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Event Archive - Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas

Sat. December 10th 2016 Oak Bay High Theatre (All Ages)
8:00 - 10:00 doors at 7:30
$35 advance/VJS members/students | $39 at the door
Presented by: Victoria Jazz Society
A beloved Christmas classic is coming to Victoria. The year was 1965, when drummer Jerry Granelli, the newest member of pianist Vince Guaraldi’s trio, with Fred Marshall on bass, went into a San Francisco studio. In just a three-hour session they recorded the soundtrack for a scrappy animated Christmas special featuring the Peanuts gang.

Jerry Granelli grew up as the city’s jazz scene was sprouting its wings, sneaking out to clubs and learning to play drums from Dave Brubeck percussionist Joe Morello. In the early ’60s, Granelli auditioned for the coveted spot as Vince Guaraldi’s drummer, and the Vince Guaraldi Trio was formed. Barely into his twenties, it was Granelli’s first jazz job.

The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s contemporary jazz soundtrack was an advanced accompaniment to children’s programming at the time, with songs like “Linus and Lucy” and “Christmas Time is Here” not only becoming classics, but serving as many children’s first experience with jazz. Oddly enough, the trio had no idea that this gig would become their most iconic. They’d never seen any of the artwork. They were in and out of the studio in a flash, recording only two or three takes per song. No one knew that this would become the classic soundtrack for ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’.

As the only surviving member of the original group, Granelli, along with his trio, is recreating the magic of the cherished holiday classic. After decades refusing to perform songs from soundtrack, Granelli had a change of heart. Three years ago, things became clear - the music had to be performed again. He gathered together his current trio: Simon Fisk on bass and Chris Gestrin on piano, and suddenly, the shows were selling out. Together with the Victoria Children's Choir, the band brings the spirit of Christmas to life through stunning music and enchanting holiday tales.

Jerry Granelli appears on stage, telling the story of how it almost never happened; how the magic of the music, of Charlie Brown, of Vince Guaraldi, was preserved; how it stands, today, as a classic. ‘Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas’ is a look into the past. As we take a stroll down memory lane, the music remains the focus—to play it and to hear it live, living and breathing. Jerry Granelli and his trio will spend ninety minutes drawing from the ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ soundtrack, sharing the stage with The Victoria Children’s Choir. There will be charming stories, lots of fantastic music and a flood of Christmas spirit.


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