Tonight legendary guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter will perform with the Choral Arts Chorus and Pan American Symphony Orchestra in “A Capital Christmas,” the Choral Arts Society’s annual holiday concert at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Skunk is the former guitarist of The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, and he will be delighting the audience with his skilled musicianship at 7:00 p.m.
“I really like the concerts because I studied classical piano for many years and was very involved in classical music anyway,” said Skunk in an interview with the Choral Arts Society. “There’s something about the concerts themselves that are very classically oriented, and I really enjoy them.”
Skunk has a special treat in store for the audience tonight. “For this concert, I’ve come up with slightly different idea,” he said. “One part of it will be performing the original manuscript of Silent Night, which was written by Franz Xaver Gruber (“Stille Nacht”) in 1799, to perform right from the original music.”
He will be playing this special rendition of the beloved Christmas carol on classical guitar. In addition, Skunk will be performing on pedal steel guitar, what he refers to as “a harp on steroids,” for a unique performance of “O Holy Night.”
“If Beethoven were alive today, first of all he’d be a pedal steel player,” said Skunk. “He’d be writing country music because most of his music was pretty much straight-ahead, four-chord phrases. In a lot of ways, he wrote the basic architecture of country ballads.”
If you’re looking forward to tonight’s event, you are not alone. Skunk said he is very excited as well. “I don’t think I’ve actually ever performed at The Kennedy Center, so this will be on my Bucket List – I can check this off. To me, this is an incredible privilege to be able to perform music I love.”
To learn more about “A Capital Christmas” and to purchase tickets, please visit the Choral Arts Society’s website.