Twin Cities Jazz Festival

A Copasetic Christmas Carol

A Copasetic Christmas Carol, created by Doug Haining and Charmin Michelle and performed by the Twin Cities Seven, will be December’s JAZZ FEST LIVE feature

This original jazz adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol will draw us into the holiday season in this year of ongoing challenges. Featuring all original music by Doug Haining, engaging lyrics by Charmin Michelle and Doug Haining with the narration written by Maryann Sullivan. Charmin Michelle is on vocals; special guest Ben Sidran is the Hep Cat Narrator. This free holiday event is brought to you by AARP, Oppidan Investment Company/The Pillars Senior Communities, Humana and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

A Copasetic Christmas Carol tells Dicken’s story using a suite of jazz compositions with “hep cat” lyrics and narration. The suite — first performed at The Dakota in 2003 — was a huge success with additional performances in venues all over the region for a number of years.

Twin Cities Jazz Festival Executive Director Steve Heckler has continued to find ways to bring live music to jazz lovers. “We have learned a lot about virtual performances over the last six months,” Heckler said. “I loved this show when The Twin Cities Seven first produced it in 2003, now audiences around the globe will be able to enjoy this holiday favorite on Thursday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m. CST as part of our virtual Jazz Fest Live series.”

The show came about when the Twin Cities Seven was asked to play for a KBEM Radio Christmas Party. For several years, area bands were featured by KBEM, performing their holiday favorites. “I wanted to do something different that was more than just the usual carols,” said Haining. Haining convinced Michelle to collaborate on the lyrics, and Maryann Sullivan to write some narration, and together they created a suite of tunes with “hep cat” lyrics, connected together by “hep cat” narration.

“In creating the suite, we thought about what kinds of words Cab Calloway would have used,” said Michelle. Each song is a musical vignette of one of the main characters in the Dickens story. The results are a musical story filled with liveliness, fun, and humor. The word “copasetic” is a slang expression meaning that everything is “cool,” added Haining. “It seemed appropriate to use in the title because it conveys the underlying style of the lyrics.”

A Copasetic Christmas Carol will be recorded at the Dakota with only the performers and essential technical staff on premises. This production runs slightly over an hour and will be the perfect way to escape this COVID-regulated world with friends and family in a safe home environment. Here is the link for December 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Watch on CrowdCast


Doug Haining – Alto and Soprano Saxophone and Clarinet
Steve Wright – Trumpet
Dave Graf – Trombone
Rick Carlson – Piano
Kent Saunders – Guitar
Steve Pikal – Bass
Trevor Haining – Drums
Charmin Michelle – Vocals
Listen to Music Samples