West Virginia Public Broadcasting will present its annual holiday concert this year featuring two critically acclaimed musicians — blues and jazz vocalist Dr. Kim Nalley, and jazz violinist Christian Howes.
Joy to the World with Bob Thompson, a modern jazz concert that celebrates holiday favorites old and new, is presented by West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from AARP West Virginia and The West Virginia Lottery. The popular event returns to the West Virginia Culture Center Theater stage Thursday, Dec. 16, and Friday, Dec. 17, after recording without an audience in 2020. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m., and the concert will begin at 8 p.m.
Advance tickets are $30. Day-of-show tickets will be $35. To ensure the safety of our audience and performers, capacity will be limited to 50 percent, and masks will be required for the entire show.
Joining Thompson on stage is the band — Timothy Courts on drums, Ryan Kennedy on guitars, John Inghram on bass, and of course, Christian Howes on violin.
Joy to the World with Bob Thompson has been heard on radio stations across the country and seen on WVPB’s statewide television network for 29 years.
About Dr. Kim Nalley Nalley travels to West Virginia for her third Joy to the World with Bob Thompson appearance all the way from the West Coast where she was awarded the “Most Influential African American in the Bay Area” in 2005 and “Best Jazz Group” in 2013. She’s been called “legendary” and a “San Francisco institution.” A reviewer from Downbeat Magazine said Nalley is “magisterial and generous, authoritative and playful, she presides over the stage with an in-the-moment familiarity that welcomes listeners into each song.” A San Francisco Chronicle critic said, “With her vaunted 3 1/2 octave vocal range, San Francisco jazz mainstay Kim Nalley is the musical equivalent of the pitcher with a 102-MPH fastball. While the baseball flamethrower is usually relegated to the closer’s role, Nalley brings the heat every moment.” Another reviewer said she’s got “pipes to burn and works the stage like she means it,” and yet another one calls her the “Songbird of San Francisco.” Nalley has a background in classical music, writing, and is the former owner of the club Jazz at Pearl’s. She earned her Ph.D. in history at UC Berkeley and is a published scholar.
Nalley has been shortlisted for a Grammy and for a “Rising Star” by Downbeat Critics. She released two albums in 2020, “Blues People” and “Lullabies For My Daughters,” and she has founded the Kim Nalley Black Youth Jazz Scholarship.
About Christian Howes Violinist, educator and composer, Howes was voted #1 in the Downbeat Critics Poll (“Rising Stars/Violin”), named among the top three jazz violinists in the JazzTimes critics poll, and nominated for Violinist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association. The Columbus, Ohio, native received the Residency Partner Award through Chamber Music America, earned a USArtists grant through the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and was invited by the U.S. State department to teach and perform as a cultural ambassador twice, in Ukraine and Montenegro. His release on Resonance Records, “Southern Exposure” earned recognition in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, Jazz Times, as well as a six-night run at Lincoln Center. His release, “American Spirit” was named among the Best Jazz Albums of 2015″ by the Huffington Post.
Howes is the founder of “Creative Strings,” a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to expand music education through the creation of online curriculum, an annual summer conference, and dozens of visits to schools annually teaching improvisation, contemporary styles, and related subjects.
About Bob Thompson The world-renowned jazz pianist is perhaps the Mountain State’s best-loved musician and ambassador of jazz. Since 1991, he has been a pianist, and regularly featured artist, on West Virginia’s NPR syndicated radio show, Mountain Stage. For the past 29 years, he has also been co-producer and host of Joy to the World, a holiday jazz show broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. In October 2015, Thompson was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
He makes his home in Charleston, West Virginia, and has enjoyed a long and active career as a performer, composer, arranger and educator. For decades, he has played at festivals and venues around the country, and also has taken his music to Europe, Africa, and South America. Thompson’s resume includes guest appearances on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, on National Public Radio, and BET on Jazz with Ramsey Lewis. His recordings on Intima Records, and Ichiban International, received high recognition on the jazz charts, with several reaching the Top 10. His most recent release is “Look Beyond The Rain.” Learn more about his work at colortones.com.
Night One: Joy to the World with Bob Thompson feat. Thursday, December 16, 2021 Culture Center Theater – State Capitol Grounds Greenbrier & Washington Streets Charleston, WV Doors 7:30 pm Show 8 pm All Seats General Admission Advance Tickets: $30 Day of Show: $35
Available online starting Friday October 29 at 10a.m. EST.
Joy to the World with Bob Thompson featuring vocalist Kim Nalley Friday December 17, 2021 Culture Center Theater – State Capitol Grounds Greenbrier & Washington Streets Charleston, WV Doors 7:30 pm Show 8 pm All Seats General Admission Advance Tickets: $30 Day of Show: $35 Available online starting Friday October 29 at 10a.m. EST.
Watch and listen for last season’s show coming in December on WVPB radio and television.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting is proud to announce four first place awards and seven runner ups across nine categories for the 74th Annual Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters Awards. The first place awards include Best Documentary or In-Depth, Best Light Feature, Best Multi-Platform and Best Mountain State Heritage.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting announces that Mountain Stage is featured in the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. Rolling Stone journalist Garret Woodward explores the diverse group of nationally recognized musicians who have played Mountain Stage, highlighting the uniqueness of the show on today’s airwaves.