NPR Has A Smorgasbord Of Holiday Music For Your Speakers : NPR Extra From Latin blues to party jazz to classics from "White Christmas," NPR's got collection of special holiday music performances fit your office party, family soiree or long road trip.
NPR logo NPR Has A Smorgasbord Of Holiday Music For Your Speakers

NPR Has A Smorgasbord Of Holiday Music For Your Speakers

Howard University ensemble Afro Blue performs holiday tunes at NPR's Studio 1. Colin Marshall/NPR hide caption

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Colin Marshall/NPR

Howard University ensemble Afro Blue performs holiday tunes at NPR's Studio 1.

Colin Marshall/NPR

Whether you're the "Santa Baby" type or looking to take a more global approach to your December playlist, it's likely public radio has something that fits the order.

NPR teamed up with stations and venues around the country put together more than a dozen holiday music specials this year. The collection includes bluesy Latin sounds from Gaby Moreno, jazz and gospel performed by Howard University's vocal ensemble, a globetrotting set by Portland's Pink Martini and Ari Shapiro (yes, our Ari Shapiro) and classics too - songs from White Christmas and party jazz tunes performed by Wynton Marsalis. We've even Hanukkah stories read by the one and only Susan Stamberg.

Find More NPR Holiday Music Specials

In the guide below, preview some of these specials, airing on public radio stations all over the country now through the New Year. Check public radio station sites for more local schedules and broadcast times.

These programs are also available to play on demand at NPR Music, where we'll publish new joyful packages throughout the month. Today - a special tinsel-clad Tiny Desk Concert with Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings performing "8 Days (Of Hanukkah)" and the start of a holiday takeover of "Songs We Love," which for the next two weeks will offer surprising renditions of classic holiday tunes. The set kicked off today with Aloe Blacc's new song "Merry Christmas Mr. Brown," a ballad for the families of those affected by police violence this year.

Now, on to the music!


Pink Martini's Joy to the World: A Holiday Spectacular
Listen Now
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 Oregon Public Broadcasting and Murray Street Productions.


Festivo Alt.Latino With Gaby Moreno & Friends
Listen Now
Alt.Latino continues its tradition of celebrating the holidays in song with a special show featuring songwriter/performer Gaby Moreno. Vocalist Moreno brings a Muscle Shoals-tinged holiday celebration to this year's Festivo Alt.Latino. Classics from the U.S. and Latin America get a shimmering bluesy, R&B treatment from Moreno and her four-piece band in a performance recorded live in front of a studio audience at KUTX in Austin, Texas. There is plenty of joy and holiday spirit in both English and Spanish that will add a new dimension to the idea of holiday music.


Song Travels: Home for the Holidays
Listen Now
Join Michael Feinstein for an hour of yuletide cheer and music. This edition of Song Travels journeys from Hollywood's vintage silver screen to New York City's iconic Birdland club. The Michael Feinstein Big Band performs selections from the classic movie White Christmas, and Feinstein shares rare recordings from some of his favorite performers.


An Afro Blue Christmas
Listen Now
Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the a-cappela group perform 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.


Hanukkah Lights 2015
Listen Now
A perennial NPR favorite, Hanukkah Lights features Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by Kathryn Blume, Leah Lax, Eric Kimmel, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Jonathan Safran Foer as read by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.


Jazz Piano Christmas XXVI
Listen Now
NPR Music brings you another great concert from the Kennedy Center. Kenny Barron, Fred Hersch and Carmen Staaf perform their favorite holiday songs in a program hosted by Felix Contreras, of NPR Music's Alt.Latino.


Toast of the Nation 2015/2016
Available starting Dec. 31, 2015 at NPRMusic.org
An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It's jazz that you can party to, all night long with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations, contributing something new to the musical feast. Eight hours of music will start at 9PM EST and continue throughout the night until 5AM. Hear the energy-infused live concert recordings of Wynton Marsalis, Snarky Puppy, Wycliffe Gordon and more with host Rhonda Hamilton of WBGO.