Expect a lot of yuletide favorites, a bit of crooning, and even a few lighthearted moments when the Toledo Jazz Orchestra presents its annual holiday concert Saturday at 8 p.m. inside the Valentine Theatre, 410 Adams St., in downtown Toledo.
The 16-piece big band jazz orchestra is continuing on the theme it began when it started its latest concert season with a sold-out salute to the armed services on Veterans Day.
It will perform arrangements from Cool Yule, an album released a few years ago by the Airmen of Note, the premier jazz ensemble of the U.S. Air Force. Created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Maj. Glenn Miller's Army Air Corps dance band, the Airmen of Note is one of six musical ensembles that collectively form what most people call the U.S. Air Force Band.
“Some of them are really, really clever charts,” according to Ron Kischuk, a trombonist in his eighth year as Toledo Jazz Orchestra artistic director, who said there also will be several traditional holiday songs and a couple of surprises, including a visit from Santa Claus.
Guest performers will include Detroit-area vocalist Paul King, a crooner who describes his style as one that draws from Mel Torme, Joe Williams, and Frank Sinatra “with a dash of Cab Calloway thrown in.”
King is lead vocalist of the Rhythm Society Orchestra, a 15-piece dance band based in Detroit that specializes in vintage swing music and performs throughout the Midwest.
He is expected to sing Christmas songs popularized by Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr., Louis Armstrong, Andy Williams, and others.
Also featured will be Dwight Adams, a trumpeter from Detroit who has toured with Stevie Wonder’s band and has taught at Ohio State and Michigan State universities.
Another trumpeter, Toledo jazz musician Ric Wolkins, also will be featured. Wolkins was one of the Toledo Jazz Orchestra’s original members when it was formed in 1980. The only remaining original member is alto saxophonist Mark Lemle.
“It’s going to be spectacular,” said Kishuk, an adjunct professor at Wayne State University.
The holiday concert has become one of the Toledo Jazz Orchestra’s most popular events since it began doing them a few years ago, he said.
“We’ve never repeated any of the music or any of the ideas,” Kishuk said.
Next year’s holiday concert theme will be announced at the show, he said.
The event is being filmed by Toledo’s local PBS affiliate, WGTE, for future television and radio broadcasts. The station’s website has a broadcast schedule online which lists plans for a TV showing at 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
For more information about the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, go to toledojazz.org.
The Toledo Jazz Orchestra presents its annual holiday concert Saturday at 8 p.m. inside the Valentine Theatre, 410 Adams St. Tickets, which are $8 to $35, are available online, in person from the Valentine box office, or by calling 419-242-2787.
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