The NJO will perform its “American Holidays” concert at Blair’s Ingram Hall on Friday, Dec. 7th, at 8:00 pm.

The annual December event features the Blair Big Band as the opening act and vocalists Annie Sellick and Matt Belsante.  The event aims to further the nonprofit organization’s mission to preserve, promote, and advance big band jazz in our community. 

Celebrating the start of the holiday season as well as the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the night will ramp up with tunes that were popular during WWII as well as traditional holiday selections, including: “I’ll Be Seeing You” (the unofficial overseas anthem), “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (the most popular song at the end of the War), “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Stars and Stripes Forever” (the USA’s official March, written on Christmas Day, 1896), and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

“This evening will be a special combination of patriotism and the holiday spirit” says band-leader Jim Williamson, who has directed the NJO since 1996. “The audience will love it.”

The Nashville Jazz Orchestra is headed by trumpet virtuoso Jim Williamson, while the Blair Big Band’s director is Billy Adair.  Annie Sellick performs frequently with the NJO, tours with her own trio, and four times has been voted “Best Jazz Artist” by readers of the Nashville Scene.  Matt Belsante, who performed Sinatra songs with the NJO in 2005, is currently the voice and face of a national ad campaign in spots on radio, television, and the internet, as well as a recording artist in his own right.

The December 7 concert is open to the general public and tickets will be available the night of the event. Veterans will be admitted at half-price. Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for seniors (65+), Vanderbilt faculty, and staff; $10 for students with ID; and free for Vanderbilt students with ID. The box office opens at 7 p.m and only accepts cash or check. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Free parking is available in the Vanderbilt parking garage, across the street from Blair on Children’s Way.