So, we are in our fiftieth year. Yahoo! We now qualify as old timers.
We had a full slate of appearances planned to celebrate. Whoopie!
Hmmm. not so fast, the world tells us. Time to hunker down, socially distance yourself and wear a mask for the good of all of us. Yes, definitely. We will gladly do these things for the good of all.
Thus far, except for a terrific performance for ‘Jazz in the Garden’ at the Andersen Enrichment Center in Saginaw, Michigan, USA, we’ve been not so quietly fidgeting — from an appropriately social distance, of course — and itching to get back on tour.
In the meantime, we decided to cement our legacy by comparing our arrangements of the tuneswith those of other jazz masters. How is that for confidence?
The results of our research are at www.newref.com/legacy. We believe you will enjoy these tracks by us and other historic classic jazz masters as much as we did.
“I’m Coming, Virginia” as we play it compared with Benny Goodman’s rendition (go to Episode Seven at www.newref.com/legacy)
“Our version of “Buddy Boldon’s Blues” versus one by Jelly Roll Morton (Listen to Episode Twelve at www.newref.com/legacy)
There are fourteen comparisons thus far. Many — okay, some— of our fans tell us we are incomparable. And we appreciate their comments and support over this half a century. Listen here and hear for yourself if the compliment is deserved.
Saturday, February 1st,
1:00pm to 3:30pm
25101 Telegraph Rd (at 10 Mile RD) Southfield, MI 48033
The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the New Reformation Jazz Band (NRB)
Cast of All Stars
Trumpet: Dave Tatrow, Otisville
Trombone: Terry Kimura, Howell
Clarinet: Dave Bennett, Waterford
Banjo/Guitar: Dave Kadwell, Grand Rapids
Drums: John Hill IV, Swartz Creek
Tuba: Chris Smith, South Lyon
Piano/Leader: Dave Oppermann, Saginaw
$10 entertainment charge at the door.
(Do not call the Shields for reservations.)
Questions: Sally Bolle 248.909.8668
2020 won’t be like anything you’ve enjoyed with NRB in the past 50 Years!
Band photos. We’ve got millions, and we want to share.
Understand what you’re getting yourself into in 2020.
The New Reformation Band (NRB) jazz repertoire encompasses Dixieland, ragtime, blues, big band, and swing… the hot music that lifts spirits. It delivers beautiful harmonics reinforced by a beat that sets toes tapping. It’s true. It’s been unscientifically proven. (We watch the crowds at each live gig. As we play, toes are bouncing all over the place.)
NRB was formed in 1970 during a cold Michigan winter. Seven musicians gathered in the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church in Saginaw in a shocking yet highly successful effort to enhance the service with jazz. All of the musicians had played “jazz” before, just not in church, and not with each other. With the exception of the Brothers Oppermann — on piano and banjo — most were shaking hands for the first time.
This was not to be a daunting task. The tunes selected were from the hymnal, and so recognizable even those slackers who rarely attended a service knew them.
The chief instigator was the church’s youth minister, Pastor Gary Miller. During his Saturday night vigils in this industrial community, the “Rev” would visit the bars… especially those with music… with the admirable goal of offering counsel and support to “lost souls.” But he always had his trumpet under his arm in case there was a chance to sit in.
50 years later the NRB is still having a great time performing, and people keep calling to schedule gigs. 2020 is our 50th year. This site is becoming the home of our history.
Dave Tatrow, longtime frontman of NRB, recently was recently honored with the Sonny Award for 2018, a national recognition for his active support of trad jazz and the students keeping it alive and vibrant.
“The “Sonny” award by Suncoast Jazz Classic, is named after Sonny LaRosa, who worked tirelessly to keep jazz alive through musical training and performance. For three decades, Sonny LaRosa’s “World’s Youngest Jazz Band” inspired and entertained young and old, on local and international stages. Many students continued their training through college and are now respected artists in their own right. They enhance Sonny’s legacy by training the next generation of jazz musicians.
Congrats, Dave, from all your bandmates.
Suncoast Jazz Classic, Inc., is dedicated to preserving jazz (the only true American art form) through an annual festival and events, providing opportunities for aspiring young musicians, and giving back in the form of financial assistance to young musicians, bands and schools.