About Spare Niche

We offer a unique set of repertoire with styles that include Jazz standards, Latin, Blues, Country, and Americana music.  Our set lists are custom-designed each time according to what best fits the needs of the event.

Instrumentation consists of vocals, guitar, violin (fiddle), upright bass, and drums.

Jazz Sample Set List: 

All of Me

Autumn Leaves

But Beautiful 

Bye Bye Blackbird 

Cold, Cold Heart 


Girl From Ipanema

Here’s That Rainy Day 

How High the Moon 

Lady Be Good

Our Love is Here to Stay 



When Sunny Gets Blue 


Americana Sample Set List:

 Long Time Gone 

Another Night 

Barroom Girls 

Columbus Stockade Blues

I Saw the Light

Killing The Blues

Long Time Gone

One More Dollar           

Orphan Girl  

Sittin’ Here Pickin’ the Blues 

Tennessee Waltz

Your Cheatin’ Heart


Individual Bios:

Carrie Jennings (vocals) has been singing with Justin and friends for 8 years. Steeped in the 4-part harmonies of church hymns and the bluegrass tunes of her fiddle-maker grandfather, she finds harmonies of the group like a first language. She thought she had left her music career behind her in college when she chose a Geology over a Clarinet major. However during the early days of planning The Hot Spot, Martha brought Justin and Carrie together for a living room jam. Carrie now hosts the monthly Open Mic at the Hot Spot to give other musicians a chance to reimagine and launch new musical identities. 

Justin London (guitar) is a Professor of Music (and Cognitive Science) at Carleton College in Northfield.  He teaches classes in music theory, blues history, and music psychology; as a researcher he studies the perceptual speed limits of musical rhythm (probably because he can’t play very fast himself).  Trained as a classical guitarist (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music), he also plays folk, bluegrass, country, and jazz styles.  He is a founding member of the Spare Niche Quintet and the New Moon Trio.

Jeff Gurney (bass) spent much of the 80's and 90's working as a freelance musician in the Twin Cities. He is now a mostly retired Respiratory Therapist, living in Cannon Falls.  He is a member of the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra, plays in various groups around southeast Minnesota, and proudly holds the bass chair at Spare Niche.

Lance Heisler (drums)