Entitled "The Hope of Christmas," the recording will be available on the MCG Jazz record label. Marty Ashby produces.
The original songs all feature lyrics by two-time Emmy Award winner William Schermerhorn, and Callaway is backed by 29 jazz musicians, including Five Play, New York Voices, Hubert Laws, Claudio Roditi, Gerald Albright, The Ted Rosenthal Trio and more. Composers for the 12 songs are Callaway, Milton Delugg, Mary Ehlinger, Michael Feinstein, Stephen Fox, Matthew Sklar and Wesley Whatley.
All proceeds go directly to support the MCG Jazz program and its mission to preserve, present and promote jazz.
“Christmas music, in all its styles, touches the heart like no other music I know,” said Schermerhorn in a statement. “For over two decades, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to tell new Christmas stories for a wide variety of events through the lyrics of my songs. It’s a gift to now hear these songs interpreted by Ann Hampton Callaway and the extraordinary jazz musicians that Marty Ashby has assembled for this recording. Knowing that proceeds from the sale of this recording benefit MCG Jazz to carry out its mission is like having extra tinsel to make the holiday season shine even brighter.”
Callaway added, “Singing and composing music for this collection of Bill Schermerhorn’s new holiday songs has been a joy and an honor. Since music has the power to open hearts and unite us, may the spirit of this record inspire each listening heart to bring more love to each day, so that the season of love can last all year round!” The complete track listing follows:
1. ON UNION STREET (Wesley Whatley, music)
2. THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS (Ann Hampton Callaway, music)
3. ONE STAR (Stephen Fox, music)
4. DISCOVERY (Wesley Whatley, music)
5. I BELIEVE (Wesley Whatley, music)
6. I SAW A SPARROW (Matthew Sklar, music)
7. SANTA DOESN’T LIKE ME (Matthew Sklar, music)
8. CHRISTMAS ISN’T CHRISTMAS AT ALL (Milton Delugg, music)
9. I WANT TO PLAY SANTA (Wesley Whatley, music)
10. WHAT GOOD IS BEING CRANKY (WHEN IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME) (Mary Ehlinger, music)
11. MY GIFT OF THANKS (Michael Feinstein, music)
12. FLY WITH THE ANGELS (Ann Hampton Callaway, music)
To order the album, visit the MCG Jazz website.