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New Orleans Public Radio Holiday Schedule 2023-2024

WWNO 89.9 Holiday Programming

December 7 (Thu)

9pm - Yiddish Radio Project Holiday Special

All that survives from the "golden age" of Yiddish radio in the 1930s to '50s are a thousand fragile discs, rescued from storerooms, attics, and even dumpsters. But what a story they tell! The Yiddish Radio Project is a celebration of these recordings and of the forgotten geniuses and dreamers who created them. We compiled the best clips from our archive for this holiday special. Hosted by Scott Simon.

10pm - Candles Burning Brightly

A delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights! Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Chanukah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.

December 10 (Sun)

9pm - Hanukkah Lights 2023

This year features four of our favorite stories from Hanukkah Lights archive - written by authors Daniel Mark Epstein, Max Apple, Anne Burt and Andy Borowitz - plus a special Hanukkah Tiny Desk performance by the LeeVees!

December 13 (Wed)

9pm - Yiddish Radio Project Holiday Special

All that survives from the "golden age" of Yiddish radio in the 1930s to '50s are a thousand fragile discs, rescued from storerooms, attics, and even dumpsters. But what a story they tell! The Yiddish Radio Project is a celebration of these recordings and of the forgotten geniuses and dreamers who created them. We compiled the best clips from our archive for this holiday special. Hosted by Scott Simon.

10pm - A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a capella

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.

December 14 (Thu)

9pm -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. This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Chanukah gems by American folk singers. The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Chanukah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel.

10pm - Chanukah in Story and Song

Chanukkah In Story and Song Sung by the The Western Wind Narrated by Leonard Nimoy The acclaimed vocal sextet and the renowned actor present 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and their original version of “I Have a Little Dreydle.” The singers sing a cappella and are also joined by instruments including violin, accordion, bass and guitar. The narration written by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik sheds light on the holiday customs and rituals.

December 20 (Wed)

8pm -  Lyrica Baroque 2023 Holiday Special

9pm - Lagniappe Sessions NOJO Holiday Special

December 21 (Thur)

9pm - A Paul Winter Solstice

Celebrate the return of the sun with an encore performance recorded in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Musicians include gospel singer Theresa Thomason, multi-instrumentalist and singer Arto Tunçboyacıyan and double reed wizard Paul McCandless. Hear the American Performance Premiere of the Grammy-winning suite MIHO with The Paul Winter Consort: Eugene Friesen, Paul Sullivan, Eliot Wadopian, Jamey Haddad, Tim Brumfield and the thundering Cathedral Pipe Organ. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts.

10pm - Holiday Stories of Warmth and Light, from Living On Earth

Native American myths and tales help us endure or even enjoy the short days and long nights of winter. Living on Earth’s annual celebration of stories helps connect people with the natural world and includes an Iroquois explanation of why the constellation Pleiades twinkles overhead and an Abenaki custom that asks forgiveness for any wrongs of the previous year.

11pm - An Echoes Winter Solstice

Get ready for the big chill as John Diliberto creates a soundscape of snow-shrouded trees, silent saguaro cactus and white out conditions. It's a winter fantasy with no Christmas Carols, but a sleigh-full of music taking you into the celestial and chilled side of the season.

December 22 (Fri)

7pm - Jazz Piano Christmas 2023

Your favorite holiday classics as you’ve never heard them! The Kennedy Center and NPR present A Jazz Piano Christmas, the annual sell-out event featuring jazz-infused renditions of the season’s most-loved music. This year, we spotlight remarkable pianist, vocalist, and actress Melvis Santa—whose eclectic Afro-Cuban style has made her one of the most electrifying artists on the scene—in addition to internationally acclaimed Cuban composer and jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez. Hosted by Felix Contreras.

8pm - Fred Kaston’s 38th Annual Jazz Christmas Party

2 hours of great jazz versions of Christmas favorites featuring Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ellis Marsalis, Jon Hendricks, Don Vappie, Johnny Adams, Wynton Marsalis, Judith Owen and more…

10pm - Garrett’s 9th Ward Holiday Radio Party

11pm - Jazz Night in America Holiday Special 

Jazz Night in America brings you holiday classics with fresh arrangements and entertaining storytelling recorded live from Rose Theater in New York City. This year's Jazz Night in America holiday special will feature drummer Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O; a ruckus band recorded at Jazz at Lincoln Center that flip seasonal songs on their head while inserting humor and joyful swing. Christian McBride hosts.

December 23 (Sat)

12am - A World Cafe Holiday Special

World Cafe is celebrating 30 years 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. Hosted by Raina Douris, this musical gift will provide a full hour of hip holiday cheer.

5am - Rick Steves’ Christmastime in Bavaria, Croatia, Sweden, Rome, Sardinia, Costa Rica, Netherlands.

Enjoy Old World holiday traditions from Europe, and meet some of Santa’s cousins, as we hear about Christmas season events that range from the sublime to the quirky on this Travel with Rick Steves special. Rick’s friends explain how they observe the holidays in Germany’s Bavaria, on the island of Sardinia, in Croatia, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Rome. We’ll also get a taste of a tropical Christmas in Costa Rica. Pick up a few international Christmas customs to brighten up your holidays!

December 24 (Sun)

9amFestival of Nine Lessons and Carols 

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols presents your audience with an opportunity to share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal Classical music. This special will be presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue, the 500-year-old Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England. Find out what to expect from this year’s performance here...

12pm - Rick Steves’ Christmastime in Bavaria, Croatia, Sweden, Rome, Sardinia, Costa Rica, Netherlands.

Enjoy Old World holiday traditions from Europe, and meet some of Santa’s cousins, as we hear about Christmas season events that range from the sublime to the quirky on this Travel with Rick Steves special. Rick’s friends explain how they observe the holidays in Germany’s Bavaria, on the island of Sardinia, in Croatia, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Rome. We’ll also get a taste of a tropical Christmas in Costa Rica. Pick up a few international Christmas customs to brighten up your holidays!

5pm - Joy to the World: A Holiday in Pink

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro, and co-produced by OPB and Murray Street Productions.

6pm - Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1967 Christmas Eve Message of Hope

On Christmas Eve 1967, Martin Luther King, civil rights leader, Baptist preacher and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, agreed to deliver the prestigious Massey lectures on CBC Radio. His title was "Conscience for Change." Although these lectures were recorded more than forty years ago, King’s words have lost none of their relevance as we still try to come to terms with many of the same issues.

7pmA Christmas Carol with Jonathan Winters

A public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy.

9pmGarrett’s 9th Ward Holiday Radio Party

December 25 (Mon)

12am/midnight - Welcome Christmas

There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert conducted by Philip Brunelle. It’s an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries.

9am- An Afro Blue Christmas

This is a special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue, and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The a-cappela group performs a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one of a kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions... music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.

10am - Christmas with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs

One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation -- get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This year's program features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.

11am- The Ballad of the Brown King

Dr. Louise Toppin, a preeminent performer and scholar specializing in the concert repertoire of African American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King (Avie Records, 2018). With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ. This gorgeous work is beautifully interpreted by New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart, with Malcolm J. Merriweather at the podium.

12pm (noon) - Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra 2023 Holiday Special

1pm - Lyrica Baroque 2023 Holiday Special

2pm - A Choral Christmas with Stile Antico

Celebrate Christmas with the sound of soaring voices. Stile Antico, the award-winning choir from London, pays a visit to St. Paul's Church on Harvard Square for a concert of radiant sacred music for the Christmas season by the most acclaimed composers of the renaissance. Hear the group's luminous blend of voices sing the intricately woven music of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. Hosted by Cathy Fuller of WGBH.

December 26 (Tues) 

8pm - A Season’s Griot Kwanzaa Special

Hosted by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, A Season's Griot is an annual one-hour special that captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. The show’s poet laureate, Beverly Fields Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family return with familiar and favorite elements of Griot.

January 1 (Mon) 

10am - New Year’s Day From Vienna 2024

The Vienna Philharmonic will perform their famous New Year's Day concert from the renowned Musikverein in Vienna on January 1, 2024. The concert will be conducted by Christian Thielemann, and includes many favorites by Johann Strauss Junior, including the Waldmeister Overture and the New Pizzicato Polka as well as six items appearing on the New Year's Day concert for the first time. As it has for decades now, the encores feature the most famous waltz ever, From the Blue Danube, as well as the Radetzky March.

12pm - The Year In Climate

It’s been a year of weather extremes – again. But there’s also been cause for renewed hope about our climate future. On the heels of this year’s international climate conference held in the oil-rich Middle East, This special episode features conversations with luminaries Rev. Lennox Yearwood and Rebecca Solnit, White House Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi, climate activist Nalleli Cobo and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.

Classical 104.9 and the WWNO Classical Network Holiday Programming

December 8 (Fri)

7pm - A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a capella

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.

December 15 (Fri) 

7pm -- Lyrica Baroque 2023 Holiday Special

December 20 (Wed)

8pm - Winter Holidays around the world with Bill MCLaughlin

Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill’s spirited selection starts in the 12th century with Nova Stella, medieval Italian Christmas music from Saint Francis of Assisi’s staging of the nativity; jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s classical composition La Fiesta de la Posada, evoking a Mexican Christmas celebration; and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols. We will enjoy this time of year in Paris with music from Debussy, and then travel to Polynesia for a traditional hymn, Anau Oia Ea. And then ending with an excerpt from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production. Turn on your radio, pour a cup of tea, cozy up to a warm fire, and enjoy the music!

December 21 (Thurs)

6pm - The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice 2023

A brand new 2-hour musical celebration of the winter holidays – Advent, Chanukah, the Solstice, Christmas, Dongzhi, New Year’s and Twelfth Night/Epiphany -- featuring traditional carols, wassails, hymns, ballads, children’s game-songs, and folk dance-tunes excerpted from live Christmas Revels stage productions presented around the country.

December 22 (Fri)

7pm - Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra 2023 Holiday Special

8pm - A Handel and Haydn Society Christmas

Celebrate the season with this hour-long special featuring Christmas choral music from America’s oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society. Founded in 1815, the Society is celebrating their bicentennial season, including their 400th performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” Join Host Cale Wiggins for this program featuring music from the 15th century to the late 20th ; a Christmas for all times.

December 24 (Sun)

5pm - A Handel and Haydn Society Christmas

Celebrate the season with this hour-long special featuring Christmas choral music from America’s oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society. Founded in 1815, the Society is celebrating their bicentennial season, including their 400th performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” Join Host Cale Wiggins for this program featuring music from the 15th century to the late 20th ; a Christmas for all times.

6pm - The Ballad of the Brown King -

Dr. Louise Toppin, a preeminent performer and scholar specializing in the concert repertoire of African American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King (Avie Records, 2018). With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ. This gorgeous work is beautifully interpreted by New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart, with Malcolm J. Merriweather at the podium.

9pm - A Chanticleer Christmas (CD)

This unique, one-hour program of holiday music is presented live in concert by Chanticleer. Hear why this superb 12-man ensemble is known as "an orchestra of voices," as they perform holiday classics and new favorites, with choral commentary by host Steve Staruch.

December 25 (Mon)

12am-12pm - 24 Hours of Classical Christmas Music on WWNO

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