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

Previous events


THE PIANO MEN: The Music of Billy Joel & Elton John Mention piano players and the discussion will quickly move to Elton John and Billy Joel. The two iconic piano men helped define the 70’s and 80’s. Masters of some of the most indelible melodies in pop music history, Elton John and Billy Joel easily helped write the soundtrack for more than two decades.

Piano man Noel Freidline will be joined by vocalist Maria Howell and his masterful quartet. Actress/vocalist Maria Howell has appeared in everything from “The Color Purple” to “The Hunger Games,” “Hidden Figures,” and many more.

The show will feature some of their biggest hits: “New York State of Mind” “Your Song” “Only the Good Die Young” and “Rocket Man.” You won’t be required to sing along, but it certainly won’t be discouraged!

see site for info

Maria Howell presents: Girls in Gowns

 —  —

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

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

Middle C Jazz has General Admission seating available on a first-come basis. We also offer preferred seating for our Baby Grand members. For information regarding our Baby Grand Membership click here. “Girls in Gowns” is the brainchild of Singer/Actor, Maria Howell. Born from her desire to collaborate and perform with other “girls” in the industry, coupled with her love of wearing gowns, and for a good cause. The concept was initially launched as a fundraising event in Atlanta, GA, to benefit Students Without Mothers, Inc., where she’s served as a Board Member for over 10 years. Joining Maria for this musical experience, are special guests, international recording artist and songwriter, Tracy Hamlin, and international virtuoso violinist and recording artist, Karen Briggs!
Maria Howell Maria is a vocalist, actor, and voiceover artist. She began her career in 1985, as the choir soloist, in the iconic movie, “The Color Purple”, and went on to appear in network TV shows, such as “Revolution” (NBC), "Criminal Minds” (CBS), "The Resident” (FOX), as well as shows on BET+, Hallmark, and Lifetime. A few of her big screen appearances, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “Hidden Figures”, and “The Blind Side”. Maria also lends her voice to numerous TV and radio commercials, video games, audiobook & documentary narrations, as well as animation. Most recently as “Tallulah”, a recurring character on Ellen Degeneres’ animated series, “Little Ellen” (HBO Max). Tracy Hamlin Tracy is a Baltimore-born, classically trained vocalist, songwriter & international recording artist. She has executive produced 5 solo R&B/Jazz albums. Tracy has performed in over 50 countries as a solo artist, as lead vocalist with Pieces of a Dream, and as a lead background vocalist with Disco Queen, Gloria Gaynor. Karen Briggs Karen is known internationally as a virtuoso violinist with extraordinary versatility, in her ability to cover a wide span of various genres. Some of that includes an eclectic range of orchestral, Gospel, Funk, R&B, Latin, New Age, Rock, Hip Hop, Middle Eastern, and several Jazz styles. Linked by improvisation and embellishment, her audio-visual signature has become extremely popular, and she is constantly sought after for a variety of live events and recorded projects internationally. She has performed as a featured soloist in over 45 countries.

See site for ticket info

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Noel Freidline Quintet