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John McDaniel and Lennie Watts come home for the holidays

John McDaniel and Lennie Watts

Although musicians John McDaniel and Lennie Watts both grew up in St. Louis at about the same time, they didn’t meet until Watts made a brief guest appearance on the Rose O’Donnell Show when McDaniel was her bandleader. They have stayed in touch off and on over the years as each has pursued a career in New York City, but have been closer the last couple of years working together at the O’Neal Theatre Center’s Cabaret Performance Conference. While there, they started thinking about a project they could do together. “It was a year and a half ago, and I said, ‘we should do a Christmas show in St. Louis,’” said McDaniel, “so we have been planning it and putting it together ever since.”

As a result, the pair has returned home to celebrate Christmas with their families and present their cabaret show “Celebrate Me Home” at the Kranzberg Arts Center December 16 and 17. They will be joined by vocalist Kay Love in the performances.

Both Watts and McDaniel have fond memories growing up in St. Louis and especially enjoy coming back to their home town for Christmas. “It’s really not Christmas for me until I hit St. Louis, which is funny because New York is like the Christmas capital of world,” said Watts.

Related Event

What: John McDaniel and Lennie Watts Present “Celebrate Me Home”
When: Dec. 16 and 17 at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Where:  Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103
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St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
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