Does the image of a golden harp playing swinging jazz seem incongruous to you? It shouldn’t, once you realize the harpist is Christine Vivona. Vivona loves to defy expectations and mix genres, entertaining audiences with elegant classical pieces as well as jazz and popular tunes.
On Tuesday (Feb. 21), Christine Vivona will grace the Arizona Senior Academy stage, along with her trombone- and piano-playing husband Rob Boone, playing Dixieland and classic jazz pieces by Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Sidney Bechet, Hoagy Carmichael and more. The concert begins at 11:30 a.m.
Vivona, whose graduate degrees come from Juilliard and the University of Arizona, is currently principal harp for True Concord Voices and Orchestra, and harp II with the Tucson Symphony. She started the harp program at Arizona State University in 1989, is currently teaching graduate students at the University of Arizona, and maintains a large private studio in Tucson as well. Vivona has performed with Leonard Bernstein, Sir George Solti, Ray Charles, The Moody Blues and Linda Ronstadt, among others.
Rob Boone has been a professional musician since the age of 16. He currently teaches trombone and jazz piano at Pima Community College. Boone is also the music director for Lonely Street Production shows, and performs with the Tucson Jazz Orchestra, Twilight Band, Original Wildcat Jass Band, and as solo pianist and leader of his own jazz trio and quartet.
As a duo, Vivona and Boone perform annually at the Chandler Jazz Festival. Their jazz CD, Family Affair, Live at Brady’s, also features their musical sons Jesse and Cory.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer