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Join the Santa Cruz Symphony for the third program of their 2021-2022 concert season, “Beethoven & The Hill We Climb”, coming to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium & Watsonville Mello Center for the Arts on February 12 & 13.
(Santa Cruz Symphony)
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A fusion of talent, ‘The Hill We Climb’ welcomes masterful artists to Santa Cruz County

Presented by Santa Cruz Symphony

Join the Santa Cruz Symphony for the third program of their 2021-2022 concert season, “Beethoven & The Hill We Climb”, coming to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium & Watsonville Mello Center for the Arts on February 12 & 13.

If the major historic events of the last few years have taught us anything, it is the importance of community. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we as a society come together to uplift each other in these times of cultural dissonance. This is exactly what the Santa Cruz Symphony is hoping to celebrate with our upcoming third program of their 2021-2022 concert season.

“Beethoven & The Hill We Climb” will make its way to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and the Mello Center for the Performing Arts in Watsonville on February 12 & 13, 2022. The concert will honor music by revered legends including José Pablo Moncayo’s Huapango piece featuring the Esperanza del Valle folclórico dance company. The concert will be headlined by various pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven, including his Coriolan Overture, String Quartet no. 15 op. 132 mov. 3, and Symphony no. 6 mov. 5. The performance will also intertwine Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata with The Hill We Climb by American inaugural poet Amanda Gorman.

In addition, the concert will feature performances by an array of independent musicians including Subita con Forza by Unsuk Chin, Butterfly Jig by Destiny Muhammad, We Are the Ones by Destiny Muhammad & Matt Wong, and many more. Read all about the astounding musicians featured in “Beethoven & The Hill We Climb” below.

Destiny Muhammad

Destiny Muhammad
(Santa Cruz Symphony)

Destiny Muhammad is a recording and performing artist, band leader, composer, and producer.

Her genre, Celtic to Coltrane, is cool and eclectic with a feel of Jazz and storytelling to round out the sonic experience. Destiny has curated concerts for Grace Cathedral’s Christmas Concert Series and SFJAZZ’s tribute to Jazz harp legend Alice Coltrane. She was a featured guest for Kanye West’s Sunday Service, and has shared the stage with Jazz masters Marcus Shelby, Omar Sosa, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Azar Lawrence, among others. She has headlined the Bay Area Women in Jazz, Sundays in the Redwoods, Seattle’s Fest Sundiata, and Butchertown Jazz Fest concert series.

Destiny is Principal Harpist for Eddie Gale’s Inner Peace Orchestra and the Oakland Community Orchestra, and she also performs with the Awesöme Orchestra. She is Governor Emeritus and Educational Chair Emeritus of the Recording Academy, ASCAP Songwriter Awardee, California Entertainers Music Awards Female Jazz Artist of the Year Winner, SFJAZZ Teaching Artist, Bay Area Jazz and Blues Award Winner (BAJABA), and Raise Karma Virtual Residency alumna.

Leon Joyce Jr.

Leon Joyce Jr.
(Santa Cruz Symphony)

Leon Joyce Jr. is a native of Connecticut and retired Marine. As a drummer and percussionist, he has worked for a variety of top artists worldwide, including Ramsey Lewis, Nancy Wilson, Scott Hamilton, Smokey Robinson, Norman Connors, Billy Harper, James Carter, Clark Terry, Conte Condoli, and Ellis Marsalis.

He is currently a regular with the Leon Joyce Trio, Quartet, and Quintet; Jamie Davis; Nicolas Bearde; the Destiny Muhammad Trio; and guitarist Calvin Keys. Mr. Joyce has appeared at festivals such as Montreux and Lugano jazz festivals in Switzerland and the Villingen Swing/Jazz Festival in Germany. Nationally, he has appeared in the Monterey Jazz & Blues, Playboy Jazz, JVC Jazz festivals and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Noriyuki “Ken” Okada

Ken Okada
(Sara Pettinella)

Bassist Noriyuki “Ken” Okada was born in New York and raised in Brazil before moving to Japan. Reflecting the background that he grew up in multipile different cultures, Ken enjoys playing in various styles, from bebop to contemporary Brazilian pop to electric jazz fusion.

After winning the largest national college big band jazz competition in Japan, he started playing professionally in Tokyo. After moving to the Bay Area in 2002, he has been playing with artists such as John Worley, Destiny Muhammad, Kristen Strom, Leon Joyce, Jr. and Akira Tana. He has appeared in fine jazz clubs such as Yoshi’s, Dizzy’s, Kuumbwa Jazz Center and SFJAZZ.

Matt Wong

Matt Wong
(Bill Evans)

Matt Wong is an award-winning pianist, composer, and arranger. Born and raised in San Francisco, he has been performing professionally since the age of eleven. He also composes and arranges for small ensembles, big band, and full orchestra. His compositions have been performed by groups including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Realistic Orchestra, Musical Art Quintet, and the Berklee College of Music Rainbow Band.

He currently attends the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Mr. Wong is a frequent collaborator with Adam Theis/Jazz Mafia projects and events. He also works for composer/producer Brent Fischer as a music orchestration, production, engraving, and archive assistant, and has been involved with the production of two Clare Fischer Big Band CDs.

The Santa Cruz Symphony’s “Beethoven & The Hill We Climb” is generously sponsored by Todd & Corrine Wipke, Silver Mountain Vineyards and Anonymous. The soloist is sponsored by Vance Landis-Carey & Robert Carey.

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    Celebrate "Beethoven & The Hill We Climb" with the Santa Cruz Symphony
    “Beethoven & The Hill We Climb” will be performed at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on February 12, 2022 at 7:30 PM, and at the Watsonville Mello Center for the Performing Arts on February 13, 2022 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are now available to purchase by calling (831) 420-5260 or by visiting the link below.

(Santa Cruz Symphony)