Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas with the Jerry Granelli Trio

Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas with the Jerry Granelli Trio

Tuesday, December 19 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $35

About the show:

It was fifty-one years ago, 1965; drummer Jerry Granelli, the newest member of the Vince Guaraldi Trio, with Fred Marshall on bass went into a San Francisco studio one afternoon. In just a three-hour session they recorded the soundtrack for a scrappy little animated Christmas special featuring the Peanuts gang. The trio had never even seen any of the artwork. No one knew that this would become the iconic soundtrack to the classic The Charlie Brown Christmas. They were in and out of the studio in a flash, quickly packing up their instruments— for another gig that night. Jerry was happy to have made an extra $100.00 that day (the only money he would see from that session.) The rest, as the say—is history. In a strange twist of fate a disorganized FANTASY Records front office released the soundtrack making a clerical error and left Jerry Granelli off the album credits for decades- now corrected. Sadly Jerry Granelli is the only surviving member of the Vince Guaraldi Trio line-up that made that fateful, gateway-to-jazz recording in 1965. Soon after that recording came out and the Christmas special started getting some attention Jerry left the Trio to pursue his passion for a more experimental, free form approach to music. He became and continues to be hailed as a world-class improviser and teacher of Jazz and music creation. He also continues to create: his latest ensemble just released a new recording- What I hear Now(ADDO).

Jerry has always look forward always pushing the music forward. This all changed three years ago. It was the summer and on a beach in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia: an encounter with a grandfather and his grand kids. There was an effusion of emotions about family and the generations that had come up loving the Charlie Brown soundtrack, how he held it so dear to him was “important” and “thank you”. Things suddenly became clear- the music had to be performed again, like they used to perform it when it was first written. Time travel. It was time to touch a new generation of souls. He gathered together a new trio: Simon Fisk on bass, Chris Gestrin on piano; spoke with the people at the Charles Schultz museum to ok the production and contacted a couple of promoters to see if they might be interested in his vision. They were. The shows have all sold out. There was no turning back. Grandparents and parents alike bring a new generation to this music, to jazz.

Jerry stands on stage and tells the story of how it, all of it, almost never happened. Somehow disaster was averted at every turn and the magic of the music, of Charlie Brown, of Vince Guaraldi, persevered. It is, today, undeniably a classic, a part of the canon. This may be a look back but the music remains king—to play it and to hear it live, living and breathing. There is no question that almost no one has had the opportunity to hear this music played the way The Vince Guaraldi Trio used to play it late into the San Francisco nights. So with this show what is already part of our seasonal aural DNA is jettisoned to a whole new emotional level live and personal. Jerry Granelli and his trio spend ninety minutes drawing from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special soundtrack, and sharing the stage with a local children’s choir. There are some stories, lots of music and a wave of Christmas spirit, and even tears of joy.