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KCBX Holiday Program Schedule 2019

Photo by Zadl Diaz

KCBX has piles of gifts for you this holiday season--in the form of great programming. Many of our regular shows will feature holiday music and talk, and we are also offering the following specials.

Friday, 12/20/19

6:30-7:30 p.m. Paul Winter's Annual Winter Solstice Celebration...Celebrate the return of the sun and the warming of the heart. At the darkest time of the year, we head back to New York's Cathedral of Saint John the Divine to hear an encore performance from The Paul Winter Consort and friends from around the world. The concert brings traditional holiday favorites and music from across the globe.

Sunday, 12/22/19

2:00-4:00 p.m. St. Olaf Christmas Festival…This service in song and word has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity. It features more than 500 student musicians in five choirs, and the St. Olaf Orchestra.

6:00-7:00 p.m. Hanukkah Lights…Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz host this annual holiday tradition from NPR that celebrates stories of the season. Hear new stories for Hanukkah about touching resolutions, family feelings, divinity, and a sci-fi encounter of Hanukkah on Mars.

Tuesday, 12/24/19 Christmas Eve

2:00-3:00 p.m. Moth Radio Hour Holiday Special: Palm Trees & Menorahs…Hear 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. Those stories and more in this episode.

10:00 p.m.-midnight Audio Aftermath Holiday Special…Join Dan Wardlow as he revisits the days of Underground FM radio with holiday music from the mid-60s to the mid-70s, all played from original vinyl LPs and singles. You’ll hear songs from artists like The Who, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, Pentangle, Canned Heat joined by the Chipmunks, and Frank Zappa explaining why we shouldn’t eat the yellow snow.

Wednesday, 12/25/19 Christmas Day

Midnight-1:00 a.m. All Songs Considered for the Holidays… This year, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton decide to get away from it all with a holiday cruise to Bermuda. Along the way they meet musical guests aboard the ship, including John Legend, Aloe Blacc, William Shatner, and Lucius, who all try to share their own good cheer for the holidays. But the gang finds itself stuck in Bermuda Triangle, desperate for some sort of passage back home. It all unfolds like a bad high school play in this regular, seasonal spoof from NPR Music.

9:00-10:00 a.m. Big Tiny Desk Concert Holiday Special… Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series, including Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more!

10:00-11:00 a.m. Jazz Piano Christmas 35… The Kennedy Center and NPR present a holiday tradition where pianists perform their favorite seasonal music. This year features Kennedy Center favorite George Cables, Latin all-star Rebeca Mauleón, and Hancock Institute International Piano Competition Finalist Joshua White.

11:00 a.m.-noon Festivo Alt Latino… Singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno and her band perform songs from her popular holiday album Posada - recorded live at the KUT studios in Austin, Texas. She is joined by special guests Gina Chavez and Chicano Zen bandleader and record producer Michael Ramos

1:00-2:00 p.m. Tinsel Tales 4…Lynn Neary hosts the fourth collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places. NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some stories are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from NPR’s broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time.

2:00-3:00 p.m. Moth Radio Hour Holiday Special: Unexpected Gifts…Hear stories about the unexpected gifts of December: holiday customs, brand new traditions, flying cows, fruit, luminarias and a magical forest.

6:30-7:30 p.m. Hygge Holiday: Cozy Classics…Join host Elena See as she plays a mix of wintry and nostalgic classical pieces designed to accompany listeners as they enjoy cozy wintertime activities.

7:30-10:00 p.m. Classical Showcase Holiday Special…Rob Kimball shares classical music from the 20th century to celebrate the holidays, including his annual broadcast of the opera Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti.

10:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. Holiday Jazz programming…Enjoy jazz for the season on Christmas Night, including Jazz Night in America: A Holiday Celebration, An Afro Blue Christmas, and Jazz Piano Christmas 35 from NPR.

Thursday, 12/26/19

1:00-2:00 p.m. The Great Listen from StoryCorps…NPR’s Audie Cornish hosts a surprising and delightful hour of some of the best stories from StoryCorps. Plus, she’ll talk with StoryCorps founder David Isay about the importance of documenting family history, and how you can record a conversation during the holidays to preserve for generations to come.

Sunday, 12/29/19

Noon-1:00 p.m. A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella…Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts.

New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, 12/31/19

2:00-3:00 p.m. The Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday...Has it been a rough year? Did you get a haircut from Boris Johnson's barber? Did you take a job as a public relations spokesperson for Rudy Guiliani? Then you may feel the need to laugh at 2019, and the Capitol Steps could not agree more! So tune in to the Capitol Steps' New Year's edition of "Politics Takes a Holiday," featuring songs from their latest album, The Lyin' Kings. What better time to laugh at politics than now, with election season gearing up? After all, the Capitol Steps won't tell you any actual useful information, but they will tell you what rhymes with Pete Buttigieg.

As director of programming and content, Marisa Waddell coordinates the radio programming on KCBX and KCBX HD2 and leads efforts to develop content on digital media. Marisa also hosts the Thursday night Americana music program The Road Home, and contributes interviews to the weekly KCBX radio magazine Issues and Ideas and to KCBX News. She manages the KCBX on-air staff, including the newsroom, music hosts, continuity announcers and on-air volunteers.