Litchfield, CT – Everybody Under the Sun:Voices of Solstice– Volume I: The Singers will be released on December 6, 2019. This two-disc anthology presents live recordings of 22 guest singers from 13 cultures of the world who have been featured in Paul Winter’s solstice celebrations in the world’s largest cathedral, New York’s St. John the Divine, over the past 38 years.
Among the better-known names in this feast of singers are Brazil’s Ivan Lins and Luciana Souza, American legend Pete Seeger, and Procol Harum’sGary Brooker singing his iconic classic, “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”
Since 1980, seven-time Grammy-winning Paul Winter and his Consorthave been artists-in-residence at the Cathedral, where they have presented, in this extraordinary acoustic space, annual celebrations of both the winter and summer solstices. In keeping with the universal embrace of the solstice milestones and the intercultural, ecumenical welcoming tradition of the Cathedral, the Consort has always invited musicians they have met in their world travels to come to New York to be part of these celebrations. Volume II: The Players, which will follow in 2020, will present the array of diverse instrumentalists who have also been featured.
Everybody Under the Sun opens with a blaze of energy from Russia’s Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble, in “Kurski Funk,” establishing them as the “village chorus” for the album, a role they have played in their numerous appearances in the solstice events.
The very first Winter Solstice Celebration, in December of 1980, took place ten days after John Lennon was murdered, not far from the Cathedral. In that concert, the Consort’s original vocalist, Susan Osborn, sang “In My Life” as an elegy to him. 37 years later, in the 2016 Winter Solstice event, Gary Brooker, who was a friend of John, sings it once again. Both performances are included here, as bookends for this anthology.
The cornucopia of voices also includes Abdoulaye Diabate from Mali; Celtic singers Karan Casey, Niamh Parsons, and Nóirín Ní Riain; “the National Voice of Puerto Rico,” Danny Rivera; Yangjin Lamu from Tibet; Apache singer John-Carlos Perea; Maria Koleva from Bulgaria; Armenian singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan; Gordon Bok from Maine; Lucky Moyo and Chris Berry from Zimbabwe; Renato Braz and Fabiana Cozza of Brazil; and gospel singers Theresa Thomason and Kecia Lewis-Evans.
Paul Winter’s soprano sax is the interlocutor throughout the album, in which all the Consort musicians are featured in masterful solo and/or accompanying roles, including oboist Paul McCandless, cellist Eugene Friesen, guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, keyboardists Paul Halley and Paul Sullivan, bassist Eliot Wadopian, and drummer Jamey Haddad. Paul Winter’soriginal jazz Sextet is also heard which includes Winter on alto sax; Marvin Stamm, trumpet; Howard Johnson, baritone sax; Warren Bernhardt, piano; and Cecil McBee, bass.
“I feel hugely blessed to have met all these amazing singers during our travels over the years; and that each of them was willing to come to New York to grace one of our solstice celebrations.” says Winter. “I feel this album is a resounding manifestation of the multi-culturalism that is one of the great hallmarks of our country. America has long been a sanctuary that has welcomed and embraced peoples from everywhere, and I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure it will continue to be.”
The Everybody Under the Sunanthology was conceived as a concert, even though these performances took place over a period of 38 years. The 150-minute journey is structured in two halves, and Paul Winter encourages listeners to take an intermission between them. “And I’d love it if people would listen to the album before they even look at the names or nationalities of the singers, or read the liner notes,” he says, “so they might experience the diversity and surprise and magic of the adventure.”
December 19, 20, and 21, 2019 will mark Paul Winter’s 40th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, with special guest Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary. Stookey was the producer of the Consort’s first two albums in 1968 and 1969 and has been a key mentor and collaborator during the first 50 years of the band.
Everybody Under the Sun: Voices of Solstice – Volume 1: The Singers will be available at www.paulwinter.com, Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, and Bandcamp.
# # #
Album Details: Everybody Under the Sun: Voices of Solstice – Volume I: The Singers
Release date: December 6, 2019
For all ages
Label: Living Music
SRP:$20 for double disc CD; $12.99 for 30-track digital download
Run time: Disc 1: 72 minutes; Disc 2: 77 minutes
Visit Paul Winter’s website HERE.
Visit the Solstice Celebrations website HERE.
Paul Winter onFacebook.
Paul Winter onInstagram.
Paul Winter Consort on Instagram.
Solstice Celebrations on Instagram.