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Sing and Swing: A Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents Production

LIVE PERFORMANCE: Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 7:30 pm| Tickets go on sale in August 22, 2023 at 10 am!
Link to the Online Bardo Arts Center Box Office

Sing and Swing Poster

Image courtesy of IMG Artists.

For over three decades, Jazz at Lincoln Center has beena leadingadvocate for jazz, culture, and artseducation globally. Under the direction of Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center has brought the art form of jazz from the heart of New York City to over 446 cities in more than 40 countries.

The JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER PRESENTS touring initiative provides an affordable opportunity to present great jazz programming, featuring up-and-coming musicians who have been identified as rising stars by JALC. The initiative also allows for expansion of the mission of JALC "to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy."

After the success of JALC Presents Songs We Lovetour, this new and highly anticipated touring project from Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents celebrates the Great American Songbook in all of its playful--and sophisticated glory--brought to life by two of this generation's brightest stars.

Each armed with prodigious trumpet talent and vocal charm, Bria and Benny will re-live and re-imaginesome of the classic partners in jazz and popular song, including Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby and Dean Martin and Peggy Lee. Featuring songs by Gershwin, Ellington, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and many more and joined by a who's who of New York all-stars, this is an "unforgettable" eveing of singin' and swingin' with Bria and Benny. Approximately 150,000 students participate in Jazz at Lincoln Center's education programs each year.

Let Freedom Swing, from the renowned education department at JALC is being offered in conjunction with the tour. Please see more information. 

Bria Skonberg: Trumpet, Vocals, Co-Music Director
Benny Benack III: Trumpet, Vocals, Co-Music Director
Jocelyn Gould: Guitar
Mathis Picard: Piano
Charles Goold: Drums
Mark Lewandowski: Bass

Photo of Benny Benack III.

Photo courtesy of IMG Artists.

By age 31, Emmy-nominated trumpeter and singer Benny Benack III has proven to be that rarest of talents: not only a fierytrumpet player with a stirring command of the postboptrumpet vernacular in the vein of Kenny Dorham and FreddieHubbard, but also a singer with a sly, mature, naturally expressive delivery in the post-Sinatra mold, performing standards andhis own astute songs with a thrilling sense of showmanship. This duel-threat ability was recognized by the 2022 DownbeatCritics Poll where he appeared as not only the #2 Rising Star Male Vocalist, but a top Rising Star Trumpeter as well. His superbintonation and bracing virtuosity enable him to handle astounding feats oforiginally composed vocalese (complex solos withwritten lyrics). On top of it all, he’s a highly capable pianist as well.

Benny has performed internationally as an Emcee/Host for the Youtube sensation Postmodern Jukebox, and achieved his ownviral success amassing millions of views for his crooning alongside the Grammy-award winning “8-Bit Big Band”. In early 2020he released A Lot of Livin’ to Do, the follow-up to his well-received 2017 debut One of a Kind. This sophomore effort, richlyvaried in mood and brimming with bop inflection, features bassist extraordinaire and Jazz ambassador Christian McBride(whose Grammy-award winning Big Band frequently calls upon Benny in the trumpet section) and drummer/producer UlyssesOwens, Jr., as well as the radiant Takeshi Ohbayashi on piano and Rhodes. His vocalese duet on “Social Call” from this albumalongside fellow young star vocalist Veronica Swift became an instant smash hit single, being transcribed and learned by Jazzvocalists around the world.

Alongside hisglobal touring as a straight-ahead/contemporary bandleader, Benny has appeared as a trumpet soloist in morecommercial circles alongside Josh Groban, Ben Folds, fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, Ann Hampton Callaway and more. He’s beenfeatured at Birdland, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Mezzrow, Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle and other leading New York venues, andhas also been a special guest with the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops Orchestra, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and the MinskPhilharmonic Orchestra. He made his television debut in NBC’s short-lived, SNL-inspired variety show “Maya & Marty” playingin the in-studio band led by acclaimed bassist & Broadway arranger Charlie Rosen. His global recognition has been bolsteredby recent live-streaming concerts at Smalls Jazz Club, where he maintains a weekly residency, as well as frequent appearanceson fellow young lion Emmet Cohen’s “Emmet’s Place” weekly show.

Third in a generational line of Pittsburgh jazz notables, Benny follows in the footsteps of his trumpeter/bandleadergrandfather, Benny Benack, Sr. (1921-86), and his father Benny Benack, Jr., a saxophonist/clarinetist who gave the youngBenny his first professional experience. Benny, Sr. hailed from a Pittsburgh lineage that also produced Roy Eldridge, EarlHines, ArtBlakey, Billy Strayhorn and so many more. He recorded the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 1960 theme song “Beat ’Em Bucs”and toured with Tommy Dorsey and Raymond Scott, among others. Benny III returns to Pittsburgh often to perform, salutinghis family forebears andthe jazz heritage as a whole, nonetheless staking his bold and highly individual artistic claim. He is anendorsing artist with Torpedo Bags cases, CarolBrass flugelhorns, as well as various menswear fashion lines including X-Suit,Alain Dupetit, Proper Cloth & Vittone.

Image of Bria Skonberg.

Image courtesy of IMG Artists.

Born in British Columbia, Canada and now residing in New York City, Bria has been a featured artist at hundreds offestivals and stages the world over, including New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Kobe, Monterey, Breda, Newport andMontreal Jazz Festivals. Described as “one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” (WallStreet Journal), she has performed with Jon Batiste, Wycliffe Gordon, Stephane Wrembel, Steven Bernstein, U2 &Sun Ra Arkestra, The American Pops and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, The Blacksmiths “We Insist” Band, andonce sang the “Star Spangled Banner” at Madison Square Garden for a NY Rangers game. The “shining hope of hotjazz” (NY Times) has been at the forefront of a revival of classic American music as both a performer and educator,programming concerts and workshops for students of all ages. A 3x Juno Award Nominee, Bria's debut LP on SonyMasterworks won for Best Jazz Vocal Album and made the Top 5 on Billboard jazz charts. Bria has recorded on over25 albums andrecently released her sixth studio solo album “Nothing Never Happens” consisting of mostly originalcompositions; Her music has garnered over 13 million streams online and over 85000 social media followers. A 6xDownbeat Rising Star, further accolades include the Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing Award, Best Vocal and BestTrumpet from Hot House Jazz Magazine and Outstanding Jazz Artist at the Bistro Awards. She tours constantlybringing her own signature sounds of fiery trumpet playing, smoky vocals and story-telling together withadventurous concoctions of classic and new.

The daughter of teachers, Bria is passionate about education and the learning experience. She was introduced tojazz by a spirited public school band program and local festival in her hometown of Chilliwack. She earned her degreein Jazz Trumpet Performance from Capilano University in Vancouver where she studied with Kevin Elaschuk, AlanMatheson, and independently with Australian cornetist Simon Stribling, all while balancing a full road schedule andmanaging two bands. Following graduation she performed for four years with Canada’s King of Swing Dal Richards,and was taken under the wing of music producer Paul Airey who cultivated her love of song writing. She traveledextensively, performing in China, Japan and throughout Europe as a featured artist in traditional jazz circles. Seekingnew challenges, Bria moved to New York in 2010 and studied privately with renowned trumpeter Warren Vache fortwo years. She now appears often as a guest faculty member and clinician, giving masterclasses and privateinstruction as well as directing and performing with student ensembles at all levels. Bria is a Co-Founder/Director ofthe NY Hot Jazz Camp and has served as faculty at the Teagarden Jazz Camp (Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation),Centrum Jazz Camp, Geri Allen Jazz Camp and Junior Jazz Academy (JALC). She has performed hundreds ofeducational concerts and workshops for students of all ages, has led an ensemble for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Jazzfor Young People” outreach program and is an Educational Advisor to the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens.She has been an Artist in Residence collaborating with Syracuse University, Ball State University, UNCGreensborough, Jazz Arts Group in Columbus, Cape May Regional Schools, and more. In 2018 Lincoln Center soughtout her leadership for a tribute to the first integrated all female big band, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm,which launched her acclaimed group Sisterhood of Swing. In 2019 she was a featured member of Monterey JazzFestival on Tour for 26 dates alongside Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian Sands, Melissa Aldana and Jamison Ross.She is an active member of the Women in Jazz Organization, Jazz Education Network, a Bach Conn-Selmer artist, aboard member of the International Trumpet Guild, and a new mother.

We look forward to seeing you at Sing and Swing: A Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents Production on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 7:30 pm. Doors will open to the performance 30 min before the show is set to start.

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