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REH welcomes Peter White Christmas
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Ruth Eckerd Hall presents a Peter White Christmas Dec. 16.
CLEARWATER - Enjoy a Peter White Christmas with guitarist Peter White, St. Pete’s own saxophonist Mindi Abair and trumpeter Rick Braun, as they play jazzy Christmas cheer on Monday, Dec. 16, at 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

For more than 20 years, Peter White has released his own music, beginning with Reveillez-Vous, a French title in honor of his French mother Gilberte. Many releases have followed, with several songs going No. 1 on Smooth Jazz radio such as Midnight in Manhattan, a song Peter recorded with one of his idols, Grover Washington Jr.

Peter also collaborated with Basia on Just Another Day, a song from his Caravan of Dreams CD. Peter has performed on recordings by many of his friends, including Dave Koz, Gato Barbieri, Richard Elliot, Lee Ritenour, Kirk Whalum, Boney James … just to name a few.

His annual “Peter White Christmas Tour” is his chance to play some of his favorite Christmas melodies with special guests. Peter released his Christmas CD Songs of the Season in 1997.

St. Petersburg’s saxophonist, singer and songwriter Mindi Abair has broken many boundaries as she continues to define the less traditional future of jazz. Her own brand of “pop and soul meets jazz” adds a refreshingly unique voice to an exciting new generation of crossover artists. Mindi brings a fearless energy and abandon to the stage as a powerhouse on the saxophone, hearkening back to the days of Junior Walker or King Curtis.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Mindi’s solo career has produced 10 No. 1 radio singles that have topped the Contemporary Jazz Charts such as, It Just Happens That Way, Come As You Are, Life Less Ordinary, Stars and Hi Fi Stereo.

She has hosted the internationally syndicated radio show Chill With Mindi Abair for six years and has been the featured saxophonist on the 2011 and 2012 seasons of American Idol. She won Best International Instrumentalist at the 2011 Wave Awards in Toronto and Best Female Artist of the Year at the 2011 Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards. In addition to touring with Aerosmith, Keb’ Mo’, Duran Duran, the Backstreet Boys, Max Weinberg, Teena Marie and Jonathan Butler, Mindi has written the book How To Play Madison Square Garden – A Guide To Stage Performance.

Rick Braun’s been playing trumpet since he was a kid. No news there for the legions of fans his richly melodic playing style has attracted since the release of his first album, Intimate Secrets, in 1993. Less known is the fact that he’s been a singer, and a good one (backing Rod Stewart and Sade among others, with vocals as well as his stellar trumpet) for most of his life as well.

Rick Braun Sings With Strings brings both those skills front and center. With producer/arranger Philippe Saisse, the album dips back into the music he’s been captivated by since he first picked up a horn. Songs such as I Didn’t Know What Time It Was, I Thought About You and The Things We Did Last Summer have been memorable themes from the soundtrack of American love life for decades. Rick also especially recalls I’ve Never Been In Love Before and Time After Time as “tunes I’ve known since I was a kid.” Rick makes a convincing case for the arrival of a new star of the jazz vocal art.

Reserved tickets priced at $42 and $60 are available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater or by calling 727-791-7400.

Convenient pre-show dining priced at $20 is available before the performance. For reservations and more information, patrons are encouraged to contact the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office.
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