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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Chet Jaeger, the founder and leader of the Night Blooking Jazzmen.

Those of you that were lucky enough to know or even just to have heard Chet know what a great loss this is - to his friends, his fans, and to the jazz community. Since 1975, Chet led the Night Bloomers with his unique style of cornet playing and even more unique sense of humor. Through more than 500 jazz festivals and literally tens of thousands of concerts, Chet has entertained audiences of all types through the years.

For the moment, at least, I will leave this set of web pages online as a tribute to Chet. It is too soon to know yet what will happen with the band.

Les Deutsch - Webmaster



The Night Blooming Jazzmen are back!!

After succesfully riding out the Great Pandemic of 2020, the NBJ are once again scheduling concerts and festivals. Please check out our new - but very sparse so far - schedule.

The Night Blooming Jazzmen (NBJ, or "Nightbloomers") is a traditional, or dixieland band, formed in October 1975 to represent the Society for the Preservation of Dixieland Jazz at the third Sacramento Jubilee. There were very few jazz bands in existence then – not enough to put on a festival. The NBJ was started as an ad-hoc "pick-up band." It was not expected to survive – but the NBJ were so well-received and had so much fun that they stuck together. Since then, they have played thousands of concerts, church services, funerals, house parties, grand openings, jazz clubs, wedding receptions, dances, etc .. AND several dozen cruises and land trips to China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, the Amazon, the Mediterranean, and many other parts of Europe.

The Night Blooming Jazzmen is one of the busiest bands in the nation. They have a lot of fun with their audiences and each other and despite this their music is top-quality. They play well and put on a great show. The band's Sunday morning "hymn-a-long" often has the largest attendance of any event at a festival. To quote from a recent festival program:

"The Nightbloomers are certainly the most popular band right here in the greater Los Angeles area despite some awesome competition. Not only does leader Chet Jaeger put on a fine line of patter, but practically the whole band sings. The band is in constant demand. Despite that, the band finds plenty of time to play locally and very graciously for charities and jazz club dates. One specialty of the band is spirituals and hymns. Despite the old jokes, spontaneous nuttiness and musical spoofs, the band puts out jazz of very high quality. No hour or so is better spent than enjoying the Nightbloomers."

Currently, the band personnel is:

Chet Jaeger - Cornet and leader
Jim Richardson - Reeds
Phil Andreen - Trombone
Les Deutsch - Piano etc.
Mike Olson - Banjo
Mike Earls - Bass
Nick Scarmack - Drums

Update on Chet
As some of you may know, Chet Jaeger, the leader and cornetist with the NBJ, was taken ill during the November 2018 San Diego Jazz Festival. We are happy to report that Chet has had successful surgery and is recovering very nicely at home - surrounded by his wife, Eileen, and tons of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Chet expects to be playing and leading the band again very soon - in time for our March 3 appearance at Claremont Presbyterian Church.
Mike Olson joins the NBJ on Banjo
With Brad Roth's retirement from the band, we are happy to announce that Mike Olson is now filling our banjo chair. If his name seems familiar, it is likely because you remember his father, George Olson, who was the original and long-time bass player with the NBJ. Join us in welcoming Mike to the band!
Phil Andreen becomes our permanent Trombonist
Phil has been playing with the NBJ since our trombonist Dick Doner became ill early in 2017. Dick, sadly, has passed away and Phil has graciously agreed to stay with us for the long term. Join us in welcoming Phil to his new permanent role.
Special NBJ Concert featuring Theater Organ
The Nightbloomers gave a special concert at Spring Valley's Trinity Facility featuring Les Deutsch on the Mighty WurlitZer theater organ - part of the Theater Organ Society of San Deigo's concert series. It was a rare melding of jazz band and jazzy pipe organ. The concert was recordedand you canwatch and listen to some of the tunes right here!
Me and the Man in the Moon (organ solo)
Louisiana (organ and jazz band)
At the Codfish Ball (organ and jazz band)
Radio (organ and Carol Andreen, vocal)
Doin' the Racoon (organ and jazz band)
Rockin' Chair (organ, jazz band, and Chet Jaeger, vocal)
The Jitterbug Waltz (organ and rhythm section)
After You've Gone (organ, jazz band, Noelle Roth vocal and dance)
The Tin Roof Blues (organ and jazz band)
Poor Butterfly (organ solo)
I'll Be a Friend With Pleasure (organ and jazz band)
Don't Take Your Love From Me (orga, band, & Chet, vocal)
I'll See You in My Dreams (organ and banio)
Ain't We Got Fun (organ, banjo, and Neolle Roth, vocal)
What a Little Moonlight Can Do (organ, band, & Carol vocal)
I Thought About You (organ, band, and Nick Scarmack, vocal)
Scoot (organ and rhythm section)
Mike Earls joins the NBJ on Bass
With Don's retirement from the NBJ, we are extremely happy that Mike Earls was able to step in. Mike has been subbing for Don durring Don's illness and he fits right in with us.
Chet ends his reign as Sacramento's "Emperor of Jazz"
Chet was crowned as the Sacramento Music Festival's Emperor of Jazz in May 2014 at the festival. He has served as Emperor for the last year and was honored in the grand parade at the Festival in May 2014. Click here to see some more photos and a video. Chet had to give up the crown after the NBJ's final concert of the festival - but now Chet has the right to sit in the grandstand for all future Sacramento Festivals.
NBJ 25th CD: Floatin' Down to Cotton Town with the Night Blooming Jazzmen
You can now have the NBJ CD, Floatin' Down to Cotton Town. There are some old NBJ favorites as well as many "new" tunes - well, there not really new, their just new to us, and maybe to you. There is also a new blazing banjo feature and a pretty piano rag (oxymoron). Visit our recordings page to learn more and find out how to order yours today!
See what its like to record a CD with the NBJ
When the NBJ went into the studio, Les took his camera and a lot of notes (both kinds). As a result, you can now learn what its really like recording with the NBJ. Also, be on the lookout for our yet-to-be-named "Volume 25" recording in the coming months. You will find some much-requested tunes and ones that probably shouldn't have been - plus a brand new never-been-heard-before Brad Roth banjo feature!
The NBJ's Alaska cruse!
Find out what it was like by visiting the NBJ Alaska Photo Gallery, complete with interesting stories between the photos!
NAMM 2020 Oddities
Each year, Les attends the giant NAMM Show to see all the new musical instruments - and maybe buy some to use with the NBJ. See some of the things Les found that were a bit strange at this year's 2020 show. You can still see 2019 oddities here, 2017 oddities here, the 2016 oddities here, 2015 oddities here, and the 2014 oddities here.
Les Deutsch premiered organ concerto at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Yes, Les does have a musical life outside the NBJ. He also plays various wind instruments in the Caltech-Occidental Concert Band. This group played a special concert in Los Angeles' famous Walt Disney Concert Hall on June 18, 2014. As part of this concert, Les premiered his new composition "Concerto for Organ and Concert Band" and also was the organ soloist. Listen to the piece (recorded at Caltech) here.
Les completes his huge digital theater organ
Les has spent the last 3.5 years turning a discarded shell into a world-class digital organ that can recreate the sounds of the golden age of silent movies. Learn more than you ever wanted to know here. Listen to "Me and the Man in the Moon" and "Get Out Get Under the Moon" to hear what this monster can do.
Hear Les play the Peterson Beer Bottle Organ!
Les has performed on many of the world's best pipe organs. Instead, here is Les playing "99 Bottles of Beer" on a Peterson pipe organ where the pipes are all real beer bottles filled to different depths to create the notes! It sounds much like a calliope – only with much more beer.
Downloadable NBJ Hymn-a-Long Book!
Any of you who have attended an NBJ "hymn-a-long" know how much fun it can be to sing along with the band. The custom NBJ hymn books have been a part of this experience for many years. Now you can have your own book simply by downloading here - without having to pay us $2.50!
See what Les Deutsch has been doing to create software-based organs
Our pianist has been busy helping to create a new world of classical and theater organs that use computers to generate the sounds. Check out the latest here (mostly for technical gurus!)
Traveling with the NBJ is a unique, memorable, and totally enjoyable experience. We will advertise upcoming trips on this site as they occur. See what we mean and check out our Bavarian trip here. We also have a comprehensive photo gallery of the trip here.
For further information regarding the Night Blooming Jazzmen, please contact
Chet & Eileen Jaeger, 636 Alamosa Drive, Claremont, CA 91711-2005, (909) 626-1771 or email Chet & Eileen Jaeger