Getting Jazzed For the Holidays

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It’s that time of year again. Mom, Dad, Uncle Buck, Aunt Millie and, um, a few other stragglers, are lining up on your doorstep just in time for the holidays, ready to eat you out of house and home and, of course, be entertained.

Photo Courtesy Wynton Marsalis
Photo Courtesy Wynton Marsalis

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. When cabin fever hits, we know just the thing to entice the guests out the door.

In this much-beloved annual tradition, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) with Wynton Marsalis is back in town to give a swinging performance of your favorite holiday tunes during a Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) show in Memorial Hall on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. New Orleans-native Wynton founded the group, now a New York cultural institution, in 1987.

Think big brass band renditions from Count Basie’s “Jingle Bells” to classics like “White Christmas” and “Zat You, Santa Claus?” – all performed in the 16-piece orchestra’s signature New Orleans-flavored, soulful style.

Jazz and blues singer Catherine Russell will also make a special appearance. The daughter of singer Carline Ray and Luis Russell, Louis Armstrong’s musical director, she’s the latest generation in a family of jazz royalty.

“This will be our third consecutive year appearing at Carolina Performing Arts, and each year we strive to bring a different repertoire to introduce the virtuosity of the orchestra and range of this music,” says Jason Olaine, JLCO’s director of concerts and touring.

“One reason we love playing at [Memorial Hall] is that the audiences are always smart, engaged and enthusiastic. The overall energy in the building inspires our band.”

No doubt this must-see performance will fill you with holiday cheer and have you swinging over the river and through the woods.

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Chantal Allam

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