STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Eric Mintel recalled taking the stage at the Kennedy Center before a crowd with some grumpy VIPs during Washington DC’s 2001 Cherry Blossom Festival.
“On one side was the Japanese delegates, and on the other side was the American delegates. No one was really smiling that much,” the jazz pianist said.
According to the Morrisville resident, that noticeably changed by the end of the concert. “There is a real power in this music,” Mintel said.
So imagine what could happen in Phoenixville, Allentown, Havertown, Lansdale and Doylestown as the Eric Mintel Quartet presents songs from the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack.
“It’s family oriented, which I really love,” he said of the performances scheduled Dec. 15, 16, 18, 19 and 21.
Adding some Christmas spice to the quartet’s interpretation of Guaraldi’s familiar sounds of the season will be the contributions of alto saxophonist Nelson Hill, as well as improvisation on Guaraldi’s melodies. “The audience doesn’t know what’s gonna happen next. That’s the beauty of jazz,” Mintel said.
Of “Linus and Lucy” — which is actually more prevalent in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” than it is “A Charlie Brown Christmas” — Mintel said: “It’s a feel-good piece … but we add more rhythms in it.”
The shows will also feature selections from Mintel’s “Silent Night” album, which finds its way onto Sirius XM every holiday season.
What Mintel strives for is for someone to have an “I never really liked jazz, but I like your music” moment.
IF YOU GO
What: Eric Mintel Quartet’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas & More.”
Where: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 upstairs at Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown; 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Union United Methodist Church, 200 Brookline Ave., Havertown; 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Penndale Middle School, 400 Penn St., Lansdale; 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at Puck Live, 1 Printer’s Alley, Doylestown.