Big Bop Nouveau

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Big Bop Nouveau
Maynard Ferguson, lead trumpet and group founder
Background information
Origin United States
Genres Jazz
Years active 1988–2006
Past members

Big Bop Nouveau is a band formed in the late 1980s by jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. Originally composed of four trumpets, two trombones and four saxophones plus a rhythm section (plus Maynard), it was later reduced to what has become known as the "pocket big band" format, consisting of three trumpets, two saxophones, a trombone and rhythm section (plus Maynard).


To mark his 60th birthday in 1988, Maynard Ferguson returned to a large band format and to more mainstream jazz. That then led to the formation of Big Bop Nouveau, a nine-piece band featuring two trumpets, one trombone, three reeds and a three-piece rhythm section which became his standard touring group for the remainder of his career. Later, due to the increasing responsibilities being placed on the trumpet players, the baritone sax position was replaced by a third trumpet player. The band's repertoire included original jazz compositions and modern arrangements of jazz standards, with occasional pieces from his '70s book and even modified charts from the Birdland Dream Band era; this format proved to be successful with audiences and critics. The band recorded extensively, including albums backing vocalists Diane Schuur and Michael Feinstein.

Big Bop Nouveau toured the world extensively; in 2005 it embarked on a tour of eight months playing an average of two hundred shows a year. The group was tour managed by Memphis legend Ed Sargent, and mixed by audio mogul Mike Freeland. Although in later years Ferguson's playing occasionally lost some of the range and phenomenal accuracy of his youth, he always remained an exciting performer, touring an average of nine months a year with Big Bop Nouveau for the remainder of his life. Ferguson died on August 23, 2006.

Past members[edit]

Guest vocalists



Incomplete list of studio and live albums by Bip Bop Nouveau
Yr Release title Primary artist(s) Label
1990 Big Bop Nouveau Maynard Ferguson, Big Bop Nouveau Intima (Reissued in 2016 by Omnivore with a bonus cut)
2001 Swingin' for Schuur Diane Schuur, Maynard Ferguson, Big Bop Nouveau Concord
2006 M. F. Horn, Vol. 6: Live at Ronnie's Maynard Ferguson, Big Bop Nouveau
2007 On a High Note: Best of the Concord Jazz Recordings Maynard Ferguson, Big Bop Nouveau
2007 The One and Only Maynard Ferguson, Big Bop Nouveau
2007 Maynard Ferguson Tribute Concert DVD Steve Wiest, Big Bop Nouveau, etc. University of Missouri–St. Louis