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David Benoit/Charlie Brown Christmas recap December 20, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Weather.

For my recap of David Benoit’s show at Tarrytown Music Hall in May 2010, click here.

When I woke up on Thursday, I had no idea that there was any wintry precipitation on the way.  But a weather alert from my The Weather Channel Desktop Max software noted we were under a Winter Storm Watch with potential snow accumulations of six inches or more yesterday (Friday).  This brought a fear to my mind that David Benoit’s Charlie Brown Christmas concert at IMAC in Huntington – a concert I had been looking forward to for six months – would be canceled.

Later in the day, I learned from News 12 Traffic & Weather that we (Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island) were only under a Winter Weather Advisory and accumulations of only two to four inches were expected with snow changing to sleet and rain by afternoon.

As Friday afternoon began, it was still snowing and there was plenty of accumulation, or so it felt.  It also felt like the snow was unstoppable.  At 3:00, I went outside to shovel the snow in our (my family’s) driveway.  At first, snow and sleet fell, then only sleet, and finally rain.  One hour later, I went inside to grab my digital camera.  Then, I went back outside, where the sleet had returned and picked up in intensity.  I attached the camera to my mini-tripod, rested it on a chair in the front porch, and took a few self-timed pictures.  This was the best one (despite the visible wet spots on my khakis):

Three hours later, having not received a cancellation e-mail, me and my mom – who had never been to a David Benoit concert – braved horrendous driving conditions, especially on the Long Island Expressway (I-495; L.I.E.), in the rain and sleet, and headed up to IMAC for the concert.

David Benoit and his quartet miraculously arrived at LaGuardia Airport from Reagan National (they were in Washington, D.C. on Thursday) before the worst of the storm hit.

With that preliminary information out of the way, let the recap begin.

The David Benoit Quartet was comprised of David Benoit on piano:

David Hughes on acoustic bass…

…and electric bass:

Jamey Tate on drums:

And Andy Suzuki on saxophone…

…and flute:


1. You’re In Love, Charlie Brown

2. The Buggy Ride

David speaking to the audience…

…and introducing the band after The Buggy Ride:

3. The Great Pumpkin Waltz

4. Wild Kids
The last two minutes featured a call and response between David B. and Andy.
Starting here, David H. was on electric bass for the rest of the set.

5. Human Nature

6.Kei’s Song
Andy did not perform on this.

7. Freedom At Midnight

8. Beat Street
This featured a wild drum solo from Jamey.


9.  Christmas is Coming

10. Skating

11.O Tannenbaum
Andy did not perform on this.  David H. had a bass solo.
Midway through, a small Christmas tree was brought out.  It was a replica of the tree picked by Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Christmas.  David left the piano to decorate it and fasten it to its stand:

Then, he returned to the piano.

The rest of the set featured the Stimson Showstoppers from Stimson Middle School in Huntington Station.  They were under the direction of Ms. Terri Haas.

12. Just Like Me
This was the only original piece in the second set.  It was co-written by David B. and Lee Mendelson, and first appeared on 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas in 2005, where it was performed by Vanessa Williams.
Here, two of the Stimson Showstoppers, Amelia and Olivia (I hope I got their names right), doubly handled the vocals.

They got a standing ovation from an audience that seemed to my ears to feature many students, faculty, and parents from Stimson and the South Huntington School District, as well as general Huntington residents.  Though I and the rest of the audience were outsiders, we were all Stimson last night.

Then, the rest of the Showstoppers came on stage for…

13. My Little Drum
Andy did not perform on this.

14. Hark The Herald Angels Sing (vocalizing only)/Christmas Time Is Here

15. Linus and Lucy
For Linus and Lucy, all they had to do was clap (and dance) to the music.

The set was complete, but the night was not:

ENCORE 1: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Assuming there would only be one encore, I shot two curtain call pictures.  The first one is blurry, but looks artsy.  So, I’ve included it:

But on this night, there was a second encore!

ENCORE 2: The Christmas Song (David only)

And that was officially it.

At the meet-and-greet, David and I saw each other in person for the first time since July 2006.  At the time, I was about 80 pounds heavier than I am now.  He was very complimentary of how I looked and of the weight I had lost.

Once we finished catching up, me and my mom headed for home.  The roads weren’t as bad going home as they were heading to IMAC.  Unfortunately, more snow is in the forecast for tomorrow.  This is going to be some winter, isn’t it?



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