Curtain Up: Jazz Takes Center Stage at Segerstrom Center

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Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling

Segerstrom Center is jazzing things up with a trio of concerts that showcase three remarkable jazz performers.

First up is Grammy Award winner Kurt Elling, who pays homage to Frank Sinatra in “Elling Swings Sinatra” Feb. 27 and 28 in Samueli Theater.

During four performances, Elling celebrates what would have been Sinatra’s 100th birthday (December 12, 2015), lending his own voice and reinterpreting the Chairman of the Board’s vast repertoire of classic hits, such as “Come Fly With Me,” “My Funny Valentine,” “The Lady is a Tramp” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

The evening is accented with richly told stories of a fascinating era.

The New York Times called Elling “the standout male vocalist of our time.” The Washington Post added, “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.”

Tickets for “Elling Swings Sinatra” start at $69.

Up next is Jane Monheit with “Hello Bluebird – Celebrating the Jazz of Judy Garland,” March 13 and 14 in the Samueli Theater.

Segerstrom Center audiences first discovered this dazzling young jazz singer at the very beginning of her career when

Jane Monheit
Jane Monheit

Monheit first appeared in 2002. In the years since, her honey-smooth vocals, silky phrasing and natural knack for storytelling have earned her two Grammy nominations and established Monheit as one of her generation’s most beloved and accomplished vocalists.

“Hello Bluebird” is a musical celebration of the jazz of Judy Garland. This intimate evening will showcase Monheit’s sincere and romantic interpretations of such beloved Garland classics as “Get Happy,” “Hello Bluebird,” “How About You,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Tickets for “Hello Bluebird” start at $69.

Finally, 10-time Grammy Award-winning artist and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master George Benson returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts for one night only on Friday, March 27 in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

The evening’s program includes the greatest hits from Benson’s career, which spans more than 50 years.

A genius guitarist and versatile musician, Benson has crossed seamlessly over many musical genres, from swing to bop to R&B to pop to scat singing. His music and influence continue to inspire.

Perhaps best known for his contemporary popular music in multiple genres, George Benson has created more than 30 recordings as a leader. Benson has used his jazz roots as the foundation for an engaging mix of pop, R&B and other shades that add up to a style that appeals to a broad mainstream audience. Along the way, he has also established himself as a formidable singer – one whose biggest career hits have showcased his vocals as well as his guitar chops. Benson continues to astound and engage audiences, taking his creative expression to new heights.

Tickets to George Benson start at $39.

For more information and tickets to shows at Segerstrom Center, visit SCFTA.org or call (714) 556-2787.

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