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Jazz saxophonist, Doug Harris and drummer, Wayne Winston had formed the original group. Under their guidance as members of the well-renowned JHS 113 "Fighting Falcons" Marching Band, the group began their venture in January 1996.
In addition to the band at school, the students were at the time involved in Non-Stop Production, and under Mr. Winston's leadership, a performance schedule was developed. N.S.P. continued working with the group for several weeks, and the group made their debut at N.S.P's. Spring Fashion Show and Concert in late March, '96. The audience was impressed by the youthful energy of the group. The group went on to perform at numerous events, including the "African International Arts Festival" at Boys and Girls H.S., where they came in first place as a festival finalist, the "Atlantic Antic", in downtown Brooklyn, and numerous local restaurants.
The group's repetoir consists of numerous classical jazz pieces, ranging from Miles Davis to Anita Baker. As their style grew, their reputation grew, completing 2 years of successful creativity with almost 30 performances throughout then NYC area.
The group continued performing each month until April, 1998, when the group was disbanded, as several have moved on to pursue college, and other roles within NSP.
In November, 1999, NSP became members of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium. Through this network of jazz promoters, clubs, and artists, NSP re-organized The New "Friends & Strangers" jazz band for the new millenium. The band has now been featured in numerous jazz venues, and special events. Through the CBJC, Non-Stop Producion develops and oversees youth jazz workshops and concerts as part of the Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival every April. NSP also hopes to enlighten more youngsters on the history of jazz through performances, and other activities.
An invitation remains open to any young musician interested in carrying the legacy and history of jazz music into the 21st century.
Currently featured Friends and Strangers band members include, Saxophonist, Rodney James-Spann, and Trumpeters, Samuel Cole and Foster Brown, Jr. and guitarist, Nicholas Desousza, who are carrying the rich tradition of past legends.