Jazzy Holiday Concert at Center for the Arts

Posted: November 15, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Using Stan Kenton’s “Merry Christmas” (1961) for inspiration, two of the area’s major jazz powerhouses, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra and the Capitol Bones Big Band, will join forces in an evening of swingin’ holiday music on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m.

The ensembles will perform “A Stan Kenton Christmas” at Mason’s Center for the Arts. Enjoy the original charts of Ralph Carmichael and Stan Kenton for an innovative version of “Adeste Fideles,” as well as myriad arrangements of holiday favorites. A discussion, free to ticket holders, will begin 45 minutes prior to each performance on the center’s Grand Tier III.

The concert will feature some of the top jazz musicians from the Washington, D.C., area in a holiday program that includes Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here,” Bob Wells and Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song,” a smooth-as-silk version of “Greensleeves,” and a robust treatment of “Big Bad Drummin’ Dude,” featuring deftly juxtaposed elements from “The Little Drummer Boy.”

The Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra is directed by alto sax virtuoso Jim Carroll. His illustrious career includes performances at Carnegie Hall, the White House, the Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall and the Apollo Theatre. A versatile performer, Carroll has performed with Michael Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Maynard Ferguson, Billy Taylor, Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and many others. Active as an educator, he is the director of Jazz Studies at Mason.

The Capitol Bones Big Band, Washington, D.C.’s premiere jazz trombone ensemble, was founded in 1991 by Matt Niess, who brought together the best jazz trombonists in the city to participate in a group dedicated to promoting not only great ensemble playing, but also the expansion of the repertoire of this medium. The Capitol Bones have played at the International Trombone Workshop in Las Vegas and Rochester, N.Y.; jazz clubs; universities; and an annual appearance at the Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the standard arrangements, the Capitol Bones have added several new works to the jazz trombone ensemble repertoire by such notables as Conrad Herwig, Mike Tomaro, Mark Taylor, Jim Roberts and Matt Niess. The Capitol Bones’ newest CD, “A Stan Kenton Christmas,” is conducted by Kenton veteran Mark Taylor.

Tickets are $40, $32 and $20; tickets for children 12 and under are half price. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit tickets.com.

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