This Christmas, I'm on a mission to help those in need and to give back to the wonderful city I have resided in for the past five years. I have teamed up with a talented group of musicians from Bellingham and Seattle to collaboratively create a Christmas EP. All of the proceeds will be donated to Bellingham Food Bank.
Every December my family and I will always try to contribute to the community in some way or another. Being raised in a musically talented family, we would go caroling in multiple Seattle neighborhoods and raise money for our local church and homeless shelters. This year I won't be able to join my family for caroling, so I'll be caroling in my own special way with friends with our very own Christmas EP.
The idea of recording a Christmas EP came to me when I started listening to Christmas music at The Woods Coffee in Boulevard Park this September. Yes, call me crazy, but I had the urge to listen to this wonderfully joyful music really early and haven't been able to stop.
The Christmas EP is titled "This Christmas" and will feature 21 musicians who generously volunteered their time to travel, rehearse and record. I am so grateful for these wonderful people, who I can consider to be some of my closest friends, to not only help me out with this charity project but to also give back to the community they love.
The EP was recorded at the end of November and will be available Dec. 25. It is a collection of four songs that features a talented cast of vocalists with different styles. The vocalists are backed by some of the best rhythm section musicians from Bellingham, laying down a solid foundation to tap your foot to.
On top of that, you add in the sultry sounds of the string section, an all-star quartet from WWU's very own symphony orchestra. Last but not least, we feature a powerful horn section from Bellingham's The Prime Time Band that gives the tracks the necessary hits and textures to make your ears sing with joy.
All of this recording and mixing wouldn't be possible without the help of my friend James Junior, who is the recording engineer and co-producer of the EP. He spent more than 24 hours in the recording studio in two days and will be logging more hours mixing the project for mastering.
"This Christmas" EP has been announced on Facebook and will be funded through a website called indiegogo.com. Indiegogo.com allows us to receive donations online and thus allows people to pre-order the EP. An email will be sent to those people who have pre-ordered the album and a link will be provided to them to download the EP digitally.
The advantage of having an album available online is to not only eliminate the cost of duplicating and shipping a physical CD, but it is also essentially available to anyone in the world via pre-order for only $5.
Our goal for this year's fundraising is $1,000 and our deadline is Dec. 25. The money will be donated to the Food Bank just in time for the new year. With your help and generous donations, we can collectively make a positive contribution to the community of Bellingham and give those in need a helping hand.
Jonathan Gipaya has been a resident of Bellingham for the past five years and is a recent graduate of Western Washington University's music department. As a working professional musician for several years, Jonathan has had the opportunity to perform in more than 100 venues, both nationally and internationally, and to work with such artists and bands as Wynton Marsalis, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars, Allen Stone, Charles Bradley, Hey Marseilles, Tower of Power, Bombay Bicycle Club and Train. You can find him performing locally frequently and he will be auditioning for the Michael Buble Band this January.
Window On My World is an occasional essay in Monday's Bellingham Herald that allows Whatcom County residents to share their passion for what they do, an idea or cause they support. Send your Window On My World, which must be no more than 700 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org.