After a series of concerts featuring Ellington and Strayhorn compositions during the Strayhorn centennial, the Novel Jazz Septet begins their 2016 season at the Skidompha Public Library atrium. The evening of music from the Great American Songbook takes place at 184 Main St., Damariscotta on Jan. 21 from 7-9:30 p.m.

The events began with the observation that lovers of books often are lovers of jazz. The acoustics of Skidompha’s atrium, plus the seating “in the round,” make it an ideal place to see and hear jazz.

It was while performing at Skidompha that the band decided to forge deeper into the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Trombonist Barney Balch began visiting the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. to work in their Ellington collection, bringing them back to life in summer time concerts.

The musicians of this group have been playing straight- ahead jazz for audiences throughout Maine for several decades. Collectively, they share over two centuries of experience in the jazz idiom. Performing this evening will be Barney Balch, David Clarke, Mickey Felder, Mike Mitchell, Bryan Jones, Herb Maine and Bill Manning.

Admission is $ 14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $6 for young adults 12- 18, under 12 accompanied by a parent go free. The library is located at 184 Main St. in downtown Damariscotta. Call ( 207) 563-5513 during business hours for more information. If there is any question about weather, please call the Skidompha Library during business hours. Skidompha’s winter closure policy is that of the local school district; if the schools are closed, so is the library. For more information, go to

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: