Noel Freidline - piano, vocals

Maria Howell - vocals                                  

Juan Rollan - saxophone                                  

Billy Thornton - bass

Al Sergel - drumset   


Formed in 1992, the Noel Freidline Quintet is celebrating 26 years together


From humble beginnings as a house band at a small restaurant in Jacksonville, FL, they have graced stages all over the US and Europe. 


Their credits include:


House band at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, 2000 - 2003


Actress Julia Roberts’ surprise 35th Birthday Party, New York, NY


8 CD’s


17 appearances at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival


The Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland


New York’s famed Birdland jazz club


and festivals, theatres, schools and church performances too numerous to list here.  Please see full list below. 


Their repertoire has always mined the best of every genre, from the swing of Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra, to the gritty sincerity of Bonnie Rait and Otis Redding, from soulful and edgy reinterpretations of Patti Page and The Doors to Africanized arrangements of Simon & Garfunkel.  Vocally driven, their sound is characterized by heavy grooves and sophisticated arrangements that always retain an element of spontaneity. 


The Noel Freidline Quintet is a group of artists who know how to entertain.  With no one “star” in the group, they are a “band” in the true sense of the word.


“You won’t find another band that swings as hard as Noel Freidline’s.  Their exhuberant set flows through fresh interpretations of mainstream jazz standards, blues and pop tunes so effortlessly that audiences not only are left tapping their toes, but standing and cheering for more.  That’s one reason why this immensely talented ensemble has built up a following that returns night after night.” 

Vic DiGenti, eight-year executive producer, Jacksonville Jazz Festival 


+          Noel Freidline's most recent release is with his quartet and features vocalist Maria Howell.  "Old Devil Moon" was released in February, 2018.   The NFQ’s national debut release was a double CD entitled "Four Nights at the Slammer." Recorded at the home of Penn Jillette ("Penn & Teller") and released in February 2002, "Four Nights at the Slammer" spent ten weeks on the national jazz radio Top 50 charts, peaking at #31. The NFQ's other releases include: “Carry Me Home,” a collection of ‘sacred jazz” release in 2003, "One for Maxcene" in '94, "The Stranger is Me," in '96, a Christmas CD entitled "Noël" in 1999, and an EP, "CD 2000" in 2000, and their live CD, “Live at the Jazz Corner,” released in 2007. All of the NFQ’s music is available for immediate download through,, and many other web retailers. 


+          In July, 2003 the band finished up a three-year engagement at Las Vegas’ most exclusive hotel and casino, The Bellagio.  In September 2002, the Noel Freidline Quintet was presented with the “Rising Star Award” of Las Vegas, as the top up-and-coming group in the city.


+          The members of the Noel Freidline Quintet are experienced educators and clinicians and firmly believe that to keep something you have to give it away.  As clinicians they have spread their wealth of knowledge and experience from the University of North Florida, the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, to an artist-in-residency program at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.  They have developed several series of educational programs, ranging from interactive presentations for school-age children, to lecture/concerts for collegiate and community audiences, to workshops for fine arts performers and clinics and workshops specifically geared toward musicians. 


+          The Noel Freidline Quintet has appeared at:


Festival appearances:

The NorthSea Jazz Festival, The Hague, The Netherlands   

The Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux,Switzerland                         

The Brissago Jazz Festival, Brissago, Switzerland                            

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Jacksonville, FL                 

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Clearwater, FL                        

The Riverbend Festival, Chattanooga, TN                            

Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA                                                     

City Verve Jazz & Heritage Festival, Charlotte, NC              

The Sarasota Jazz Festival, Sarasota, FL                             

The Nashville Summer Lights Festival, Nashville, TN                      

SpringFest, Charlotte, NC                                                                  

LakeFest, Charlotte, NC                                                                     

The Worth Avenue Jazz Festival, Palm Beach, FL   

Cullowhee Arts Fest, Cullowhee, NC                                     

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Coconut Grove, FL                      

The Panama City Jazz Festival, Panama City, FL

The Dizzy Gillespie Jazz Festival, Cheraw, SC


Concert appearances:

Hilton Head Jazz Society, Hilton Head Is., SC                                   

Palm Beach Four Seasons Ocean Grand Concert Series, Palm Beach, FL            

Gold Coast Jazz Society, Ft. Lauderdale, FL                                     

Florida Theatre, Jacksonville, FL                                            

Naples Jazz Society, Naples, FL 

Savannah Coastal Jazz Association, Savannah, GA           

Las Vegas Jazz Society, Las Vegas, NV                                

Hollywood Friends of Jazz, Hollywood, FL                            

JAMS, Palm Beach Jazz Society, West Palm Beach, FL      

Macon Jazz Association, Macon, GA           

Charlotte County Jazz Society, Port Charlotte, FL                 

Clematis St. Theatre, West Palm Beach, FL                          

The Ritz Theatre, Jacksonville, FL                                                      

ORCA, Vidalia, GA                 

St. Augustine Jazz Society, St. Augustine, FL                                   

Jazz Club of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL                          

Gainesville Friends of Jazz, Gainesville, FL                         

Treasure Coast Jazz Society, Vero Beach, FL                                  

Big Arts Concert Series, Sanibel Is., FL                    

Blowing Rock Jazz Society, Blowing Rock, NC                     

Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville, NC

Arts United for Davidson County, Lexington, NC

Jazz at the Bechtler, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC


Their club appearances are too numerous to mention, but do include regular shows at:

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Walt Disney's exclusive Pleasure Island Jazz Company, Orlando, FL

Heidi’s Jazz Club, Cocoa Beach, FL 

The Jazz Corner, Hilton Head Island, SC

The Van Dyke Café, Miami Beach, FL 

Twins Jazz, Washington, DC

Churchill Grounds, Atlanta GA

Birdland, New York, NY


Church appearances:


Willow Creek, Chicago, IL

Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, NV

Palms Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville Beach, FL

First Baptist of Decatur, Decatur, GA

Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL

Church by the Sea, St. Petersburg Beach, FL

Neptune Baptist Church, Neptune Beach, FL

Riverside Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, FL

St. Francis in the Field Episcopal Church, Palm Valley, FL 

Temple Ahavath Chesed, Jacksonville, FL

Park Road Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC

Evangelical Free Church, Clearwater, KS

Lutheran Social Services, Jacoby Hall, Times-Union Center, Jacksonville, FL

First Christian Church, Huntington Beach, CA

United Methodist Church, Orange Park, FL

Mecklenburg Community Church, Charlotte, NC

Providence Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC  

Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC 

Hickory Grove Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC 


School concerts and educational presentations:


University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL

Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, Artist in Residency, St. Augustine, FL

Basic High School, Las Vegas, NV

Hilton Head Middle and High School, Hilton Head Is., SC

Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City, UT

Florida Community College Jacksonville, all four campuses, Jacksonville, FL

Independence Hill Preschool, Charlotte, NC

Blythe Elementary School, Huntersville, NC

Clearwater High, Middle and Elementary School, Clearwater KS

Episcopal High School, Jacksonville, FL

Friends University, Wichita, KS

Rappahannock Community College, Warsaw, VA

Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL

Holy Family Catholic School, Jacksonville, FL

Davidson Day School, Davidson, NC 

Winterfield Elementary, Charlotte, NC

First Ward Elementary, Charlotte, NC

Cornelius Elementary, Cornelius, NC 

Northwest School of the Arts, Artist in Residency, Charlotte, NC

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC

Davidson Day School, Davidson, NC

Upcoming Performancs

Noel Freidline & Maria Howell: Reimagining Motown, Vol 1

 —  —

The Jazz Corner, 1000 William HIlton Parkway, Hilton Head Is., SC

27 number 1 hits, over 60 top 10 hits… Motown had so many hits that one could put together five separate shows of their music and still have plenty of songs left over.

The exemplary songwriting of Smokey Robinson, Holland/Dozier/Holland, as well as Berry Gordy himself, along with the interpretation by such legends as Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes and many more has left us with a a repertoire that is prime for reinterpretation.

Join Noel & Maria as they reinterpret and re-imagine the music that defined the 60’s, the Motown Sound!

Mere words can only capture the refrain of MARIA HOWELL’s awesome talent. She is the ballad of beauty and elegance. The melodies flowing from the petite vocalist are truly amazing. While casting a spellbinding smile, she mesmerizes her captive audience with incredible harmonies and rhythms.

Best known for her role as the choir soloist in the 1985 Oscar-nominated film The Color Purple, Maria Howell is the perfect combination of artistry and entertainment.

AS AN ACTOR, she has appeared in hit TV shows such as Lifetime’s, “Army Wives”, and Marc Cherry’s, “Devious Maids”. Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams’ apocalyptic, “Revolution”, and “Aquarius”, starring X-Files’ David Duchuvny, both on NBC, and “Criminal Minds”, alongside Joe Mantegna. Theatrical credits include, “The Blind Side”, “Addicted”, starring Sharon Leal and Boris Kodjoe, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, as Seeder, and “Christmas Wedding Baby”, by Award-Winning Writer/Director Kiara C. Jones. She also stars in Writer/Director, Shea Sizemore’s “The Next Day.” In addition, she recurs in Bounce TV’s, “Saints & Sinners” as Lt. Hawkins, and as Ms. Sumner is the Oscar nominated film, “Hidden Figures”.

A SONG STYLIST in her own right, Maria has shared the musical stage with such legendary artists as Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Ray Charles and Earl Klugh, and Ronnie Laws. After a very successful 6 year stint in Asia, Maria relocated back to the U.S. and performed at Sambuca Jazz Café for 9 consecutive years. She and pianist Bill Wilson (son of legendary jazz pianist Teddy Wilson), held the distinction of being the longest running act at the Atlanta, GA location. As of 2017, Maria hosts her live Hollywood music series called #DUETS, featuring “songs to soothe your soul.”

Maria is not only a song stylist and actor, but a very devoted supporter of her charity of choice, Students Without Mothers, where she has served as a board member for over 8 years.

As the leader of the Noel Freidline Quintet for the last 26 years, Freidline has recorded 8 CDs, performed at jazz festivals as diverse as the Jacksonville (FL) Jazz Festival to the Bethlehem (PA) Musikfest to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, served as artistic director for the Columbia Museum of Art jazz concert series, Jazz on Main, launched a new jazz concert series in Jacksonville, FL called Jazz with Noel Freidline and Friends, held down a three-year house band position at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and performed for actress Julia Roberts’ surprise 35th birthday party.

Visit Maria at

For more on Noel visit

See link for ticket info. Reservations are a must at The Jazz Corner.

Noel & Maria Present: Keith David's Jazz Cabaret

 —  —

Middle C Jazz, 300 S. Brevard, Charlotte, NC

Three-time Emmy winner Keith David performing live with Noel Freidline & Maria Howell at Middle C Jazz.

KEITH DAVID Keith David is a classically trained actor, winning 3 Emmys out of 6 nominations as well as being nominated for a Tony award. He starred in the recently concluded tv series "Greenleaf" for Oprah Winfrey's OWN network. He co-starred with Chadwick Boseman in "21 Bridges" which was in theaters last year. He will be in theaters this year in "Horizon Line" with Allison Williams ("Get Out"). “Black As Night,” an anthology series, features Keith and will be on Amazon sometime next year. In addition to his versatile acting and voiceover work, Keith is also a remarkable singer. Previous tour include, “Too Marvelous for Words”, a tribute to the legendary singer Nat King Cole, and a tribute to Joe Williams, “Here’s to Life.”

see link for ticket info

Noel & Maria: The Very Best of Billy, Stevie, Elton and Ray with a twist of...

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Middle C Jazz, 300 S. Brevard, Charlotte, NC

Join Noel & Maria and their all-star band as they celebrate the Middle C Jazz 3rd Anniversary!

Noel & Maria: The Very Best of Billy, Stevie, Elton and Ray with a twist of Motown, Chicago, Sam Cooke, Luther Vandross, Donny Hathaway, Peter Cetera, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Supremes, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Four Tops, the Jackson 5, Gladys Knight, and more!,

see site for ticket info

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