‘A Swingin’ Christmas’ at Fitton Center showcases jazz orchestra, singer

Mandy Gaines will sing with the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra

Credit: Submitted photo

Credit: Submitted photo

HAMILTON — The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, featuring jazz vocalist Mandy Gaines, will bring “A Swingin’ Christmas” to the Fitton Center stage on Dec. 10.

“We had originally planned this for last Christmas. We had it in the schedule with the incredible Mandy Gaines, one of Ohio’s most cherished and lorded jazz singers, along with the phenomenal Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra led by Eric Lechliter,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.

However, instead of the live, in-person show in 2020, the Fitton Center worked with Lifeboat Digital Media and TV Hamilton on a virtual broadcast that was recorded at the Fitton Center and broadcast online and on TV Hamilton.

“The virtual event was spectacular. We had great numbers. We had the band in a socially distanced space, but it looks fantastic, and you can still see that performance online. We had such a magnificent response to that, and we really wanted to do the show live and in-person this year. So, you’ll be able to see that on Dec. 10 at the Fitton Center, and it’s a wonderful way to see a remarkable jazz band. This is one of the best bands in Ohio with Mandy Gaines at the front,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra will fill the Fitton Center stage with 17 big-band musicians, along with Gaines for an evening of holiday entertainment. Audiences can expect to hear original arrangements from the Ella Fitzgerald Christmas Songbook to timeless holiday favorites, modern classics, and carols.

“Music is a big part of the holiday tradition of bringing people together in song, whether that’s a church choir, or street caroling. It’s a big part of everyone’s memories, and we love to bring high-quality musicians together for people to share in those traditions, particularly at the Fitton Center, to enjoy that festive spirit, and come together in song,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

The concert will follow the gallery openings of two new exhibitions at the Fitton - “Human Rights: Derechos Humanos,” and “Mirrors and Veils.”

Other upcoming performances on the Fitton Showstoppers! series will include “Classics on Parade” with the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra on Sat., Feb. 19; The Julie James Show on Sat., Mar. 26.; “Shades of Buble,” a three-man tribute to Michael Bublé on Sat., Apr. 23. and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” featuring Just Strange Brothers on Sat., May 21. All shows will begin at 7:30 p.m.

How to go

What: “A Swingin’ Christmas” featuring the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra with vocalist Mandy Gaines

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10

Where: The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton

Cost: Tickets for the event are $29 for members; $37 for non-members. Tickets are available advance at the Fitton Center, or online.

More info: www.fittoncenter.org or (513) 863-8873 ext. 110.