Drew Nugent

Drew Nugent

Instrument: Multi-instrumentalist | Location: Philadelphia

Viva La Musica Award for Best Jazz, Lounge, or Swing Band: Drew Nugent & The Midnight Society.
—Loungerati Best in Lounge

Updated: April 3, 2020

Born: August 28, 1985

Drew Nugent is a jazz musician, hailing from the city of Philadelphia, and bandleader of the group “Drew Nugent & the Midnight Society”. Nugent, as well as his ensemble, specializes in playing traditional or “Hot” Jazz, from the 1900s to the 1940s, with the main area of focus being the Jazz Age - the Roaring 20s. His main instruments of choice are the piano, trumpet and vocals. He is also known for his playing of an odd contraption called the”Hot Tea-Kettle”, or the “Teapot Trumpet” as some fans have named it. Drew made his debut in 2005, at age 19, on the classic NPR radio show “A Prairie Home Companion”, where he placed 3rd on the “Talent from 12-20 Contest”. As far as the band goes, the Midnight Society has been together playing the good ol' tunes for a little over a decade now, and have earned a reputation as being one of the best bands in the style.

Every sub-genre of this style of music is represented, such as New Orleans, Chicago, Harlem, Kansas City, and their native Philadelphia. In the business for well over a decade now, Nugent (no relation) has been influenced by a plethora of long lost Jazz and popular music icons from the likes of the well known Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Bing Crosby, Bix Beiderbecke, Marylou Williams to ones who have long since been given their dues like Jack Purvis, Bennie Moten, Willie “the Lion Smith”, Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, and Lil Hardin among many others including the likes of South Philly boys Eddie Lang & Joe Venuti, Unlike many who find it necessary to copy old recorded performances, painstakingly trying to recapture , note for note, legendary solos, Drew goes about his performances in an “authentist” sort of mind set as he calls it. Rather than replicate what has already been done, he leads the performance in a timeless recreation that makes one feel transported to another era, hearing an authentic portrayal of the style without the purists' take on it. “It's about incorporating what you have learned from each recording you've obsessed over or just merely listened to for years and picked up nuances and colors from it, then making your own interpretation on the piece”, Nugent says. “Essentially it's just jazz !! The art of balancing the ratio of improvisation and structure of melody.”

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”It isn't often that I meet a young musician who is three things at once: a great musician, a great entertainer, and a great scholar of the music. He's an exceptionally talented player - a virtuoso in fact (on trumpet and piano), a man who really knows how to please a crowd with his singing and a rather amazing stunt of playing a teapot (as if were some kind of small brass horn), and as a student of the music, he is one of the very few individuals I have ever met, in any profession or from any age group, who knows more songs from the 1920s than I do. Every time I hear Drew, I hear something I've never heard before. All around, he's a powerhouse of a package and I go to see him perform in New York every chance I get.”- Will Friedwald (Will Friedwald writes about jazz and nightlife for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

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Primary Instrument

Multi-instrumentalist

Location

Philadelphia

Links

ALL VIDEOS

Drew Nugent Tour

Past Concerts

Date Detail
Jun5Fri
Quarentunes A La Hot Jazz With Drew...
Kater Street Vault
Philadelphia, PA
Jun6Sat
Quarentunes A La Hot Jazz With Drew...
Kater Street Vault
Philadelphia, PA
Jun11Thu
Quarentunes A La Hot Jazz With Drew...
Kater Street Vault
Philadelphia, PA
Jun12Fri
Quarentunes A La Hot Jazz With Drew...
Kater Street Vault
Philadelphia, PA
Jun13Sat
Quarentunes A La Hot Jazz With Drew...
Kater Street Vault
Philadelphia, PA
Jun18Thu
Quarentunes A La Hot Jazz With Drew...
Kater Street Vault
Philadelphia, PA