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MP3 Timmy Maia - With A Christmas Heart

Soulful, pop-infused smooth jazz and R&B

8 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover, URBAN/R&B: Smooth Soul

Show all album songs: With A Christmas Heart Songs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 26, 2007 - Waterbury, CT


The holidays came early in Waterbury, Connecticut this year. Since hitting the streets mid-November, With a Christmas Heart, the new holiday CD by Timmy Maia, has brought smiles to faces and warmth to hearts . . . doing its part to make this a most wonderful time of the year.

The release is the collaborative effort of Executive Producer Tom Devino and Waterbury vocalist Timmy Maia. Two years of discussion, and four productive months this past summer into fall, yielded a finished product full of joy and exceeding all anticipation.

A selection of classic holiday favorites – among them a stirring Rob Mathes arrangement of Silent Night – is preceded by two lesser-known cuts; the opener, a heartfelt take on Luther Vandross’ With a Christmas Heart, followed by a spirited, dancing version of Donny Hathaway’s This Christmas.

Two tracks were recorded in the Watertown, CT studio of Tom Devino and produced by Robert McIldowie, and the remaining six were recorded and produced in the Waterbury studio of Chris “Big Dog” Davis.

Devino, of Waterbury’s Mercury Fuel family, is best known as the drummer in his own Tom Devino Jazz Quartet, and for performance dates with Petula Clark, Joan Rivers, Clark Terry, Lou Marini, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Warren Chasson, Chris Brubeck and Lucky Peterson, to name a few. In addition to regular club and private gigs throughout the tri-state area, he programs the solid Wednesday night jazz sessions at The Red Door in Watertown, now three years running.

Chris Davis and Timmy have worked on various music projects over 25 years. A Waterbury native, Davis has been in high demand for the past 10 years – recording and touring on keyboards and through recent success as a studio producer. Four years on the road as Brian McKnight’s music director led to producing on McKnight’s recent releases, and Davis is awaiting announcement of the 2007 Grammy nominations, with high hopes for projects on the ballots by Phil Perry and Maysa Leak. While he prefers time in the studio over time on the road, he’s accepted an invitation to join Jill Scott on tour in January and February 2008. George Clinton’s newest project, produced by Chris, is complete and scheduled for release in early ‘08 and he’s been tapped to produce new works by Vanessa Williams and Jeffrey Osborne.

Producer Robert McIldowie is a Waterbury native who’s been a working musician for all his adult life. In 1981, he started the band Beau Bolero (which included a drummer named Tommy Devino), playing Steely Dan covers and original music. Since the mid-80s, he’s been part of the band Rio, working steady private and club gigs when he’s not writing and recording in his home studio. This is his first time working with Timmy Maia, and he’s pleased the two producers’ works meshed so nicely.

Timmy Maia runs deep roots in Waterbury. Born and raised in the Brass City, he made his first stage appearance at age five – performing with his father and uncle’s band, The Family Connection – and he’s been fine-tuning his rapid-fire vocal ever since. Known to cover everyone from Nat King Cole to Ne-Yo, and kindly compared to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, Maia admits this project surfaced a distinct voice that hadn’t found air on prior recording sessions.

There a sense of “now’s his time” among those who support him, and this effort’s his answer to that encouragement.

Timmy Maia quote: "This CD is about a whole bunch of folks coming together to make something happen. The final product features some holiday classics and a couple less well-known, but equally powerful tracks. I hope to touch the hearts of people with this music. It’s been driven by a soulful, pop feel that I hope will appeal to kids from one to ninety-two."

Tom Devino quote: “I am so pleased with the work these guys did on this CD. Chris (Davis) and Rob (McIldowie) created these soulful arrangements that were tailor made for one of the finest singers of our day. The end result is a truly world-class recording that will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Chris Davis quote: “For me, it’s about doing, getting it done. And the most important thing is believing in dreams. Like this holiday project with Timmy – after so many years of working live, we brought that vibe to the studio with this first project, the first we’ve worked on with Timmy as a lead vocalist. It’s great stuff. It has enough character to carry itself in the market place, and the production quality is right up there with any of the major artist’s cds. Even from Waterbury, it can happen. I’m not surprised at the feedback.”

Robert McIldowie quote: “Even if I wasn''t on the project, I''d still be one of the first to buy it. It’s on the level of David Foster’s work, a well-known arranger of holiday music and producer of Chicago in the 80''s. When I heard the the sonic quality of the tracks by Chris Davis, it inspired to me to kick into a higher gear on the work I was doing; it gave me a spark.”
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