Kenny joins an all-star cast with Michael McDonald, Richard Marx, Melissa Manchester, Lamont Dozier, Jr., Freda Payne, Frank McComb, Florence LaRue and The Tribe (a collective of Los Angeles based professional musicians) for a warm rendition of Donny Hathaway’s holiday classic, “This Christmas.”
This special recording, arranged by singer, vocal coach, and producer Ken Stacey (Ambrosia) supports The Donny Hathaway Legacy Project. The DHLP was established by Hathaway’s youngest daughter, Donnita Hathaway, to honor his rich musical legacy and provide effective resources to aid those who suffer from mental illness.
The song, which was co-written by Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor, was first released in 1970. At the time of its release, Hathaway’s genius impacted Christmas music with a style much different than traditional Christmas songs… one that represented African Americans. Guitarist Phil Upchurch, who played on the original recording of “This Christmas,” said the song was “absolutely the premiere holiday song written by an African American.”
Since 2015, The Tribe’s live concerts and recording projects have raised money and awareness for organizations including the Get Together Foundation, MusiCares®, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, The Midnight Mission, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, City of Hope, and more. Through the power of music, they make a difference.
Proceeds from this tribute will benefit the Donny Hathaway Legacy Project (DHLP), established by Hathaway’s youngest daughter, Donnita Hathaway, to honor his rich musical legacy and provide effective resources to aid those who suffer from mental illness. Hathaway himself suffered from severe mental illness which eventually resulted on his untimely death in 1979 at just 33 years of age. “It is my life’s goal to honor my father by addressing the issues that tragically ended his life,” said Donnita.
Hathaway’s legacy lives on in his music. His interpretations of well-known songs include renditions of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” and famed duets with Roberta Flack, “Where is the Love” and “The Closer I Get to You.” Hathaway won one Grammy Award and was also posthumously honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.