Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Announces the Release of JOY! Featuring Recordings of Live Holiday Pops Performances Led by John Morris Russell

Available on Streaming Platforms November 17
Limited Run of Vinyl LPs to be Sold Exclusively at Holiday Pops Performances December 8-10 at Music Hall

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CINCINNATI, OH (September 21, 2023)—The Cincinnati Pops announced the release of its newest recording, JOY!, led by Cincinnati Pops Conductor John Morris Russell. JOY! will feature recordings of live performances from the Orchestra’s popular Holiday Pops programs, including a diverse and eclectic collection of favorite holiday classics in new arrangements. The latest release will include a new recording of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Christmas Overture,” which is complemented with creative new takes on traditional melodies like “Silent Night” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” folk tunes like “Mis zeh Hidlik” and “The Ukrainian Bell Carol,” as well as contemporary songs like “Blue Christmas” featuring singer and trombonist Aubrey Logan.

“We’ve put together an eclectic album of favorite carols and songs in snappy new arrangements that promises to liven up any gathering,” said Russell. “It’s what we love to do at the Pops—sharing the holiday spirit and bringing folks together through inspirational music, performed with virtuosity and panache. All of the music on this album was inspired by the hundreds of holiday recordings I’ve collected over the years. Though all of the tracks represent beloved traditional tunes, the arrangements are anything but traditional, and we can’t wait to share JOY! with everyone this holiday season.”

 JOY! extends the Orchestra’s prolific recording legacy, which includes more than 200 commercial recordings that have sold over 10 million copies worldwide. It also adds to the Cincinnati Pops’ tradition of holiday recordings, which began with its 1990 album Christmas with the Pops led by Erich Kunzel. JOY! is the Pops’ fifth holiday album and the seventh Pops album led by Russell. In 2012, the Cincinnati Pops released Home for the Holidays, the first recording on the Orchestra’s own Fanfare Cincinnati label. In 2015, the Pops released American Originals, which received widespread acclaim for its reimagining of the Stephen Foster songbook, followed by the release of American Originals: 1918, which received a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Classical Compendium.” Other Pops albums with Russell include Superheroes! (2013), Carnival of the Animals (2014), and Voyage (2019).

JOY! will be available on all streaming platforms beginning on November 17, 2023. A limited run of vinyl LPs will be sold exclusively at Holiday Pops concerts December 8-10 at Music Hall.

This recording is supported by Nancy C. Wagner and Patricia M. Wagner.