A (Very) Belated Happy New Year

The Nova Jazz Orchestra would like to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year. We also missed acknowledging some other yearly milestones, including Groundhog Day and Valentines Day. President’s Day is coming up; this means we can preemptively wish you a happy one of those.

In all seriousness, this post is to let everyone know we’re still here. Currently, the main focus of the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra’s musical activity is rehearsing Bill Mathieu’s Concerto Nova.

We’re pleased to say that the work is shaping up nicely, and soon we hope to welcome Bill Mathieu to town again to hear our progress and offer further guidance. Stayed tuned, everybody!

Concerto Nova!

Visitors to this website may wonder what the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is up to. Considering this space hasn’t been updated in quite a while, it’s a reasonable question. Our silence here, however, belies the fact we are in the midst of a big project.

W.A. "Bill" Mathieu
W.A. “Bill” Mathieu

What is this big project, you might ask? Well, not too long ago, Nova recorded the unrecorded arrangements (and originals) of William “Bill” Mathieu, originally written for Stan Kenton in the late 50s.

The resulting CD, Vol. 2-Double Feature,Vol. 2-Double Feature pleased and delighted many people. Importantly, the recording pleased Bill Mathieu, too, so much so that he was motivated to write an original work specifically for the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. The result is Concerto Nova, a 6 movement work. Nova is currently rehearsing this new music, and the composer Bill Mathieu will visit us soon to help out on the finer musical points. As you might suspect, Nova intends to perform and record Concerto Nova. Stay tuned.

Big Spring With Nova

kmcdcoverOne of the members of the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, saxophonist and composer Kari Musil, received a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board last year. Since, and as a result of the generous grant, she’s decided to put on a “Really Big Show,” a concert of newly composed works featuring her unique musical vision. We’re thrilled Nova will get to take part, and happy to announce that this performance will take place Saturday, April 14th, at 2pm in Hamline University’s Sundin Music Hall. The details are listed below:

  • What: The Music of Kari Musil
  • Who: Kari Musil (jazz composer), Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Leslee McKee (vocalist), J. Otis Powell! (poet), Sue Leigh (saxophonist)
  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: Hamline University, Sundin Music Hall, 1531 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104
  • Cost: adults, $10; students/seniors, $5; children, $3.

Also part of a Big Spring: later this month, on March 27th at 7pm, the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra will unleash its own version of March Madness at the Shorewood Bar & Grill in Fridley. Treat yourself to a good time; come out and hear us play some great original big band music.