If it just isn’t Christmas without a jazzy trumpet belting out Leroy Anderson and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” then you’re in for a treat this week.
Three local big bands have holiday shows around Tacoma featuring vocalists, trumpeters and more: Rich Wetzel’s Big Band Christmas show at Tacoma Community College, Maia Santell’s holiday concert at Jazzbones, and the Swing Reunion Orchestra playing A Big Band Christmas at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
Trumpeter Rich Wetzel has been leading his Groovin’ Higher Orchestra in a blend of jazz, rock, Latin and funk for years, and their Big Band Christmas Show often sells out. This year the show is at TCC, with vocals by Steve Stefanowicz and Sunny Jo Loudin on holiday favorites. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at TCC’s Auditorium building 2, 6501 S. Mildred St., Tacoma. Admission is $15 advance; $20 at the door. 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/935313.
At Tacoma Musical Playhouse on Monday, Tacoma’s Swing Reunion Orchestra and vocalist Melanie Vail get together for holiday classics arranged from the swing era. In “A Big Band Christmas” the 17-piece band led by Don Miller will play Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and more in songs such as “In the Mood,” “Swingle Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “Yo Hark! Those Angels Swing,” hosted by emcee and KPLU radio personality Paige Hansen. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma. Admission is $25. 253-565-6867, tmp.org.
Finally, Northwest jazz and blues singer Maia Santell brings her band House Blend for their 10th annual holiday concert and dance at Jazzbones on Wednesday. Instrumentalists include John Beach on tenor sax, Jeff Ziontz on guitar, Mike Slivka on drums, and Derick Polk on bass playing jazz, blues, swing, Latin, R&B and holiday faves like Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” and Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song.” The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Jazzbones, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma. Admission is $8; free for ages 12 and younger. 253-396-9169, jazzbones.com.