Fri Dec 21, 2018
10pm – 12am Paul Winter Solstice Concert Celebration
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 Tunçboyaciyan 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.
Christmas Eve - Mon Dec 24, 2018
7 – 8pm All Songs Considered for the Holidays
John Legend, Aloe Blacc, Lucius and more join All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton to share holiday memories and play a mix of the seasonal songs they love most.
8 – 9:30pm It's A Wonderful Life
This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. This Elkhart Civic Theatre production was recorded at the Bristol Opera House.
9:30 – 10pm Movies That Make Your Holidays
Film reviewers give their picks for their top holiday rentals, traditional and not-so-traditional.
10 – 11pm Festival of Carols at Goshen College
A Festival of Carols is patterned on a traditional English worship service, and features Christmas carols, spirituals, and scripture readings. This 2014 performance includes the Goshen College Chamber Choir, Men’s Chorus, Women’s World Music Choir, Goshen College Symphony Orchestra and Shout For Joy Children’s Choir. The audience also joins the choirs to sing familiar carols during the performance.
11pm – 12am Jazz Piano Christmas 2018
Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for a special family affair at this year's holiday concert that features Jason Moran, Booker T Jones, James Francies and 1 more surprise guest. Hosted by Felix Contreras.
Christmas Day - Tue Dec 25, 2018
10am – 12pm Tinsel Tales
This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.
7 – 8pm Big Tiny Desk Concert Holiday Special
Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.
Wed Dec 26, 2018
7 – 8pm A Season's Griot
A Season's Griot is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for 23 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples.
New Year’s Eve - Mon Dec 31, 2018
7 – 8pm Sound Opinions Best Albums of 2018
Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite albums of 2018. They also hear picks from Sound Opinions producers and listeners.
8 – 9pm The 2018 Musician Memorial Special
Paul Ingles honors musicians we lost this year: Aretha Franklin, Tony Joe White, Dolores O'Riordan, Roy Clark, Marty Balin and more who left us this year. Also noted, Yvonne Staples, Pete Shelley, Avicii, Mac Miller, Morgana King, Randy Weston, Otis Rush, Ed King, DJ Fontana, Geoff Emerick and Roy Hargrove.
9 – 10pm Capitol Steps
Has it been a rough year? Did you buy stock in Sears? Or invest in Ivanka’s clothing line? Did you take a job as a public relations spokesperson for Kanye West? Then you may feel the need to laugh at 2018, 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, Make America Grin Again. Now is your chance to finally enjoy the headlines you were too scared to read. After all, the Capitol Steps won’t tell you any actual useful information, but they will tell you what rhymes with Beta O’Rourke and Omarosa.
10pm – 4am Toast of the Nation
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 festive jazz you can party to, all night long. Spirited, improvised, and swinging, each segment stops in a Blue Note venue throughout the country and the world. Hear encore sets from Buika,The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Joshua Redman and Brad Meldau, pianist Fred Hersch, Ron Carter, and Dee Dee Bridgewater.