Mary Ellen Desmond | Comfort & Joy

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Holiday: Jazz Moods: Mood: Seasonal
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Comfort & Joy

by Mary Ellen Desmond

This eclectic collection of unique seasonal compositions and Christmas standards is sung with sincerity and taste accompanied by an exceptional, swinging quartet that will make your holidays sparkle.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Better Than Anything
3:15 $0.99
2. Snowed in With You
4:25 $0.99
3. Warm in December
3:28 $0.99
4. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
5:54 $0.99
5. River
3:59 $0.99
6. White Christmas
4:54 $0.99
7. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve
5:32 $0.99
8. When Winter Comes
3:54 $0.99
9. Perhaps This Wintertime
7:13 $0.99
10. Winter Wonderland
4:54 $0.99
11. Little Jack Frost, Get Lost
3:11 $0.99
12. My Christmas Song For You
5:30 $0.99
13. Throw it Away
7:01 $0.99
14. I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
4:48 $0.99
15. You Must Believe in Spring
4:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Every December, an ensemble of the Philly area's finest jazz musicians gather at the Church of St. Luke & The Epiphany in Philadelphia, and preside over a jazz concert aptly titled Comfort & Joy. Such 'joyful noise' is indeed a fitting addition to the holiday season." Bob Perkins, Radio Host, WRTI 90.1 FM Philadelphia


Hi, vocalist Mary Ellen Desmond here. I am very happy to announce that the 'joyful noise' Bob Perkins refers to has become this CD recording. I created the Comfort & Joy Concert 9 years ago to benefit the St. Luke's Hospitality Center - an outreach ministry of the church, offering services to lives affected by AIDS / HIV. Over the years of performing this concert I've received many requests to record the seasonal favorites that have been delighting its audiences. I have, along with the wonderful musicians that have accompanied me each December for the concert, fulfilled those requests. Here is a CD you can enjoy and share with friends and family this holiday season. "The emphasis is on swinging jazz, not holiday flutter", as Vic Schermer, contributing writer to points out.

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT - If you are unfamiliar with me, here’s a little background - I have been performing professionally for over twenty years. I am classically trained as a vocalist with my primary focus in the jazz repertoire. I have a Bachelors Degree in Music and teach voice at Philadelphia University of the Arts and Community College of Philadelphia. I perform regularly in the Philadelphia / NJ area at clubs, restaurants, churches, concerts, and private functions, accepting occasional invitations to perform in Japan. My debut CD recording Darn That Dream, was chosen as a Top Ten Critics Pick in Cadence Magazine.

I could not have made this CD as wonderful as it is without the help of my accompanying musicians:

• Larry McKenna (tenor saxophone) has performed as a soloist with many jazz greats - Clark Terry, John Faddis, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Mel Torme. He toured with Woody Herman's Orchestra. He has taught at Temple University, Philadelphia University of the Arts, West Chester University, and Community College of Philadelphia. He is a composer and arranger with several recordings as leader to his name.

• Tom Lawton (piano) has been on the music scene for nearly forty years as a performer and a composer. He teaches at Temple University, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and Bucks County Community College, PA. He is the recipient of two composition grants and has performed at festivals in Switzerland, Norway, Finland, and Italy.

• Lee Smith (bass) is in great demand as a performer in all genres of music. Self taught on electric and upright bass he also has credits as a producer, composer, and arranger. He has toured internationally and worked for five years with legendary Afro-Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria. He has worked with numerous jazz greats including Lionel Hampton, Cedar Walton, and Dizzy Gillespie. He is the proud father of bass great Christian McBride.

• Dan Monaghan (drums) has a Bachelors of Music in jazz studies from Temple University. Prior to earning that degree he studied classical percussion for eight years. He has worked with some of the top names in jazz including Eric Alexander, Randy Brecker, and Uri Caine. He teaches on the faculty at Temple University and Widener University. Dan has performed at many festivals and venues - the Mellon Jazz Festival, the East Coast Jazz Festival, the Blue Note, and Blues Alley to name a few.

more about the St. Luke's Hospitality Center

Over the past several decades AIDS has claimed many lives, and changed many lives forever. The St. Luke's Hospitality Center is an outreach ministry of the Church of St. Luke & The Epiphany. Established in 1989 its mission is to create and sustain supportive communities that are loving, caring, open, hospitable, and respectful of persons affected by AIDS / HIV. The Center offers educational, occupational, and recovery opportunities. Spiritual support services are offered to the newly diagnosed, for +/- couples, daily living issues, hospitalizations, and death & dying. It provides low cost meeting space for Philadelphia groups such as Philly FIGHT and Act Up. It started the first support group for HIV + women in Philadelphia. It received the 1994 National Episcopal AIDS Coalition Award for Outstanding Leadership & Ministry in Response to the AIDS Pandemic. The Center collaborates with other religious organizations, social workers, & hospitals in response to the needs of its clients.
Each year the Comfort & Joy Concert proceeds go directly to the Hospitality Center.
I am grateful to the community of folks at the Church of St. Luke & The Epiphany in Philadelphia, PA for their support and for giving me a "home" for the concert and the opportunity to perform it there every December.

"Mary Ellen Desmond, a swinging stylist who is simply a joy to hear". Bruce Klauber, Jazztimes.



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