It’s That Time of Year

My students are going bonkers, and the teachers are too. Birds are chirping, everything is green again, and the smell of fresh cut lawn dances on the air. This is the time of year when I feel ready for a change of pace, aka A JNG TOUR!

We are so excited to be hitting the road soon, and we will  have our new album in hand! Do not be deterred by the title, “Winter Song,” as half of the album presents year-round-friendly tunes, including the highly requested original, “First Sip.” While on tour last summer, we promised you a recording of this tune, and we followed through. When you live in the midwest, winter songs are completely necessary for half of the year, but so are songs of hope, like “Aguas de Marco,” meaning “Waters of March”- suggesting a THAW. Yes. I am ready to schluff around gear for many gigs in a row to bring you this music.









The tour schedule is jam-packed with our favorite venues, and even a double-header! But don’t worry, we booked a day off to see our favorite DoCo people and  beaches. The band always squeezes in an annual visit to the drive-in movie theater as well, or as the locals affectionately refer to it, “the outdoor.” Oh, and of course we will pay a visit to our favorite mini-golf man, Bob at the Red Putter. Bob always sports rosy cheeks and a smile. One of the most pleasant fellas I’ve ever met.







Yes, it’s safe to say that summer is near, and the weather finally suggests so too. My dear Aunt Vickie will kindly be putting up this quintet of mostly boys (pray for her…and me)  for the duration of our tour. We are forever indebted, and will once again offer our house-painting and lawn care services to earn our keep. We can’t wait to see you soon in the warm summer breezes accompanied by the splashing soundtrack of Lake Michigan. Until then!



It’s That Time Of Year…

…And I’m PUMPED!

Yes folks, I LOVE winter. I know, I’m a little nutty. But tell me, when can you appreciate that fuzzy blanket and hot cocoa more than after you’ve just come in from that winter air? Wait, these very scenes are described in the song MN Dream on our new Winter Song album! How crazy is THAT. If you’d like to hear all of these tunes live, the night to celebrate is soon and very soon- and you should make your reservation now. This album has been an h-e-double-hockey-sticks of a lot of work, and we are absolutely thrilled with the results. We’ve created an album that we believe  can and will help you to love winter. That’s right, LOVE. Another mission was to ensure that many tracks could be spun any time of year, and I think we’ve accomplished that. Hope to see your smiling faces in the crowd at the Dakota (click the link to book your table now) on Saturday December 7th! The show is from 8-10:30p.

Winter Song Album Release Party

Winter Song Album Release Party

 We will play tunes from the album and all the JNG hits, from Comfortably Numb to Ring of Fire. OK, Adam just informed me we don’t play either of those songs, but you should come anyway.     And now signing off as I come to a gentle close of another 14 hour work day (teachers are overpaid and underworked) this is yours truly, Jana Nyberg, and I can’t WAIT to share this album with you live at the Dakota :)Until then! -Jana

Recording Sesh

Hey all,

It’s been a while! But it’s not because we haven’t been busy 🙂 We’ve been gigging and in the studio at Signaturetone in Minneapolis ( with fabulous sound tech, Adam Tucker. We’re busy working on our holiday album to be released in the Fall, 2013. The project is of course versatile, our usual M.O. (modus operandi, come ON!) including the usual quintet instrumentation, vocals from the boys, a string quartet, cajòn, flute, originals, favorite holiday tunes arranged, and so on. If you receive our monthly JNG newsletter, you got to preview one of our original tracks that’s packed with soul and sass. If you don’t receive our monthly newsletter- well, perhaps you should re-think that terrible decision. You can sign up on the main page of our website:

Doing the Business

Doing the Business

I’m so excited about this project. The true sound of the JNG is happening  after nearly 9 years of growth and discovery. The album features Adam Meckler, trumpet, flugel, voice; Evan Montgomery, guitar, voice; Brian Courage, bass; Matt Peterson, bass; Jake Nyberg, cajòn, voice; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Greg Schutte, drums. I sing and play the flute…but most importantly, the EGG SHAKER. Then there’s the string quartet, and oh! A gospel rendition of a carol (yet to be revealed) with Mike Vasich guesting on the piano! Oh man, this project has been a delight. Look for it soon, and for those of you who aren’t on the email list, I’m feeling kind, and will still allow you to sign up.

Gigs and tours coming up! Check in often at:

Find us on Facebook here: The Jana Nyberg Group

As always, thank you for your support. We give you music, you give us love:)

Lots of love,

Jana Banana

Need a Break From Politics?

If you’re like me, and I know I am, this election season has begun to wear on you. Need a break? The JNG will be on tour November 1st-4th, and hopefully coming to a town near you! Check out our calendar page right here on WordPress, or go to and click “calendar” to find out show details. 

The route? It’s sort of interesting, but the best we could do in order to book dates in each of the following towns: Lincoln, NE, Chicago, Il, St. Louis, MO, and Milwaukee, WI.

Grimy political commercials got you down? Tired of tossing and turning at night wondering when all of the hubbub can finally end? Well, technically it ends November 6th, but find early relief in the form of musical lov’in from the JNG November 1st, 2nd, 3rd AND 4th! 

See you sooooooon. Tell one, tell all.

Much love,

Jana Banana


Shortest Post Ever

For an entire week and counting, I have been able to attend live music every night, whether I am performing, or a member of the audience. It’s so much easier to be a teacher and a musician when school’s out 😉 I could get used to this! The Twin Cities have such a rich tapestry of music happening, you can never exhaust the scene. My advice to you: branch out of your comfort zone and go hear someone you haven’t yet. You will always find something you like about the performance if you keep an open mind and let the art speak for itself. This past week I have attended everything from funk cover bands, to an underground hip hop open mic lead by Toki Wright, to the Adam Meckler Orchestra, and left every show feeling enriched. Music RULES. Get out there! 

Midwest Tour Reflection

Hey all,

The JNG returned from a Midwest tour last month, during which we made debut appearances in NE and MO, and revisited IA and WI. We had a blast. The band consisted of the ever-dependable staple members, Adam Meckler and Evan Montgomery, and newbees Andrew Foreman (bass) and Zach Schmidt (drums). We set out in a rented, B-E-A-Uuuutiful, pimped out Chrysler Town and Country 2012. (Many thanks to Lois Elrod for helping us find the best deal on this amazing tour vehicle!) Continue reading


Hey everyone, it’s been a while!
The JNG has some fun momentum right now as we are about to hit the studios again to lay down our “Winter Songs” album, to be released Fall 2012. We’re excited to record a bunch of originals and holiday favorites at Signature Tone Recording. For more info about Signature Tone, click here. These guys really know what’s up in the biz.
Never fear, you’ll want to keep some of the tunes on your playlist year-round, as the subject matter stretches far beyond Frosty the Snowman and mistletoe 😉

Following, we plan to do a concept album. The concept shall remain a surprise, but needless to say, all good, cool and exhilarating things happening.

Speaking of which, we are hitting the road for a solid week this April, so check our calendar to see when we’ll be near you! Our calendar

We love touring, and interacting with the fans. Your vibrancy is what fuels us on the road (no pun intended) so be sure to catch a show!

I recently had the privilege of recording with Gigamesh for a new tune that’s sure to be a hit. How do I know this? Because it’s been stuck in my head ever since. Man did I have fun working in a new genre! The song is definitely very Euro-Techno-Pop. Once it’s released, I’ll be sure to let you all know. In the meantime, check out what Gigamesh is up to here.   Gigamesh is a masterful producer, DJ, and all around cool dude. He’s on the road the rest of the month playing to sold out clubs in NY and the like!

In other news, we’ve been composing fresh material in anticipation of our up-coming studio time, which is always fun, challenging, and rewarding. Can’t wait to share it all with you! SEE YOU ON THE ROAD! Stay in touch with me on Twitter! @JanaNyberg

And “like” us on Facebook here!

-Jana Banana, signing out



Jazz Recession: Twin Cities Chapter

Jazz musicians in America experience “the grind” daily. Allow me to elaborate. Our clubs have closed, are closing, or can’t afford to pay. If they can pay, a musician is lucky to make $30 on a weeknight, with the “added bonus” of food and drinks. Many musicians “play for fun,” accepting gigs for free. This makes it increasingly difficult for those of us making our living as musicians to ask a fair wage of a venue. Our clubs that once billed themselves as “jazz clubs” now host mostly other genres, or only national jazz acts. Singers, horn players… all a dime a dozen. So, why do we do what we do? Why don’t we just give up?

Because we love it. Continue reading

You Know What?

We’ve been composing a lot lately! There is bound to be another album much sooner than later. I know, we just can’t stop! This is what happens when you are surrounded by excellent music/musicians 24/7. I am spoiled. It’s true. Well, SOMEone had to come out and say it!

More after the jump! Continue reading

Adele and SURPRISE!!

Caught Adele at the Excel last night. Man can that girl sing! When you can make the Excel sound good, you must be do’in somethin’ right. Don’t get my wrong, I would’ve much rather caught her show at First Ave. where I was originally supposed to, but she killed it and made the space work for what she does.

Now for the surprise: More than half way through the show, Adele proceeds to talk in her delightfully Northern English accent about how the tune she’s about to sing makes her, laugh, cry, smile, and is just downright beautiful. What does she break into? “I Can’t Make You Love Me!” For those of you who don’t know, we just released our version of this Bonnie Raitt classic on our newest album, “Fever!” Impeccable timing? Kindred spirits? Who knows, but Adele and I both agree it’s time to bring this painfully gorgeous song back. Adele presented a very classic, soul-filled rendition. Our version has a new spin on it, and radio stations have been spinning it quite often! I know you’ll dig what Jake Nyberg came up with on drums (my bro =) which gives it a feel uniquely our own- a drum and bass drum track kind of thing. See what you think- pick up the new album via itunes, CD Baby, or any number of your other favorite music purchasing vehicles! Then, get at me. Feedback, people! To conclude, do catch Adele in concert, she is accessible and downright amazing. Oh, and Bonnie Raitt, she’s not too shabby live either 😉

That is all, my friends. Love, Jana Banana

P.S. Composing today- look for new music soon! Which will be newer than the newest stuff, which will then not be…the newest…since…there’s…newer newer music. …Yeah.

Adele at Excel