RENO JAZZ ORCHESTRA – With the holiday season now in full swing, it’s only appropriate that the Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) brings Jazz for the Holidays to Northern Nevada for all to enjoy on December 20, at The Nightingale Hall – University of Nevada. Accompanying the accomplished musicians of the RJO are vocalists Cami Thompson and Kenn Pettiford, international Tap star Sam Weber and performers from the Sierra Nevada Ballet under the direction of Rosine Bena. The Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Vern Scarbrough, will open the holiday performance which starts at 7:30 p.m.
“We always look forward to the holiday performances,” said Chuck Reider, Music Director for the Reno Jazz Orchestra. “This year we showcase the holiday spirit through jazz in music, song and dance that will entertain fans of all music genres and ages.”
Tickets are now on sale through the non-profit organization’s website at www.renojazzorchestra.org, or by phone at 775-225-9421. Student tickets are $10 with adult tickets priced at $25.
Joining in the celebration is Cami Thompson who has as gained a world-wide reputation for wowing audiences with her “4-octave voice of great beauty, control and passion, her zany wit, blazing scat solos, and her humorous interaction with her audience”, noted Reider. “Cami has been a musical inspiration to me for over 25 years from writing songs together in the early days to her joining the RJO on our latest CD.” She will fuse her talents to light up the stage with Kenn Pettiford who has been playing the piano and singing since early childhood. Pettiford has performed professionally all over the country and around the world in jazz venues, theatrical productions, concert settings, and in religious services and ceremonies.
Complimenting the holiday show are a variety of dance offerings by the Sierra Nevada Ballet and international tap star Sam Weber. Sam Weber is considered one of the greatest master Tap dancers of the 21st century and his versatility has led him to performances in musical theater and television, where he has worked with such stars as Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, Andy Williams, Pat Boone and Sara Vaughn. Weber, along with SNB artistic director, Rosine Bena, has choreographed several new excerpts from the full length jazz nutcracker which will premiere in 2014 for the 150th anniversary of Nevada . The full production is set in Reno to the music of Duke Ellington and Count Basie and features Sierra Nevada Ballet principal, Ananda Bena-Weber, and the SNB company.
No holiday event is ever complete without bringing in the community’s own local youth and this year is no exception. The show kicks-off with holiday fanfare from the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra. “The students have a tendency to steal the show,” boasted conductor Vern Scarbrough who leads this ‘sister organization’ of the Reno Jazz Orchestra.
The Reno Jazz Orchestra started in 1977. The EL Cord Foundation, National Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Reno Art Works, Ashley Quinn, Carol Franc Buck Foundation, Fascinating Rhythm School of Performing Arts, Western Nevada Performing Arts Center, the Sierra Nevada Ballet and the RJO Band of 100 support this annual event. For more information, contact Lee Weber Koch, Marketing Partner with the RJO, at 775-846-5444, or email [email protected].