Make season merry with Michael McDonald


Experience a dose of nostalgia and Christmas cheer as The Ritz Theatre welcomes acclaimed recording artist and five-time Grammy winner Michael McDonald at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The composer, musician and former Doobie Brothers singer is on tour to promote his fifth holiday album, “A Season of Peace: The Christmas Collection.”

In addition to a program of original and traditional Christmas tunes, McDonald is to include signature selections from his days with the Doobie Brothers and songs from his nine solo albums. A band of accomplished musicians is to accompany McDonald.

Written and performed in a variety of styles, McDonald’s music has been featured on movie sound tracks and at countless music festivals and concerts. His most familiar hits include “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “Minute by Minute,” “What a Fool Believes,” “I Keep Forgettin,” “On My Own,” “Sweet Freedom” and “Yah MoB There.”

Overwhelmed by success at a young age, the artist had a setback with substance abuse in the 1980s. He was able to recover and pursue a solo career, which is taking him into his 60s. In 2017, McDonald released 12 new songs with “Wide Open,” his first album in 17 years.

During his 40-plus years of performing, McDonald has collaborated with artists such as Patti LaBelle, Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, guitarists Robben Ford and Warren Haynes, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and bassists Macus Miller and Thundercat.

In the same vein, McDonald features the ukulele artistry of Jake Shimabukuro on the “Seasons of Peace” CD. A native of Hawaii, Shimabukuro is known for blending elements of multiple music genres with traditional ukulele. He and McDonald have teamed up for a light-hearted instrumental version of “Winter Wonderland.”

Fans can pick up merchandise at the concert, including the new Christmas CD.

Tickets for Michael McDonald range from $65 to $95. Distinctive Building Elements is sponsoring the show.