NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA-- At times it can be hard to tell the seasons here in New Orleans. The weather's mood swings can threaten any twinkling of holiday cheer.
As the Christmas lights shine brightly over the Vieux Carré and fires glow under the skillets of roux and seasoning, many holiday playlists are bringing in the season right. Quite frankly, nothing says Christmas quite like Nat King Cole.
Right before Christmas David L. Harris will bring you the spirit of Nat King Cole.
David L. Harris is a multi-talented trombone player and vocalist who is a music ambassador, bringing New Orleans' music across the globe when he is on tour. His debut album entitled, "The Blues I felt," made waves... or at least sound waves!
David is a Nat Cole aficionado and describes Nat's voice as "very angelic. It sounds so crisp, so clean, so intentional, so dignified. He has an ability to sing any song about anything and make everybody love it."
The swinging David L. Harris, will channel the spirit of Nat for a special holiday concert at the Preservation Hall on December, 22nd. It is a celebration, reflecting the essence of Nathaniel Adams Cole.
David says, the idea of performing a concert centered around Nat's artistry was a no brainer.
"I started singing a song entitled, "When I Grow Too Old to Dream" and said to myself, who else sings this song? I came across Nat King Cole and then I hear his recording and explore the other songs that he did. I check out his life and start to admire him and think that it is a good idea to honor him," says David.
Indeed there is much to admire, when looking at Nat King Coles life.
Nat King Cole rarely ventured into the south after being assaulted on stage at a Birmingham concert in 1956. He, like the many other black artists at that time, had talents that were admired, but a skin color that was not. However, Nat did receive a little love from the southern city of New Orleans.
Regal beer in New Orleans, Louisiana, was one of a few regional sponsors for the first network television program hosted by an African American. The Nat King Cole show was cancelled after just one year, but it opened the door to television-hosting for blacks.
The show’s cancellation didn't keep Nat down. He continued to shine over the years. In 1961 he recorded his definitive rendition of "the Christmas Song,” which survives as one of the most popular holiday songs in history.
David L. Harris says, while looking at a Nat video performance on YouTube, "I've never seen him make a frown, or anything like that. He just looks like this happy man anytime he sings. No matter how much stuff was going on at that time, which was a lot. He dealt with so many things. Every time I see him perform, I find one exuberant emotion....joy."
To catch a taste of Nat King Cole and experience the artistry of David L. Harris, you can go to Preservation Jazz Hall Saturday, December 22, at 12:30 pm. The show's title is: David L. Harris presents a Nat King Cole "Halliday."
You can purchase tickets click HERE.