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Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook

Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook

Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook

A Celebration of Song and Iconic Trumpet-and-Vocal Partnerships with Bria Skonberg and Benny Benack III, Tuesday, March 5 at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts

BOONE, NC — The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, welcomes Jazz at Lincoln Center’s SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook, Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. This celebration of the Great American Songbook and iconic partnerships in jazz features trumpeters, vocalists, and composers Bria Skonberg and Benny Benack III. The North American tour of SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook will reach 45 cities across the United States and Canada, including major markets such as Los Angeles, CA, and Toronto, ON, and smaller but significant destinations such as Irving, TX, Ogden, UT, and Boone, NC.

Tickets are $28, $23 (residents of Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties and App State faculty/staff), and $10 (students/children). A special student BOGO offer is available for all children/students. Buy One Get One! Enter BOGOSTU at checkout.

“We’re both fans of the classic songbook era and the artists that made it possible,” says Skonberg. “The fact that we're still playing these songs 75 to 100 years after they were written is a testament to their quality. Naturally, we gravitated towards the great pairings of trumpet players and vocalists, like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Prima and Keely Smith. We’ve listened to that music as long as we have played the trumpet. Also, the band with us is exceptional, so we’ll discover and highlight everybody’s hidden talents.” The show, she notes, “will have a friendly variety show type of feel.”

Benack and Skonberg will lead a talented group featuring Jocelyn Gould (guitar); Mathis Picard (piano,); Mark Lewandowski, (bass); and Charles Goold (drums).

The repertoire, notes co-leader Benny Benack III, will include songs such as Duke Ellington’s classic “In a Mellow Tone,” a duet featuring Skonberg on trumpet and vocals, featured in his most recent album, Third Time’s the Charm; “Comes Love,” a nod to the inimitable Louis and Ella; “Banana Split for My Baby,” a cheeky swinger by Louis Prima and Keely Smith; and “I'm Glad There Is You,” a classic by Sarah Vaughan and Clifford Brown.

“There're a lot of familiar songs that people know and love,” says Benack. “But we have put fresh arrangements on these songs. And Bria and I also have some of our brand-new original material inspired by this era’s music. We wanted to have a modern take on the songwriting form. So, we have some of that as well. You keep the music fresh by adding your experiences and making it relatable to the audience before you.”

To present SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook, and following the success of last year's SONGS WE LOVE: 50 Years of Jazz Song, Jazz at Lincoln Center is partnering again with the international booking agency IMG Artists. The aim of JALC's tour initiative is to allow presenters to offer excellent jazz programming while introducing to a broader audience the musicians who will reinterpret and reimagine the sound of jazz for years to come. It is part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s mission “to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy.” As part of those efforts, the SING AND SWING: Our American Songbook tour will include an educational component in selected cities. 

I didn’t grow up in a big city. I grew up in a small town,” says Skonberg, a native of Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. “There was no way that anything from Jazz at Lincoln Center would come there. It will be a real pleasure to connect with people from different towns along the way. It’s going to be a joy to get to spread the word.”


About Bria Skonberg

Called “one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” by the Wall Street Journal, Bria Skonberg is a singular talent who has performed with everyone from Jon Batiste, Wycliffe Gordon, U2 and Sun Ra Arkestra to the nation’s top symphony orchestras. Her music has garnered tens of millions of streams worldwide. The Juno Award winner’s seventh studio album, What It Means, which was recorded in New Orleans with the Crescent City's finest, will be released in Fall of 2024. 

The daughter of teachers, Skonberg is deeply committed to education. She is the co-founder and director of the New York Hot Jazz Camp, and has served as faculty at the Teagarden, Centrum and Geri Allen Jazz Camps, in addition to presenting hundreds of concerts and clinics for students of all ages, both independently and on behalf of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz House Kids, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. 


About Benny Benack III

Benack, part of a family of Pittsburgh jazz notables, follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, trumpeter and bandleader Benny Benack, Sr. (1921-86), and his father Benny Benack, Jr., a saxophonist and clarinetist who gave young Benny his first professional experience. 

An Emmy-nominated trumpeter and vocalist, Benack (affectionately known as BB3) was recognized in the 2022 DownBeat Critics Poll as a Rising Star Male Vocalist and a top Rising Star Trumpeter. He has performed internationally as an Emcee/Host for Postmodern Jukebox, and appeared as a trumpet soloist for Josh Groban, Diplo, and fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, as well as cabaret legends such as Marilyn Maye, Melissa Errico and Ann Hampton Callaway. He has also been a special guest with the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops Orchestra and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. His TV credits include appearances in the house band of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as well as NBC’s Maya & Marty. He achieved online notoriety for his vocal features with the Grammy Award-winning 8-Bit Big Band as well as his viral hit sensation music video of “Social Call,” featuring Veronica Swift. Benack has recorded four well-received albums, One of a Kind, A Lot of Livin’ to Do, Season’s Swingin’ Greetings and, mostly recently, Third Time’s the Charm. 


About Jazz at Lincoln Center

Jazz at Lincoln Center is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences for jazz. With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performances, education, and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. These productions include concerts, national and international tours, residencies, weekly national radio programs, television broadcasts, recordings, publications, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, a band director academy, jazz appreciation curricula for students, music publishing, children's concerts and classes, lectures, adult education courses, student and educator workshops, a record label, and interactive websites. Under the leadership of Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, Chairman Clarence Otis, and Executive Director Greg Scholl, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of events each season in its home in New York City, Frederick P. Rose Hall, and around the world. For more information, visit




Indigo Girls with special guest Annie Humphrey (SOLD OUT)

$48 Standard, $43 Faculty/Staff, $20 Students/Children


Saturday, April 20 at 7:30pm

Snarky Puppy with Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini

Snarky Puppy is an American jazz fusion band led by bassist Michael League. Founded in 2004, Snarky Puppy combines a variety of jazz idioms, rock, world music, and funk, and has won five Grammy Awards (Best R&B Performance in 2014, and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016, 2017, 2021, and 2023). Snarky Puppy is a collective of sorts with as many as 20 members in regular rotation. At its core, the band represents the convergence of both black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world. Japan, Argentina, Canada and the United Kingdom all have representation in the group’s membership. But more than the cultural diversity of the individual players, the defining characteristic of Snarky Puppy’s music is the joy of performance.

$43 Standard, $38 App State Faculty/Staff, $20 Students/Children


Student and App State faculty/staff discount are available for all shows, and a local resident discount for select shows is available with proof of residence in Watauga, Ashe or Avery counties. Purchase in person at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts (733 Rivers St), online at, or call 828.262.4046.


About “The Schaefer Center Presents”

“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a series offering campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theatre programming designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the Appalachian State University campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a "window on the world" through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. Musical events range from symphony orchestra and chamber music performances to jazz, folk, traditional, international, and popular artists. Theatre productions run the gamut from serious drama to musical comedy. Dance performances offer an equally wide array of styles, from ballet to modern dance to international companies representing cultural traditions from around the world. For more information, visit 


Thank You to Our Schaefer Center Presents Sponsors

Explore Boone, Creekside Electronics, Campus Store, Hampton Inn & Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, Our State Magazine, PBS North Carolina, WZJS 100.7 and WATA 96.5, WDAV 89.9 FM, WFDD 88.5FM, WKSK The Farm, and WASU 90.5FM.