Crooner Anthony Caceres' "A Very Special Christmas" delivers holiday warmth 

Crooner Anthony Caceres has written a Valentine for Christmas, a warm and emotionally uplifting respite from these cold, wintry days. "A Very Special Christmas" distinguishes itself from the deluge of holiday music by taking a personal approach to season's greetings; it is basically a love letter wrapped with a bow. Given the saturation of Yuletide songs, past and present, it's hard to avoid clichés but Cacares escapes such a problem. The track is sweet without any artificial flavors; the feelings here are honest and real.

Although it can cross over into Adult Contemporary, the musicianship on "A Very Special Christmas" is no mere slick AM radio studio craft. Caceres comes from a family of respected artists; he is the grandson of swing violinist Emilio Caceres and the grand nephew of baritonist and clarinetist Ernie Caceres, who worked with Glenn Miller. Caceres' honeyed vocals and tasteful, slightly funky bass give "A Very Special Christmas" an irresistible appeal. It is as soothing as the best smooth jazz and even builds up steam when Caceres and guitarist Greg Petito start to jam near the end.

By Esther Hackleman

Anthony Caceres' first performance at the 55th Annual Jazz Festival will preserve a living legacy.

One of more than 50 artists or bands to perform, Caceres, 43, will be taking on a traditional style imitating the music of those who many recognize as shaping jazz standards.

"Nowadays, jazz covers such a broad spectrum," Caceres says. "My style is more like the traditional jazz of the crooners of the 60s."

Accompanied by San Antonio guitarist Jason Valdez and Russian drummer Sasha Louckachines, Caceres will be embracing more than just a traditional style with his vocals and upright bass.

His love of jazz proves to be an heirloom, embracing the genre in which his grandfather and great-uncle thrived. Caceres' performance will be the second time a family member has brought his talent to life for the festival.

Corpus Christi native and swing violinist, Emilio Caceres, Anthony's grandfather, graced the stage of the Jazz Festival in his prime, passing on the legacy Caceres would later embrace. Emilio Caceres and his brother, Ernie Caceres, renowned for performing on the Benny Goodman radio series "Camel Caravan" and touring the country, sparked Caceres' passion for the genre.

Caceres' participation in the Glenn Miller Orchestra for several years, mirroring the career of his great uncle, continues the family legacy he said is special to his performance.

"I've always been proud to know that I'm able to sustain a career like they did," Caceres said.

In addition to featuring artists such as Caceres, the 55th Annual Jazz Festival will showcase entertainment including Grammy-winning artist Kirk Whalum and Latin stylings.

With its 24th year in Heritage Park, the festival will be expanding the to the northern parking lot to include more vendors, a bigger event area for attendees to mingle and an added wine tasting in the rose garden.

Twitter: @Caller_Esther


Highlighting music from blues, gospel, big band, Dixieland, smooth jazz and Latin jazz, the 55th Annual Texas Jazz Festival is ready for the flux of festival goers and their diverse preferences. Here is a sampling of the artists and bands who will perform throughout the weekend. A full schedule of the Jazz Festival's entertainment can be found online at




Anthony Caceres, the grandson of the great swing violinist Emilio Caceres and grand nephew of baritonist and clarinetist Ernie Caceres (who worked with Eddie Condon and Glenn Miller), is a warm vocalist and a fine string bassist. His best known association as a sideman was with the Glenn Miller Orchestra but nowadays Caceres is mostly seen at the head of his own combos around the Houston area.


On his six-song EP Don’t Call It Love, Caceres leads a trio that also includes guitarist Brad Ard and drummer Richard Cholakian, with three songs adding Boris Kurganov on tenor sax. The program begins with a straightforward and joyful version of “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.” Caceres is showcased as both a singer and during a fine bass solo. On “Wives And Lovers,” he really gets into the lyrics, displaying a deep voice. Stevie Wonder’s “Golden Lady” gives him an opportunity to show that he can interpret more contemporary material too.


Duke Ellington’s “Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me” is successfully revived. “Don’t Call It Love,” a Russell Bright composition originally recorded by Johnny Hartman, is about a man hedging his bets in a new love affair. With luck it could become a standard in the future. This fine set concludes with Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars” which has an excellent chordal guitar solo, a nice spot for the tenor, and finds Caceres hinting at Frank Sinatra a bit but in his own way.


Don’t Call It Love is easily recommended to listeners who enjoy hearing modern-day crooners. Anthony Caceres displays plenty of potential.


Scott Yanow, author of 10 books including The Jazz Singers, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76

Bassist/vocalist Anthony Caceres Inspired By Earth, Wind & Fire

Q: When did it start for you, the decision to become a vocalist?

A: I decided to pursue singing seriously back in 2006 while I was on tour with the Glenn Miller. Up to that point I was primarily a sideman performing on electric bass and upright bass with many different groups.

Q: Was jazz always your primary music of choice?

A: Growing up as a child, jazz wasn't always my music of choice even though it was in my blood. My grandfather Emilio Caceres was a jazz and swing violinist who toured with his own group and was featured on Benny Goodman's “Camel Caravan" radio show. My dad introduced me to the sounds ofStan Kenton and Woody Herman along with Blood, Sweat, Drum + Bass, and Earth Wind. Earth, Wind & Fire really stood out to me. I always dreamed that I wanted to play in a band like Earth, Wind & Fire and sing like Philip Bailey. I use to have my African-American friends from the neighborhood come over, and we would pretend that we were performing just like them to my dads reel-to-reel Earth, Wind & Fire recordings. I always refer to their 1980 Concert on HBO that changed my life. When I saw that I always knew that music was something I wanted to do.

Q: Where were you born, and where did you grow up? Were your parents supportive of your musical career?

A: I was born and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. While I got involved in music my parent's weren't too supportive of my music. They really had no idea that I could sing or that I was very serious about it.

Q: What is the jazz scene in Texas like?

A: The jazz scene in Houston is a close-knit community; just like any other scene there are some great players. Houston is also home to Cézannes Jazz Club which features local and national talent.

Q: What was it like touring with the musical Miss Saigon? What was your role in the play? And how did you get involved with it?

A: I was recommended by a friend of mine to join the Miss Saigon musical. I wasn't involved in a role or singing. I was part of the orchestra pit doubling on electric bass and upright bass. It was a great tour across the U.S. I gained a lot of mental experience as a sideman from this tour.

Performance Dates

  • 12/31/2019
    Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse - Houston, TX

Anthony Caceres Live Radio Performance





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