Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas with Vanessa Williams, filmed in front of a small, socially distanced audience at the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C., premieres December 15 at 8 PM ET on PBS, PBS.org, and the PBS Video App.
Featuring the American Pops Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Luke Frazier, this new take on the late Fitzgerald's classic holiday album, Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas, includes performances by Tony nominees Vanessa Williams and Norm Lewis, Tony winner Dee Dee Bridgewater, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Morgan James, and Nova Y. Payton. Williams also hosts.
The 1960 album is performed in its entirety, including “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “Winter Wonderland.”
“To me, it feels more important than ever that we embrace the things that take us back to a simpler time—a time of celebrating the holidays with a sense of nostalgia,” said American Pops Orchestra Founder and Music Director Frazier in a recent statement. “This extraordinary holiday album has been the soundtrack for so many of us for more than four decades. To share Ella’s iconic music interpreted by a new generation of extraordinary singers is a gift to us all.”
Vanessa Williams, Carolee Carmello, and Judy Kuhn in Hey, Look Me Over! at City Center Encores!
(Updated December 15, 2020)