Let it Snow Holiday Concert at the Marriott
If you follow Staycationscalifornia, you know by now that staff member JoJo is always looking for things to do and unusually activities. Not that this is unusual or crazy, but she wanted to go to a holiday concert, one that played all the seasons tunes.
She found one at the La Jolla Marriot featuring a saxophonist who would be playing all of the hits of the holiday season. That is all I was told when I agreed to go.
The concert was held in one of the Marriott’s conference rooms and I was happy to see that any seat was going to be a good one; I love intimate concerts like this.
Good start so far although I was wondering how it was going to be, hearing only Christmas music for over an hour with just the saxophone, even though it’s one of my favorite instruments.
On the stage were keyboards so I knew that it wasn’t going to be just the saxophone.
We took our seat and, soon after, the keyboardist came on stage and started playing. Now we were waiting for the saxophonist to appear. All of a sudden you heard this amazing sound come through the speakers; it was the sweet sound of a soprano saxophone.The artist was walking from the back of the room while playing right in front of you as he made his way on stage. The saxophone was less than a foot from my ears at times.
As he played a Christmas song, I thought I had gone to heaven, this guy was so good! On the solos his riff,licks, and runs were pure genius and you were mesmerized by every note. On the next song he held a note for what seemed like two minutes as he walked through the crowd high fiving everyone. I was out of breath just watching him.
So who is this saxophonist? Grammy nominated, Chris Mitchell.
If you love the saxophone as much as I do, go see him. I grew up with a saxophone playing brother so I am very familiar with this woodwind instrument. I have seen some great artists like Paul Taylor and Jay Beckenstein in concert and I have listened on CD’s to the smooth jazz of Boney James, John Klemmer, Warren Hill, and Kenny G.
Chris Mitchell (other than my brother) has now become my favorite. He not only played Christmas tunes but he changed it up with some contemporary music and even a Kenny G hit to close the show.
During his performance he worked the crowd and had a great sense of humor to get us laughing, snapping our fingers, and clapping. He had us interacting with the music and as a true professional; he gave plenty of nods and attention to the keyboardist who had a few solos himself and was a great musician as well.
In a break from the music he asked if anyone had a birthday, and then proceeded to play a smooth rendition of Happy Birthday directly to the lucky person. Then he asked about any other events that anyone might be celebrating, and lastly asked if there were any proposals. The room got quiet and sure enough there WAS a proposal! I had never heard such beautiful and romantic words come out of a person’s mouth followed by the offering of a gorgeous diamond ring. It was pure magic and Mr. Mitchell honored the couple by playing one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.
Next he played my favorite Christmas song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and I could have gone home a happy person, but it wasn’t over!
He told a short story of his beginnings in music and how he was nominated for a Grammy and then he proceeded to play more and prove why that nomination was no fluke.
All the fun, laughs, and romance were secondary to the music that was being played that night. This is one amazing saxophonist; he made a new fan out of me.
I can’t say enough about him and no, he didn’t pay me to say this. I don’t know him, but now I do and I will be checking out ITunes and buying some of this songs.
I knew the concert wouldn’t be bad because you can’t go wrong with holiday music, but THIS concert was great!!!
Check out his Facebook page for future concerts and enjoy this Youtube clip of a holiday favorite.
A couple of selfies at the end of the concert as he let us all join in as he played his last tune.