by Jarrett Hoffman
Do you prefer your holiday programs to span several genres — and to have that special glint in the sound that only an array of brass can provide? Trumpeter Rodney Marsalis and the Philadelphia Big Brass will check both boxes when they visit Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30 pm as part of the Tuesday Musical series. Tickets are available here.
The band’s holiday mix is wide-ranging: there’s swing, classical, big band, musical theater, carols, and R&B, ranging from Messiah and Nutcracker selections to Silent Night, When the Saints Go Marching In, and a medley from Earth Wind & Fire. Not just any old holiday program, as I pointed out to Marsalis when we spoke last year over Zoom. (The group’s 2021 visit to Northeast Ohio was canceled.)
Jarrett Hoffman: Bringing together different genres is something that’s been intentional about this group from the start, is that right?
Rodney Marsalis: Yes, we do it with all of our programs. We’ve had a chance to test out this holiday program over the last few years. It’s not just Christmas music, but it’s in the spirit of Christmas, so that’s been our goal.