Founder and Artistic Director of the Pasadena Jazz Institute, Paul Lines, and Old Pasadena restaurateur André Vener of Redwhite+bluezz have been friends for some time. Lines now finds his Jazz Institute in need of some help and Vener has stepped forward to produce “The Nutcracker Swings, A Cool Jazz Christmas” at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 in the Grand Ballroom of the Pasadena Convention Center. Vener has invited a few of his musical friends to participate.
The centerpiece of the evening will be a performance of Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn’s “The Nutcracker Swings” with the Pasadena Jazz Orchestra. Guest artists will include the redwhite+bluezz all stars, the Sacred Nation Gospel Choir and appearances by James Tormé, Renee Olstead, Sylvia St. James, Maestro Victor Vener with Bryan Gallyof acting as Master of Ceremonies.
An entire evening of fun and entertainment is planned. At 6:00 p.m., holiday dining will be available. The dinnertime music will feature the Pasadena Jazz Institute Junior Superstars. The concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. Concertgoers desiring a full-service three-course meal will be seated at tables with service beginning promptly at 6:00 p.m. Others can purchase separate tickets for a self-serve buffet which will be available from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets for the concert range from $30 to $70 per seat. Dinner tickets, sold separately, are $35 for the full-service meal and $10 to $18 at the buffet. Wine bar service will be available throughout the evening. To purchase tickets call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, ticketmaster.com or visit nutcrackerswings.com.
The concert will benefit the Pasadena Jazz Institute’s Jazz Camp program. Sponsors of the event include Pasadena Entertainment, redwhite+bluezz, Pasadena Independent, Pasadena Weekly and Waltrip’s Music.
“The Glory of Christmas” Now Through Jan 3
The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove had only been open for a year when its production “The Glory of Christmas” was introduced. Now in its 28th year, this story of the nativity is re-told in a spectacular pageant nightly (except Christmas Day) through Jan. 3. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 17 and 18, performances are at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (both these dates offer a discount price of $20). Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20 performances are at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. On Monday, Dec. 21 performances are held at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22 and Wednesday, Dec. 23, the pageant is given three times: at 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. A similar schedule follows Christmas to Jan. 3.
The Cathedral, which seats 2,500 for these presentations, becomes home to an enormous set, flying angels, the world’s largest (in numbers of pipes) pipe organ, and a cast of over 100—not including three adult camels, a baby camel, six horses, a yak, a llama, a baby water buffalo and numerous sheep and goats. Music for this event is pre-recorded and is provided by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Tickets are $35, $40 and $45 with a discount of $2 for seniors over age 62 and children under age 12. A seating chart for each performance is provided on the website www.crystalcathedral.org and due to the popularity of the event, it may be best to check there. The Crystal Cathedral is located at 12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove. Information: (877) 544-5679.
Holiday Celebration Dec 24 at Music Center
Each year, The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors provides a gift to the community through its Los Angeles Arts Commission by supporting the staging of a cultural extravaganza on the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 24. This year, the 50th annual celebration of the Emmy-nominated holiday show, begins at 3:00 p.m. and continues to 9:00 p.m. with 40 music organizations performing.
There are five ways to enjoy this presentation: by attending in person at the Music Center; watching on television on KCET-TV; see the live streaming broadcast on computer at www.kcet.org; or tune into KPFK, 90.7 FM; or watch a re-telecast on KCET-TV beginning at 7:00 p.m. To attend in person, doors will open at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at 2:00 p.m., seating is free and you may come and go as you like during the six hours of music. Parking at the Music Center is also free. No reservations or tickets are necessary—it is a real gift.
Groups that have accepted the invitation of the Los Angeles Arts Commission to perform in this special holiday program include The Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, Angel City Chorale, Antics Performances, Arc Handbell Choir, Burbank Chorale, Catch me Bird, Christian’s Community Center Cathedral Choir, Colburn Children’s Choir, Conjunto Los Pochos, Definiens Project, Element Band, Fishtank Ensemble, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble, Harmonies Girls Choir, Hollywood Master Chorale, JazzAntigua Music and Dance Ensemble, Kim Eung Hwa Korean Dance Academy, Klezmer Juice, Lisa Haley and the Zydekats, Little Willie G. and The East L.A. Philharmonic, Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Pinguos, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, Motion Tribe, Mt. Rubicoux Seventh Day Adventist Church Choir, Opera California Youth Choir, Pacifico Dance Company, Palmdale High School Choral Union, Philippine Chamber Singers of Los Angeles, Salvation Army Tabernacle Children’s Chorus, Sharanya Mukhopadhyay, Shin Dance Company, South Pasadena Strings Program, TaikoProject, Valleyaries Barbershop Chorus, Vox Femina and Young Angels Choir.
Information: (213) 972-3099 or visit www.holidaycelebration.org.
“Tapestry of Christmas Songs” by Sierra Madre Chorale Dec 18
Fred Copeland, director of the Sierra Madre Chorale will present “Musical Tapestry of Christmas Songs: at the Sierra Madre United Methodist Church, Sierra Madre at 7:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 and at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20. The program will include favorite music of the season and traditional carols. Accompanist is Stephanie Wan Hsiu Lan.
Pasadena Pops Celebrates the Holiday with Music, Music, Music, Dec. 19
The assignment for a holiday concert by the Pasadena Symphony Association has fallen to the capable hands of Rachael Worby the Music Director and conductor of the Pasadena Pops Orchestra. Certainly Worby knows sparkle, and with the Symphony musicians, can be expected to put on a good show. Holiday POPS will take place at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Songs like “Jingle Bells”, “Silent Night”, and many more are promised and music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “The Polar Express”, and “Home Alone” are also on the bill. Guest performers will include Valarie Pettiford, who has been spotlighted with this orchestra on several occasions over the past few years; the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (actually Pasadena-based); and the Donald Brinegar Singers whose voices have added much to area music. We understand the Santa Claus may take some time off to add his jolly touch.
Ticket prices range from $25 to $75; kids under 14, $10. Tickets are available on line at www.pasadena-pops.org, the Civic Auditorium box office on Fridays or by calling the Symphony office, (626) 793-7172, ext. 16.
The Pasadena Civic Auditorium is located at 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. Information: (626) 793-7172, ext 16.