The Wallis Presents Chris Walden Big Band With Program That Pays Tribute To “Rat Pack” Era
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, which brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music performed by many of the most sought-after artists,presents Chris Walden Big Band with a program that pays tribute to the "Rat Pack" era on Saturday, October 27, 2018, 7:30 pm,in the Bram Goldsmith Theater at The Wallis. Walden, a seven-time Grammy-nominated composer/arranger/conductor, has scored more than 40 feature and TV films and written more than 1,500 orchestral and big band arrangements for artists ranging from Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand to Diana Krall and Rihanna, among many others.
Stepping out from behind the bold-faced names, Walden will take the spotlight to lead his own Chris Walden Big Band, comprised of top L.A. studio musicians, in an evening of repertoire from and inspired by the Rat Pack era music of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin and others. Joining Walden are guest vocalists Jane Monheit, Patrick Tuzzolino, Nita Whitaker, who sang the original demos for Whitney Houston's standard "I Will Always Love You," and a favorite singer of legendary producer David Foster: Billy Valentine.
"As Chris Walden returns to The Wallis following his debut performance with Mancini Delivered in 2017, we expect audience members to be swinging with big band magic from these four stellar vocalists, his group of the very best studio musicians and his own energetic arrangements," says The Wallis' Artistic Director Paul Crewes.
Single tickets range from $45 - $95. Visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services Office located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
About the Artists:
Seven-time Grammy nominated German-born composer/arranger/conductor Chris Walden has scored more than 40 feature and TV films, and has written more than 1,500 orchestral and big band arrangements for artists including Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney, Paul Anka, Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, Barbra Streisand, and orchestras like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops. He has worked closely with producers David Foster, Tommy LiPuma, and Phil Ramone. As a guest conductor, he led the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Munich Symphony, and many more. Since 1999, he has led his own big band recruited from top studio musicians based in Los Angeles. He most recently wrote arrangements for the Academy Awards (Oscars), arranged for and conducted the Kennedy Center Honors and arranged the National Anthem for Jennifer Hudson's performance at the SUPER BOWL XLIII. His film credits as a composer include The Terror of Hallow's Eve and King Of Herrings. For many years Walden worked as arranger for American Idol" and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He has been musical director on many TV shows and series and has worked on more than 150 CDs. As an arranger and bandleader, he has worked with jazz artists including Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Tierney Sutton, Arturo Sandoval, and the Count Basie Orchestra. Walden began writing compositions and arrangements at the age of 16 for local high school bands. After graduating at 19, he joined the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra as a trumpet player. At the age of 21, while he was studying composition and arranging at the University of Cologne, he started writing arrangements for German radio big bands and radio symphony orchestras. As assistant to his mentor Peter Herbolzheimer, Walden arranged music for the OSCARnominated film Schtonk. After receiving two master's degrees in music, Walden conducted both the RIAS Big Band in Berlin and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, served as musical director for the televised German Movie Award Show for four years, and composed music for German films and TV before emigrating to Los Angeles at the age of 29. Although Walden learned composing, arranging, and orchestrating the traditional way, with pencil and paper, he explored the possibilities of computers for sequencing and notation early on. As a result, he prefers to orchestrate, program, and conduct his music himself. He has served as trustee on the national board of the Recording Academy and past president of ASMAC (American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers.)
Jane Monheit, born in 1977 in New York to a family of musicians, has been singing professionally for most of her forty years. In addition to releasing ten studio albums, two DVDS, and appearing as a guest on countless albums, television shows and film soundtracks, she has also toured internationally since the age of twenty. Deeply influenced by all forms of American music, she has focused on the Great American Songbook, collaborating with musical luminaries such as Nicholas Payton, Ivan Lins, Tom Harrell, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride, and arrangers such as Jorge Calandrelli and Vince Mendoza. Her most recent release, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald, celebrates her greatest influence, joining traditional and modern interpretive styles in a deeply personal way. Jane resides in Los Angeles with her family, teaches, and continues to tour both as a headliner and as a guest artist.
Patrick Tuzzolinois a critically acclaimed jazz vocalist, pianist, guitarist, composer, and jazz producer. A consummate entertainer, he is best known for playing key/bass accompanied by any sized ensemble. With a trademark vocal styling, his repertoire covers the full range of jazz genres plus original compositions. Patrick has shared a stage with Jack Jones, Milton Berle, Red Buttons, Connie Stevens, Lanie Kazan, Nancy Sinatra, Hal Linden, Norm Crosby, Dick Van Dyke, Steve Rossi, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Will Smith, Rene Taylor, Buddy Greco, Ray Anthony, and many others. He has also performed and recorded with legends such as Jon Hendrix, Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock, Carl Fontana, Sam Most, Sam Butera, Branford Marsalis, Sheryl Lee Ralph, the Count Basie Alumni Band, Stevie Wonder, Frankie Capp's Juggernaut Big Band and Sarah Vaughn. Tuzzolino was a featured act at the 1997 Playboy Jazz Festival with Sam Most, Carl Saunders and Gary Gibbons. He has opened for Mort Sahl and appeared with Frankie Randall, Peter Marshall, Rich Little, Shecky Green and Pia Zadora at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert. Renowned as a jazz artist, Patrick can easily step out of the genre as both a composer and performer. This versatility can be heard on the diverse film and television soundtracks he has contributed to over the past 20 years. Many of his songs continue to be used in film and other media on an ongoing basis. In 2002 he won a 2nd place Maddy Award for his vocal work on the "Do it eBay" campaign. Patrick's recording of the song "It's Just a Question of Time" is a permanent part of the Animoto music library, and has been used by countless businesses and organizations for marketing and other endeavors.
Singer/songwriter Billy Valentine has appeared at Herb Alpert's Vibrato Grill Jazz, Casa Del Mar Hotel, Baked Potato, Café Cordiale, Jazz at the Vic, Shutters at the Beach and Spazio. On stage and screen, he's been featured in The Wiz's first national tour, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues at the Geffen Playhouse and San Diego Rep, The Five Heartbeats feature film as lead vocalis), and as television vocalist in Sons of Anarchy and Boston Legal. He was the opening act for Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack and lead singer for Young Holt Unltd. His songwriter works are featured on albums including Family Groove(Neville Bros) and My World(Ray Charles), to name a few. With his brother John (the Valentine Bros), her wrote Money's Too Tight To Mention, made famous by Simply Red. In the 70's & 80s, he produced artists like Sly Stone. His CD Travelin' Light can be heard on jazz stations across America, and his latest, Brit Eyed Soul, is now on iTunes.
A favorite singer of legendary producer David Foster, Nita Whitaker sang the original demos for Whitney Houston's standards, "I Will Always Love You," "I Have Nothing" and "I Look to You," working with producers David Foster and Walter Nelson Jr. Having toured with Andrea Bocelli as a guest duet artist as well a featured vocalist on tour with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, Whitaker has performed for tens of thousands as well hundreds in her own intimate one-woman shows, charity galas and corporate events. A former Miss Louisiana and Grand Champion Hall of Fame Star Search Winner, her unique sound blends jazz, pop and classical. On stage, she has performed in four world premiere stage musicals: "Ragtime," "Ten Commandments the Musical," "Breaking Through" at Pasadena Playhouse, and most recently as Mom Winans in "Born For This" at the Majestic Theater in Boston, The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Alliance Theater and the Arena Stage. She has also recorded four independent records and appeared in movies, television shows and multiple studio recordings. Whitaker penned Finding My Voice, an award-winning memoir, started www.inaworldwithbooks.org, a non-profit that has given nearly 6000 underserved children new books and is the mother of emerging stars Skye and Liisi LaFontaine.
About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts:
Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented more than 250 dance, theatre, opera, classical music, cinema and family programs to an ever-expanding audience. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world's most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. The mission of The Wallis is to create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events and educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community. Nominated for 46 Ovation Awards, seven L.A. Drama Critic's Circle Awards and the recipient of six architectural awards since opening in 2013. The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA, of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater's dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city's history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike.
For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org.