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Wintertime, and the Listenin’ is Easy

e Phazz is a German jazz ensemble integrating elements of soul, Latin, trip hop, and drum and bass into a lounge music sound. Its name stands for Destination Future Jazz and as such encapsulates the group’s musical modus operandi: With each new album, De Phazz recombines and draws on different styles to invent a new sound, constantly striving to move forward toward a future state of jazz while continuing to reference the past. It is helped in this goal by a long list of guest musicians and vocalists. Aside from its habit of innovation, the group is known for its use of sampling and turntablism. Its most recent album, 2007’s Days of Twang, represents a return to jazz basics, placing the ensemble, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, into the easy listening category.

Rossiya Concert Hall, Luzhniki Sports Arena
December 12 at 19:00 

Christmas Music in Moscow

n the 2008-09 season, legendary chamber orchestra Moscow Virtuosi is celebrating its 30th anniversary, but its founder, Vladimir Spivakov, has a career that stretches back farther than that. The violinist and conductor won his first competition at age 13 and went on to study at the Moscow State Conservatory. In 1979 he established Moscow Virtuosi, which has since earned itself a top-notch reputation. Today its members are known for a style of playing that combines European elegance with the rigor of Russian musical culture. The anniversary season will be marked by a globetrotting concert tour that will bring Spivakov and his virtuosi to the Moscow Conservatory on Christmas Eve, where they will be joined by the Russian Choral Academy Choir and young violin talent Julian Rakhlin. The performance is presented with the support of Land Rover.

Moscow Conservatory, Great Hall
December 24 at 19:00  

Greetings from Gergiev

t is becoming a tradition for Moscow to host an annual December visit from each year from Valery Gergiev, the director of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater. This year, he is bringing the Mariinsky orchestra along to help him express his holiday wishes to Muscovites. Considered one of the world’s leading orchestras, the Mariinsky Theater Symphony Orchestra added a new page to its 200-year history with the advent of Gergiev to the conductor’s podium. Under his leadership, the orchestra has reached new artistic heights, moving beyond its role as a pit orchestra that sticks to the opera and ballet repertoire presented at its legendary home institution in St. Petersburg. Today the orchestra regularly tours the major concert halls of North America and Europe and has recorded with Philips Classics. The Moscow appearances, with a program unannounced as of this printing, promise to be worth the year’s wait.

Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
December 15, 16 at 19:00  

A Christmas Moonlight Serenade

n December 24th, Moscow will have a real ball for Christmas when the Glenn Miller Orchestra comes to the Moscow International House of Music, performing together with vocal band Moonlight Serenade and the Harlem Golden Gospel Singers. Formed in the late 1930s, the original Glenn Miller Orchestra, led by the inimitable jazz great himself, went on to produce some of the most popular hits of the swing era, including timeless classics like “Tuxedo Junction” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Following Miller’s death in 1944, the band went through a few iterations before being reconstituted in 1956 and has been performing ever since. This month the Orchestra will bring its unique big band jazz sound to Moscow with a Swing Christmas program that is chock full of unforgettable and romantic melodies from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. So all you hepcats out there: Grab your honey and get “In the Mood” for a real ball!

Moscow International House of Music (MMDM)
December 24 at 19:00  

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