KCBX Holiday Program Schedule 2022
KCBX has gifts galore for you this holiday season — in the form of great seasonal programs. Many of our regular show hosts will feature holiday music and talk, and we are also offering the following specials.
Sunday, December 18, 6:00-7:00 p.m. Hanukkah Lights
The NPR holiday favorite returns with the best Hanukkah Lights stories from the last 30 years. Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz celebrate the season with stories about families and friendships, miracles and menorahs, lights and latkes.
6:30-8:00 p.m. KCBX in Concert
Host Lisa Nauful offers up a wide variety of holiday music. Listeners will first be treated to a collection of Christmas favorites from choral group Chanticleer. Correlli's Christmas Concerto comes next, followed by classics played by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. In celebration of Hanukkah, Lisa explores Handel's other holiday masterpiece, Judas Maccabaeus. The evening ends with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis playing J.S. Bach's “Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.”
8:00-10:00 p.m. Classical Showcase
Rob Kimball shares a special holiday show, featuring Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. Based on Italian folktales of the first Christmas, this twentieth-century opera brings to life the story of the Three Kings who have traveled long distances to bear gifts for the child born in Bethlehem.
Thursday, December 22, 1:00-2:00 p.m. The One Recipe Holiday Show
From the world of The Splendid Table comes a podcast featuring food and culture-obsessed writer and editor Jesse Sparks. Join Jesse on this special as she talks to culinary superstars about their “One” — the recipe that signals the holiday has begun! They’ll get into traditions and food with influences from all over the world and leave you with recipes that could jumpstart your own festivities.
Friday, December 23, 9:00 a.m.-noon The Morning Cup Holiday Show
It's become an annual tradition for Universal Language host Jerome Taylor to dig into his vast and eclectic collection of holiday music and share it during the last Morning Cup before Christmas. We never know what musical treats he'll have in store, but we bet there will be plenty of island sounds, novelty tunes, classic takes from the greats, and new releases that will become our favorites in years to come.
Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24
Noon-1:00 p.m. A Mountain Stage Holiday
Join host Larry Groce for an hour filled with seasonal songs, old and new, all recorded live over the years on the Mountain Stage from NPR. The show features special guests Holly Cole, Joan Baez, Bruce Cockburn, Loudon Wainwright III, The Roches, Kathy Mattea and more.
1:00-2:00 p.m. A World Café Holiday
NPR's World Café celebrates by revisiting special holiday performances from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Los Lobos, Andrew Bird, The Bird and The Bee, Pink Martini, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more. Raina Douris hosts this full hour of hip holiday cheer.
2:00-3:00 p.m. Mark O'Connor's Appalachian Christmas
Famous bluegrass fiddler and respected American composer Mark O’Connor leads his family band with special guest Nancy Ives, principal cellist of the Oregon Symphony, in An Appalachian Christmas . Hear holiday favorites including “The Cherry Tree Carol,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Carol of the Bells,” and more. Plus, O’Connor talks about the importance of fiddling in the development of early American music. Recorded live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon.
3:00-5:00 p.m. American Routes: Sounds of Winter Solstice and the Holidays
It’s the season of cold weather, darkness, solstice, and… holidays. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's ahead. A time of celebration and contemplation, family and friends but also some broken hearts and Christmas blues. From cold weather and cold-hearted blues of Snooky Pryor, Big Maceo and Aretha Franklin to the warm side of the season with Louis Jordan and Ella Fitzgerald, Wille Nelson and Elvis. And Hanukkah sounds from Bela Fleck and Andy Statman. Plus, we explore Santa’s exploits, fallibility, and possibility with songs from Baltimore’s Fat Daddy, Tampa Red and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
5:00-6:00 p.m. Thistle and Shamrock: Fiona's Celtic Christmas
Enjoy the rich acoustic instruments and voices of the festive season, with tales of tradition, rhymes of remembrance, and the unique flavors of a Celtic Christmas.
6:00 p.m.-midnight Big Daddy Cain’s Christmas Music Extravaganza
Big Daddy Cain takes you on a 6-hour Christmas music marathon, diving deep into his giant personal collection of holiday music. He’ll feature songs from many different genres, including blues, R&B, soul, funk, jazz and more!
Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25
10:00-11:00 a.m. Selected Shorts: Holidays with Mom
Actors Michael Cerveris and Jane Curtin read two short stories about being home for the holidays, and how you can count on your Mom to be there for you — and possibly to complicate things. Hear "And Two Eyes Made Out of Coal" by Augusten Burroughs and "Live Wires" by Thomas Beller.
11:00 a.m.-noon This American Life: Baby's First Christmas
People experiencing Christmas in brand new ways, giving the holiday even more meaning.
Noon-3:00 p.m. Sunday Baroque
Sunday Baroque is planning a special day of music to celebrate the season. It’s the perfect, sparkling playlist for this merry day, featuring beloved Christmas carols that date back to the baroque era and earlier, joyful baroque Christmas Concertos, and music inspired by the arrival of the winter solstice.
3:00-4:00 p.m. Itzhak Perlman's Chanukah Radio Party
Itzhak Perlman invites you to his Chanukah Radio Party. Join the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday — some serious, some silly.
4:00-5:00 p.m. A Paul Winter Solstice
Celebrate the return of the sun with an encore performance recorded in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Musicians include Noel Paul Stookey, also known as Paul from the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. The Paul Winter Consort also invited old friends like gospel singer Theresa Thomason and the Forces of Nature dance and drumming troupe from Harlem. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts.
6:00-7:00 p.m. The Moth Holiday Special
In this special December holiday hour, stories about celebration, differing traditions, and family. A mother and son do their best to keep the gifting spirit alive, a daughter tries to fulfill her mother’s wish for a Trinidadian feast, and a man waits and waits for the perfect moment to kiss a date.
Global Spin, Speak Low and Citizen Sound all provide a Christmas night musical soundtrack for your festivities.
Monday, December 26, 1:00-2:00 p.m. 100 Years of the BBC
In November of 1922, BBC radio first crackled into the homes of Londoners, who heard a brief news and weather report. Over the next century, the BBC would expand far beyond news and become one of the world’s preeminent forces in arts and cultural programming. Tune in for a sound-rich conversation about the history of a media organization that half a billion listeners around the world depend on.
Tuesday, December 27, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Searching for Providers of Color
The mental health treatment field is disproportionately white. What barriers do people of color face while trying to find care? And how important is it to find a provider who can identify with a person’s race, culture and experiences? This special program explores the workforce shortage of BIPOC mental health providers, and examines the impact on people of color looking for appropriate care.
Wednesday, December 28, 8:00-9:00 p.m. The sounds of Kwanzaa
In this special, bassoonist, educator and radio host Garrett McQueen offers a background on the history of Kwanzaa and its guiding principles, alongside musical selections that highlight the spirit of the celebration. The show features the compositions of Florence Price, Duke Ellington, Sean O’Loughlin, and performances by Imani Winds.
Thursday, December 29, 1:00-2:00 p.m. A Season's Griot
Hosted by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, A Season's Griot is a one-hour special that captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. Madafo, show’s poet laureate Beverly Fields Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family share a storytelling celebration of Kwanzaa.
Sunday, January 1, 1:00-3:00 p.m. New Year's Day from Vienna
The Vienna Philharmonic presents its ever popular New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of Vienna's Musikverein with Cleveland Orchestra's Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducting. This year there is an appearance by the Vienna Boys Choir and, first time the Vienna Girls Choir. It's a great way to start the New Year. Hosted by WBUR's Lisa Mullins.
Monday, January 2, 1:00-2:00 p.m. More than Dry January
Award-winning journalist Anita Rao examines the tenets and experiences of sober curiosity through a conversation with two people who collectively have close to two decades of sobriety experience. J. Nicole Jones is the co-host of the “Sober Black Girls Club” and Tawny Lara is a New York City-based millennial who writes about the intersection of sobriety and sexuality as The Sober Sexpert. The two reflect on how their sobriety journeys have shaped everything from their romantic and platonic relationships to their careers and thoughts about the future. The show also features an array of diverse listener perspectives on evolving relationships with alcohol.