The Jacksonville Symphony has long specialized in offering their music in contexts designed to appeal to people who aren’t necessarily hardcore classical fans, and that has proven key to their success in an era that has been challenging, at best, for the symphony business overall. They’ve dabbled extensively in jazz in the past, but June’s Jazz at the Jacksonville Symphony performance will see them going all-in to “America’s Classical Music” for the first time ever.
Sunday, June 4 is the first of these sessions, which begin with cocktails at 2pm (in the mode of their popular “Symphony In 60” series), with the concert starting at 3pm. James Jenkins, who curates the concert, is also the symphony’s Principal Tubist, which is interesting because tuba was essential in the early days of jazz, as it evolved from its New Orleans marching band roots. (It was eventually replaced by the double bass.) Jenkins’ set includes classics from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, along with random quirks and outliers, as we have come to expect from one of the most forward-thinking orchestras in America.
Catch a preview of next season’s Jax Symphony Jazz Series on Sunday, June 4. Cocktail hour kicks things off at 2pm. Performance at 3pm. Limited seating available. Tickets here.