Rod Bieber discusses the fascinating history of the New Reformation Jazz Band today with Dave Oppermann, band leader and keyboardist. The band celebrates 50 years of performing throughout the midwest and on national TV specials. The NRB is building an extensive legacy project www.newref.com/legacy where it compares many of its arrangement with other jazz stars of the past.
Advance Tickets: $25
Brown Paper Tickets
Buy in person at these locations:
Herter Music Center (901 Washington Ave, Bay City)
Oppermann’s Cork ‘N’ Ale (2940 Midland Rd, Saginaw and 1607 E. Patrick, Midland)
Saginaw Medical Federal Credit Union (4550 State St, Saginaw and 1430 N. Michigan Ave, Saginaw)
Westside Decorating (5789 State St, Saginaw)
Tickets get you access to all three stages and 25+ musical artists.
At the Door Ticket Price: $30
full access to all three stages
Veteran and Student Price: $15 (Valid ID Required)
Veterans and students may purchase tickets online or at the door for a discounted rate.
An optional buffet dinner is available for an additional fee in both main stage rooms.
A cash bar is also available.
NRB CAST OF CHARACTERS
Trumpet, Dave Tatrow, Otisville MI
Trombone: Keith DeWitt, Flushing, MI
Clarinet: Dave Bennett, Waterford, MI
Tuba: Paul Keen, Rockford MI
Banjo/Guitar: Dave Kadwell, Grand Rapids MI
Drums: John Hill IV, Swartz Creek
Piano: Dave Oppermann, Saginaw MI
NRB CDs & DVDs — on sale. Credit cards accepted
Information: 989.776.9425 (24 hour Festival Hotline); or www.SaginawOnStage.com
Buffet Dinner Available for Purchase. Served 5:30pm t0 8:00 pm
1. Mama Don’t Allow
5. Careless Love
8. Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody My Jellyroll
10. Bourbon St. Parade
Brian D’Arcy James, Dave Oppermann, founder and leader of the New Reformation Jazz Band (NRB), and videographer Ricardo Verdoni, at the Matrix Midland Kickoff Party 201 7.
Brian is a Saginaw, Michigan USA native, as is the New Reformation Band. All of these gentlemen have a passion for great music and showstopping performances. Brian is reprising his role as King James in the Broadway blockbuster, “Hamilton.” Here is a link to a feature article on Brian in this month’s “GQ Magazine.”
While we’re at it, here is a link to a video featuring Brian and Harry Connick, Jr. playing weird Broadway show tunes:
A song face off for the blues of it
Saturday Night Live versus The Celebrity Showroom at the Nugget Casino Resort, Sparks, Nevada
The NRB Cast of Characters: Dave Tatrow, Terry Kimura, John Simpson, Bob Eastham, Dave Kadwell, and Dave Oppermann, had a grand time performing and then enjoying the talents of the 15 groups with other fans of great music and the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Effective December 18, 2016
All available NRB CDs are now $10 plus $3 for shipping.
Each NRB CD delivers uplifting music to family, friends, colleagues, customers, and clients.
NOTE: the 4 CDs do not have to be different.
Perhaps you want five of the same CD.
No worries. The deal stands.
CDs available now:
#1 NRB’s Million Seller Album (includes 2 bonus tracks: Roadrunner Rag” and “King Herrod’s Song” + 11 more)
# 2 The Church is Our Foundation (NRB’s first gospel offering with organ & full choir; includes, “A Closer Walk With Thee”, “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and “Psalm 150”)
#5 Live at the Nugget (Raucous music and clean laughs in the Celebrity Showroom at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada — Insider Tip: Fans of the band know this as the infamous “Lithuanian Set”)
#10 Live at the Temple (Soundtrack of the national PBS Special, with a separate DVD of the event also available)
#11 Swingin’ and Singin’ (Rated A+ by “American Rag Magazine”, and includes 14 classics, including “Fidgety Feet”, “San”, “It Don’t Mean a Thing”, “Jazz Band Ball”)
#14 Unleashed (Rated A+ by “American Rag Magazine”, and includes guest stars Bob Draga and Jeff Barnhart)
#15 Just Kiddin’ Around (The first album with world-renowned clarinet sensation Dave Bennett, who joined the NRB at age 14)
#16 Suuweet 16 (No Tears, No Regrets. (The last recording by brother Nick Oppermann & trumpeter Nate Panicacci)
ALSO — Live at the Temple 90-minute video (DVD) $20 with free shipping
Others are in the remastering studio.
Check with Dave when you talk with him for availability.
The NRB is enjoying an enviable career playing classic, hot, and trad jazz while poking fun at themselves.
Its cast of characters and connections covered the globe, from down the street in its hometown and home base of Saginaw, MI USA, to the Amazon River, Reno, and other exotic and some decidedly unexotic ports of call.
And we also love learning about and developing our observations on jazz history. Fascinating.
Henceforth — we use these kinds of words sparingly, so listen carefully — we’re sharing what we know, found out, heard, and believe about OKOM (Our Kind of Music.). The nuggets of history will be on this site and in our emails to subscribers.
For the NRB, the first stop on the upcoming NRB jazz history tour will be before the group was formed.
The setting is Denison University in the late ’50s, and a sold-out gig titled Melomania, produced by a young chap named Dave Oppermann. It featured a famous collegiate group called the Salty Dogs Jazz Band, a pianist named George Shearing, and an unknown but somewhat promising new group called the Kingston Trio.
The fun begins next week.
We came across a video that highlights the ‘back story’ of how the best photograph in classic jazz history was conceived and created. Shot in 1958, the image features most of the best jazz performers of the era. Eve Perry, a Facebook friend of our marketing person, reposted it. Thank you, Eve.
A priceless link to some of the happiest music on earth by the NRB:
Trumpet: Dave Tatrow
Trombone: Keith DeWitt
Clarinet/Saxes: Vincent O’Keeffe
String Bass: Ted Harley
Banjo/Guitar: Dave Miller
Drums: Rick Bryant
Piano/Patter: Dave Oppermann
Vocals Tatrow, DeWitt, Miller
1. Announcer Intro (0:10)
2. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (3:42)
3. The Lithuanian Connection (1:20)
4. It Don’t Mean a Thing (4:10)
5. Otisville Funeral and Pizza Parlor (0:56)
6. St. James Infirmary (6:26)
7. Hippity Hop Chat and Attractive Lady (1:49)
8. Slide Frog Slide (1:47)
9. Shi-Nay Intro (0:45)
10. Shine (4:33)
11. Self-Invite to Sacramento Jazz Festival (1:55)
12. I Would Do Most Anything for You (4:57)
13. Here all Weekend and Band Intro (1:36)
14. Down in Jungletown (5:29)
Live at the Nugget CD
$15 + $3* = $18
*flat rate shipping no matter how many CDs ordered at same time
**Original recording 1986. Digitally remastered 2016
Yes, we want you to like NRB’s “Live at the Nugget” Classic live jazz CD.
But first, we’d like you to listen.
We believe you will have as good a time listening as we did playing our kind of music in front of a standing room only crowd in the Celebrity Showroom at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada.
NOTE: if the link above is not clickable for you, simply copy and paste into your browser, or go to www.YouTube.com and search for New Reformation Dixieland Band. (We’re working hard to figure out this linking thing, and our apologies if we haven’t got it right yet.)
July 5th, 1986 The Nugget Casino Resort, its Celebrity Showroom, and NRB came together for a historic collaboration of OKOM (Our Kind of Music). In the mid to late 80s, a global hot jazz revival was in full swing and the NRB traveled to its epicenter, the west coast of America. It appeared Memorial Day weekend at the Sacramento Jazz Festival, which claimed to be the “world’s largest” with over 100 national and international groups.
In nearby Nevada, a new festival began at The Nugget Casino Resort. Noted trumpeter Mike Vax, formerly with Stan Kenton and the Dukes of Dixieland, produced it. Vax selected ten bands he believed were strong musically, excellent entertainers, and good fits for a casino atmosphere. The NRB was among the select invitees. (Yes, we’re very proud he selected us. No, rumors of payola are false. Yes, we deny everything.)
The New Reformation Band (NRB) celebrates anything. Dave Oppermann, bandleader, and self-proclaimed resident humorist, pokes fun mostly at himself while linking NRB’s joyous yet subtly notorious sets of jazz, Dixieland, big band, and swing. He is the catalyst for the fine music and great fun that blend boisterously at NRB events and recordings.
But, unless you have talent, there is no use for a catalyst. That is where the NRB really shines. Consider the huge amount of classic jazz talent among these NRB stalwarts*:
Trumpet and vocals — Dave Tatrow
Trombone and vocals — Keith DeWitt
Clarinet/Saxes — Vincent O’Keeffe
String Bass — Ted Harley
Banjo/Guitar — Dave Miller
Drums — Rick Bryant
Piano, Patter, vocals, and ‘patter’ (you’ll understand when you see the CD) — Dave Oppermann
*(Love any excuse to use a bigger word)
Wednesday, March 30
The Final Countdown to Launch
The digitally remastered “Live at the Nugget” CD, featuring the famous Lithuanian set and boisterous classic jazz, is in its final production.
NOTE: As soon as we figure out how to upload a sample track or two, we’ll do so. This diabolical Internet is tougher to master than the piano. (Not that that’s mastered either.)
Included will be new CD cover and insert designs that highlight the NRB’s intriguing appearance at the Nugget Casino Resort and include details on the importance of “Uncle Bob” to NRB’s legacy.
Call 989.793-0123 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing and to pre-order your copy.
“Live at the Nugget” Tracks
1. Intro (0:10) 2. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (3:42) 3. Patter (1:20) 4. It Don’t Mean a Thing (4:10) 5. Patter (0:56) 6. St. James Infirmary (6:26) 7. Patter (1:49) 8. Slide Frog Slide (1:47) 9. Patter (0:45) 10. Shine (4:33) 11. Patter (1:55) 12. I Would Do Most Anything for You (4:57) 13. Patter (1:36) 14. Down in Jungletown (5:29)
March 20, 2016
Folks, you’re hearing it here first.
It’s a superb nugget of NRB’s great sound and fun.
It was recorded live at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada. (Thank you, Nugget.)
It was digitally remastered by the master, Andy Reed. (Thank you, good sir.)
Hear. Believe. Belly laugh.
Sign up for the NRB Newsletter — look to your left — to stay up to speed on the unleashing date.
or all 989.793-0123 or contact email@example.com for pricing, and to order.
The 12-inch mid-Michigan snowfall had mostly disappeared before the 13th Annual “Saginaw On Stage Music Festival” at the Temple Theatre Annex on Friday (Feb. 26). This year’s event was enhanced by an all-you-could-eat dinner buffet provided by the famous Horizons Conference Center. Included was a delicious New Orleans-style bread pudding with caramel sauce. (We take credit for anything to do with New Orleans.)
Doors opened at 4:30pm, and by the time the New Reformation boys took the stage in the Grand Ballroom at 6, the room was full. The band’s early appearance was in deference to the “maturity” of its fans, many of whom regard 9:00 pm as “sorta late.”
The lineup consisted of a geographically diverse group of Michigan all-star musicians: cornet, Paul Klinger, Ann Arbor; clarinet, John Simpson, Lansing; trombone, Keith DeWitt, Flushing; banjo/guitar, Dave Kadwell, Grand Rapids; tuba, Ed Mallett, Big Rapids; drums, John Hill IV, Swartz Creek; and piano/leader, Dave Oppermann, Saginaw.
As promised, NRB compact discs (aka, CDs) were on sale at the reduced price of $10 each, complete with cello wrap. Rumor has it that someone bought one (or two!).
The festival lineup included 14 other headliner groups, but do we really care? Of course, we do, and you can find the list at SaginawOnStage.com and then be filled with remorse if you were one of those who missed out. But then, there is always next year, or so we hope.
Visit this website frequently so you can be one of the first to know when the news breaks of new additions to our NRB catalog of live performance recordings. Hotcha!
One of Mid-Michigan’s premier annual entertainment events is coming up Friday, February 26th, at the Temple Theatre Annex in downtown Saginaw, when the Saginaw Rotary Club will present its 13th Annual Saginaw on Stage Music Festival. The club’s annual major fundraiser will occupy all three floors of the historic facility. Doors open at 430pm and the performances go continuously from 500pm to 1100pm+.
Attendance is limited and fans are encouraged to get tickets in advance. For more information on getting tickets (1) go to the Website: www.SaginawOnStage.com, (2) call the Temple Theatre: (989) 754-SHOW, (3) or call the 24-hour Saginaw On Stage hotline: (989) 776-9425.
Tickets can also be purchased at these Saginaw locations:
The New Reformation Band will be appearing in the 3rd Floor Ballroom from 6pm to 7pm. (Each participating band plays one full set.) The NRB cast of characters: Cornet: Paul Klinger, Ann Arbor; trombone: Keith DeWitt, Flushing; clarinet/saxophone, John Simpson, Lansing; banjo/guitar, Dave Kadwell, Grand Rapids; tuba, Ed Mallett, Big Rapids; drums, John Hill IV, Swartz Creek; piano, Dave Oppermann, Saginaw.
For a list of the other 14 groups, and their performing times and locations, go online to www.SaginawOnStage.com.
For many years, the event was held on the Saturday of Easter weekend when the participating bands who donate their services were less likely to be booked, but last year show producer Dave Oppermann (yes, the same guy as the piano player) said they wanted to venture off that date to get potentially closer to “good weather.”
This year they have gone the opposite direction and made the focus on having fun indoors during the winter month of February. By moving the event to Friday and adding a buffet dinner the hopes are that music lovers will come right from work, and once inside the building can enjoy the performances that start at 5pm, and dine in one of the venues anytime from 530pm until 800pm. The $30 ticket includes all performances plus the dinner.
So in effect, last year’s “15 bands for 15 bucks” is modified to: be, “15 bands for $15 plus $15 for what really is a $25 all-you-can eat buffet.” The dinner will include Mixed Greens Salad and a Caesar Salad; the entrees are Grilled Herb Crusted Chicken plus Penne Pasta with Shrimp; Pacific Blend of Vegetables; Rice Pilaf; and for dessert, Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce.
Funds raised by the Saginaw Rotary Club in previous Saginaw On Stage productions have helped fund (1) the mural of Saginaw’s history, now displayed in the atrium of the Dow Events Center; (2) dictionaries for 3rd graders throughout Saginaw County; (3) Youth Leadership Camp for selected local high school students; (4) the Covenant Kids program; and (5) the Clean Water Project for rural communities in the Dominican Republic, plus many more.
Attending the event will present another opportunity for NRB fans to buy any of the band’s currently available 8 CDs at the reduced price of $10/each. Hope to see you there. Loud cheering and sustained applause is not only permitted but encouraged and may result in good things happening to you.
NRB and ‘Saginaw on Stage’
Friday, Feb 26TH
Temple Theatre Complex
Saginaw on Stage – 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
201 N. Washington Ave.
Saginaw, Michigan 48607
Price: $30 for all events
Saginaw’s Entertainment Event of the Year
Temple Theatre Complex
ALL EVENTS TICKET $30 (Includes Buffet Meal)
Featuring NRB on the Jazz and Variety Stage (Otherwise known as the 3rd Floor)
Westside Decorating, 5789 State Street, Saginaw
Oppermann’s Cork N Ale, 2940 Midland Rd., Saginaw
It’s in Ann Arbor, and the cast of New Ref characters include:
Mark Sluiter, West Olive, trumpet
Keith DeWitt, Flushing, trombone
John Simpson, Lansing, clarinet/saxophone
Gary Stutsman, Charlevoix, tuba
Dave Kadwell, Grand Rapids, banjo/guitar
Rick Bryant, Millington, Drums
David Oppermann, Saginaw, piano/leader.
Bob Barcalow, Saginaw, sound tech/road manager
We’re bragging about this to remind you that we enjoy opportunities to perform in front of ‘by invitation only’ audiences.
NRB AT CRANKER’S, BIG RAPIDS, MICHIGAN FEB. 9
Optional Cajun Buffet at 5:30 PM $15.00 pp
NRB on stage at 6:30 PM
Mardi Gras Party!
with (NRB) New Reformation Jazz Band (No additional chage)
Cast of Characters (AKA All-most All-stars)
Dave Tatrow, Otisville, trumpet
Keith DeWitt, Flushing, trombone
Dave Bennett, Waterford, clarinet
John Hill IV, Swartz Creek, drums
Gary Stutsman, Charlevoix, tuba
Dave Kadwell, Grand Rapids, banjo/guitar
David Oppermann, Saginaw, piano/leader
231.796.1919 for reservations
REPEATING OURSELVES (Hey! You get to be our age, you’re allowed.)
February 9, 2016
213 S. State St. – Big Rapids
$15.00 pp for Cajun buffet at 5:30
then NRB at 6:30 PM (No additional charge. Seriously.)
Reservations Required. Limited Seating.
231.796.1919 for reservations
It’s Saturday, January 9. A major storm warning is in effect throughout Michigan. Normally it would be the normal to stay snuggled up at home. But wait! The New Reformation Band — also known as NRB — is scheduled to perform a much-anticipated first concert at Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center.
Would the seven extremely grown-up musicians be able to make the trek up the snow-covered lanes of I-75 and then challenge two-lane backroads to the historic auditorium? Could they do so in time for the performance? Will the dedicated jazz fans, and the quizzically curious, brave the elements?
At 7:30 PM the manager of the hall took to the stage to welcome a sold-out crowd – not a single empty seat — and invite from stage left the ‘well-seasoned’ Dave Oppermann, leader of the NRB. Murmurs could be heard as Dave sat at the piano without the six all-most stars. Sighing, he suggested he may have to perform single-handedly. The murmurs got louder, but Dave tried not to listen.
With a modicum of self-assurance, DW indicated he felt the rest of the boys were “in the area” and might be attracted to the stage lured by his emotional version of “Momma Don’t Allow No Jazz Boys Playing Around Here.” The ploy worked. As Dave played, appearing one at a time out of the darkness — to enthusiastic applause — were the six missing rascals.
2-1/2 hours later, the crowd was on its feet pleading for “just one more encore.” Using its usual ‘smoke and mirrors’ gimmickry, the NRB notched another victory on the show business scoreboard.
Days later, the band is still reaping the harvest of its efforts. Sue from Torch Lake emails:
”Dave, I was privileged to enjoy your concert at the Crooked Tree Arts Center last Saturday night. It was a great evening of musicality and humor. Nobody could walk away without a smile. Somehow you’ve managed to slow time, maybe even use it to your advantage. Loved every tune and minute of it. Thanks for a great memory.”
We can assume that there are dozens of similar letters on their way that have not yet been received due to postal slothfulness or misdirected email. But we take comfort knowing that if we are asked to make a valiant return to Petoskey, Sue of Torch Lake may likely be there to welcome us.
Thank you, Sue, and Petoskey.
Dave Oppermann, for the NRB
New Reformation Jazz Concert – 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
461 Mitchell St.
Petoskey, MI 49770
Price: Members, $25; Non-Members, $35; Students, $10
The All Most All-Star cast:
THE DIRECT LINK TO PURCHASE TICKETS