Posted on: December 6, 2023 Posted by: Peter Burns Comments: 0

Featuring Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, and more, “This Christmas” also marks the launch of the Get Together Foundation’s 2024 Suicide Prevention Campaign.

Get Together Foundation’s musical group The Tribe’s all-star recording of the Donny Hathaway classic Christmas song, “This Christmas” is being re-released this holiday season heralding the announcement for a concert to benefit mental health and suicide prevention.

With “This Christmas,” The Tribe, a collective of Los Angeles-based professional musicians, joined together with an all-star cast of singers including Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Richard Marx, Melissa Manchester, Lamont Dozier, Jr., Freda Payne, Frank McComb, Florence LaRue, and more to pay tribute to one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time, and to legendary soul singer, Donny Hathaway, who made it famous. Hathaway himself suffered from severe mental illness, which eventually resulted in his untimely death in 1979 at just 33 years of age.

Kevin Wachs and his wife Mare, co-founders of the Get Together Foundation have dedicated their philanthropic efforts to helping people in need. The Foundation has been raising funds through a variety of musical events since 2004. Two decades later sees Wachs’ vision for 2024 and the announcement their most ambitious project yet: The 988 Concert and campaign for suicide prevention. The benefit concert will bring awareness and funding to address the mental health and suicide problem in our nation.

Kevin Wachs states, “As we move into 2024, the Get Together Foundation is embarking on a major new campaign for suicide prevention with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. We are working with Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services (www.didihirsch.org), the largest provider of mental health services in Southern California, and we’re projecting a campaign that will make a significant difference to those in need and their families. Proceeds from this tribute will also benefit the Get Together Foundation’s partner organizations, including the Donny Hathaway Legacy Project, helping those suffering from severe mental illness and suicide prevention.”

“This Christmas,” 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.”

The Tribe’s all-star recording features an arrangement created by singer, vocal coach, and producer Ken Stacey (Elton John, Michael Jackson, Ambrosia, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx), who put a unique spin on this timeless holiday tune known and loved by all. Said Stacey, “When tasked with creating a new arrangement for a song as iconic as ‘This Christmas’ and an artist as incomparable as Donny Hathaway, I decided to reimagine a new direction that still honored Donny’s masterpiece, while bringing something new to the arrangement.”

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, the Donny Hathaway Legacy Project (DHLP), and more. Through the power of music, they make a difference. The Get Together Foundation’s notable events include a David Crosby live concert in 2019 for people experiencing homelessness, and a telethon in 2020 featuring Carole King, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, and others, in support of the mayor’s Los Angeles County Covid Relief Fund. Their latest endeavor is a cooperative program with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America called “Together in Tune” which offers musical instruction for underprivileged youth.

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. “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.

Watch this video of “This Christmas” by The Tribe & Friends and listen to it on all major streaming platforms.

This is the donation link:

https://gettogetherfoundation.com/thischristmas/

This is the link to watch the video of the song: 

https://youtu.be/CkoGJ4-GNSI?si=3sWfv8raGYfuyI2S

Contact:

Kevin Wachs, Get Together Foundation Co-founder kevin@gettogetherfoundation.com   

Lauri Reimer, Special Projects Coordinator lauri@gettogetherfoundation.com

Get Together information:  www.gettogetherfoundation.com Phone: 818.727.7884

Leave a Comment