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SJO puts big band flair on holiday standards

Fri., Dec. 6, 2013

It’s that time of year when it seems that Christmas music – whether it’s on the radio or on television or over the loudspeakers in the local department stores – is blaring at you from all sides.

And just when you thought you’d heard every version of “White Christmas” ever recorded, along comes the Spokane Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Tom Molter, with a holiday-themed program that’s a little bit different.

Titled “Big Band Christmas,” SJO’s upcoming show will feature Christmas standards performed in the big band style of the jazz and swing eras: You’ll hear “The Little Drummer Boy” by way of Gene Krupa, Woody Herman’s interpretation of “Let It Snow,” and even a few takes on such modern (albeit old-fashioned) acts as Michael Bublé and Harry Connick Jr. Local singers Nicole Lewis and Jon Brownell will also be performing.

“This kind of music is really enjoyable to people of all ages, and they’re all familiar songs,” Molter said. “But the big band sound lends itself well to the holiday season. It’s nostalgic and cozy, and it’s something we all identify with. It’s what people want to experience this time of year.”

Nathan Weinbender

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