The Savannah Center, Dec. 16, 2016

The Savannah Center with Valerie Gillespie, Dec. 16, 2016

The Orion Trio performed it’s fourth Christmas Jazz concert to a packed room at the Savannah Center in The Villages on Friday, December 16.  Our featured guest artist was Valerie Gillespie on vocals, sax and flute.  Thomas Pizzi was on the keyboard with Jerry Bruno on drums and Davis Collister on electric bass.

The Trio led off with ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ as an up-tempo swing and then brought Valerie on with her samba arrangement of ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’.  ‘Silver Bells’ was next as a jazz waltz and then we featured Jerry playing a New Orleans style drum pattern and solo on ‘Little Drummer Boy’, also her charts.  Valerie sang a beautiful rendition of the ‘Christmas Song’ by Mel Torme, followed by an instrumental funk version of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’.  A swing version of ‘Winter Wonderland’ followed and featured some great solos by Valerie and the Trio.  Valerie sang a bluesy version of Dean Martin’s ‘Christmas Blues’ and we ended the concert with Dizzy Gillespie’s jazz samba ‘Tanga’.

It’s always nice to see so many familiar faces at these shows, and you really encourage us to do our best by showing us your appreciation.  I enjoy the challenge of taking a traditional tune and creating a new approach to playing it, and we certainly had some different arrangements of standard Christmas songs while some were done more traditionally with a jazz flavor added.

Our next concert is January 12, 2017 at 12pm with John DePaola, trumpet as our featured artist.

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Valerie Gillespie, Jerry Bruno

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Thomas Pizzi, Valerie Gillespie

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Davis Collister

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