Flatiron Jazz performs first Christmas concert

Plenty of variety planned for show which is set for Nov. 26th

It’s a first for Flatiron Jazz.

On Nov. 26th, Lacombe’s own big band music group, Flatiron Jazz, will be holding a Christmas concert for the first time ever.

“We’ve never done a full-length Christmas concert before,” said Flatiron Jazz Saxophonist Grant Harder.

“We’ve only done a short little Christmas concert in conjunction with the Lacombe Lions Community Band and we just thought it would be nice to do something different.”

Harder added that Flatiron Jazz is always looking for opportunities to perform.

The group puts on the ‘Spring Swing Fling’ concert every year in April and this gives them another opportunity to perform during the winter as well.

“There aren’t that many venues around that we can play at,” said Harder. “There aren’t that many opportunities available so sometimes we have to create our own.”

The concert, entitled a ‘Swinging, Singing Christmas,’ will also be part of Lacombe’s popular Light Up the Night winter festival.

Harder said the festival seemed to be a good fit when Flatiron Jazz considered doing a Christmas show.

“I think Light Up the Night is tremendous,” said Harder. “This is just one more thing that we can add on to help celebrate Light Up the Night.”

Harder said that some people are deterred from seeing Flatiron Jazz perform because the name implies that it is solely a jazz group. In fact, Flatiron Jazz more closely fits the description of a big band or swing band, which Harder said is a sound everyone should experience.

A lot of people, children in particular, have not ever heard the sound of a big band or an instrumental band period, said Harder.

He added that when you take a bunch of musicians and put them in a group with 17 or so members, it makes for a one-of-a-kind sound.

“It’s a unique sound, big band,” said Harder.

In addition to the musical talents of Flatiron Jazz, the concert will also feature vocalists Joan Ree and Tony Hoffman as well as special guests Sheryl Kriel as well as Kim and CJ Berube.

Harder said that Flatiron Jazz wanted to bring in a few different vocalists to break up the monotony of hearing solely instrumental Christmas tunes.

“If you listen for an hour and a half performance of straight instrumental, it gets kind of boring,” said Harder. “We thought asking some guest vocalists would give them a chance to perform and provide a little variance in the program so it’s not all solid instrumentals.”

Harder said there is a terrific set list arranged for the concert. He said the show’s program tentatively will feature such hits as Baby It’s Cold Outside, What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve, and Santa Baby as well as more classic Christmas songs like Angels We Have Heard On High, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

“It’s going to be great, we’re excited,” said Harder.

The Swinging Singing Christmas show featuring Flatiron Jazz and guests will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 26th at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.

Tickets are on sale at the door for $10 each or $25 for a family.