this Montreal singer gives Xmas classics (Bing Crosby, Judy Garland) a standards twist

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Sunday, November 20, 2022

Montreal-based jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky releases lively and jazzy versions of Christmas classics “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Marshmallow World” via MNRK Music Group. With this release, Yanofsky gives new life to classics that have been loved for years and does so with history in mind.

Songwriter Hugh Martin co-wrote “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” that Judy Garland then made famous in 1944, and “Marshmallow World,” written by Carl Sigman and Peter De Rose, was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1950. In order to capture the rich history behind these holiday staples, Yanofsky recorded to tape on an old ribbon mic, and the cover was photographed on old film, making for a true retro experience.

Listen to “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Marshmallow World” here:

The release of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Marshmallow World” follows Yanofsky’s recent jazz album Nikki By Starlight, comprised of 15 standards from jazz legends Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker, Billie Holiday and more. ‘Nikki By Starlight’ was co-produced with the JUNO-winning producer/composer and long-time collaborator Paul Shrofel and features contributions from Stevie Wonder’s bandmate Greg Phillinganes, Nathan East (Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson) and the iconic Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval.

Revisit ‘Nikki By Starlight’ here:

Yanofsky again co-produced these Christmas covers with Paul Shrofel and this time, Shrofel adds soft and tasteful piano accompaniment as well. Yanofsky and Shrofel’s musical relationship stems back to her very first performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival at the age of 12. Yanofsky and Shrofel have always shared a musical connection that has only gotten stronger over the years, and their latest works together serve to prove that.

With this release, Yanofsky again continues to prove her artistry – stemming all the way back to when she sang the National Anthem on live television at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in front of 3.2 billion people. Over the years, Yanofsky has collaborated with well-known jazz musicians, including Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, and more. Yanofsky’s self-titled album ‘Nikki,’ released in 2010, gained the attention of the late prolific songwriter Rod Temperton (“Thriller,” “Rock With You,” “Boogie Nights”), who took her under his wing becoming her mentor, creative coach and musical champion. Her sophomore effort Little Secret, found Yanofsky exploring the velvet-clad sweet spot between jazz and pop with bold sentiments that signaled a self-assured coming of age. In 2020 she released ‘Turn Down The Sound,’ a 10-track LP (eOne Music) that showcases her independence and marks a newfound departure for her career as a young musician, earning praise upon release from Billboard, Uproxx, American Songwriter and more.

After stepping away for a time, Yanofsky writes in a letter about her homecoming to jazz, “My key still works. It’s not too late. Walking in on my own terms, even uninvited, I feel at home. You are familiar, safe and warm, and now that I’m here, I don’t ever want to know the cold again.”