Bending Towards the Light….a Jazz Nativity
A Jazz opera – “The Christmas story told in thoroughly American musical terms”. It features opera and jazz artists of note weaving together word, dance, song and musical instruments to tell the story in a new way, composed and arranged by Anne Phillips.
special guest performer: Deborah Voigt
co-hosts: WQXR’s Terrance McKnight and WBGO’s Sheila Anderson
Wycliffe Gordon, King/trombone
Maurice Chestnut, King/tap (5pm)
Ingrid Jensen, King/trumpet
Max Pollak, King/tap (8pm)
Amy London, Mary/soprano
David Gordon, Shepherd/tenor
Larry Long, Shepherd/bass-baritone
With the voices of: Anne Phillips, David Gordon, Dylan Pramuk, Ema Mitrovic, Jann Jaffe, Joanie Brittingham, Larry Long, Pete McGuiness, Shadia Almasri
and appearing for his 25th year, 93 year old Latin conga great, Candido.
directed by Beth Ann Kennedy
Bending Toward The Light, composed and arranged by Anne Phillips, originated in 1985, when Ms. Phillips was asked to create a Christmas benefit at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in NYC. That first performance featured Dave Brubeck, Clark Terry, Gene Bertoncini and Tommy Flanegan, among others. Over the past 30 years the work has been presented at Birdland, Lincoln Center, and Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, among other venues, with a long list of luminary performers including Tito Puente, Lionel Hampton, Phil Woods, Jon Hendricks, and Paquito D’Rivera. Music director Bob Kindred’s haunting rendition of “Silent Night” created the opening mood in the darkened church that very first night just as it does today.