Santa Clarita native Mat Shaw and his daughter Savanna are looking forward to bringing some Christmas cheer to the Santa Clarita Valley for the Performing Arts Center’s first live concert performance since the start of the pandemic.
The father-daughter duo is set to take the stage for their special holiday show, “The Joy of Christmas,” debuting their Christmas album at College of the Canyons next month.
What began as a pandemic project quickly evolved into so much more after the Shaws’ harmonious duet went viral.
Seventeen-year-old Savanna was looking for a way to stay connected with her friends on the children’s choir through the pandemic, creating an Instagram to share music with them and her family.
“I was a little bit too nervous to do the first song by myself, so… I pulled my dad in,” she said. “That video ended up going viral, so we just kept on making videos. It’s been really fun.”
The Shaws quickly became YouTube sensations across the globe, garnering more than half a million followers.
“We’ve got a really eclectic taste, and we both share the same affinity for different genres of music, so it’s nice,” Mat Shaw said.
The duo would go through a list of music and pick their favorites, covering everything ranging from oldies to Broadway to Disney.
“We quickly ran out of music that wasn’t love song duets for a guy and a girl, so luckily we have a friend that’s an incredible arranger/composer that we started working with… and we could turn any song we wanted to into a duet, which was fun,” Mat added.
After Savanna was able to graduate early, the Shaws have begun to focus all of their energy on their music, releasing a total of three chart-topping albums, with the Christmas album set to be their fourth released in December.
Next, the two look forward to bringing live performances into the mix, as their goal “has always been and continues to be to just use our music and our platform to share hope and spread joy,” Mat said.
“At first, it was just us singing to our iPhone and putting that on YouTube, which was great — we loved it — but now the ability to bring our music out and to meet the people who have been impacted by the music and to share that experience of the energy… is so magical,” Mat added.
It’s artists like the Shaws, who have “brought joy to so many during this unprecedented time,” that Jennifer Smolos, PAC artistic director and dean of the School of Visual & Performing Arts at COC, said the school is looking forward to featuring.
“Mat and Savanna’s uplifting song choices and harmonies continue to inspire people all over the world and we are proud to welcome them to the PAC this December,” Smolos said in a prepared statement.
While the Shaws now live in Utah, Mat grew up in Newhall, and is excited to return to his hometown to share his music.
“I have such fond memories of growing up there… My grandparents, my great-grandparents were in Valencia, so I’ve got a lot of history there. It’ll be so fun for us to come back,” Mat said. “We’re honored to be able to bring live music back to (the PAC) and to my hometown.”
Tickets for the “Mat and Savanna Shaw: The Joy of Christmas” show range from $20 to $55. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the PAC box office at 661-362-5304.