Get into the swing of the season

Staff reports

Christmas carols and music take on a whole other sonic character when they get the jazz treatment. For years now, The 17-piece Asheville Jazz Orchestra has been serving up a delightful mix of rockin' arrangements in a December show that turns Christmas on its ear.

Giants like Duke Ellington have contributed arrangements of Tchaikowsky’s "Nutcracker Suite." Stan Kenton’s great band dedicated an entire album to Christmas music. Jazz vocalist Mel Tormé penned the timeless "The Christmas Song," and the Great American songbook is flush with a veritable stocking filled with seasonal classics. On Saturday, Dec. 10, White Horse Black Mountain will resound with the strains of the AJO’s swinging takes on holiday favorites.

Since 2006 the Asheville Jazz Orchestra has delighted audiences with its renditions of swing era classics and new compositions for big band. Some of its members have played in latter-day incarnations of the classic big bands, and the group remains dedicated to both preserving and advancing the music. The AJO performs under the leadership trombonist Dave Wilken, who’s also responsible for most of the ensemble’s original arrangements and compositions.

Joyful and triumphant

Who: Asheville Jazz Orchestra

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 10

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $15