Holiday Programming

Celebrate the Holidays with New England Public Radio

‘Tis the season for your favorite holiday music on New England Public Radio! Tune in for a wonderful mix of classical traditions to the fabulous A Toast of the Nation to ring in the New Year. Happy holidays from the staff at New England Public Radio!

December 24 at 10am: LIVE
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Hosted by Michael Barone, this is a live stereo music and spoken-word broadcast from the chapel of King’s College in Cambridge, England. The 30-voice King’s College Choir, led by Stephen Cleobury, performs the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of Biblical readings and music.

December 24 at 3pm:
Holiday Light: Singing Angels, Silver Bells
Holiday Light is a wonderfully diverse collection of holiday music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the present sung by The Western Wind one of America’s preeminent vocal ensembles. The music is a delightful mix of familiar and historical songs and carols, including “Angelus ad Virginem,” a popular carol from the thirteenth century; Spanish Renaissance motets and villancicos by Victoria, Guerrero, and Fernandes; early American music by William Billings; Appalachian folk songs and spirituals; and contemporary English and American carols. Featured are unique arrangements of the popular Christmas songs “Silver Bells,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “Christmas Time is Here,” created especially for the Western Wind. Guest host, Roma Downey, weaves together the music with a narrative that is informative, witty, fresh and moving. Ms. Downey became a household word through her portrayal of the angel Monica in the hit CBS television series Touched by An Angel. The narration was written by Reverend K Karpen, the spiritual leader of the Church of Saint Paul and Saint Andrew on the upper West Side of Manhattan, a well-known center of social activism. Karpen takes a relevant and charming approach to the themes and stories of Christmas that makes the events seem like they happened just yesterday.

December 25 9am-4pm
John Nowacki & Walter Carroll host
A Holiday collection.

December 25 at 10pm
New! Jazz Piano Christmas
NPR Music brings you another great concert from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Pianists Cyrus Chestnut, Kris Davis, Lynne Arriale and The “Master” Harold Mabern take the stage to perform their favorite holiday songs. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

December 31-January 1 9pm-5am 
Toast of the Nation 2014/2015
The New Year’s tradition continues with jazz you can party to all night long. Toast of the Nation 2014/2015 travels to the Newport Jazz Festival, Winter Jazzfest, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. There are no live segments this year, but don’t worry – you can still enjoy festive jazz sets with countdowns in three time zones. It’s sure to be a nonstop celebration of musical fireworks that will keep you dancing and swinging all night long. Hosted by WBGO’s Rhonda Hamilton.

9 p.m.
Jon Batiste and Stay Human play a high energy set from The 2014 Newport Jazz Festival.

10 p.m.
2015 Winter Jazzfest Highlights with magical performances from Big Chief Donald Harrison, Gretchen Parlato, the Hypnotic Brass Band and more.

11 p.m.
Wynton Marsalis leads a medium-sized ensemble in a celebration of the music of New Orleans pioneers Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver. This is an encore performance of the 2011/2012 Toast of the Nation set from Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

12:30 a.m.
Dee Alexander’s Funkin’ with Electric Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix and James Brown. This funky segment is an encore performance that tore up Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center in 2012.

1:30 a.m.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy from L.A.’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. Dance to this 2010 encore from BBVD’s How Big Can You Get? A Tribute to Cab Calloway, a high-voltage jolt of feel-good energy.

3:15 a.m.
Jon Batiste and Stay Human play a high energy set from The 2014 Newport Jazz Festival (rollover).

4 a.m.
2015 Winter Jazzfest Highlights with magical performances from Big Chief Donald Harrison, Gretchen Parlato, the Hypnotic Brass Band, and more

January 1 at 11 a.m. LIVE
New Year’s Day from Vienna 2015
The Philharmonic presents its ever popular annual New Year’s Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. You’ll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more – a festive way to start off the New Year. Presented by NPR Music and WGBH, Boston.