It’s pretty strange for a 50-year-old cartoon to still resonate today, much less one that prominently features a jazz soundtrack. But for a lot of people, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a holiday highlight precisely because of its low-key demeanor. When so much of the season is a loud, manic rush, Charlie Brown is quiet and complex. It’s a dark story, but the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s classic score provides some understated warmth.
A Charlie Brown Christmas turns fifty this year, and last week Michelle Schumann stopped by Studio 1A to celebrate. Schumann is the artistic director of the Austin Chamber Music Center and an acclaimed solo pianist. She’s classically-trained, but alongside bassist Utah Hamrick and drummer Dave Sierra, she perfectly captured the original beauty of Vince Guaraldi’s timeless melodies. Download “Christmastime Is Here” below.