Hear more songs from Barry Harris' performance at the Jazz Piano Christmas concert:
I'll Be Home for Christmas
Margot I. Schulman
This year, an NPR holiday music tradition is a night with the masters.
The 18th annual A Jazz Piano Christmas, recorded live at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., features three great pianists who have each been shaping the sound of jazz for more than half a century. Dr. Billy Taylor, Hank Jones and Barry Harris spin their original solo takes on the holiday songbook.
The legends share the stage with two younger artists who are helping to keep jazz moving forward in the 21st century. Keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco, usually heard behind the Hammond B-3 organ, performs a special set of holiday tunes on the piano. And the highly acclaimed vocalist Roberta Gambarini makes an unannounced appearance to perform with Hank Jones.
This year's celebration also takes time to remember another talented composer and pianist we lost this year. Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004, Andrew Hill said that dealing with the disease opened him up to the beauty of life. The program opens with his version of "The Little Drummer Boy," performed on A Jazz Piano Christmas XIII in 2002.
Felix Contreras hosts NPR's swing celebration of Christmas music.
- "The Little Drummer Boy" — Andrew Hill (from A Jazz Piano Christmas XIII)
- "Merry Christmas" — Billy Taylor
- "The Christmas Song" — Billy Taylor
- "Winter Wonderland" — Joey DeFrancesco
- "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" — Joey DeFrancesco
- "White Christmas" — Barry Harris
- "We Three Kings" — Hank Jones
- "Good King Wenceslas" - Hank Jones
- "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" — Hank Jones & Roberta Gambarini
- "Silent Night" — Hank Jones & Roberta Gambarini
- "Jingle Bells" — All Artists (Taylor, DeFrancesco, Harris, Jones, Gambarini)