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Holiday Programming 2019

December means holiday programming at KALW and we're excited to share old favorites and a few new shows to make your end of year sparkle with joy, contemplation, and light. This year's selection celebrates ritual, tradition, and even some holiday innovation. We invite you to tune in and share the this special time of year with us!

Monday December 23 
7-8 p.m.: NPR Hanukkah Lights


Tuesday, December 24
7-9 p.m. Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

An annual and beloved Christmas tradition, “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” is an extraordinary and memorable live service of word and music from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.

Audiences will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal music (anthems a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns), presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.


9-10 p.m. A Chanticleer Christmas 

Celebrate the season with song! Brian Newhouse hosts this one-hour program of a cappella holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man choral ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices."


Wednesday, December 25 
10am-noon: Vince Guaraldi: The Story of Dr. Funk 

Jazz pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi was a mainstay in the San Francisco Bay Area from the 1950's through 70's. The composer of the hit, Cast Your Fate to the Wind and music for the Peanuts shows had a humorous, profound, and rather tragic story dying at the age of forty seven. Hear Guaraldi's story woven together with music and interviews with Guaraldi biographer Derrick Bang, musicians Eddie Duran, Colin Bailey, Larry Vuckovich, Dean Reilly, Richard Hadlock, and Peanuts co-creator Lee Mendelson.  Written and narrated by Alisa Clancy of the Bay Area's jazz station, KCSM.  

7-8 p.m. Winter Holidays Around the World
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 Posadaevoking 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!


Thursday December 26
7-8 p.m. 
Shell Shock 1919: How the Great War Changed Culture.

Guests include Jon Batiste, Ann Temkin, David Lubin, Philipp Blom, Jay Winter, Ana Carden-Coyne, Sabine Rewald, David Levering Lewis, Emma Chambers, Marion von Osten, Emily Bernard, and Gail Stavitsky

World War I presented civilization with unprecedented violence and destruction. The shock of the first modern, “industrial” war extended far into the 20th century and even into the 21st, and changed how people saw the world and themselves. And that was reflected in the cultural responses to the war – which included a burgeoning obsession with beauty and body image, the birth of jazz, new thinking about the human psyche, the Harlem Renaissance, Surrealism...and more.

WNYC's Sara Fishko and guests sift through the lingering effects of the Great War on modern art and life. Guests include Jon Batiste, Ann Temkin, David Lubin, Philipp Blom, Jay Winter, Ana Carden-Coyne.


Monday, December 30
7-8 p.m. Capitol Ste
ps "Politics Takes a Holiday"
Has it been a rough year? Did you put all of your savings into Bill De Blasio's presidential campaign? 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! 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.


Tuesday, December 31
10-11 a.m. Desert Island Discs: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the musical Hamilton, shares the eight tracks, book and luxury he'd want to take with him if cast away to a desert island.


Wednesday January 1 
7-8 p.m. A Season's Griot

Join us for public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for the last 24 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures tales and traditions of African-American and African peoples.