Music

The Thistle & Shamrock
2:53 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Nollaig

Eileen Ivers.
Courtesy of the artist

Enter the spirit of a traditional Scottish, Irish and Welsh Yuletide this week with Fiona Ritchie and special guest Cerys Matthews. The Welsh singer-songwriter and broadcaster has recorded "A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas to mark the poet's centenary year. Matthews tells Fiona about the project, set to music she co-wrote with Mason Neely, and narrates excerpts from this timeless holiday classic. You'll also hear a set of reels played by fiddler Eileen Ivers, including "Christmas Eve."

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:52 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Michel Petrucciani On Piano Jazz

Michel Petrucciani.
Frederic Reglain Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Born with the genetic disease osteogenesis imperfecta, he only stood at three feet. But with hands unaffected by his disease and an extraordinary talent, Michel Petrucciani is one of the greatest French jazz pianists of all time.

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World Cafe
11:16 am
Wed December 24, 2014

An Americana Christmas On World Cafe

Luther Dickinson.
Courtesy of the artist

We have a wonderful collection of artists — friends old and new — visiting to perform music from the new compilation An Americana Christmas. We will hear a high-energy original by Nikki Lane, called "FaLaLaLaLove Ya." Robert Ellis covers a Willie Nelson classic. Ronnie Fauss adds to a growing history of "Christmas in prison" songs.

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World Cafe
10:20 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Judith Owen And Harry Shearer On World Cafe

Judith Owen and Harry Shearer.
Courtesy of the artist

For 15 years, singer-songwriter Judith Owen and her husband, humorist and actor Harry Shearer, have been hosting holiday singalongs at home and in venues throughout the country. Today, they're with us on the World Cafe. This year's edition is called Christmas Without Tears — originals, a Spın̈al Tap Christmas song and classics, all in an intimate in-studio performance.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Tiny Desk Concert: HMSTR

NPR

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 12:00 pm

You could never fully steal the show when you're followed by the blown-out spectacle of Sun Ra Arkestra's Tiny Desk Concert. But the opening act kept jumping on the piano and nibbling on the set, literally pulling up the carpet and leaving "presents" on the floor. How could we not have them back? Did I mention they're hamsters?

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Holiday Music
2:03 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Couldn't Miss This One: Behind 'Christmas Wrapping'

The Waitresses' members were in the middle of a tour behind "I Know What Boys Like" when "Christmas Wrapping" took over the radio in 1981.
David Corio Redferns

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:02 am

Chris Butler founded The Waitresses, a smart-aleck New Wave band, in late-'70s Akron, Ohio. He recalls a long-ago summer when the owner of ZE Records asked him and his collaborators to come up with a Christmas song.

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All Songs Considered
2:03 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Have An Oddly Jolly Christmas: A Quirky Holiday Playlist

Crate-digger and director Mitchell Kezin shows off one of his Christmas finds in a still from his documentary, Jingle Bell Rocks!
Elaine Littman Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 9:27 am

Searching for Christmas music you've never heard before? Well, Mitchell Kezin is a collector of what he calls "Christmas orphans," those Christmas songs hardly played and mostly unknown. After being a closet collector of Christmas music for years, now he's directed a documentary about obsessive crate-diggers who specialize in rare Christmas music.

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Movies
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

How To Compose Music For A Movie About Music

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World Cafe
1:27 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Haerts On World Cafe

Haerts.
Rich McKie WXPN

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:15 pm

Haerts, which stylizes its name with the a and e reversed, joins World Cafe in the studio today. Eccentric spelling is just one element that makes the electro-pop band stand out.

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Alt.Latino
12:44 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

An Alt.Latino Christmas, With Cantigas In Concert

Cantigas performs live in NPR's Studio 1.
Colin Marshall NPR

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:06 pm

It's been an eventful year for Alt.Latino. We've brought you live concerts, dance music, protest songs and thought-provoking interviews with the performers who are helping to shape modern culture.

Regardless of your spiritual affiliations, the end of the year provides an opportunity to reflect on what we'd like to do differently next year, what we've learned, our successes and failures, and what makes us thankful.

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