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A Jazz Celebration of Stevie Wonder Presented by Noel Freidline

November 19, 2020 @ 7:00 PM

Maria Howell & Noel Freidline
Middle C Jazz One Year Anniversary Show Featuring Noel Freidline, Maria Howell, Adam McKnight, Juan Rollan, Zach Page, & Justin Varnes

Craft cocktails and small plates begin at 6:00 pm.

Seating includes the club & patio and is first-come at the door. Only Baby Grand Members qualify for preferred seating. Learn more about Middle C Jazz memberships.




NOEL FREIDLINE (Bandleader/Piano)…pianist, vocalist, writer, arranger and educator, doesn’t come close to all things Noel Freidline! As a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Florida, with a BA in Music, Noel has been the bandleader of The Noel Freidline Quintet for over 26 years. He has numerous recordings to his credit, and has performed at jazz festivals from the Jacksonville Jazz Festival (FL)…to the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland)…not to mention, a 3-year stint at the world famous Bellagio in Las Vegas, as the house band, leading his NFQ, where he performed for actress Julia Robert’s surprise 35th birthday party.

In February of 2018, Noel released his eighth album, “Old Devil Moon”, a collaboration with vocalist, Maria Howell. Noel performs regularly with the Charlotte Symphony, both as a featured artist, and ensemble member. He has performed with touring Broadway shows, such as, “Jersey Boys”, “Bring It On”, “Dream Girls”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “White Christmas”, “Les Miserable”, “Wicked” and, “Beautiful”. Also, he served as Assistant Music Director for “First Date”. With the NFQ, Noel has opened for such legendary artists as Tony Bennett, David Sanborn, Kenny G, Rosemary Clooney, Dave Brubeck, vocalist Layla Hathaway, jazz legend Roy Ayers, and vocalist Jennifer Holliday. Noel has performed with such diverse artists as Nnenna Freelon, Frederic Yonnet, Terry Thornton, and lyricist Sir Tim Rice (“Evita”, “The Lion King”).

Noel was named Best Jazz Musician by Charlotte Magazine in 2006 and in 2009 and was named “Best Musical Director”, by the Metrolina Theatre Association of the Carolinas. In 2011 Freidline was chosen for the Blumenthal Performing Arts Association – Center Stage Award (Charlotte, NC), in recognition of his excellence in service to the arts. And in May, 2015, Noel Freidline was inducted into the Jacksonville Jazz Hall of Fame.

MARIA HOWELL (Vocals)…for over 35 years, this petite NC native, who splits her time between both the east coast and the west coast, has developed her career as a singer, actor, and voiceover artist. Her debut acting role was the choir soloist in the Oscar Nominated film, “The Color Purple”. She has gone on to appear in hit TV shows as Lifetime’s “Army Wives”, NBC’s “Revolution”, and CBS’s “Criminal Minds”. Feature films…“The Blind Side”, “Hidden Figures”, and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. As a song stylist, Maria has shared the musical stage with legendary artists as, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Ray Charles, Earl Klugh, brothers Ronnie and Hubert Laws, and veteran actor/singer, Keith David.

ADAM McKNIGHT (Vocals)…during his career, Adam has arranged background vocals and recorded with the legendary Sir Elton John, for the Broadway musical “Lestat”, and for Elton’s critically acclaimed CD “Peachtree Road”. Along with members of “Voice of Atlanta” (a choir Adam founded), they completed a yearlong tour with Sir Elton, nationally and internationally, which included performances at Madison Square Garden for Katrina Victims’ Relief, and “Live 8” in London. In 2019, Adam and his choir were featured at the Super Bowl Half-time Show, with Maroon 5. As a solo artist, he has released 2 CDs, “Determination”, and “Life: Work In Progress”, both available on CDBaby, Apple Music, Google Play and all other major music outlets. He is currently working on his 3rd release, “Working on Me”.

JUAN ROLLAN (Sax)…has had the privilege to perform with such legendary artists as Al Green, Diane Schuur, Bernadette Peters, Ellis Hall, and Jimmy Cobb (Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue). Additionally, he has worked with and/or studied with a wide variety of pop, R&B, classical and jazz artists such as Ben Folds, Arturo Sandoval, Kevin Mahogany, Joe Lovano, Maria Schneider, Bob Mintzer, Kevin Bales, Marcus Printup, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra…and a long-time, recurring member of the Noel Freidline Quintet.

JUSTIN VARNES (Drums)…began studying music at the age of 10…on the trumpet, but his father, an avid jazz listener, exposed him to the likes of Stan Kenton, Nat “King” Cole, and Erroll Garner. After attending Douglas Anderson School of the Arts on trumpet, Justin studied drums with Ray Charles alumnus, Rick Kirkland. After graduating with degrees in jazz studies and percussion, Justin relocated to New York City, where he continued to study at the New School and studied privately with Jojo Mayer. Later, he toured with Phoebe Snow, as well as performed with the likes of Mose Allison, Kenny Barron, the Earl Klugh Trio, Marcus Printup.

Currently residing in Atlanta, GA, Justin teaches at Georgia State University, in addition to performing.

ZACK PAGE (Bass)…This versatile upright and electric bassist, has been playing professionally for the better part of 25 years. In addition to his years of experience in Western North Carolina, Los Angeles, and New York City, Zack has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe…touring with theatrical productions and various bands. He’s also a working studio musician, from Asheville (NC), Nashville (TN) and New York City (NY)…and is the related half of the “The Page Brothers”, a duo act with his brother, guitarist Andy Page.


November 19, 2020
7:00 PM 8:15 PM
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Middle C Jazz
300 S Brevard St
Charlotte, NC 28202 United States
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1. Final sale. No refunds, no exchanges, not transferable.
2. We are located at 300 South Brevard Street, at the corner of South Brevard and East M.L.K. Jr. Boulevard. Enter on South Brevard Street.
3. Paid parking is available in the 300 South Brevard deck, accessible via East M.L.K. Jr. Boulevard. Space is not guaranteed. If traveling via public transportation, the nearest LYNX stop is the 3rd/Convention Center Station.
4. Seating includes the club & patio and is first-come at the door. Only Baby Grand Members qualify for preferred seating. Learn more about Middle C Jazz memberships.
5. Photography or recording of any kind is strictly prohibited. Smartphones are permitted.
6. Tickets can be redeemed using a smartphone, no printing is required.
7. All shows all ages unless otherwise posted, but please consider this is an adult setting.
8. A full bar and light food menu are available throughout the show.
9. At Middle C Jazz, we believe in taking care of each other and of ourselves. Please approach your concert experience with consideration for the enjoyment and safety of others, and please travel to and from your show responsibly.
10. As a courtesy to our patrons, please place cell phones on vibrate and keep conversation to a minimum during the show. Middle C Jazz reserves the right to refuse entry or to ask any patron to leave the club if necessary, to ensure the safety of other patrons.



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