Entertainment Review: Atlanta Symphony Hall
Excitement filled the air as I approached Atlanta Symphony Hall on Friday, December 8, 2023, for the iconic Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The Big Band Holiday performance at the Hall exceeded all expectations.
As I was led to my seat, I observed the beautiful and diverse crowd of attendees of all ages, races, and ethnicities. From groups of high school and college students to elegantly dressed couples, and even those with physical challenges being carefully escorted to their seats, the atmosphere was vibrant. The performance stage was adorned with stunning Christmas trees, setting the perfect backdrop for an enchanting evening of music.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis delivered a truly captivating family affair. Members of the orchestra had their families seated on the left and right sides of the stage’s center, creating a heartwarming visual. Marsalis’s passionate and affectionate narration throughout the evening fostered a sense of musical camaraderie that resonated with all attendees. It is often said that music has the power to soothe the mind and soul, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis certainly lived up to this.
The instrumental solos were awe-inspiring, and Ashley Pezzotti, the vocalist, captivated the audience with her performance. There was a moment when I closed my eyes and found myself transported into a holiday movie, so enchanting was the atmosphere created.
Each performance was exceptional, featuring beloved classics like ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy.’ The musical arrangements were infused with soul-stirring elements of straight-ahead jazz. Pezzotti’s original song, ‘Snowbird,’ was a standout moment of the night. Victor Goines, the arranger, contributed to many of the musical arrangements, adding his creative touch. As I celebrated a milestone birthday, this unforgettable night will be cherished and spoken about until the next holiday season arrives.
This show was presented by Delta Atlanta Symphony Hall LIVE.
About Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest artists spanning genres and generations, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of performances, education, and broadcast events each season in its home in New York City (Frederick P. Rose Hall, “The House of Swing”) and around the world, for people of all ages. Jazz at Lincoln Center is led by Chairman Clarence Otis, Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, and Executive Director Greg Scholl.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), comprising 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988 and spends over a third of the year on tour across the world. Featured in all aspects of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s programming, this remarkably versatile orchestra performs and leads educational events in New York, across the U.S. and around the globe; in concert halls; dance venues; jazz clubs; public parks; and with symphony orchestras; ballet troupes; local students; and an ever-expanding roster of guest artists. Under Music Director Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works, including compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, and current and former Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra members Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Ted Nash, Victor Goines, Sherman Irby, Chris Crenshaw, and Carlos Henriquez.