Combining the energy of neo-bop and the eclecticism of contemporary jazz, the popular New Arts Jazztet (NAJ) performs an exciting original repertoire. Drawing inspiration from Gerry Mulligan’s pianoless quartets, the group—saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass, and drums—moves this format into the 21st Century, both musically and technologically.
The NAJ’s club dates have included Cincinnati’s Blue Wisp, Chicago’s Pops for Champagne, and other nightspots around the Midwest. Its concert, clinic, and festival engagements have comprised a number of universities and other performance venues throughout the Heartland. The group has appeared with several prominent jazz artists, and has performed as part of a live statewide television broadcast, Arts Across Illinois: Center Stage
(2004), on WTTW/Channel 11, Chicago. The group presents a formal concert as part of the Southern Illinois Jazz Festival each spring, and is a featured ensemble at the Southern Illinois Music Festival each summer. The NAJ is also in residence at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where its members are School of Music faculty.
Along with the duo FourOnSix, the group is featured on the album Darkness Into Light
, a release by NAJ bassist and 2003 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellow Phil Brown. The recording is available at http://www.acaldera.com