The American jazz band Laurin Talese & A Novel Idea will be performing in Montenegro from September 23 to September 25 through the American Music Abroad program of the US Government, organized by the American Embassy in Podgorica and local partners. The first concert will take place on September 23 at KIC Budo Tomovic in Podgorica at 8 pm, followed by performances in Pljevlja and Bijelo Polje.
Led by vocalist Laurin Talese, jazz and soul ensemble Laurin Talese& A Novel Idea, have shared their brand of cinematic jazz for the better part of a decade. Laurin has appeared in a host of national and international venues such as The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, The National, the famed Apollo Theatre, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and the New Jersey Center for Performing Arts (NJPAC) in November 2018 when Laurin won the seventh annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. She frequently collaborates with a host of internationally celebrated recording artists including Bilal, Robert Glasper, Vivian Green, and Christian McBride, and has had the distinct pleasure of performing with renowned classical and jazz ensembles such as The Cleveland Orchestra, The Cleveland Jazz Heritage Orchestra, The Moses Hogan Chorale, and the internationally acclaimed Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, Austria.
Her first album, entitled “Gorgeous Chaos” (2016), was produced by and features in-demand producers such as Adam Blackstone and Ulysses Owens, Jr. Laurin’s record was listed as a top 10 jazz album by the Chicago Tribune and debuted on the Billboard jazz charts.
In addition to playing with Laurin Talese & A Novel Idea, bassist Jonathan Michel was a member of Grammy Award-wining Billy Paul’s band and has served as its musical director. In addition to co-leading an original music project, the L.X.G., Jon is building a portfolio as composer and producer with ongoing projects in film, R&B, and gospel.
Eric Wortham II is a jazz and classically trained accomplished pianist, composer, songwriter and producer. Eric has toured with Grammy Award winning artists such as Jill Scott and Adele and collaborated with Vivian Green, Aloe Blacc, Kindred The Family Soul, Music SoulChild, Jeff Bradshaw, Bakithi Kumalo and Jamey Haddad. Eric was the Musical Director for Jill Scott, and performed on Adel’s tour 2017.
Inspired by musicians in church, drummer Julius Rodriguez began very early his music career. In 2016, Julius was selected as a member of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency at the Kennedy Center in D.C. That year, he also was accepted into and began attending the Juilliard School for Jazz Studies on Piano. Julius has worked with a wide variety of artists including A$AP Rocky, Wynton Marsalis, Macy Gray, James Morrison, Dev Hynes, Jazzmeia Horn, Brasstracks, Nick Hakim, Roy Hargrove, Carmen Lundy, and many more. He played festivals such as the Portland Jazz Festival, DC Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, etc.