A regular on the Dakota “Foodie Nights” as well as a frequent performer throughout the Twin Cities, vocalist/songwriter/flautist Jana Nyberg, along with husband Adam Meckler and other members of the Jana Nyberg Group, completed their annual tour in Door County, WI last weekend and are ready to hit stages in the Twin Cities. They’ll start this weekend with a return visit to Vieux Carré in downtown St. Paul on Friday, August 12 at 9 pm. Along with Adam, the Jana Nyberg Group will include Sean Turner on piano, Matt Peterson on bass, and Rodney Ruckus on drums.
Twin Citian Jana Nyberg is an active music educator as well as jazz/pop/blues singer, songwriter and flautist. In addition to leading the Jana Nyberg Group and Trio, she has performed with the Adam Meckler Quintet and Orchestra (led by husband/trumpeter Adam) and has been a guest artist at the UW Eau Claire Jazz Festival with the UW-Green Bay Jazz Singers and with the Bethel University Jazz Orchestra. A credentialed music teacher, Jana taught at the St Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and currently teaches middle school students in Shakopee. Her students encouraged her to audition for American Idol in 2010, starting her down a path that landed her in Hollywood, where she participated in the first round of the national Idol “finals. ”
Jana and her group have performed at the Dakota, Artists Quarter, Hell’s Kitchen, Red Stag, Honey, Vieux Carré and in venues throughout Door County, WI. In April 2013, Jana and Adam joined forces with another husband/wife, trumpet/voice team, Ashley Gonzales-Daneman and Benje Daneman, for a Two Voice, Two Trumpet program at Jazz Central. They’ve also performed on The Amsterdam stage for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival (2014).
Jana released her self-titled debut CD in 2008 and, in 2011, she released the much-praised Fever with the Jana Nyberg Group, crossing boundaries among jazz, blues, soul, country and pop. The recording included four of her original songs. In late 2013, the Jana Nyberg Group released Winter Song, filled with clever arrangements of favorites and original songs written by Jana and Adam. Jana also provides vocals on the Adam Meckler Orchestra release, When Clouds Look Like This.
A performer, composer and educator, Adam Meckler received his undergraduate degree in trumpet performance with a jazz studies emphasis from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and his Master’s Degree at the University of Minnesota. Adam has performed with the Stan Bann Big Band, Nova Jazz Orchestra, Todd Clouser’s Love Electric, and Brass Barn Polka Band, and regularly performs with the Jana Nyberg Group, Jack Brass Band, Youngblood Brass, JazzMN Orchestra, Pete Whitman X-Tet, and the Graydon Peterson Quartet. He leads his Adam Meckler Quintet, Lulu’s Playground, Adam Meckler Orchestra and Nookie Jones. He released his debut recording, For Dad, in 2010; in 2014 the AMO released When Clouds Look Like This; earlier this year, Adam release xxxx, recorded with his quintet live at three different venues. Adam further keeps himself busy as a jazz educator, coordinating jazz for the MacPhail Center for Music’s Chanhassan campus.
Pianist Sean Turner is also a composer, vocalist, and educator. His compositions and orchestrations have been utilized by Sony, Oprah, E! Entertainment, MTV, Lifetime Network, Discovery Channel, The CW Network, Target, and Success Magazine, among many others. He has also written and produced three recordings, one of which earned a Parents’ Choice Award for children’s music, and has authored two instructional text. Sean heads the Keyboard Department at McNally Smith College of Music and serves as Coordinator of Contemporary Worship and Music at Incarnation Lutheran Church. On the local jazz scene, Sean recently debuted with his trio at the Dunsmore Room in Crooners Lounge and has worked with vocalists Bruce Henry and Ginger Commodore.
Originally a trombonist, Matt Peterson switched to bass while studying music at the University of Minnesota Duluth. In 2004, he relocated to the Twin Cities and quickly became a first-call bassist He regularly plays with the Zacc Harris Trio, the Jana Nyberg Group, the Twin Cities Hot Club, Mill City Hot Club, Robert Bell’s Hot Swing Combo, and Zacc Harris’ American Reverie. Peterson is also a music educator, teaching elementary K-5 students in the Edina Public Schools.
A Florida native, Rodney Ruckus started playing drums at the age of two in church, and also picked up piano and bass. After getting into jazz in middle school, he started playing for tips outside neighborhood markets. Later, his band The Jazz Juvenocracy raised money to travel, playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz a Vienne and at La Barington Jazz Club in France, and at the Umbria Festival in Italy. Rodney went on to attend the Berklee College of Music and now studies at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. He’s been on stage with such jazz luminaries as Tia Fuller, Ralph Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Billy Childs, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis, and Charles Lloyd. Locally, Rodney has performed with the Solomon Parham-Steve Kenny Quintet at the 2016 Winter Jazz Festival, with the Steve Kenny Quartet on Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, with Anthony Cox’s Free Range Quartet at the Black Dog, and heading is own ensembles at Jazz Central Studios, Reverie and more.
The Jana Nyberg Group performs at 9 pm at Vieux Carré, cover $10 (cash only). Come early (6 pm) for the dinner hour sets with pianist Jeremy Walker (no cover).
Vieux Carré is located at 408 St Peter Street (entry off 7th Place) in the lower level of the Hamm Building in downtown St. Paul. See full calendar at http://vieux-carre.com; more about Jana Nyberg at www.janajazz.com