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Christmas music is ‘eternal, almost like prayers’: Raymond Arroyo’s new project highlights cherished favorites

Christmas music is 'eternal, almost like prayers': Raymond Arroyo's new project highlights cherished favorites




A new Christmas album from Raymond Arroyo called « Christmas Merry & Bright » has already hit Billboard’s Jazz and Christmas charts. The collection of traditional Christmas carols and modern favorites is arranged in a classic Big Band setting. Arroyo is a bestselling author, Fox News contributor and singer who’s soon starting a tour to begin spreading some Christmas cheer for the holiday season. José Feliciano, who appears on the album, is joining him for a couple of performance, as is Frankie Avalon — as well as some « great surprise guests. » « I love Christmas music. I listen to it year ’round, » Arroyo told Fox News Digital in an interview as he was preparing for his tour to select cities. AT CHRISTMAS, THE WISE MEN TAUGHT RAYMOND ARROYO, ‘KEEP YOUR GAZE ABOVE THE HORIZON’ « And it’s eternal music, almost like prayers. Your great-grandfather sang these songs, your grandparents sang them, your parents sang them, you’re singing them, and your children will be singing them. There’s no other genre of music like that. » Arroyo, who appears regularly on « The Ingraham Angle, » said he wanted « to look anew at the songs we take for granted, and study the lyrics, study the music, study the origins of them. And that’s what I did. I went back and pulled my 50 favorite Christmas songs. » And then « I found out who wrote them, when did they write them, what was the context — and why did they write them, » he said. « I did it for one reason: I wanted to be able to answer the question, ‘What new angle are you going to bring to Christmas songs and a new Christmas album?’ And I thought, ‘Let’s see if we’ve missed anything along the way.' » Turns out, he said, « we missed a lot. » « Raymond Arroyo Christmas Merry & Bright » features arrangements by Kevin Kaska (« The Greatest Showman, » « Jungle Book, » « The Lion King ») and was recorded by multi-Grammy Award-winning producer Brad Michel. « Kevin’s background is in Big Band music and orchestrations — he’s incredibly accomplished at musical arrangements, and he agreed to work on 12 with me. The background for all of this is really the context of this music and these songs. » On the album, Arroyo is backed by the jazz supergroup The NOLA Players (« Christmastime in New Orleans »). « What we’ve done with these cherished songs is restore them, in our minds, to their original intention, » said Arroyo. « There’s a dynamism and excitement and an explosive joy about the coming of Christ — and each year that is renewed. So we’ve captured that spirit, that drama — and we were able to bring all of that to people with these arrangements. » And it « shaped my vocal performance as well. » Included on the album are such favorite songs as « I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day » and « Joy to the World » — plus a never-before heard orchestration of « The First Noel / We Magi of Orient Are. » The album is already No. 1 in Amazon’s « Vocal Jazz » category for CDs and vinyl. The tour includes stops in Dallas, Tampa, Cleveland and Nashville. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER Arroyo is also the author of the recently published « The Magnificent Mischief of Tad Lincoln » — about a holiday tradition to remember. It’s the second book in his « Turnabout Tales » series of illustrated books for families. Anyone wishing to learn more about the new album can visit Raymond Arroyo Christmas. For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.



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Publish date : 2023-11-25 15:11:22

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