The St. Petersburg Jazz Festival presents The Helios Jazz Orchestra featuring Whitney James and Chuck Wansley at The Palladium Theatre, Saturday, Feb 24th.
Take two great singers and add a roaring, 17-piece jazz big band. That's a recipe for an outstanding jazz concert!
Chuck Wansley began his professional singing and performing career at age 18 on an extended world tour with Up With People. In the early 80s he signed first with Prism Records and then Motown, as a founding member of the urban techno band WARP-9, performing live and producing two albums. Chuck then moved to Los Angeles and matured into a dynamic performer, easily conveying a range of musical styles from Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick, to Fatboy Slim and Maroon 5. Chuck has performed from Connecticut to Napa, Los Angeles to Paris & Prague, along with numerous solo appearances in Japan.
Whitney James spent about a decade performing on both coasts of the country before she went to New York to record “The Nature of Love.” When her debut album came out in 2010 it was if a new vocalist had appeared on the jazz scene. Jazz critics loved it! The reviews led to James being featured last year on the popular NPR program “Piano Jazz: Rising Stars” with host Jon Weber accompanying her on piano. Marian McPartland, the 95-year-old Grammy-winning jazz pianist-composer and original host of “Piano Jazz,” had read about James’ debut album, acquired a copy and then suggested the producers spotlight her.
The Helios Jazz Orchestra is a 17-piece jazz big band directed by David Manson. The group has been featured twice on the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Ybor Jazz Fest and is ensemble-in-residence at St. Petersburg College. Presented by EMIT and the Palladium Theater.