*Free live stream available here! Visit this page on 12/19 to watch.
Bring a little swing into your holiday season with an evening of New Standards. Join host Paul Cavalconte as he welcomes renowned vocalist Veronica Swift with trumpeter Benny Benack III, pianist Mathis Picard, and more! Add a little joy to your world with some of the very best the American holiday songbook has to offer.
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Love classical music? Check out our WQXR show with Thorgy Thor on 12/20!
Credit: Photo provided by Artist
Veronica Swift set the jazz world on fire after her second-place finish at the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, in which she wowed judges Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau and Patti Austin.
A native of Charlottesville, North Carolina, Swift made her recording debut at age 9 with saxophonist Richie Cole and has followed her muse ever since, making her debut at Jazz at Lincoln Center at age 11 and indulging her taste for 20s and 30s swing with the legendary Nighthawks band led by historian and musician Vince Giordano.
The daughter of renowned pianist Hod O’Brien and singer Stephanie Nakasian, Swift has toured with fellow 2023-23 Season performers Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, and has shared the stage with Chris Botti, Michael Feinstein, Jon Hendricks, Paquito D’Rivera, Esperanza Spalding, and Joe Lovano.
Her 2019 Mack Avenue debut Confessions and 2021 follow-up This Bitter Earth were assured statements by a mature artist, paving the way for Veronica Swift — her most audacious offering yet. Featuring the drumming and co-production of Brian Viglione of Dresden Dolls fame, the album blends Swift’s roots in acoustic jazz with French and Italian opera, European classical music, bossa nova, blues, industrial rock, funk, and vaudeville in a stylistic approach she calls “transgenre.”
Credit: Photo by Matt Baker
By age 32, Emmy-nominated trumpeter and singer Benny Benack III has proven to be that rarest of talents: not only a fiery trumpet player with a stirring command of the postbop trumpet vernacular in the vein of Kenny Dorham and Freddie Hubbard, but also a singer with a sly, mature, naturally expressive delivery in the post-Sinatra mold, performing standards and his own astute songs with a thrilling sense of showmanship.
This duel-threat ability was recognized by the 2022 Downbeat Critics Poll where he appeared as not only the #2 Rising Star Male Vocalist, but a top Rising Star Trumpeter as well. His superb intonation and bracing virtuosity enable him to handle astounding feats of originally composed vocalese (complex solos with written lyrics).
His vocalese duet on “Social Call” from this album alongside fellow young star vocalist Veronica Swift became an instant smash hit single, being transcribed and learned by Jazz vocalists around the world.
Credit: Photo provided by Artist
Mathis Picard is a French-Malagasy pianist, composer, producer, and bandleader who currently resides in New York City. Rooted in the tradition of live acoustic performance while incorporating the latest technology, Mathis creates a his own musical style that is influenced by his multi-national background.
Mathis, who began playing the piano at the age of 3, was immediately passionate about music’s healing quality and now focuses on sharing that passion globally. Mathis currently leads a solo project, a trio project and his orchestra, “The Sound Orchestra.”
Mathis has had the honor of working with artists such as Ron Carter, Lillias White, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Lee Ritenour, Daniel J Watts, DJ Kindness, Braxton Cook, Veronica Swift, Etienne Charles and more.