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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
Dick Doner - Trombone
Les Deutsch - Piano etc.
Brad Roth - Banjo and Guitar (local performances)
Lance MacLean - Banjo and Guitar (remote performances)
Mike Earls- Bass
Nick Scarmack - Drums

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.
Don Richardson, NBJ bassist, drummer, retires
Those of you who follow the NBJ cloesly know that Don Richardson had been having some mysterious health problems over the last few years., The good news is that both he and his lovely wife Peggy are fine. However, Don has had to retire from the NBJ. We still see him quite often and he is always welcome to sit in.
Nick Scarmack joins the NBJ on Drums
We happily welcome the NBJ's newest permanent (whatever that means) member, Nick Scarmack. Nick's aggressive, "take no prisoners" approach to the drums is sure to keep up the excitement. Come and hear Nick with the band soon!
Larry Kostka, the NBJ's long-time drummer, retires
Any of you who have listened to the NBJ over that last 25 years know Larry Kostka. Larry's expert percussion technique, unique singing voice, and sense of humor have helped make the band what it is today. Larry and his wife Georgiann will always be part of the NBJ family.
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.
Mike Earls filling in on the bass

While Don Richardson recovers from medical problems, we are fortunate to have bassist Mike Earls playing with the NBJ. We all wish Don a swift recovery and look forward to seeing him again soon.
NBJ Releases New CD, Our 25th: Floatin' Down to Cotton Town with the Night Blooming Jazzmen
The long wait is over! You can now have the new 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 on September 25, 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!
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 recent Bavarian trip here. We also have a comprehensive photo gallery of the trip here.
To get our electronic newsletter (including up-to-date listings of all our appearances) send email.
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.
NAMM 2016 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 show. You can still see 2015 oddities here, and the 2014 oddities 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.
Original NBJ-inspired artwork on cards
Now available: beautiful and colorful original artwork by famed artist Irene Nowicki (who happens top be married to reed-man Jim Richardson) on high-quality cards. There are many images available. Contact Irene directly to find out more.
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!)
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