timey this and thats, and a good chunk o' church music.” Email contact: Chris Klaxton
THE MATT BOLLAND TRIO
This is a guitar/bass duo, sometimes a guitar/bass/drums trio with a repertoire of jazz/Latin standards and original compositions. Email contact: David Sakurai 781.593.7100
NICK GOUMAS QUARTET/QUINTET
Tenor and soprano saxophonist Nick Goumas is a jazz musician with a mature, imaginative and identifying style. His quartet is joined by four outstanding Boston area musicians who all have outstanding credentials: Steve Hunt, piano; Bruce Gertz, bass; and Jack Diefendorf, drums. With the addition of trumpeter Ken Cervenka, the group is a quintet. Its repertoire draws from the American Song Book along with today’s jazz standards. Email contact: Nick Goumas 603.303.0121
Led by area trumpeter/composer Chris Klaxton, OURBIGBAND is an aggregation of some of the Seacoast’s best-known, most talented jazz musicians. They come together in a common purpose, which is to keep big band music alive. The band’s playlist includes the classic big-band repertoire as well the original compositions of its members and some music that goes beyond the strictly-jazz idiom. Email contact: Chris Klaxton
THE BANDS OF RICO BARR
Drummer/vocalist Rico Barr leads a number of bands, most visibly the one called Rico Barr & The Jump ‘n’ Jive Review. Other configurations are the Rico Barr Duo and the Rico Barr Band, Email contact: Rico Barr, North Andover, MA. 978.857.9457
Pianist Ryan Parker is perhaps best-known for his leadership of the house trio at The Press Room, hosting the Sunday night jazz series there and booking the other artists. As Ryan demonstrates almost every week, he can assemble a first-class jazz group of virtually any size. Email contact: Ryan Parker 603.661.6930
The Seasmoke trio performs often unexpected arrangements of original and familiar music, in an eclectic mix of jazz, blues, swing and traditional American songbook tunes. Seasmoke’s repertoire includes original tunes as well as music by Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Louis Jordan, The Meters, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Ray Charles, James Brown, Nat Cole, Hank Williams, T-Bone Walker, and others. Email contact: Doug Green, Kittery, ME 603.978.1180
SOGGY PO’ BOYS
The Soggy Po' Boys are a New Orleans-flavored octet based on the Seacoast of New Hampshire. While steeped in tradition, the Po' Boys continue in search of creating a tradition all their own, playing a repertoire of New Orleans standards, spirituals, contemporary music, and swing tunes. They call their music “a lively blend of fun and insanity,” and it’s accessible to absolutely anyone that hears it. The band’s members are Eric Klaxton, saxophone; Zach Lange, trumpet; Nick Mainella, saxophone; Mike Effenberger, piano; Stu Dias, guitar and vocals; Brett Gallo, drums; Nicholas Phaneuf, bass. Email contact: Mike Effenberger, Dover, NH
Sojoy is a chordless little big band jazz septet that performs Jonny Peiffer's cinematic sound celebrations. Their wide repertoire also includes Mingus, Neil Young, Andrew Hill, and Tchaikovsky. Reeds: Matt Langley, Eric Klaxton, Nick Mainella (and sometimes Barry Saunders). Brass: Zach Lange, Josh Gagnon. Bass: Scott Kiefner. Drums, composer/arranger: Jonny Peiffer. Email contact: Jonny Peiffer, Portsmouth, NH 603.969.2492
WEIRD TURN PRO
Weird Turn Pro is a described as “a celebration of the bizarre in the beautiful, a ship in a bottle, but without the ship, and they're out of bottles.” The “sound unit” features the compositions of keyboardist Mike Effenberger, performed in collaboration with Chris Klaxton, trumpet; Matt Langley, saxes; Chris Gagne, trombone; plus bassist Rob Gerry and drummer Mike Walsh. Their music, they declare, falls largely in the “gallows-jazz genre with intimations of ego death.” Email contact: Mike Effenberger, Strafford, NH