The North Atlantic Jazz Alliance (NAJA) became reality when pianist Markus Burger, born in Germany but living in Southern California since 2003, worked with the Goethe Institute to form a new band that would be comprised of three Germans and four Americans. “Jim Linahon and I both teach at Fullerton College,” says the pianist. “After I told him that the Institute would underwrite the project, he proposed the other three Americans. That is how Paul Kreibich, Marshall Hawkins and Bill Yeager became involved. From Germany are Jan von Klewitz, a close collaborator for 20 years and Michael Schiefel whom Jan has worked with the last 10 years”.