ORLANDO—Heather Thorn and her Vivacity band will debut their Christmas album at the annual Yuletide concerts in-person and live streamed from the renewed performance hall at the Timucua Arts Foundation Dec. 11. The concerts begin at 4 and 7 p.m.
For the Christmas concerts, Thorn welcomes back special guest Adrian Cunningham, the renowned jazz instrumentalist and vocalist. He added his voice and fluent command of a variety of instruments for the new album, “A Vivacity Christmas.”
Cunningham hails from Australia, but is now based out of New York City. He has recorded recently with jazz luminaries such as Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton and Ted Rosenthal. He has also released his own new recordings during the pandemic, including “The Lockdown Blues” on Arbors Records.
Also back this year are the popular Andrew Sisters versions of classic Christmas tunes and holiday movie songs, Thorn said. VIP tickets for the concerts include a festive holiday beverage and priority seating.
During the pandemic, Timucua’s co-founder Benoit Glazer installed improvements in sound and technology at the venue to enhance the listening and viewing experience. The cozy, three-story concert hall is housed in the former Cirque du Soleil music director’s living room at 2000 S. Summerlin Ave., in Orlando.
Vivacity is fresh from knockout performances at the Suncoast Jazz Festival and Thorn’s original Nostalgia Radio Hour’s salute to veterans in November. The band released its second album, “Taking a Chance on Love,” on Valentine’s Day.
Every Vivacity show features Thorn’s world-class mastery on the xylophone. She recently was a featured soloist, accompanied by the Vivacity band, in the Holiday Pops concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed at well-respected jazz venues, including the New Orleans Jazz Museum, as well as headlined at the Festival I Love Jazz in Brazil in 2019.
As always, Thorn has enlisted a selection of the best jazz musicians in Central Florida for the Christmas concerts.
Vocalists will include Suzy Park and Vivacity regular Krissy Vavrek, who recently amazed the audience in her performance with Thorn and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
Park is a local favorite featured at Pilar’s in Winter Garden. She sang with the Voices of Liberty and American Vybe at EPCOT. She has also performed live with Tito Nieves and opened for David Sanborn.
Paul Chong-You will play trumpet for the Christmas concerts. He is a full-time artist with the Main Street Philharmonic at Disney. He is also a member of The Eighth Note Collective.
The founder of Polyjamorous, Corey Paul, will back Vivacity on trombone. He will also be featured in a “beastly trombone” solo on “The Grinch.”
Paul Parker will take the seat on drums for the holiday concerts. He has performed with Michael Andrew, Patrick Moraz and the Bill Allred Classic Jazz Band, and he is a member of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra.
On piano will be Vivacity mainstay Per Danielsson. A native of Sweden, Danielsson is associate professor of jazz piano at the University of Central Florida.
For tickets to the 4 p.m. Christmas concert, click here for in-person and here for live stream; for 7 p.m., click here for in-person or here for live stream. To learn more about Vivacity Music, search @vivacitymusic on Instagram and Facebook, or visit vivacitymusic.com. Fans can also enjoy the band’s first album titled, “Smiling,” recorded in 2018.