Kimonos and jazz, Chico Hamilton celebration, ‘Nutcracker Suite’
Ron Scott | 12/13/2013, 2:31 p.m.
The kimono is traditional wear in Japan for men, women and children. As part of the holiday season, pianist Shige Kajiwara will present “Cool Japan Experience: All That Kimono” on Dec. 14 at the Nippon Club, 145 W. 57th St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues, second floor, Rose Room, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The evening will include professional make-up and photo sessions. Guests will be allowed to try on a modern-style kimono or traditional kimono for free. The joyous occasion will feature koto music (Japanese strings) and international singer-songwriter Okaru Lovelace. Her repertoire will include a varied mix of Japanese songs, jazz and Christmas carols. She will be accompanied by pianist Toru Yamashita. Lovelace will also introduce tunes from her new CD “Sakura, Home of My Heart.” A portion of the sales of her CD will help the Music Heals program to deliver healing music to the people of northern Japan.
Kajiwara will perform John Lennon Christmas songs. This blend of America meets Japanese culture will include a tea ceremony, food, drinks, kimono fashion show and a raffle where, in the holiday spirit, everyone will be a winner. If you have a kimono, please wear it in your own style.
A portion of the ticket price will be donated to children in the Philippines disaster areas. Tickets are $50 in advance and $55 at the door. For more information, call 646-592-7601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The life and music of the drummer Chico Hamilton, who passed on Nov. 25, will be celebrated by his working ensemble Euphoria on Dec. 15 at Drom, 85 Ave. A (between Fifth and Sixth streets), on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at 7:15 p.m.
Euphoria will feature Hamilton’s longstanding, abled musicians bassist Paul Ramsey, Evan Schwam (flute and reeds), drummer and percussionist Jeremy Carlstedt, flutist Mayu Saeki and guitarist Nick Demopolous. Hamilton, the jazz conquistador who played a role in giving jazz its hip coolness, will have his legacy live on with a program that will include new original material from Hamilton’s forthcoming album “Inquiring Minds” (release date 2014), as well as works from his latest albums, “Revelation” (2011) and “Euphoric” (Joyous Shout!). Hamilton’s “Inquiring Minds” demonstrates how his music was still relevant and vibrant at age 92.
Tickets are $15 in advance. Call 212-777-1157 or visit www.dromNYC.com.
Beginning in 1941, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn became the dynamic duo of jazz and beyond. Together they composed staged musicals, the soundtrack for “Anatomy of a Murder,” and many suites, such as “Such Sweet Thunder” and “The Far East Suite.” Ellington called Strayhorn his “writing and arranging companion.”
On Dec. 15, the Brooklyn Jazz Orchestra will present one of Ellington and Strayhorn’s most popular arrangements, “The Nutcracker Suite,” composed by Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky, at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (85 South Oxford St.) in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn at 5 p.m.
The 15-piece orchestra will also perform other holiday and jazz classics. Special guests will include John Fedchock, Mark Lopeman, Frank Basile, Seneca Black and Grammy-nominated singer Carla Cook.
Ellington is one of the most influential composers in music, having written countless compositions, many of which have become standards. He is one of four jazz musicians to ever be on the cover of Time magazine (Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis). In 1999, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.
For more information, call 914-330-7008 or visit www.brooklynjazzorchestra.com.