Dan Blanchard and seven guest musicians take the listener down a pathway that is both utterly familiar yet also bracingly new on The Spirit of Christmas as he fuses the much beloved melodies of traditional carols such as “Jingle Bells,” “We Three Kings,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” with a healthy dose of Indian fusion influences. Featuring an assortment of instruments from both Indian and Western cultures such as santoor, tabla, bansuri flute, violin, and cello, The Spirit of Christmas reveals that the musical treats of the noted holiday hold truly universal appeal as Blanchard and company imbue a festive and exotic flavor into the time-tested carols. Occasionally embellished with original arrangements to more fully incorporate the Indian music elements, yet always instantly recognizable, the twelve classics will make a great addition to your holiday and world music collection!
Experience the wonder and beauty of Christmas in an East Meets West fusion of Christmas Carols and Indian Classical Music on the album:
The Spirit of Christmas
12 Days of Christmas - listen and watch an excerpt of one of the songs each day until (and including) Christmas!
Day 1 – We Wish You A Merry Christmas
A traditional tale from the days of Merry Olde England, this was sung on the street regularly during the Holidays, by waits, who were municipal choruses of singers. I thought this was a fitting introduction to the album to bestow a Merry Christmas onto the listener! I also like how it segues into the next song, which you can hear along with the full version of this song on my “The Spirit of Christmas” album.
Features Leonice Shinneman on the tabla, Deepak Ramapriyan on violin, Chris Votek on cello, and Eddie Young on bass, with Dan Blanchard on santoor, harmonium, and keyboards.
Day 2 – Ode to Joy (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony)
Although not a traditional Christmas Carol, “Ode to Joy” is commonly played during joyful occasions including the holidays. I have long wanted to play this in the style of classical Indian music – to play these beautiful melody lines along with melodic and rhythmic improvisations, and to expand upon the original melodies. I am very honored to be joined by Chris Votek, an accomplished western and Indian Classical cellist, he along with Deepak Ramapriyan on the violin bring out the orchestral feeling and hopefully an authentic fusion of Western and North Indian Classical Music. Also featuring Leonice Shinneman on tabla.
Indian Classical Music
Combining Christmas Carols and Indian Classical Music
Details of each song
Santoor, Harmonium, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Tanpura
Dan Blanchard is a multi-instrumentalist, blending ancient Indian Classical Music with world and western music to explore the therapeutic power of music. Dan has been playing western instruments such as guitar and piano since childhood and is classically trained in Indian Classical Music on the santoor by Indian master Pandit Satish Vyas. Joined by other talented musicians from the world and sound healing scene, Dan adapts his music for the modern world, providing a powerful and engaging experience for overall well-being, joy, and inner peace.