Recommended Concert: SING AND SWING: OUR AMERICAN SONGBOOK (North American Tour, Jan. 25 to March 30, 2024)

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by Tony Frankel on January 17, 2024

in Concerts / Events,Music,Theater-Regional,Tours


They only need one name: Ella, Judy, Bing, Dean, Peggy. These were the artists who brought the music of Gershwin, Ellington, Porter, and Berlin to life. Now, Jazz at Lincoln Center presents Sing and Swing: Our American Songbook, which relives and recreates some of the classic pairings in jazz and popular song. The North American tour will run from January 25 to March 30, 2024, and reach 45 cities across the United States and Canada. Our American Songbook celebrates American music in all its playful and sophisticated glory, brought to life by two of this generation’s brightest stars — trumpeters, vocalists, and composers Bria Skonberg and Benny Benack III, co-music directors of the program, who bring their music and vocal talents along with a who’s who of New York all-stars: Jocelyn Gould (guitar); Jon Thomas (piano, Jan 26 – Feb 17; Mar 19-30); Mathis Picard (piano, Feb 20-Mar 16); Mark Lewandowski, (bass); Charles Goold (drums, Jan 26-Mar 8; Mar 16-30), and Darrian Douglas (drums, Mar 9-15). Visit Bria Skonberg for ticket links (dates and venues listed below).

Benny Benack III and Bria Skonberg perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC
(© Perry Bindelglass)

The repertoire will include songs such as Duke Ellington’s classic “In a Mellow Tone,” a duet featuring Skonberg on trumpet and vocals, featured in Benack’s most recent album, Third Time’s the Charm; “Comes Love,” a nod to the inimitable Louis and Ella; “Banana Split for My Baby,” a cheeky swinger by Louis Prima and Keely Smith; and “I’m Glad There Is You,” a classic by Sarah Vaughan and Clifford Brown. Notes Benack, “There’re a lot of familiar songs that people know and love. But we have put fresh arrangements on these songs. And Bria and I also have some of our brand-new original material inspired by this era’s music. We wanted to have a modern take on the songwriting form. So we have some of that as well. You keep the music fresh by adding your experiences and making it relatable to the audience before you.”

To present SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook, and following the success of last year’s SONGS WE LOVE: 50 Years of Jazz Song, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s tour initiative is to allow presenters to offer excellent jazz programming while introducing to a broader audience the musicians who will reinterpret and reimagine the sound of jazz for years to come. It is part of JALC’s mission “to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy.” As part of those efforts, the tour will include an educational component in selected cities.

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