B.B. King’s in New York will present “Bending Towards the Light…A Jazz Nativity” Dec. 22 at 7:30 pm. The program will feature the Christmas story told in full costume by well-known jazz instrumentalists and singers, who will play the roles of the shepherds, kings, angels and Mary and Joseph. Participating artists will include trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonist Houston Person and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut as kings. The band will feature Latin percussionist Candido, trumpeter Lew Soloff, saxophonists Jon Gordon and Bob Kindred and trombonist Art Baron. The role of Mary will be sung by Amy London, that of the Archangel by mezzo-soprano Stephanie McGuire, and Jordan Kirkwood, a boy soprano from the Newark Boys Chorus School, will be the Shepherd Boy. Special guests will include scatter Jon Hendricks, cornetist Warren Vache, violinist Russell George, tapper Max Pollak and Latin jazz pianist, Arturo O’Farrill.
The show combines well-known Christmas carols with original music by Anne Phillips, Bob Kindred and Dave and Iola Brubeck. Written and arranged by singer-songwriter Phillips at the suggestion of the late John Garcia Gensel of St. Peter’s Church, “The Jazz Nativity” premiered in 1985.
“Bending Towards the Light…A Jazz Nativity” is directed by Tad and Beth Jones. The music director is Bob Kindred. Composer, arranger and conductor is Anne Phillips. The producer is Kindred Spirits, a not-for-profit organization.
Tickets are $35-55 and are on sale at B.B. King’s.