Monday, November 15, 2021

A Jolly Guaraldi Holiday 2021

It's time once again for this annual round-up of Guaraldi-themed concerts taking place between now and the end of the year, most of which (of course!) are tied in to his music from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Last year's schedule proved incredibly fluid, as rising Covid concerns and restrictions constantly changed schedules, sometimes with very little notice. Almost all of the brave souls who attempted to present live, at-venue performances, were forced to pivot to streaming options. While that was disappointing for each group's local fans, the result proved awesome for the rest of us. I was able to watch performances by many, many groups — 24 of them! — that have always been too geographically distant for me to catch in person.

Things are equally up in the air this year. While numerous artists and groups already have optimistically scheduled live performances, we don't yet know whether a Covid "winter bounce" will strike for a second year. As was the case last year, it'll be best to keep an eye on the artist and/or venue web site, to determine if a live presentation has shifted to streaming-only ... or (I hope not!) canceled entirely.

I traced the history and growth of this delightful tradition back in 2012, with a modest schedule that now seems quaint. This year's post will serve as a clearinghouse for any and all 2021 concerts that come to my attention. As always, I'll add to this schedule as new information becomes available, so you'll want to check back frequently. New entries and listings will be tagged as UPDATES.

Let's dig in!

The Eric Byrd Trio — Byrd, piano and vocals; Bhagwan Khalsa, acoustic bass; Alphonso Young Jr., drums and percussion — has made a cottage industry of Guaraldi's Christmas music, going so far as to cover most of the album in a 2009 CD. Best of all, the trio just released a new album: a live performance recorded during one of their gigs in Westminster, Maryland. Both are available here.  Byrd's combo is booked for 10 shows this year, starting Saturday, November 20, at the Blackrock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland; and concluding Saturday, December 18, at the Carroll Art Center in Westminster, Maryland. Check his web site for details.

The Chris White Trio — White, piano; Sean Jacobi, bass; and Ryan Jacobi, drums — will kick off a busy schedule with a tribute to the music of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 24, at Winter's Jazz Club in Chicago, Illinois. Subsequent Charlie Brown Christmas tribute concerts will begin Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5, at Hey Nonny, also in Chicago. Details. Information about additional Charlie Brown Christmas concerts can be found at Chris' website.

The Steve Myerson Trio — Myerson, piano; Mike Boone, bass; and George Coleman Jr., drums — will present a Vince Guaraldi Holiday Special on Wednesday, November 24, at Shanghai Jazz in Madison, New Jersey. Details.

Doc Watkins and His Orchestra will present "Christmas in Jazz," featuring music from A Charlie Brown Christmas during 16 (!) live performances every Friday and Saturday, from November 26 through December 18, at JazzTX in San Antonio, Texas. Details. He'll also present Big Band Jazz arrangements of Guaraldi's iconic music on Thursday, December 16, at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, also in San Antonio. Details.

The Eric Mintel Quartet — Mintel, piano; Nelson Hill, sax; Jack Hegyi, bass; and Dave Mohn, drums — also has a busy schedule planned, beginning with Vince Guaraldi & The Holidays on Saturday, November 27, at Shanghai Jazz, Madison, New Jersey; and concluding on Monday, December 20, at Artefact, Furlong, Pennsylvania; with plenty of dates in between. Details at their website.


• UPDATE: The Cartoon Christmas Trio — Jeff Knoettner, piano; Rob Swanson, bass; Jimmy Coleman, drums — performs music from A Charlie Brown Christmas and tunes from other animated holiday shows, such as Frosty the Snowman and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (Their album is a kick; give it a listen.) They have a busy schedule, starting Wednesday, December 1, at Winterthur Estates and Gardens in Winterthur, Delaware, and concluding Wednesday, December 22, at The Pines, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Check their calendar for details.

UPDATE: The Mich Shirey Duo — Shirey, guitar; and Nick Fane, upright bass — will present Guitar for Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas Tribute on Wednesday, December 1, at the Whistler in Chicago, Illinois. Details.

• Popular jazz pianist David Benoit traditionally headlines a busy concert tour of his Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown each December; alas, his schedule was limited to just two performances last year. He's returning with a vengeance this year, with a 15-stop tour that begins Thursday, December 2, in Natick, Massachusetts; and concludes Thursday, December 23, in San Juan Capistrano, California; with stops along the way in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nebraska, Washington and more. Check his website for details.

• Pianist Keith Byrd and his Frynz combo will present a Charlie Brown Christmas concert on Thursday, December 2, at the Centennial Station Arts Center in High Point, North Carolina. Details.

The Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio — Pierson, piano; Shawn Nadeau, bass; and Davy Sturtevant, guitar, mandolin, dobro, fiddle, cornet — will begin an ambitious Charlie Brown Christmas tour on Friday, December 3, at the Bangor Arts Exchange in Bangor, Maine. Subsequent stops will includes venues in Vermont and New Hampshire, concluding on Saturday, December 18, at Atac: Downtown Arts + Music in Framingham, Massachusetts. Full details are available at her website calendar.

The Ed Croft Trio — Croft, bass; Jake Malone Brancato, piano; and Candice Simone Thomas, drums — will present a concert titled "Charlie Brown Is in Town" on Friday and Saturday, December 3 and 4, at the Pausa Art House in Buffalo, New York. Details. They'll follow this with another performance on Sunday, December 5, at the Seneca One Tower, also in Buffalo. Details.

UPDATE: The Donovan Johnson Band — Johnson, piano; Ed Archibald, sax/flute; Kevin Kerwin, guitar; Steve Gomez, bass; William Nanson, drums; and Kent Barnes, percussion — will be joined by vocalist Stephen Sheehan for The Music of Vince Guaraldi and Peanuts, on Saturday, December 4, at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, Omaha, Nebraska. Details.

The Ron LeGault Trio will present Charlie Brown Goes to the Nutcracker — Guaraldi's music from the holiday special, blended with jazz versions of music from the Nutcracker Ballet — on three consecutive Saturdays, December 4, 11 and 18, at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder, Colorado. Details.

The Joey Nardone Trio — Nardone, piano; Brian Allen, bass; and Chris Brown, drums — will present their sixth annual tribute to the music of Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 5, at City Winery Nashville, Nashville, Tennessee. Details.

The John Sherwood Trio — Sherwood, piano; Scott Alexander, bass; and Brian Barlow, drums — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 5, at the Empire Theatre, Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Details.

• UPDATE: The Mich Shirey Trio — Shirey, guitar; Nick Fane, upright bass; and Dave Brandwein, drums — will present Guitar for Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas Tribute on Sunday, December 5, at the Montrose Saloon in Chicago, Illinois. Details.

• Saxophonist Patrick Lamb and his Quartet — Dan Gaynor, piano; Dan Balmer, guitar; and Adam Carlson, drums — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Monday, December 6, at the Tower Theater in Bend, Oregon. Details.

UPDATE: The Ed Vezinho and Jim Ward Big Band — featuring some of Atlantic City's finest showroom musicians — will perform the score from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Monday, December 6, at the Stockton Studies in the Arts' Campus Center Theatre, in Galloway, New Jersey. Details.

The Peter Roberts Band will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on three consecutive Tuesdays — December 7, 14 and 21 — at Noce, Des Moines, Iowa. Details.

The Jim Martinez Jazz Quartet — Arlyn Anderson, guitar; Matt Robinson, bass; and Tim Metz, drums — and guest vocalist Lauren Ross will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 10, at the Fair Oaks Church in Fair Oaks, California. Details.

• The Stanford Jazz Workshop will host The Glen Pearson Trio — Pearson, piano; Ruth Davies, bass; and Lorca Hart, drums — in three performances of the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, Friday through Sunday, December 10-12, at the Campbell Recital Hall, Stanford, California. Details.

TT Mahony and Jeffrey Butzer will present their annual tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas for three nights — Friday through Sunday, December 10-12 — at The Earl, in Atlanta, Georgia. Details

The Cliff Habian Quartet — Habian, piano; Pete Cavano, guitar; Jeff Slater, bass; and Eric Everett, drums — will present A Tribute to the Music of Vince Guaraldi on Saturday, December 11, at The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, Ohio. Details.

UPDATE: The Vince Guaraldi Trio-bute — Alan Zemaitis, piano; Christopher Kettlewell, bass guitar; and Kyle Sullivan, drums — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, December 11, at The Dakota Tavern, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Details.

The Taurey Butler Trio — Butler, piano; Frédéric Alarie, bass; and Wali Muhammad, drums — will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, December 11, at Pierrefonds-Roxboro, in Montreal, Quebec. Details.

The Konrad Paszkudzki Trio, along with guest vocalist Olivia Chindamo, will celebrate the season with The Music of Vince Guaraldi on Sunday, December 12, at Saint Joseph's Arts Society, San Francisco, California. Details.

UPDATE: The Jim Connerley Trio — Connerley, piano; Eric Sayer, bass; and Ben Bratton, drums — will present their annual tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 12, at the Mansion Hill Sanctuary in Newport, Kentucky. Details.

The Michelle Schumann Trio — Schumann, piano; Utah Hamrick, bass; and David Sierra, drums — will be joined by special guests for a performance of Vince Guaraldi's music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 12, at the Paramount Theatre, Austin, Texas. Details.

The Jose "Juicy" Gonzales Trio — Gonzales, piano and vocals; Michael Marcus, bass; and Matt Jorgensen, drums — will present its 10th annual tribute to the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 12, at the Cornish Playhouse in Seattle, Washington. Details.

• UPDATE: The Mich Shirey Trio — Shirey, guitar; Nick Fane, upright bass; and Dave Brandwein, drums — will present Guitar for Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas Tribute on Monday, December 13, at the aptly named Café Mustache in Chicago, Illinois. Details.

• TT Mahony and Jeffrey Butzer will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas Tuesday, December 14, at MadLife Stage & Studios, Woodstock, Georgia. Details

The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra will present Vince Guaraldi's music during a special presentation of A Charlie Brown Christmas — narrated by Quinn Greene, and featuring vocalist Jayme Giesbrecht — on Wednesday, December 15, at the West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Details.

The Taurey Butler Trio — Butler, piano; Frédéric Alarie, bass; and Wali Muhammad, drums — will be joined by vocalist Marie-Christine Depestre for a performance the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, on Wednesday and Thursday, December 11-12, at Salle Bourgie in Montreal, Quebec. Details.

UPDATE: David Ellington's Peanut Gallery will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Tuesday through Thursday, December 14-16; Sunday, December 19; and Tuesday through Thursday, December 21-23; at Venkman's in Atlanta, Georgia. Details

The Michelle Schumann Trio — Schumann, piano; Utah Hamrick, bass; and David Sierra, drums — will present their annual concert of music from A Charlie Brown Christmas during afternoon and evening performances Thursday, December 16, at Stateside at the Paramount, in the Austin Chamber Music Center, Austin, Texas. A virtual option will be available for those unable to attend in person. Details.

• TT Mahony and Jeffrey Butzer will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas Thursday, December 16, at the 40 Watt Club, Athens, Georgia. Details

The Good Grief Trio — Greg Hankins, piano; Luca Lombardi, bass; and Seth Hendershot, drums — will be joined by the Peanuts Choir (SJ Ursrey, William Kissane, Matthew Lawing and Sarah Lawing) for a tribute to Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas Thursday through Saturday, December 16-18, at Hendershot's Coffee Bar in Athens, Georgia. Details.

The Joe Cool Trio — John Milham, drums; Chris Spies, piano; and Chris Severin, bass — will once again present their 12th annual Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas concert on Friday, December 17, at the Laurel Little Theatre in Laurel, Mississippi. Details.

• UPDATE: The Donovan Johnson Band — Johnson, piano; Ed Archibald, sax/flute; Kevin Kerwin, guitar; Steve Gomez, bass; William Nanson, drums; and Kent Barnes, percussion — will be joined by vocalist Stephen Sheehan for The Music of Vince Guaraldi and Peanuts, on Friday, December 17, at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, Omaha, Nebraska. Details.

The Jason Frederick Cinematic Trio — Frederick, piano; Scott Wheeler, double bass; and Dan Mullins, drums — will present The Music of Vince Guaraldi on Friday, December 17, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. Details.

The David Gleason Sextet — Gleason, piano; Chris Pasin, trumpet; Ben O'Shea, trombone; Brian Patneaude, sax; Michael Lawrence, bass; and Pete Sweeney, drums — will present It's a Jazzy Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday Music of Vince Guaraldi on Friday, December 17, at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, New York. Details.

The Adam Shulman Trio — Shulman, piano; John Wiitala, bass; and James Gallagher, drums — has performed the music from Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas at SFJazz Center's Miner Auditorium, San Francisco, for the past several years. Last year was solely virtual, but this year they're back to live and in person: Friday and Saturday, December 17-18. (The Friday evening performance also will be streamed, but only to SFJazz members.) Details.

UPDATE: The Ornaments — Jen Gunderman, piano; Martin Lynds, bass; and James Haggerty, drums — will be joined by numerous special guests for their 16th annual performance of music from A Charlie Brown Christmas Friday through Sunday, December 17-19, at The Wash at Eastside Bowl in Madison, Tennessee. Details.

The Jason Frederick Cinematic Trio —Frederick, piano; Scott Wheeler, double bass; and Dan Mullins, drums — will present a concert titled A Charlie Brown Christmas and the Music of Vince Guaraldi on Saturday, December 18, at the Colchester Arts Centre in Colchester, Essex, England. Details.

The Taurey Butler Trio — Butler, piano; Frédéric Alarie, bass; and Wali Muhammad, drums — will be joined by vocalist Marie-Christine Depestre for a performance the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, on Saturday, December 18, at Le Café culturel de la Chasse-galerie in Lavaltrie, Quebec. Details.

• The Joe Cool Trio — John Milham, drums; Chris Spies, piano; and Chris Severin, bass — will once again present their 12th annual Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas concert on Saturday, December 18, at the Saenger Theatre in Mobile, Alabama. Details.

• The Joe Cool Trio — John Milham, drums; Chris Spies, piano; and Chris Severin, bass — will once again present their 12th annual Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas concert on Sunday, December 19, at the Frog Pond in Silverhilll, Alabama. Details.

UPDATE: The Mahogany Hall Jazz Ensemble — Patrick Courtin, piano; Andrew Cullen, bass; James McRae, drums; and Simon Paterson, vocals — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, along with holiday classics by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and others, on Sunday, December 19, at Knox United Church, Parksville, British Columbia. Details.

The Jeremy Baum Quartet — Baum, piano; Chris Vitarello, guitar; Sue Williams, upright bass; and David Tedeschi, drums — will present Vince Guaraldi's music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Tuesday, December 21, at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York. (Note: This event is solely for guests spending the night.) Details.

Pianists Alex Guilbert and Chris McCarthy will be joined by other keyboardists for a celebration of the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Tuesday, December 21, at the Royal Room in Seattle, Washington. Details.

The Annie Booth Trio — Booth, pianist; Patrick McDevitt, bass; and Alejandro Castaño, drums — will present their annual Charlie Brown Christmas tribute concerts Tuesday through Friday, December 21-24 — with multiple performances each day — at Dazzle, in Denver, Colorado. Details.

The Jazz Troubadours — Tom Rickard, vibes; Guy Cantonwine, upright bass; and Steve Davis, drums — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Wednesday, December 22, at Evangeline's Bistro in St. Louis, Missouri. Details.

The Sean Mason Trio — Mason, piano; Butler Knowles, bass; and Malcolm Charles, drums — will be joined by vocalist Tyra Scott for a quartet of Charlie Brown Christmas concerts Wednesday and Thursday, December 22-23, at Middle C Jazz in Charlotte, North Carolina. Details

The Commercialists — Anthony Deutsch, piano; Clay Schaub, bass; and Patrick Morrow, drums — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas during a pair of concerts on Thursday, December 23, at the Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Details.

The Duck Soup Trio — Adam Bravo, piano; Anthony Shadduck, bass; and Sam Webster, drums — will present a tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas and the music of Vince Guaraldi on Thursday, December 23, at Campus Jax in Newport Beach, California. Details.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Yet more vinyl madness: It's a strike!

We
ve come to expect numerous vinyl variants of A Charlie Brown Christmas at this time of the year -- see this earlier post -- but this comes as a surprise.

Turntable Lab has just entered the fray, with a special-edition pressing of A Boy Named Charlie Brown on yellow wax, along with record mats, tote bags and T-shirts, all available in multiple colors. This new Peanuts collection is available to pre-order now at TurntableLab.com, and due out December 8.
 
This vinyl reissue of the classic 1964 soundtrack is being released in partnership with Craft Recordings. The album is newly remastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. The exclusive yellow vinyl variant comes with a custom obi-strip, and includes eight collectible baseball cards that showcase Charlie Brown’s team of misfits: Snoopy, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, Linus and Lucy Van Pelt, Franklin Armstrong, Schroeder, and, of course, manager and pitcher, Charlie Brown. The back of each card includes key stats for each player, including field position and favorite sandwich.

The collection’s premium reversible Peanuts Comic Strip Record Slipmat is available in blue, green, and grey. The Peanuts Record Shopping Tote is available in black and natural, and the 100% cotton Peanuts Record Shopping Shirt is available in black, royal blue and gold. The 10 oz cotton canvas tote features silkscreened graphics on both sides and comfortably holds about 30 records. TTL offers the album on its own, or bundled with the Peanuts tote.

I
ll let Turntable Lab co-owner Peter Hahn have the final words:

“As a lifelong Peanuts fan, this collaboration was a dream come true. First and foremost, I wanted to get the ‘Buying Records Cheers Me Up’ panel onto quality, well-printed shirts. That image always spoke to me. For the slipmat design, we were able to dig through the Peanuts archive to find our favorite music- and record collecting-themed strips. We laid them out simply so you could almost read it like a comic book, in between the time you change records. We’ve been using these for a while now, and we’re continually finding new nuances in Charles Schulz’s work.”

I suspect this LP and its accessories will find their way under numerous Charlie Brown Christmas trees this holiday season...