Guest Artist Journey (5-disc set)

Original price was: $90.00.Current price is: $50.00.

The Conspirare Christmas Guest Artist Journey is a collection of Conspirare Christmas live recordings showcasing featured artists Kathlene Ritch, Charles Wesley Evans, Ruthie Foster, Matt Alber, and Carrie Rodriguez.

Read more about the Guest Artists and individual albums below.

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Sing Joy with Guest Artist Carrie Rodriguez (2017)

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Carrie Rodriguez, a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, finds beauty in the cross-pollination of diverse traditions. A passionate performer, she effortlessly melds fiery fiddle playing, electrifying vocals and a fresh interpretation of new and classic songs with an “Ameri-Chicana” attitude. Her newest project, the Spanish/English album  Lola, was counted among NPR’s top 50 Albums of 2016 and hailed by NPR Music’s Felix Contreras as the “perfect bicultural album”. 

Carrie began playing violin at age five. Her training quickly became the passion and focus of her childhood, and by age 10, she had performed as a member of Austin’s own Texas Suzuki Tour Group at Carnegie Hall. She continued the classical track in her first year at Oberlin Conservatory, then shifted gears to pursue her true love affair with the fiddle—staying true to her Texas roots—at the Berklee College of Music. 

Early in her career, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Chip Taylor resulted in four highly acclaimed duet albums. Her subsequent solo albums highlight the diversity of her musical identity, from her debut “Seven Angels on a Bicycle” to 2013’s “Give Me All You Got,” which reached no. 1 on the Americana Music Charts. 

Carrie has performed and/or recorded with legendary artists such as Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, John Prine, Bill Frisell, Rickie Lee Jones, Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo and Los Lonely Boys, among others. She has made numerous television and radio appearances, including Austin City Limits, The Tonight Show, and A Prairie Home Companion. She has been profiled in many publications, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Times of London, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and many more. 

Carrie lives in Austin with her partner and musical collaborator Luke Jacobs, a multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter from Minnesota, and their son, Cruz Calvin Jacobs.  

Track Listing:

  1. Wide River to Cross/Calling All Angels (Jane Siberry)
  2. O Ven Emanuel (15th Century Processional)
  3. Frio en el Alma (Miguel Angel Valladares)
  4. My Sweet Crushed Angel/My Funny Valentine (arr. CHJ)
  5. I Cry for Love (Chip Taylor)
  6. Wide River to Cross (Buddy Miller/Julie Miller)
  7. A Breathing Peace (Daniel Elder)
  8. Una Rosa Broto (
  9. O Little Town of Bethlehem (Lewis Henry Redner)
  10. Hosanna to the Son of David (Orlando Gibbons)
  11. Stables (Peter Mayer)
  12. Sweet Rivers (Shawn Kirchner)
  13. Gaudete (arr. Michael McGlynn)
  14. This is to Mother You/Holding Carol (arr. CHJ)
  15. Do You See What I See?/I’ll Be Seeing You (Sammy Fain/Irving Kahal/arr. CHJ)
  16. Big Love (Ryland Peter Cooder, John Hiatt, Jim Keltner, Nick Lowe)
  17. Sing Joy (Peter Mayer)
  18. Taking a Chance on Love (Vernon Duke)
  19. Winter Wonderland (arr. Julian Neel)
  20. Wildflowers (Albert E. Brumley)
  21. Caricias (Luke Jacobs/Carrie Rodriguez)
  22. We Clasp the Hands (CHJ)
  23. I Could Have Danced All Night (arr. CHJ)

Recorded live December 2017 at The Carillon on Exposition, Austin, TX

Thomas Burritt, Percussion

Mitch Watkins, Guitar

Additional piano/vocal performances by Craig Hella Johnson.

Release Date: 02/14/2019


Beautiful City with Guest Artist Matt Alber (2016)

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Portland-based, two-time Grammy® award-winning singer/songwriter, Matt Alber is thrilled to join Conspirare for Christmas this season.  He is fresh off a nationwide tour with Craig Hella Johnson performing the role of Matthew in Considering Matthew Shepard and sharing his story with over 3,000 students in cities across the nation along the way. Matt also appears on the PBS/KLRU broadcast production of Considering Matthew Shepard recorded at Austin’s Moody Theater currently airing nationwide. Matt’s songs have been featured on the ABC television series The Fosters and Bones and he has released five studio albums. His most recent is a Big Band tribute to Mel Tormé entitled How High The Moon, benefitting the El Sistema youth music program. He also appears on several Conspirare albums including Beautiful City, Singing Heart, and Something Beautiful. 

Matt has been selected as an artist diplomat of the US State Department to teach and perform in six countries and has been presented by Lincoln Center, Tchaikovsky Hall, and stages across the globe. As a filmmaker, Matt focuses on the stories of LGBTQ+ youth and families.  His current film and docu-series, Room To Grow, chronicles the lives of 12 LGBTQ+ teens and families. To learn more and help fund the series, visit: and 

Track listing:

  1. Gitanjali Chants (arr. CHJ)
  2. Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (John Hughes)
  3. Breakable / O Come, Little Children (Ingrid Michaelson / Johann A.P. Schulz)
  4. Forgive The Children We Once Were (Eric Richard Hölljes, Ian Christian Hölljes)
  5. Veni Emmanuel (Plainsong Chant)
  6. Avuksihuutopsalmi (from Vigilia) (Eionujhani Rautavaara)
  7. Watching for Dolphins (CHJ)
  8. There’s Still My Joy (Beth Neilsen Chapman, Melissa Manchester, Matthew Rollings)
  9. Song of the Stars (CHJ)
  10. I Want To Know What Love Is (Mick Jones)
  11. End of the World (Matt Alber)
  12. Love I Am Frightened (Rumi)
  13. The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Bob Dylan)
  14. All Good People (Ian Christian Hölljes, Eric Hölljes)
  15. Pure Imagination (Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley)
  16. Shall We Gather at the River / Africa (Robert Lowry / David Paich, Jeff Porcaro)
  17. Beautiful City (Stephen Schwartz)
  18. Dance In The Graveyards (Ian Christian Hölljes, Eric Hölljes)
  19. All of Us / Tightrope / Happy (CHJ / Charles Joseph II, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, Janelle Robinson / Pharrell Williams)
  20. The Christmas Song (Mel Tormé, Robert Wells)
  21. Mary, Did You Know? (Mark Lowry, Buddy Greene)
  22. Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow (African American Spiritual)
  23. Do You Hear What I Hear? (Noel Regeny, Gloria Shayne)
  24. Jingle Bells (James Pierpont, arr. Julien Neel)
  25. Softly (Will Todd)
  26. Lullabye (Good Night, My Angel) (Billy Joel)
  27. We Clasp the Hands (CHJ)
  28. I Could Have Danced All Night (Frederick Loewe, arr. Craig Hella Johnson)

Recorded live December 2016 at The Carillon on Exposition, Austin, TX

Thomas Burritt, Percussion
Additional piano/vocal performances by Craig Hella Johnson.

Release Date: 12/01/2017


Start From Here with Guest Artist Ruthie Foster (2014)

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In the tightknit musical community of Austin, Texas, it’s tough to get away with posturing.  You either bring it, or you don’t. 

If you do, word gets around. Praises are sung. And one day, you find yourself duetting with Bonnie Raitt, or standing onstage with the Allman Brothers at New York’s Beacon Theater and trading verses with Susan Tedeschi. You might even wind up getting nominated for a Best Blues Album Grammy® three times in a row. And those nominations would be in addition to your seven Blues Music Awards, three Austin Music Awards, the Grand Prix du Disque award from the Académie Charles-Cros in France, and a Living Blues Critics’ Award for Female Blues Artist of the Year. 

Ruthie’s latest record is Joy Comes Back, produced by Austin producer and former neighbor Daniel Barrett. Ruthie pours the heartache of family fracture and the cautious hope of a new love into the ten tracks, along with some help from Derek Trucks, Willie Weeks, Joe Vitale and Warren Hood. 

There’s only one Austinite with that résumé: Ruthie Foster. 

Track Listing:

  1. The Lone, Wild Bird/Let Me Call You Sweetheart/You… You/Veni, Veni, O Oriens (Southern Harmony/Leo Friedman/Leslie Bricusse/Plainsong)
  2. Tryin’ Times (Leroy Hutson, Donny Hathaway)
  3. Like as the Hart (Herbert Howells)
  4. To Mother You (Sinead O’Connor)
  5. Brand New Day (Ruthie Foster)
  6. We Need a Little Christmas/Love Came Down at Christmas/Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (Jerry Herman/Traditional Irish/J.Z. Beecher)
  7. Amuworo ayi out nwa (Nigerian carol, arr. Christian Onyeji)
  8. Rise Up My Love, My Fair One (Healey Willan)
  9. Love’s In Need of Love Today (Stevie Wonder)
  10. Yedid Nefesh (Hebrew Chant)
  11. The End of Me/It Is Well With My Soul (Joel Hanson, Jason Gray/Phillip P. Bliss)
  12. Trusty and True (Damien George Rice)
  13. Song of Gratitude (Craig Hella Johnson)
  14. More Like Falling in Love (Jason Gray, Jason Ingram)
  15. Almost Like Being in Love (Frederick Loewe)
  16. Exactly Like You (Jimmy McHugh)
  17. I Love Your Lovin’ Ways (Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus)
  18. Maybe God is Tryin’ to Tell You Something (Quincy Jones)
  19. Blue Christmas (Billy Hayes, Jay Johnson)
  20. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane)
  21. Ukuthula/Give Me Love/Let There Be Peace on Earth (Traditional South African, arr. Markus Schlaf/George Harrison/Sy Miller, Jill Jackson)
  22. We Clasp the Hands (Craig Hella Johnson)
  23. I Could Have Danced All Night (Frederick Loewe, arr. Craig Hella Johnson)

Recorded live December 2014 at The Carillon on Exposition, Austin, TX

Thomas Burritt, Percussion
Additional piano/vocal performances by Craig Hella Johnson.

Release Date: 12/10/2015
One Voice with Guest Artists Kathlene Ritch and Charles Wesley Evans (2012)

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Kathlene Ritch 

After earning a Bachelor’s of Music Studies degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Kathlene Ritch moved to New York City where she sang with such noted ensembles as New York Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, and Vienna Philharmonic. In 2001, she made her solo debut at Lincoln Center with American Symphony Orchestra in Liszt’s Dante’s Inferno. With that same ensemble, she recorded a live concert version of Die aegyptische Helena as Hermione opposite Deborah Voigt’s Helen. In June of 2011, Kathlene settled in Santa Fe to be the accompanist for Santa Fe High School Choral Department and the Director of Royal School of Church Music at Church of the Holy Faith. She also has her business, The Red-Headed Chef, but still finds time to sing with ensembles around the country. 

Charles Wesley Evans

Applauded by the New York Times for his “elegant, mellifluous and expressive baritone,” Charles Wesley Evans is establishing a fine career as an early music artist, and recitalist. This Georgia-born singer began singing professionally as a chorister at The American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey. With The American Boychoir, he toured both nationally and internationally, performing under the batons of notable conductors, John Williams, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Vladimir Spivakov, and Lorin Maazel. His singing has won him awards from numerous organizations and vocal competitions including the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Mobile Opera Auditions, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, the Atlanta Music Club Auditions, and the Georgia Young Artist Competition. 

Charles’ singing has led to a variety of opportunities throughout the United States and abroad. Most recently he has performed various works with Princeton Pro Musica chorus and orchestra, the Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra and chorus, the Dryden Ensemble, TENET, Berkshire Baroque, the Master Chorale of South Florida, and “Baroque Masterpieces” with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. He is also proud to be on the roster of the Grammy award-winning ensemble Conspirare and Grammy-nominated ensembles Seraphic Fire and the Trinity Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street. Charles has been broadcast on New York, South Florida, Texas, and Kansas public radio and he has recorded on the Naxos and Harmonia Mundi labels. 

Charles holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Brewton-Parker College in Mt. Vernon, GA with further study at the Boston Conservatory of Music and Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. 

Track listing and audio samples:
  1. My Heart Will Always Remember / Veni Emmanuel / How Will I Know / Satisfaction (French folk melody/plainchant / George Merrill, Shannon Rubicam & Naranda Michael Walden / Mick Jagger & Keith Richards)
  2. On Your Wings (Samuel Ervin Beam)
  3. Ghosts in My Machine (Annie Lennox)
  4. Softly and Tenderly / Come Ye Disconsolate (Will L. Thompson / Samuel Webbe)
  5. I Dreamed a Dream / Veni Sancte Spiritus / Comfort, Comfort Ye My People (Claude Michele Schönberg / plainchant / FreudichSehr)
  6. Love Calls You by Your Name (Leonard Cohen)
  7. Prelude in C / Wie soll dich ich empfangen (J.S. Bach / Johann Crüger)
  8. Kontakion on the Nativity (Richard Toensing)
  9. Jauchzet den Herrn (Heinrich Schütz)
  10. Until Even the Angels (Craig Hella Johnson)
  11. We Are (Ysaye Maria Barnwell)
  12. Say I Am You / Do Not Stand at My Grave / Here Is a Miracle (Craig Hella Johnson)
  13. i thank you God for most this amazing day (Eric Whitacre)
  14. Move On / Being Alive (Stephen Sondheim)
  15. Wake Up Everybody (John Whitehead, Gene McFadden & Victor Carstarphen)
  16. Sun, Moon, Stars (Alvin Ranglin & Dante Smith)
  17. How Will I Know (George Robert Merrill, Shannon Rubicam & Narade Michael Walden)
  18. The Song Remembers When (Hugh Prestwood)
  19. Trains I Missed (Walt Wilkins, Gilles Godard , & Nicole Witt)
  20. One Voice (Ruth Moody)
  21. One Voice (Gordon Chambers & Phil Galdston)
  22. Let Go (Imogen Jennifer Heap & Guy Sigsworth)
  23. Bonse Aba (traditional Zambian, arr. Andrew Fischer)
  24. Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle (traditional French carol)
  25. With So Little To Be Sure Of (Stephen Sondheim)
  26. We Clasp the Hands (Craig Hella Johnson)
  27. I Could Have Danced All Night (Frederick Loewe)

Recorded live December 8-9, 2012 at The Carillon on Exposition, Austin, TX

Thomas Burritt, Percussion
Additional piano/vocal performances by Craig Hella Johnson.

Release Date: 06/01/2013
Love Again with Guest Artist Cynthia Clawson (2007)

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Referred to many as the “singer’s singer” and called “the most awesome voice in gospel music” by Billboard magazine, Cynthia Clawson has received a Grammy® and five Dove awards for her work as a songwriter, vocal artist, and musician. Her career has spanned over four decades with 22 recordings to her credit. She was three years old when her father first asked her to sing in the small church he pastored, and Cynthia has not stopped since – from local neighborhood churches to London’s Wembley Stadium. Though never considered a southern gospel singer by critics and fans, she has been honored to be a frequent guest on Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Series. Cynthia has reached millions throughout the world with her music. A graduate of Howard Payne University with a major in vocal performance and a minor in piano, Cynthia was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from her alma mater in 2007. She holds the same honorary degree from Houston Baptist University in 1995. Her rendition of “Softly and Tenderly” set the evocative tone for the soundtrack of the Academy Award-winning movie The Trip to Bountiful. Included in her schedule, Cynthia has performed as a guest artist for Grammy-nominated Conspirare, a choral group recognized as the preeminent a cappella choral ensemble in the United States. She’s also performed with the Houston Chamber Choir as well as years of singing with church choirs around the world. Her talents bridge the arts of music, theater, and cabaret. Her eclectic style allows her artistry full expression. 

Track Listing:

  1. Welcome to Our World (excerpt) (Chris Rice)
  2. Ubi caritas (plainsong chant)
  3. O Sapientia (Springfield Antiphonal)
  4. Lost (Annie Lennox)
  5. Turning / How Shall I Receive You (text: W.B Yeats; music: CHJ/traditional)
  6. Super flumina Babylonis (text: Psalm 137; music: Palestrina)
  7. Collage: Ghosts in My Machine (text: June Jordan; music: CHJ/Annie Lennox)  / Isaiah (text: Johannes Olearius; music: GF Handel)
  8. Never Gonna Fall in Love Again (Eric Carmen) / Veni Emmanuel (plainsong chant) / Falling Slowly (Glen Hansard)
  9. Anastasia’s Eyes (Dan Fogelberg)
  10. Lo, How a Rose / The Rose (text and music: traditional/Amanda McBroom; arr. CHJ)
  11. 1st Katisma (from Vigilia) (text: Book of Psalms; music: Einojuhani Rautavaara)
  12. Welcome to Our World (Chris Rice)
  13. Gaudete Omnes (music: J.P. Sweelinck)
  14. Prayer in Open D (Emmylou Harris)
  15. Love After Love (text: Derek Walcott; music: CHJ)
  16. Question (Rhett Miller)
  17. When I Call a Name (text: Miranda July; music: CHJ)
  18. I Wanna Know What Love Is (Mick Jones)
  19. Sanctus (music: J.S. Bach)
  20. Winds Through the Olive Trees (text: Katherine Parker; music: George W. Wilmot)
  21. A Spotless Rose (German text trans.: Winkworth; music: Ola Gjeilo)
  22. Jolly Old St. Nicholas (traditional)
  23. God’s Gonna Set This World on Fire (traditional spiritual; arr. Moses Hogan)
  24. I Am Willing (Holly Near)
  25. When My Soul Goes Home (Cynthia Clawson)
  26. Eternal Father, Strong to Save (text: William Whiting; music: John B. Dykes)
  27. We Clasp the Hands (text: Wendell Berry; music: CHJ)
  28. I Could Have Danced All Night (A.J. Lerner/F. Lowe; arr. CHJ)
  29. I Love You (Larry Norman/Randy Stonehill)

Recorded live December 2007 at The Carillon on Exposition, Austin, TX

Additional piano / vocal performances by Craig Hella Johnson.

Release Date: 06/01/2008