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What Are You Doin' New Year's Eve?

New Year's Eve, New York City 1930. Photo courtesy nycblog.citysearch.

What are you doin' New Year’s Eve? Well, how about tuning into our radio show from The Landing in San Antonio? We’ve got hot tunes for dancing, sweet ballads for romancing and melodies for saying goodbye to this year and making plans for the next.

 

Vocalist Topsy Chapman, 2009. Photo by Jamie Karutz.

An all-star cast of singers and instrumentalists from across the country perform swinging tunes from the Great American Songbook, by James P. Johnson, Clarence Williams, Frank Loesser, Harry Warren and one ancient Scottish folk song that's a tradition for welcoming in the New Year.

 

Vocalist Topsy Chapman, a New Orleans native known for her role in the long-running off-Broadway hit revue One Mo' Time, is now in demand as a featured soloist at jazz festivals around the world. Topsy joins us to sing three tunes associated with Billie Holiday—"He's Funny That Way," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," and the uplifting "When You're Smiling."

 

Vocalist Stephanie Nakasian, 2008. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Stephanie Nakasian first came to international attention in the mid-1980s when she sang and toured with the vocal jazz master Jon Hendricks. Currently teaching jazz voice at The University of Virginia and The College of William and Mary, Stef was recently featured on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. On our show she interprets the lovely 1947 ballad by Frank Loesser, "What Are You Doin' New Year's Eve?"

 

Two of our horn players call New Orleans home. Cornetist Connie Jones has long been associated with Pete Fountain and currently tours the US, performing at jazz festivals and parties. Clarinetist Jack Maheu was the leader of the Salt City Five and Six bands, recorded with Eddie Condon, and led an award-winning band at the French Quarter Festival.

 

"Royal Garden Blues" sheet music, 1919. Image courtesy Wikimedia.

 

Connie and Jack hold forth with stirring versions of the jazz standards "Swing That Music" and "Royal Garden Blues," the latter recorded by Joe 'King' Oliver in 1920s' Chicago.

 

Trombonist Dan Barrett hails from southern California and is a mainstay of the classic jazz scene internationally. In the '80s, Dan received a personal invitation from the King of Swing to perform in what turned out to be Goodman's last orchestra. Dan tours worldwide at festivals and concerts with a variety of artists, including singer Rebecca Kilgore and guitarist/vocalist Eddie Erickson.

 

Bandleader Jim Cullum, The Landing, 2005. Photo courtesy Riverwalk Jazz.

Cornetist Leon Oakley is best known for his long association with Turk Murphy and the Bay Area classic jazz scene. To welcome in the New Year, Leon and Jim Cullum team up in a spectacular cornet duet on "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," a perfect background for thinking of all the good things sure to come in 2011.

 

Wishing you all the best for a very happy New Year, from all of us at Riverwalk Jazz!

 

Photo credit for Home Page: Jim Cullum,"What Are You Doin' New Year's Eve" sheet music. Image courtesy ephemera.typepad.

 

 

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