For me, it was always crucial that “A Holiday Benefit” be more than just a compilation album. “A Very Special Christmas” (one of our original inspirations) did that well enough; we wanted to do more.
It was Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” that set the bar. Phil Collins, George Michael, Bono, Simon LeBon, Sting and Ultravox in one room!?! Yup, on November 29, 1984. I was thirteen-years-old. And as I sat there in my skinny, piano tie staring at The MTV, I wanted in on the laughter, the tomfoolery, and the cool.
Twenty-three years later, Chris Abad and I launched our first “A Holiday Benefit,” our own hyper-local version of all the above (sans piano tie).
Six weeks ago, we gathered a new crew together to record this year’s single, “Christmas All Over Again” with friends new and old: Misty Boyce, Bryan Dunn, Charlotte Sometimes, Rachel Platten, Dave Pittenger, Kelli Rae Powell, Zach & Sarah, and Wes Hutchinson, Tony Maceli and Ryan Vaughn.
Sure, the music was outstanding. Moreover, though, we were building community one note, one laugh, and one ill-conceived dance step at a time. All of which was aptly captured by director Kathy Kim, and edited with skill, levity and wit by Danielle Owen-Reid. It’s a fun song, and a fun music video. Do have a look.
Of course, “A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4” will be released Thursday, December 16 at Rockwood Music Hall Stage II. Tickets for the event — which will include individual and group performances, plus a silent auction — will be $8 in advance, and $10 at the door. Pre-order your “A Holiday Benefit, Vol. 4” tickets now!
All proceeds will be donated to 826NYC (nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills). Taken together, CD sales, downloads, events and silent auctions have driven nearly $10,000 since the project’s inception.