The holiday concert starts at 8 p.m. and includes a night of your favorite Christmas music plus some originals from the new CD, "A King Family Christmas." All proceeds from the Christmas album will benefit different groups in the Big Easy.
A King cause
Producer and musician V.D. King has called Jersey City home since 1984. For almost as long, King has wanted to do a Christmas album.
"We always wanted to do a Christmas project," said King. "We talked about it for so long. We decided that if we did, it should be a gift."
It didn't take long to decide that the charity fundraiser should benefit their fellow jazz musicians in New Orleans who were devastated by the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
According to King, there is still a problem there. Many musicians had to relocate to other areas. The proceeds from the CD will be split between two existing groups, the Jazz Foundation and Music Rising.
The King family
Once the charity was decided, King reached out to fellow jazz musicians to lend a hand, an ear, or a guitar on the album for free.
"I asked all of the musicians I know," said King. "I was pleasantly surprised. Not only were they interested, but they all went above and beyond."
Many of the musicians who perform on the album live in Hudson County like local favorites Christine Santelli, Larry Cappoli, and King's band Better Off Dead and almost all of the musicians have performed at one time or another at Scotland Yard. Other performers include: Big Ed Sullivan (host of Scotland Yard's Blues Jam), Kevin Kiley, Jerry Scaringe, Dave Gross & Sean Daly, Galea & Popa Chubby, Karin Serafin & Arthur Neilson, Mike Frensley, Joe Tanio, the Slippery Chickens and others.
"My favorite part was everyone's commitment to making this happen," said King. "Everyone was just great! There were no egos. People juggled their schedules."
According to King, the musicians were told to pick their favorite Christmas song or they could write their own. "Everybody picked their song," said King. "There was no overlap."
The album was recorded on two hot days in August in the studio and to a slightly perplexed crowd at Scotland Yard, who wondered if Christmas had come early.
"It was a little weird at first," said King, "but people really got into it."
The CD, "A King Family Christmas," features 14 different songs performed by a talented group of artists. The album is a refreshing break from the canned music of Christmas past. These are swinging, jazzy Christmas standards that will get your feet jumping and your heart pumping.
Local Christine Santelli penned her original song "Christmastime," which is a groovy, happy song.
"She's just so wonderfully generous and talented," said King. "She's a great singer/songwriter and really worked to make the whole thing happen."
Husband and wife team Popa Chubby and Galea perform a high octane version of "Blue Christmas." "[Chubby] is the biggest artist on the CD in many ways," said King. "It was a real pleasure and honor to have them."
According to King, people who come to the concert or buy the CD will be pleased to hear "Downtown Larry" from JC, who plays "Winter Wonderland."
"Everybody knows Larry [Cappoli]," said King. "Everybody loves Larry and it's great to have him on the record because he is a kickass guitar player."
Big Ed Sullivan sings a soulful rendition of "Merry Christmas Baby."
In addition to producing the album, King has two originals on the CD with his band Better Off Dead, "All I Got for Christmas Was Drunk" and "Alcoholiday."
The album includes other holiday favorites like "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," which was performed by Karan Serafin and Arthur Neilson, "White Christmas" (Kevin Kiley), and "The Little Drummer Boy" (Joe Taino).
Many of the musicians on the album will perform their songs live at the charity concert on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. at Scotland Yard. There is no admission for the all-night concert, but it is suggested that guests buy the CD "A King Family Christmas" to support the displaced musicians from New Orleans.
If you can't make it to the concert, the CD can also be purchased locally at Scotland Yard and at Tunes or from CDbaby.com: http://cdbaby.com/cd/kingfamchristmas. For more information about the artists, visit: www.garagelandrecords.com.
The King Family Christmas is on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. at Scotland Yard, 72 Hudson St. in Hoboken. For more information, call (201) 222-9273.