A Holly Jolly (Jazzy!) Christmas Concert


Holiday jazz by the La Crosse Jazz Orchestra is back!

After a several-year hiatus, the band that created “Swinging Yuletide” will present “A Holly Jolly Christmas Concert” on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Cappella Performing Arts Center, 721 King St., La Crosse.

The concert will also be the LJO’s debut at the Capella Center.

“This is a sensational new performance venue for La Crosse, and we are all excited about bringing the sounds of our big band to this space,” says band director Greg Balfany.

The concert will feature great Yule time arrangements like Duke Ellington’s “March of the Toys” and “The Nutcracker Suite” as envisioned by the great Les Brown Jazz Orchestra, plus several new offerings and a wonderful slate of guest musicians.

“Our very special guest is St. Paul jazz singer Debbie O’Keefe,” Balfany says. “She brings a special seasonal mix to our show with musical arrangements from Eartha Kitt, Dave Koz, Danish singer Sinne Eeg and others. Her ‘Frosty the Bluesman’ takes the song in a completely new fun direction!”

Twin Cities pianist Laura Cavianni will be featured on a West-Coast jazz version of “O Christmas Tree” and more. And the formidable Madison lead trumpeter Jon Schipper will be driving the brass sections and hold forth on a soaring version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” Balfany says. “Bring a tissue or two.”

The concert will also include the best holiday arrangements from Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Tom Kubis and many others, he adds. “Band vocalist Tim Henke will present one of our most requested selections, ‘White Christmas,’ as well as a Michael Buble selection or two!”

All the band members are featured on selections including “God Rest Ye Merry Trombones” and heralding trumpets on “Angels We Have Heard on High.”


Three ways to purchase tickets:

            Online:           Cappella Center website

            Phone:             (608) 299-7248          

            Box office:      721 King St.  La Crosse, WI  (open Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m.)


About the band

The La Crosse Jazz Orchestra is Western Wisconsin's premier big band. Directed by Greg Balfany, the group is best known through its Jazz in the Park concert series. The LJO mission: to promote, preserve and forward the creation of jazz music through free live performances available to all in our region. LJO operates under fiscal sponsorship from La Crosse Community Foundation.


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