Tuesday, November 28, 2023 • 7:30 p.m.
Brought to you through an unparalleled collaboration between the prestigious Koger Center for the Arts and the trailblazing ColaJazz Foundation this concert is an uplifting seasonal event perfect for the whole family. Enjoy the soulful, big band versions of holiday classics performed by The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis augmented by the world-class jazz singer, Ashley Pezzotti.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), comprising 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988 and spends over a third of the year on tour across the world. Featured in all aspects of Jazz at Lincoln Center's programming, this remarkably versatile orchestra performs and leads educational events in New York, across the U.S. and around the globe; in concert halls; dance venues; jazz clubs; public parks; and with symphony orchestra; ballet troupes; local students; and an ever-expanding roster of guest artists. Under Music Director Wynton Marsalis; the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works, including compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, and current and former Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra members Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Ted Nash, Victor Goines, Sherman Irby, Chris Crenshaw, and Carlos Henriquez.
Wynton Marsalis Music Director, Trumpet) is the managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1961 to a musical family, Mr. Marsalis was gifted his first trumpet at age 6 by Al Hirt. By age 8, he began playing in the famed Fairview Baptist Church Band led by Danny Barker. Yet it was not until the age of 12 that Marsalis began his formal training on the trumpet. Subsequently, Wynton began performing in bands all over the city, from New Orleans Philharmonic and New Orleans Youth Orchestra to a funk band called the Creators. His passion for music rapidly escalated. As a young teenager fresh out of high school, Wynton moved to New York City in 1979 to attend The Julliard School to study classical music. Once there, however, he found that jazz was calling him. His career quickly launched when he traded Julliard for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. By 19, Wynton hit the road with his own band and has been touring the world ever since. From 1981 to date, Wunton has performed 4,777 concerts in 849 distinct cities and 64 countries around the world. Mr. Marsalis made his recording debut as a leader in 1982 and has since recorded 110 jazz and classical albums, four alternative records, and released five DVDs. In total, he has recorded 1,539 songs at the time of this writing. Marsalis is the winner of 9 GRAMMY Awards, and his oratorio Blood on the Fields was the first jazz composition to win the Pulitizaer Prize for Music. He is the only musician to win a GRAMMY Award in two categories, jazz and classical, during the same year (1983, 1984).
New York vocalist and composer Ashley Pezzotti discovered her love for music when her Dominican father would sing her classic Spanish songs to sleep. She began taking voice lessons at only 4 years old, and 2018 she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music with a full tuition scholarship. Just 27 years old, Ashley has performed with renowned artists such as Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Arturo Sandoval, Joey Alexander, Dave Holland, Jon Secada, and country star Keith Urban. She has also performed at prestigious venues such as Birldland Jazz Club, Dizzy's Club, Blue Note Jazz Club, The JAzz Showcase, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, Stockholm Concert Hall, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.