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Bruce Harris
New York jazz fans know Bruce Harris as a regular at such hot spots as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Small’s, Ginny’s, Minton’s and more; and Broadway audiences have heard his searing trumpet sing out in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical After Midnight, where he played for such stars as Fantasia, Vanessa Williams, Toni Braxton, KD Lang, and Patti LaBelle. Now you can hear this spectacularly talented player at Norfolk’s Attucks Jazz Club!

It’s a jazz career that was meant to be. He grew up listening to his grandfather play the alto sax in his family’s south Bronx apartment, and after seeing Spike Lee’s movie Mo’ Better Blues, Bruce’s love affair with the trumpet began. The influences of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown and Dizzy Gillespie hovered over Bruce’s early training like angels, and he soon came to the attention of some of the biggest names in jazz. As a junior in high school, Bruce performed in the “Essentially Ellington” jazz band competition, sharing the stage with Wynton Marsalis; as a student at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, he studied with the legendary trumpeter Jon Faddis; and before he even left college, this prodigious young talent had played alongside such legends as Marsalis, Billy Taylor and Dave Brubeck.

Add this show to your must-hear list…get your tickets now!
Sat 10/21/17 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Bruce Harris, trumpet


Yo-Yo Ma, Kathryn Stott
He is the preeminent cellist performing today, and the best known classical musician in the world. Yo-Yo Ma’s open-hearted approach to his music and audiences has endeared him to fans around the world—along the way winning new devotees of many forms of music. Born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris, he began his cello studies at age four and soon came with his family to New York, where he attended The Juilliard School. From the Avery Fisher Prize to the Kennedy Center Honors to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he has earned the most distinguished awards for his artistry. His discography of over 100 albums (including 18 Grammy Award winners) represents some of the best-selling classical recordings of all time, and reveals his far-ranging tastes that embrace cultures from Asia and the Middle East to Appalachia.

After performing together for more than 30 years, the chemistry between Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott is palpable. The British-born pianist, renowned around the world in her own right, is the perfect foil for Ma’s passion and artistry. They will perform a program of Russian classics: Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, Prokofiev’s Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano Op. 119, and Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 19.

Past Virginia Arts Festival performances of Yo-Yo Ma have sold out, so order your tickets early to avoid disappointment!
Tue 11/7/17 7:30PM Chrysler Hall Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Kathryn Stott, piano


Charlie Young
Professor by day…and seriously swinging sax player by night! Thank goodness Charlie Young is sharing his wisdom with young musicians coming up at Howard University, where he has served on the faculty for more than 20 years. Both a superb section player and spectacular soloist, he has performed with the legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra (which he sometimes conducts) for 15 years, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (where he also serves as Artistic Director), and the Count Basie Orchestra; he has shared the stage with musical icons from Ella Fitzgerald to Stevie Wonder and Clark Terry, performing in such august venues as London's Royal Albert Hall and New York's Carnegie Hall.

Welcome this Norfolk-born jazz star home when he plays the Attucks Jazz Club November 18!
Sat 11/18/17 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Charlie Young, saxophone


Nellie McKay
“There are plenty of reasons to love eclectic singer Nellie McKay…she follows her own quirky muse” (Chicago Reader). This out-of-the-box performer puts her own spin on classics by artists ranging from Cole Porter and Doris Day to the Beatles and Frank Zappa. Her original songs reflect her goofy sense of humor and personal politics. Discover the singer The New Yorker calls “funny and touching, ceaselessly clever and scarily talented!”

One of a series of shows co-presented with North Shore Point House Concerts.
Sat 12/2/17 8:00PM Robin Hixon Theater Nellie McKay


Jae Sinnett's Zero to 60 Quartet Christmas Concert </br>with special guest Denise Donatelli
Drummer, composer, arranger, educator and band leader Jae Sinnett has performed over the years with such musical icons as Branford and Ellis Marsalis, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Chuck Mangione, Jon Hendricks, Jimmy Greene, and many more. A shining light in the Hampton Roads music scene, he is a frequent member of the Attucks Jazz Club Trio; his own Trio and Zero to 60 Quartet have drawn innumerable fans in both live performances and critically acclaimed recordings. Perhaps his largest audience is listeners of WHRV, where he has shared his deep love for and encyclopedic knowledge of jazz for decades.

The Charlotte News & Observer called his 2014 album Subject to Change, “a perfect performance in all roles. In addition to his crisp drum patterns, his arrangements are models of colorful writing…superb. Jae Sinnett doesn’t need to change a thing.”

In this not-to-be missed holiday show on the main stage of the historic Attucks Theatre, hear one of the region’s best artists in standards that have come to define the season. Joining Jae and the quartet is Grammy-nominated vocalist Denise Donatelli, hailed by JazzReview.com for her style that soars from “torch to pure swing…pure heaven.” Get your tickets now!
Sat 12/9/17 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Jae Sinnett's Zero to 60 Quartet Christmas Concert
with special guest Denise Donatelli


Vienna Boys Choir
Beloved for its pure, heavenly sound, this internationally revered choir can trace its history as far back as the 13th century, and despite the youth of its singers, represents an art form steeped in tradition and history. Today, boys audition for the choir from around the world; many of them have fathers or even grandfathers who were choir members. The full choir is divided into four equally gifted touring groups, each led by its own conductor and accompanied by tutors. The group who will be presented by the Virginia Arts Festival includes boys from Austria, Cambodia, China, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the Philippines. They will be led by their spirited Italian choirmaster Manolo Cagnin, who has traveled with the group throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia. He chooses repertoire to match the boys’ voices and personalities—including, in the case of these December performances, some of the best-loved holiday music ever written. Order your tickets early, as previous Virginia Arts Festival performances of the Vienna Boys Choir have sold out!
Wed 12/20/17 7:30PM St. Bede Catholic Church Vienna Boys Choir
Thu 12/21/17 7:30PM Sandler Center for Perf Arts Vienna Boys Choir


Rickey Woodard
The West Coast has its own set of jazz legends, from the 1950s cool era to present day, and LA fans are among the most passionate in the world. And for LA jazz fans, the name Rickey Woodard tops the must-hear list.

Now an LA legend, Woodard worked his way to the city that would become his home. Born in Nashville, he grew up listening to Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, and Sonny Stitt—and as a child joined the family band with his brothers and sisters, playing blues and R&B around the Nashville area. After attending Tennessee State University, Woodard left Nashville for California and joined the Ray Charles Band, lending his sax groove to the inimitable Ray Charles sound for eight years. LA was a lucky town for Woodard, so he moved there permanently and recorded, both as a leader and as a sideman, for the legendary Concord record label, the jazz lover’s go-to for recordings of live jazz and works by quintessential jazz artists.

Woodard has performed and recorded with Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Smith, the Temptations, and Nancy Wilson, among many others. He’s also a prolific composer, with more than 200 original compositions to his credit in addition to extensive experience as an arranger.

“Listeners feel him. Woodard knows how to swing, how to play those phrases that get across to an audience, that make people do their own foot-tapping. His renditions of jazz classics and pop standards convey a warmth and listenable quality” (Los Angeles Times).
Sat 1/20/18 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Rickey Woodard, saxophone


Charenee Wade
“Subtle, soulful…ease and grace” (Charleston City Paper)—a singer like Charenee Wade can make it look easy. Rest assured, this gifted performer has earned her chops, singing, teaching, producing and arranging. Known for her flights of vocal improvisation and her swinging groove, Wade evokes the classic sound of Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan. Wade’s style has been embraced by such jazz stars as Wynton Marsalis, who features her regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Christian McBride, who mentored her at his Jazz Aspen Academy.

Her most recent album, the 2017 Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, has won rave reviews. The first tribute by a woman artist to the socially conscious poet and musician Scott-Heron, the recording is arresting in its timeliness, and as stunning in its powerful message as Wade’s deeply felt arrangements of this influential artist’s signature works.
Sat 2/17/18 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Charenee Wade, vocalist


Rhythm Live! 2018
Feel the heat! In this dazzling show, high-energy Caribbean and West African music blend with electrifying dance to tell the story of Trinidad steel pan drums and calypso. Designed to captivate audiences of all ages, Rhythm Live! features young performers from the Virginia Arts Festival’s Rhythm Project and The Governor’s School for the Arts, who work for months to learn the historically authentic music and acrobatic dance moves.
Fri 2/23/18 7:30PM Harrison Opera House Rhythm Live!


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
It’s clear why this iconic American dance powerhouse “has created a unique and enduring bond with its audiences” (Chicago Sun-Times)—the gorgeously graceful dancers, the riveting masterworks that fill the repertoire, the strength of the company’s storytelling as well as its movement, and the traditions that make it one of the best-loved dance companies in the U.S. and around the world. Like a final prayer, every performance closes with Alvin Ailey’s signature work Revelations, called a “masterpiece” by The New York Times and the only modern dance work to have been seen by millions around the world. Do not miss this celebration on stage—order your tickets now!
Fri 3/2/18 8:00PM Chrysler Hall Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Sat 3/3/18 8:00PM Chrysler Hall Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Sun 3/4/18 3:00PM Chrysler Hall Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater


Veronica Swift
This Charlottesville native grew up surrounded by music, with two world renowned jazz artists for parents: her father was the late “master of bebop piano”(LA Scene) Hod O’Brien, and her mother is singer Stephanie Nakasian, acclaimed for her “vocal virtuosity” (The New York Times). With those genes, is it any wonder Veronica was just a child when she started singing professionally? She was singing in public by age 9 and had released two CDs by age 13; as a kid she appeared at such jazz hot spots as Manhattan’s Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in Manhattan as well as major festivals. Now, having recently graduated from the University of Miami and relocated to New York, she is rapidly making a name for herself—counting among her accomplishments a place in the 2015 Thelonious Monk Competition. This star on the rise now has a weekly Saturday night residency at the prestigious Birdland Jazz Club.

In addition to performing the Great American Songbook and bebop and vocalese classics, Veronica is also a passionate devotee of 1920s and ‘30s music. “Young in years, old in soul… Her styles cover the gamut from misty and breathy, to hauntingly passionate, swinging or soulful....her vocals are flawless as she riffs, scats and runs the gamut sliding up and down the scales” (Theaterpizzazz.com).
Sat 3/10/18 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Veronica Swift, vocalist


Peter Bernstein
Ask a jazz pro the guitarist they’d ask to sit in on a set, and at the top of the dream team is Peter Bernstein. A part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989, he has played on more than 80 recordings with top artists, and has released nine recordings of his own, including his 2016 Let Loose (Smoke Sessions).

Born in New York City on September 3, 1967, Bernstein began playing piano when he was 8 but switched to guitar when he was 13, learning the instrument primarily by ear. He studied jazz at Rutgers University with Ted Dunbar, and Kenny Barron. He completed his degree at the New School in New York City, where he met and studied with one of his mentors and influences, the guitar legend Jim Hall. Throughout the 1990s, Bernstein was at the forefront of contemporary jazz; he played with Joshua Redman, Diana Krall, Sonny Rollins, Roy Hargrove, Joe Lovano, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and others.

Known for his clean, warm guitar tone and his lyrical melodic lines, Bernstein makes fans everywhere he plays. “Bernstein personalizes every note and makes them glow,” raves JazzTimes; The New York Times calls him “the man to watch…a fluidly improvising guitarist” with “a beautiful sound.”
Sat 4/7/18 8:00PM Attucks Theatre Peter Bernstein, guitar


2018 Virginia International Tattoo
For centuries, the cry “Tattoo” echoed throughout Europe — first a call by to innkeepers to “Turn off the taps!” — and then as the name for a grand display of military bands and drill teams. The legendary Tattoos of Edinburgh and Nova Scotia are now rivaled by the largest Tattoo in the U.S. — our own Virginia International Tattoo. Mounting a mighty spectacle that changes every year, the Virginia International Tattoo summons more than 1,000 performers including fife and drum corps, bagpipers, military bands, precision drill teams, and performing ensembles ranging from step dancers to motorcycle stunt drivers. A salute to international friendship and an emotional call to the love of country in us all, the Tattoo is an unmissable celebration. See the show that America’s premier tourism organization has named the Number One U.S. destination for travelers (American Bus Association Best of the Top 100 Events in North America).
Thu 4/26/18 7:30PM Scope Arena 2018 Virginia International Tattoo
Fri 4/27/18 7:30PM Scope Arena 2018 Virginia International Tattoo
Sat 4/28/18 7:30PM Scope Arena 2018 Virginia International Tattoo
Sun 4/29/18 2:30PM Scope Arena 2018 Virginia International Tattoo