Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers Live at Ashkenaz

Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

One of the first and still the best of the “swing revival” bands, Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers remain popular after 25 years of keeping dancers ecstatic. Along with the East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop grooves by the band, Smith swings from sultry torch songs to the grit of the great blues singers.

Donald Lacy's Love Life Foundation presents Oakland's Finest Black Tie Holiday Ball & Toy Drive

Scott's Seafood Jack London Square, 2 Broadway , Oakland, CA 94607

Marcus Shelby and pianist/composer Cava Menzies will perform duo for Oakland's Finest Black Tie Holiday Ball & Toy Drive The LoveLife Foundation's 2nd Annual Oakland's Finest Black Tie Holiday Ball & Toy Drive. A fun filled elegant evening! VIP champagne reception w/VIP purchase. Live and Silent Auctions! Dinner. Entertainment provided by Marcus Shelby & Friends featuring Cava Menzie, and the Dynamic Miss Faye Carol, post-dinner dancing with the hottest DJ in the Bay DJ K-Styles, plus celebrity guests and honorees. Among the honorees are Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the one and only Ricky Henderson, Davey D., Joey Wells and more!

Marcus Shelby Orchestra featuring Tiffany Austin and Jamie Davis present a special Holiday Concert; The Harlem Nutcracker Suite and More!

SF JAZZ, 201 Franklin St,, San Francisco, CA 94102

It’s a short walk from the SFJAZZ Center to the War Memorial Opera House, which is where the evening-length ballet The Nutcracker made its North America premiere in the winter of 1944. An immediate sensation, the production unleashed an army of Nutcrackers large and small that march across the country come the holidays, turning Tchaikovsky’s spirited score into an enchanting soundtrack for the season. In 1960, at the urging of Billy Strayhorn, the Duke Ellington Orchestra recorded The Nutcracker Suite (Columbia), a brilliant jazz interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s music.

While largely forgotten today, the popular album marked a watershed in one of American music’s most consequent and productive partnerships, as Ellington gave Strayhorn equal billing for the first time on the album’s cover. For bassist, composer, and arranger Marcus Shelby, Ellington and Strayhorn’s Nutcracker Suite arrangements offer an ideal vehicle for his talent-laden jazz orchestra, an ensemble he modeled after Ellington’s.