New Age artist gets his new hometown in the holiday spirit
By Jack Houston
The compositions favored by Danny Wright defy any one categorization, but the pianist’s tasteful, sweeping style is present in just about everything he records. On Dec. 2, Wright evokes the spirit of Christmas in Home for the Holidays, a seasonal showcase at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts’ Reynolds Hall.
The performance celebrates not only the songs of the holidays but also Wright’s 25 years as a recording artist, a career that has seen him cover everything from classical compositions, movie themes and showtunes to original material in the easy listening/New Age mold. He’s also released a handful of Christmas albums, all of which should appeal to listeners for whom John Tesh, Kenny G and Mannheim Steamroller are in the annual holiday rotation.
His latest collection, Home for Christmas, includes both secular and religious classics, including “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “The First Noel,” “Silent Night,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The album, issued digitally on Amazon through Wright’s Las Vegas-based WH Sound Studio imprint, is the latest in a series of recordings rereleased, remastered and repackaged in celebration of his quarter century in the music industry. Similar 20-track collections of Broadway hits, Academy Award-winning or -nominated songs and classical tracks are scheduled for release in December.
Seated at a 9-foot Steinway grand piano (grands range from 5 to 9 feet in length), Wright aims to weave a few nonholiday tunes into the show as well, making for an all-encompassing afternoon of music at one of the city’s standout concert halls. “The Smith Center is the most spectacular place I’ve ever seen, and I have played venues all over the world,” Wright told us. “I can’t wait to share this magical performance with everyone.”
Joining Wright for this special performance are ventriloquist and Las Vegas headliner Terry Fator (winner of the second season of America’s Got Talent), who puts together a holiday show of his own at The Mirage and is bound to bring along a few of his favorite dummies. Crooner Mark O’Toole, who has recently found a home as a resident performer at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel, will also make an appearance.
“The holidays get so busy, and this is a lovely way for family and friends to kick off the holiday season together,” Wright said.