In what’s become the ideal jazz holiday tradition, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, is delighted to present Charlie Brown’s original drummer, Jerry Granelli on Thursday, Dec. 5, 7pm at Dominion-Chalmers United Church (355 Cooper St., corner of O’Connor and Lisgar).
Passing on his vast musical insights and Charlie Brown knowledge to a new generation, Granelli and his band (prominent jazz artists Simon Fisk on bass and Chris Gestrin on piano) will work with Ottawa’s The Cross Town Youth Chorus to perform some of the musical numbers.
For more than 50 years, the Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas has entertained generations of fans in what Rolling Stone lists as one of the top ten most essential Christmas albums of all time.
Jerry Granelli is one third of the fabled San Francisco-based Vince Guaraldi Trio that recorded the original album back in 1965. Part oral history, part concert and part screening, as the only remaining member of the famed trio, Granelli regales audiences with stories and insights into the auspicious recording, providing a unique insider’s perspective for families, Peanuts and jazz music aficionados alike.
Guaraldi’s triple-platinum soundtrack was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007 and is among the most widely-heard albums in all of jazz. The track “Linus and Lucy” is one of the most recognizable pieces of music of the 20th century.
But did you know the initial project faced so many challenges in the early planning stages that it’s truly a miracle this iconic production was ever made?
A Charlie Brown Christmas Fun Facts
- a Charlie Brown Christmas first aired at 7:30 p.m. ET on December 9, 1965
- initially CBS thought the final version would be a flop
- CBS executives didn’t think jazz belonged in a cartoon
- they didn’t want kids doing the voices
- they thought Charlie Brown would have one airing and shelved for perpetuity
What saved A Charlie Brown Christmas?
- Coca-Cola sponsored the program
- it was already listed in TV guides
- half of American TV viewers tuned in to watch Charlie Brown with outstanding reviews
- Washington Post TV critic Lawrence Laurent wrote, “Good old Charlie Brown, a natural born loser … finally turned up a winner.”