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January 29, 2013

Friday Night Jazz & Wine returns to Fort Sam Houston Theatre

By Tim Hipps
IMCOM Public Affairs

SAN ANTONIO – Smooth jazz aficionados will be treated to a second coming of Christmas of sorts when pianist David Benoit and saxophonist Paul Taylor play Army Entertainment’s Friday Night Jazz & Wine concert Feb. 8 at Fort Sam Houston Theatre.

Benoit plays the most popular cover of Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts classic “Linus & Lucy” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” You also may have heard the five-time Grammy nominee playing “Local on the 8s” segments on The Weather Channel.

Taylor has released eight albums since his debut “On the Horn” in 1995.

The dynamic duo will help Fort Sam Houstonians celebrate Valentine’s Day early with an 8 p.m. show on Feb. 8. Doors to the newly remodeled historic theatre will open at 7 p.m. for cocktail hour in the lobby. Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door.

The last of three shows in the 2012 Friday Night Jazz & Wine Concert series was the first sold-out event at Fort Sam Houston Theatre since it was renovated and became the new home of Army Entertainment.

Alex Bugnon
Jazz pianist Alex Bugnon performs during Army Entertainment's sold out Friday Night Jazz & Wine concert Nov. 9 at Fort Sam Houston Theatre. U.S. Army photo by Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs

“Since we started the jazz series, it has been very successful,” Army Entertainment Director Joe Leavell said during the Nov. 10 show that featured jazz, blues and funk saxophonist Ronnie Laws, jazz pianist Alex Bugnon and baritone jazz vocal recording artist Jeffery Smith. “We’re marketing to the right folks. The community is supporting it. This is something they obviously want, and they are paying for that experience. San Antonio, we’ve learned, is a great town for jazz.”

The first three shows of the 2012 U.S. Army Soldier Show tour featured standing-room-only crowds at Fort Sam Houston Theatre, Leavell said, but those shows were free.

“We at Army Entertainment definitely want to build our brand and our name a lot bigger and further into the industry,” Leavell said of the program that also produces Operation Rising Star, an annual military singing contest based on the premises of American Idol. “We’ve reached out to the [Joint Base] Randolph and Lackland communities, so we’re doing things San Antonio all-around.”

Reserved seats for the Friday Night Jazz & Wine show can be purchased at http://goo.gl/RFmGK. For more details, visit www.ArmyMWR.com or call the concert hotline at (210) 466-2020.

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