After 22 Years, the Curtain Closes on Peabo Bryson & the Colors Of Christmas


*Colors of Christmas is a peerless blend of holiday favorites and chart-topping hits performed by vocal titan Peabo Bryson and some of the absolute best R & B and pop vocalists who have ever walked the planet.

In two days, we’ll have to say “Colors of Christmas HAS BEEN a peerless blend…”, as this is the show’s final year.

Since 1993, Bryson has anchored the show, and was joined that first year by Patti Austin, Roberta Flack, and Jeffrey Osborne.   The program delivered sterling performances year after yuletide year, by a phenomenal group of artists including James Ingram, CeCe Winans, Ruben Studdard, and Jennifer Holiday.

Oleta Adams, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., and BeBe Winans will take the stage on December 14 and 15 at San Francisco’s Davies Hall, with Bryson and the San Francisco Symphony.

“We have always enjoyed the opportunity to sing our hits as well as celebrate the Christmas season,” McCoo told me by phone. “Christmas is a very special time of year, and it’s important to our faith.”

“Colors of Christmas also gives us a chance to see and fellowship with artists that we know very well, but aren’t able to see much because of our schedules,” Davis added. “It’s a wonderful time of camaraderie. The show also gives us a chance to sing God’s praises.”

Over the last three decades, very few have sung God’s praises more successfully than gospel superstar BeBe Winans, who is new to the Colors of Christmas lineup this year.

“I was thrilled to be able to join the show this year,” Winans told me. “But I told the tour manager that I might lose my concentration, because Peabo is one of my all-time favorite male vocalists. I ask the audience and my fellow artists to excuse me if I miss a few words on stage, because I’m going to be listening to Peabo!,” Winans added with his trademark hearty laugh.

Bryson himself is, understandably, a bit melancholy about this year’s final Colors of Christmas performance.

“We’ve always enjoyed working with the San Francisco Symphony and look forward to working with them in the future,” Bryson diplomatically told me by phone. “Colors of Christmas has been extremely successful. It’s an institution. People actually plan their vacations around this show. People have met lifelong friends at this show, and they have come every year. There’s been a unique element to this show, always, and we’re very grateful to the San Francisco Symphony for the opportunity to present this show for over two decades.”

Michael P Coleman is a Sacramento-based freelance writer and Christmas music lover.  Connect with him at or on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP

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