Weber Center for the Performing Arts welcomes baritone Steven Marking and jazz singer-pianist JoAnn Funk home for the holidays, along with special guest artists, for “Deck the Halls” on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students, and kids under 12 are free with adult supervision.
Celebrate the season with laughter, beauty and joy. “Deck the Halls” is a heartwarming holiday show celebrating the music and joy of the season. With the addition of Jeff Brueske playing upright bass and Gary Schulte on violin, these four skilled and versatile musicians delight in capturing the essence of the holiday spirit. Their repertoire includes swing, classical holiday music and unique reading of the timeless Christmas poem, “The Night Before Christmas.” They will also be joined onstage by familiar local singers for a few traditional carols.
About the performers:
Baritone Steven Marking is an alumnus of Holmen High School and Viterbo University. He moves easily from the gorgeous classics to popular and swing music. With over 40 opera and oratorio roles to his credit, Steven combines the vocal qualities of the very best baritones with a charismatic stage presence and a masterful sense of drama and comic timing. His Our Mighty Mississippi show has been a hit here in La Crosse and in the Twin Cities. Steven and his wife, JoAnn Funk, team up as performers and lecturers for American Cruise Lines, traveling the length of the Mississippi River in the summer and fall. Learn more about Steven at stevemarking.com.
Singer-pianist JoAnn Funk is an alumnus of Aquinas High School. She is a classically trained pianist, at home in both the jazz and the classical worlds. She has a sultry and swinging singing style all her own. In addition to her concert and festival schedule around the Twin Cities, she and Jeff Brueske have been performing Jazz in The Lobby Bar at the world renowned Saint Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota, for eight seasons. The two are known for their unique arrangements, warm swinging sound and their wide range of repertoire. “JoAnn is our answer to Diana Krall, a first-class pianist with a first-class voice” Twin Cities Jazz Festival Spotlight. JoAnn’s recently released fourth CD, “Jazz in The Lobby Bar,” has been getting national and international airplay. Learn more about JoAnn at joannfunk.com.
Jeff Brueske began his musical career playing guitar. After he received a master’s degree in guitar he began to study acoustic bass. He is a choir director, music teacher and is a highly regarded bassist in the Twin Cities area. He is known for his solid swing, creativity and his beautiful arco sound. Jeff is also a fantastic vocalist.
Gary Schulte is a classical violin virtuoso whose tastes run more toward swing and gypsy jazz. He has performed on A Prairie Home Companion and is a frequent contributor to many groups in the Twin Cites. He lends each song a joyful beauty, whimsy and spirit. Gary and Jeff Brueske are members of Sidewalk Cafe, a fantastic trio that features the music of Django Reinhardt.