In Cedar City, two performances will usher in the holiday concert season in back-to-back shows on Nov. 29 and 30. (This is before our calendars get full, so no Christmas burnout yet.) One show we are familiar with, the other is new to our part of the world.
On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Jive Aces will perform at the Heritage Theater here in Cedar City as part of a tour that starts in England, crosses the world to Washington state, three shows in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Long Beach; Houston, Texas, and ends up in St. Petersburg, Florida, for a New Year’s Eve show. here we are, right in the middle of all those fancy venues, our name on their tour itinerary for all the world to see.
These guys are a six-member jazz group from England with a resume of awards including being semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and an award from Variety. They performed for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in Hyde Park a few weeks later and then inside the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Before that, they headlined the first ever swing dance at the Royal Albert Hall. They have played in numerous festivals around the world, and recorded 20 albums or singles since their first in 1992.
Their style is high-energy swing/rock and roll, complete with bright-colored suits and dancing, which is actually what brought them together in the first place. They were looking for music to dance to and decided to provide their own. One of their musical heroes in Louis Prima. So this extremely popular group is touring the United States this year and will feature some Christmas arrangements in their holiday shows. I have a hunch that “Jingle Bells” never sounded like this!
The night before this highly professional presentation, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, is the fifth iteration of our beloved Monster Concert, that evening where the stage of the Heritage Theater holds nine grand pianos with two or three players on each bench. The performers range from kindergarteners to seasoned adults, and the program this year is varied. There will be some Christmas pieces, some classical works, and a Pop Concerto that is currently all the rage in Germany.
We will be dressed up, although not in bright yellow suits, and our style will be a little nervous and hopeful, not dancing-in-the-aisles frenetic, but if past years are any indication, our audience will adore us. There is something about watching your middle schooler play “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” that sparks wall-ringing applause!
The holiday concert season has arrived.