Natural Gas Jazz Band

The San Francisco based Natural Gas Jazz Band has been delighting its audiences since 1970. This surprising longevity of 34 years is the result of a singularly stable band line-up, a musical book of broad appeal, and gifted musicians who enjoy creating jazz together.

The NGJB is strongly imprinted with the influences of its late San Francisco friends, jazz legends Lu Watters and Turk Murphy. Former Murphy and Watters sidemen have been long-time NGJB players as well as frequent substitutes. Its book is also rich with the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, Fats Waller, and others. The listener can expect to hear stomps, blues, rags, marches, spirituals, and dances of all moods and tempos.

Riding on the popularity of its music, the NGJB members have become internationally known ambassadors of jazz. Their travels have taken them from coast to coast and border to border in the U.S. In addition to cruise ship gigs in Mexican and Caribbean waters, the band has played in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Scotland, England, Holland, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia. Making history in a 1989 post-glasnost tour of the USSR, Natural Gas JB was the first American jazz band to play in Siberia. France and Germany with its Oktoberfest in Munich joined the list in 1997. The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival was the international highlight of a 1998 Ireland tour, and in 1999 the NGJB brand of jazz was showcased at the Shanghai International Jazz Festival in China. New Zealand and Tasmania heard the jazz of the Gassers in 2001, and in April 2002, they were featured at Germany’s prestigious Dresden International Dixieland Festival. That jazz tour also included Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival hosted the band in August, 2003. This event was followed by a two-week jazz tour of England. The 2005 tour included performances in Switzerland, Italy, and the Ascona Classic Jazz Festival.

Jazz festival appearances include repeated visits to most of the country’s major events, including Sacramento, Monterey, Pismo Beach, San Diego, to name a few of the California venues. The Bix Fest in Davenport, Iowa, has featured the NGJB repeatedly, as has the Swing’n’Dixie Jazz Jamboree in Sun Valley and the Arizona Classic Jazz Festival.

Bob Murphy One reviewer said of the band, “Everything about their performance sparkled: the virtuosity of the individual musicians, the variety of tunes and complete mastery of different styles, …great arrangements and the band’s incredible tight execution. After 28 years, they still sound fresh and exciting.”



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