See Karen Mason, James Barbour & More at Birdland This Holiday Season

See Klea Blackhurst/Jim Caruso/Billy Stritch, Champian Fulton and Monty Alexander, and more.

By: Dec. 06, 2023
See Karen Mason, James Barbour & More at Birdland This Holiday Season
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Birdland Jazz Club and Birdland Theater are presenting holiday programming this month. See below for the full offerings, which include shows by the Edmund BagnellGeorge Gee Swing Orchestra, Karen Mason, Svetlana's Big Band, James Barbour, Isaiah Thompson Trio, Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band, Klea Blackhurst/Jim Caruso/Billy Stritch, Champian Fulton and Monty Alexander.


December 7 (Thursday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater

Edmund Bagnell – “Home for the Holidays”
Singer and violinist Edmund Bagnell will return with “Home for the Holidays.” The countdown to the holidays is on, and through music and humor Bagnell shares his heartfelt and humorous recipe for a perfectly imperfect holiday season. This new show will feature selections from his 2020 USA Today top-ranked holiday album, Christmas at Home, along with Edmund's original tunes. He will be joined on stage with actress and singer Kate Simone, and music director Mark Hartman on piano. Edmund Bagnell is a diverse artist, having performed as an actor, violinist, singer, and 1st violinist and singer in the internationally touring string quartet Well Strung, which released three chart-topping albums in the classical crossover genre and performed live three times on the NBC's “Today” show. In 2020, he released his first solo album, Christmas at Home, which was included on several “Best Of” lists including USA Today. This past summer, Edmund debuted his second solo show, Happy Days Are Here Again, and in the fall released a new EP The Road, which includes the original songs “The Water” and “The Road.”
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

December 10 (Sunday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Winter Wonderland Big Band Holiday Party with the George Gee Swing Orchestra
After conducting a 1979 radio interview with the legendary William “Count” Basie, George Gee determined he would one day lead his own big band. Now, with nearly 40 years experience as a conductor and 20 years leading weekly shows in Times Square's SWING46, Gee's swing band dreams have blossomed wildly, and he leads what is perhaps New York's most popular swing dance orchestra. Inspired by the styles of Basie, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, and Benny Goodman, Gee—a native New Yorker—began leading his big band in the Big Apple right when swing dancing was revived as an international sensation among young audiences. And—bringing New York's best musicians along for a stomping-good time—he has been a hit ever since. Now, celebrating the release of their latest recording, Winter Wonderland, the Orchestra performs for one swinging Sunday evening in December, featuring vocalist John Dokes with special guest Naama Gheber. Let Gee and his band swing you into holiday cheer!
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

December 11 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Karen Mason – “Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!”
Broadway, recording and concert star Karen Mason returns for her annual holiday show. With Karen's unique interpretations of holiday classics old and new, the holidays will never be the same. Sassy, brassy, and tinged with confessional monologues, this show includes a slinky arrangement of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” a heartfelt “I'll Be Home for Christmas,” and more.  The show is directed by Barry Kleinbort; with music director Christopher Denny on piano and Tom Hubbard on bass. Mason is the star of Broadway's Mamma Mia!, Wonderland, Hairspray, and Sunset Boulevard, as well as the first US tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Love Never Dies. She is also the recipient of the 2019 MAC Lifetime Achievement Award. She has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and The Drury Lane Oakbrook, as well as Royal Albert Hall in London. She has eight albums, including her latest release Let the Music Play, featuring the title song from Paul Rolnick and David Friedman.
$40 tables / $40 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

December 14 (Thursday) 5:30 PM & 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater

Kat Edmonson Holiday Show
Critically-acclaimed vocalist and songwriter Kat Edmonson has graced major stages across the United States, Europe and Japan. Her unique brand of music, self-described as “vintage-pop,” had led to her appearance in major motion pictures (with Woody Allen and with Harry Connick, Jr.); performances on radio (including several appearances on NPR) and television (both Jay Leno and Dave Letterman's nightly shows); and the release of four albums to date, earning her #1 spots on Amazon, iTunes, and Billboard Charts. Arranged in the style of jazz, world music, and chamber-pop, she draws influences from Africa, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Europe, and early to mid-century America. On 2020's Dreamers Do, the vocalist took listeners on a journey through the emotional struggle of daring to dream—all in the course of one sleepless night. Now, Edmonson has dived into a timeless form: a Christmas record! Her latest album is Kat Edmonson Christmas Vol.1: Holiday Swingin'! She covers a battery of favorites with her characteristic panache, including “White Christmas,” “Let It Snow!,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “O Christmas Tree,” and other classics. On this cold Thursday evening at the Theater, expect this iconic material for her holidays-themed show.
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


December 17 (Sunday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

New York Holidays with Svetlana's Big Band!
“Lush” (NY Music Daily) and “energetic” (Wall Street Journal), Svetlana's Big Band delivers that unmistakable vintage sound you know and love, animated by thrilling arrangements from the best NYC big band arrangers—all while highlighting Svetlana's own captivating frontwoman stage presence and vocals. The band reflects the idealism of the classic swing band sound while offering an exhilarating experience for jazz lovers and 21st century modern audiences alike. For this special evening, Svetlana has prepared a heartwarming set of her favorite songs for the holidays. The band is co-directed by Emily Fredrickson (Dee Dee Bridgewater Big Band) and features NYC's top talent: Jason Marshall, Nicole Glover, Willerm Delisfort, Curtis Nowosad, Wayne Tucker, Anthony Hervey, and other city veterans. So “prepare to swing and be moved!” (JazzLives) and experience the “sweet and naughty” (JazzLives) magic in this special New York Holidays show celebrating the things that bring us together—even when it's cold outside!
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

December 18 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

James Barbour – Annual Holiday Concert
Broadway leading man James Barbour returns in his annual Holiday Concert. The audience will be entertained with holiday classics, incredible music, and the warmth of the season. With Rachel A. Kaufman at the piano, James and his surprise guests from the Broadway stage will help you ring in the holiday season. James Barbour was nominated for the Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Awards for “Best Actor in a Musical” for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in the Broadway musical version of A Tale of Two Cities, and won the Sarasota Magazine “Best Actor” award for the Asolo Rep pre-Broadway production. He has starred on Broadway in such Tony Award-winning shows as Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, Disney's Beauty and the Beast as The Beast, Carousel as Billy Bigelow, Urinetown as Officer Lockstock, and Jane Eyre as Edward Rochester (Drama League Award nomination).
$45 tables / $35 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

December 19 (Tuesday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Isaiah Thompson Trio: A Guaraldi Holiday
One of the brightest young lights in piano today, Isaiah Thompson is the winner of the 2023 American Pianists Awards and the Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz of the American Pianists Association. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he holds both a Bachelors and a Masters from the institution, and his performance credits speak of a full-fledged career: master musicians Ron Carter, John Pizzarelli, Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Steve Turre, Buster Williams, and others. For this Tuesday night performance, Thompson pays homage to one of his heroes, the iconic Vince Guaraldi, composer of the classic music for Charlie Brown. Thompson's trio just released A Guaraldi Holiday (Outside In Music, 2023), featuring 12 tracks from the iconic cartoon soundtrack. They will perform from this repertoire just in time for a warm and merry Christmas.
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

December 20 (Wednesday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Orrin Evans Holiday Extravaganza Ft. Captain Black Big Band and Friends
The prolific pianist, composer, and bandleader Orrin Evans is known for his effortless combination of influences from jazz to gospel to hip-hop and classical; his recent work as the second pianist in the iconic progressive jazz trio, The Bad Plus; his Downbeat Critics Poll wins; and his innovative ensembles from trio, to quartet, all the way up to his Grammy-nominated 17-piece Captain Black Big Band. On this special Wednesday night performance at Birdland, Evans's Captain Black Big Band—a launching pad for the careers of such young luminaries as Immanuel Wilkins, Mark Whitfield Jr., Sean Jones, Troy Roberts, and others—performs in a Holiday Extravaganza, featuring vocalists Milton Suggs, Alexia Bomtempo, Michelle Lordi, and JD Walter.
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

December 21-25 (Thursday-Monday) 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

14th Annual “A Swinging Birdland Christmas” – with Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, and Billy Stritch
This wildly successful extravaganza has been celebrating the holidays at this historic music room since 2010. In the tradition of beloved seasonal specials, the trio of singers will perform swinging arrangements of “The Christmas Waltz,” Kay Thompson's “Holiday Season,” “Sleigh Ride,” “I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Snow,” and “It Happened in Sun Valley,” among other favorites. 
$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

December 21-25 (Thursday-Monday) 8:30 PM (12/21); 7:00 & 9:30 PM (12/22-24); 5:30 & 8:30 (12/25) – Birdland Theater

Christmas With Champian
A great jazz singer is something special, and something special indeed is Champian Fulton. Daughter of trumpeter Stephen Fulton, Champian grew up inside the world of jazz, and as she grew she developed a swinging sound on the piano and a voice beyond her years—a sound reminiscent of the old master vocalists. Named the Hot House Readers Poll 2019 Pianist and Vocalist of the Year, and with 14 albums to her name, she is understandably a Birdland fan favorite. And with Birdland as her home, it was only fitting for her to record her latest album at the club: 2023's Meet Me At Birdland. Fulton returns to her favorite jazz club with her trio of piano, bass, and drums, leading up through Christmas Eve and culminating in a performance on Christmas night. 

December 21-25 (Thursday-Monday) 8:30 & 10:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club

Monty Alexander Holiday Show
With Luke Sellick (bass) and Jason Brown (drums). A master pianist with 70 years in music, Monty Alexander is a jazz legend. Named the 5th greatest jazz pianist in history in Hal Leonard's Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time, Alexander's achievements have earned him the highest honors: native Jamaica granted him the title of Commander in the Order of Distinction; Institute of Jamaica awarded him the Musgrave Medal; and the University of the West Indies bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate. What makes this 23-time guest of the Montreux Jazz Festival such a beloved figure? According to him, it is his insatiable capacity “to build up the heat and kick up a storm”—a joyful skill that has been recorded on over 70 discs as a leader. He is sure to uplift his listeners this week at Birdland with this holiday-themed show. Don't miss it!
$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum


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