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The Nightblooming Jazzmen
continue into a new era!

It is with much joy that we announce the continuation of the Night Blooming Jazzmen. Chet Jaeger's family has decided that the band should continue to perform, spreading our usual excitement while also paying tribute to Chet's legacy to the jazz community.

Les Deutsch has moved from the piano chair to play cornet and lead the NBJ. Trumpet is actually Les' first instrument - and it is a whole lot easier to lead a band from the cornet position. Check out this interesting sample of Les' cornet playing (in fact, he pays all the parts on this video!) Andrew Barrett will take the piano chair. The remainder of the NBJ remains intact.

Mike Olson is taking over the business manager duties. As such, if you are reading this and wish to hire the NBJ for a fesitval, jazz club, worship service, or private party, please contact Mike. You can reach him at or by phone at (909) 694-9021.

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 has been one of the busiest bands in the nation – and they hope to be so again soon! 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 typically has the largest attendance of any event at a festival.

Currently, the band personnel is:

Les Deutsch - Cornet & Leader
Mike Olson - Reeds
Les Benedict - Trombone
Andrew Barrett - Piano
Peter Cho - Banjo
Mike Earls - Bass
Nick Scarmack - Drums


Phil Andreen has passed away
NBJ trombonist and great friend Phil Andreen has passed away. He will be missed by all of us. Phil was one of the great traditional trombone and slide whistle players anywhere. He played with Mickey Finn's band years ago and also led his own Crown City Jazz Band – all in addition to playing with the NBJ. He will also be remembered for his humor, including alternate lyrics to various tunes.
The Night Blooming Jazzmen are back!!
After succesfully riding out the Great Pandemic of 2020-2022, the NBJ are once again scheduling concerts and festivals. Please check out our new - but very sparse so far - schedule.
Personal changes!
Our long-time reed player, Jim Richardson, has retired from the NBJ. He sold his home and is living his dream, traveling around the USA. We will miss Jim.

Mike Olson has moved from the banjo chair to the reed chair. You likely have heard Mike playing clarinet or sax with the NBJ as a double, or with his own South Burgundy Street Jazz Band.

This left the banjo chair open - but no worries as Peter Cho has joined us, bringing his virtuosic playing to the band and lowing our average age by quite a bit in the process.

Finally, Les Benedict has joined the NBJ as our new trombonist. We are very excited to have Les, and all of his experience, with the band - and it means there are now two of us named "Les."
Chet Jaeger and NBJ honored by Claremont
Chet's hometown of Claremont, California, honored him on Monday evening, July 11, at the opening night of their summer "concerts in the park" series. The NBJ has played concerts in this series for decades - including one last summer. Some NBJers and ex-NBJers were present. Here you can see (left to right) Jim Richardson, Mike Earls, Don Richardson, Larry Kostka, and Mike Olson.
Here is the cirtificate Claremont presented to our band:
Mike also captured some video of the ceremony.
Chet Jaeger has passed away

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.

Les Deutsch moves to the Cornet
Many of you have heard Les take a trumpet solo from time to time with the NBJ - but you probaby did not realize that Les started out on the trumpet when he was only seven years old. His father payed the trumpet and taught les to play. Les' son, Elliot, is a professional trumpet player too. Wtih Chet's passing, and Les taking over leadership of the NBJ, it made a lot of sense for him to move to the cornet chair - it is a lot easier to lead from the front line!
Andrew Barrett joins the NBJ on piano
Well, Les moving to cornet left a big gaping hole in the band - which has now been filled by Andrew Barrett. Andrew is already well-known to both the jazz and ragtime communities and his expert musicianship will certainly benefit the NBJ. One sad thing is that Les is no longer the youngest member of the band!
Long-lost NBJ Cazoo Songbooks!!
Here's an item I'll bet fans have been searching for... offical Night Bloomin Jazzmen "Cazoo Song Books." Yes, the NBJ used to spell "kazoo" as "cazoo", and, yes, these were recently discovered in a local archeological site - Chet's house. There are two versoons, "red" and "pink" named for their cover colors. They are actually identical except for the cover page. The blue version contains a photo of the band that is very old - but nostolgic. These are free for download – simply click on either version.
NAMM 2023 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 the 2023 show. You can still see 2020 oddities here.
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!
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 on Les' YouTube channel.