It may be chilly outside, but hot jazz will warm the Manship Theatre on Dec. 8-9, when Brian Shaw, Willis Delony and Bill Grimes gather to perform their annual “Cool Winter Nights and Hot Jazz” concerts.
This is the fourth year these members of LSU’s faculty jazz quartet have staged this show, which also features soloists and a big band.
“We call the big band the A-Team,” Shaw says. “It’s a group that we put together especially for this concert. It’s made up of musicians that we know from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, along with some LSU faculty members, graduates and graduate students.”
“Cool Winter Nights and Hot Jazz” is a variation on the LSU jazzmen’s “Hot Summer Nights and Cool Jazz” series.
The concert began as a one-night event but was so popular that the group added a second night.
“You’ll hear a different concert on each night if you come to both shows,” Shaw says. “We’ll be playing the same things, but jazz is improvisation, and we don’t play the songs the same way twice.”
With Shaw on the trumpet, Delony on the piano and Grimes playing the string bass, the program will feature a mix of holiday- and winter-themed tunes, one of the most popular being Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker Suite.”
The night’s vocalists will be Sasha Masakowski and the Rev. Greg Daigle. Masakowski’s name will be readily recognizable among jazz fans — her father is world-renowned jazz guitarist Steve Masakowski.
Masakowski studied classical music under her mom, classical pianist Ulrike Masakowski, then immersed herself in the University of New Orleans’ jazz studies program under the tutelage of her father. She released her debut album, “Musical Playground,” in 2009 and her second album in 2011 and has since performed throughout the world.
Daigle is pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plaquemine.
“He sings everything from sacred to pop music,” Shaw says. “He’s performed with us before, and he’s popular.”