The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces Grammy Award®–winning singer-songwriter Gregory Porter—who today announced the release of his first-ever holiday album, Christmas Wish—will play a special concert at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2023, at 8 p.m.
The concert will feature Porter’s longtime pianist Chip Crawford on piano, Emmanuel Harrold on drums and percussion, Gregoire Maret on harmonica, Jahmal Nichols on bass, Ondre Pivec on Hammond organ, Tivon Pennicott on flute, soprano saxophone, and tenor saxphone.
Christmas Wish is a loving tribute to Porter’s favorite time of year—and to great songwriters, singers, and interpreters including Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Dinah Washington, and Nat King Cole. In addition to this list of world class names, Porter himself has added to the Christmas songbook with three original tracks, soon to be favorites for the festive season, including the first single “Everything’s Not Lost” which is out now.
Backed by his long-time band and produced by repeat collaborator Troy Miller, the album features inspired interpretations of carols, standards, and soulful sixties deep-cuts including “Silent Night,” “Little Drummer Boy,” Marvin Gaye’s “Purple Snowflakes,” Stevie Wonder’s “Someday At Christmas,” and Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?,” which features a special guest appearance by Grammy®–winning vocalist Samara Joy.
The theme of sharing and caring at Christmas, and the sense of renewal and revival that comes when the year draws to a close, is all here in Porter’s most personal contribution – his trio of new, self-penned songs, “Christmas Wish,” “Heart For Christmas,” and “Everything’s Not Lost,” an elegant piano ballad that is Porter’s persuasive plea to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. “I’m always thinking of balance” he explains. “That has been instilled in me and it keeps coming up in a lot of my music. At your highest, at your greatest, at your most pleasant time, don’t forget about other people who are suffering.”
The album, which also includes orchestral contributions from the Kingdom Orchestra, was recorded between Sear Sound Studio in New York City and London’s Crossways Studio and Abbey Road Studios.