Sinatra Sings, Basie Swings is retrospective and reimagining of the best of this timeless collaboration that speaks across generations and barriers to bring us together for a celebration of these icons of American music. The Springfield Symphony Jazz Orchestra (SSJO) and guest vocalist, Robbie Lee, represent three generations of artistry dedicated to the legacy and lineage of both Sinatra and Basie. Comprised of the finest instrumentalists from across the Midwest, the SSJO has made a name for themselves as not only a hard-swinging ensemble, but one that supports great vocalists, having played recently with three of the best; Carmen Bradford, Kurt Elling, and recent two-time Grammy winner, Samara Joy.
The program will feature music both familiar and beloved, representing some of our greatest composers and arrangers. From the George Gershwin (You Can’t Take that Away from Me) to Rodgers and Hart (Where or When) to Jimmy Van Heusen (Come Fly with Me) the best of the American Songbook is on full display, transformed by the greatest of the Basie arrangers-Billy Byers, Neil Hefti, and the inimitable Quincy Jones. Also included are instrumental hits from the “New Testament” Basie band of the 50’s and 60’s, penned by jazz legends such as Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Frank Wess and Ernie Wilkins.
The SSJO is joined by guest vocalist, Juilliard trained Robbie Lee, who has performed at some of the most prestigious jazz festivals in Europe including Jazz a Vienne, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. The renowned Wynton Marsalis presented him with the “Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Soloist Award” at the Essentially Ellington Festival, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. A long-time student and scholar of jazz of the early-20th century, Robbie is recognized as one of the most outstanding young interpreters of popular song both on piano and vocals.