Friday, November 25, 2011

Yule Be Swingin'

It's hard to believe December is almost here!  With the holidays upon us, musicians around the world are dusting off their seasonal repertoire.

There is a long and wonderful tradition of jazz musicians "covering" holiday tunes, and giving them their own creative twist. Some of my favorites from years past include Dexter Gordon playing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and Oscar Peterson playing "Jingle Bells".

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 3rd, the UConn jazz ensembles will continue this tradition at their annual Yule Be Swingin' concert in the von der Mehden Recital Hall.  In lieu of admission charges, donations will be collected for WAIM (Windham Area Interfaith Ministry).  Last year, over $800 was raised for our neighbors in need.

At this year's concert your seasonal favorites will be performed by a variety of ensembles including four different jazz combos, a big band, the 10-piece UConn Jazz Ensemble, and a choir.  Between instrumental selections you will be lead in carol singing by Amanda Hanzlik, accompanied by yours truly.

Kids are most definitely invited.  Being a dad of young children, I know how hard it is to find quality musical events that don't start past my kid's bedtimes and where I won't be hushed (or escorted out) if they make a peep.  This concert was designed to appeal to all age groups, and it is guaranteed to put even the most curmudgeonly of scrooges into the holiday spirit.