2021 Holiday Programming

2021 Holiday Programming

Christmas Eve

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (APM)

Airs Friday, December 24th LIVE 10am – 12noon  (Preempts 1A and BBC OS)

Re-airs Friday, December 24th 10pm – 12m (Preempts 1A and Moth)

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.


Festivo Alt.Latino feat. Gaby Moreno (NPR)

Airs Friday, December 24th 7pm – 8pm,  preempts Latino USA

NPR Music’s Alt.Latino presents a 2015 encore featuring songwriter/performer Gaby Moreno and her band performing tracks from her popular holiday album Posada – recorded live at the KUT studios in Austin, Texas. She was joined by special guests Gina Chavez and Chicano Zen bandleader and record producer Michael Ramos. Hosted by Felix Contreras


Joy To The World – A Holiday in Pink (NPR)

Airs Friday, December 24th 8pm -9pm, preempts Alt Latino and The World

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.


Jazz Night In America: A Holiday Celebration (NPR)

Airs Friday, December 24th 9pm – 10pm  preempts The Daily and Marketplace (re-broadcast)

This holiday, Jazz Night in America will present popular jazz artists sharing their seasonal music from forthcoming holiday albums. Enjoy first-person stories and memories from the musicians and hear festive originals and new takes on classics in this special episode. More details to come soon. Christian McBride hosts. 

Christmas Day

Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 11am – 12n, preempts IBAM 

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.

Featured Stories:

  • Dad ‘n’ Sam (Jay Allison)
  • Homeless Christmas (Lee Stringer)
  • Christmas Morning, 1949 (Sylvia Seymour/Paul Auster)
  • Low-Glamour Christmas Party (Bailey White)
  • Doing it in the Closet (John McIlwraith)
  • Christopher (Jay O’Callahan)
  • Ode to Christmas (Chuck Kramer)
  • Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris)
  • Modern Day Joseph and Mary (Scott Simon)
  • John Henry Faulk’s Christmas Story (John Henry Faulk)


Tinsel Tales 2: More NPR Christmas Favorites (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th 12n – 1pm, Preempts YBYG

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

 Featured Stories:

  • Santa Claus, Private Eye (Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco)
  • Pass The Fois Gras: Christmas Menu Hard To Digest (Firoozeh Dumas)
  • A ‘Silent Night’ That Brought Healing (Steve Banko)
  • The Christmas Club (Bill Harley)
  • All I Wanted For Christmas (NPR staffers)
  • Christmas Gift Records (The Ban-Smo Label)
  • The Night Before Christmas, Latin Style (Read by NPR’s Claudio Sanchez)
  • The Designated Celebrator (Melinda Shoaf)
  • Christmas Truce (Historian Douglas Brinkley)
  • Wolf Christmas (Daniel Pinkwater)


Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 1pm – 2pm, preempts Fresh Air Weekend

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the third collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places.

Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg and other voices from NPR’s past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time. Hosted by Lynn Neary

Featured Stories:

  • December’s Soundtrack (Amy Dickinson)
  • Christmas With UPS (Loree Gold)
  • Merry Stressmas: It’s That Time Of The Year (Kevin Kling)
  • Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree (Ken Harbaugh)
  • Stealing Hemlock (Bailey White)
  • Christmas Lights Tour (Bill Harley)
  • Christmas With The Totenbergs (Nina Totenberg)
  • The Gift Of The Magi (O. Henry, read by NPR’s Audie Cornish)
  • Christmas For Cows (Baxter Black)
  • Christmas Pudding (Marialisa Calta)
  • Caroling In The Cold (Julie Zickefoose)
  • Christmas Magic (Joseph C. Phillips)
  • Grinch’s True End (John Moe)


A World Cafe Holiday (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 2pm – 3pm, preempts Reveal

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.


The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 3pm – 4pm, preempts Reveal

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.


Jazz Piano Christmas 37 (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 4pm – 5pm, preempts WWDTM

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music, captured live in concert with a small audience. The all- star line up includes Patrice Rushen, Gerald Clayton and Eric Reed. Felix Contreras hosts.


Jazz Night In America: A Holiday Celebration (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 6pm – 7m, preempts Live Wire

This holiday, Jazz Night in America will present popular jazz artists sharing their seasonal music from forthcoming holiday albums. Enjoy first-person stories and memories from the musicians and hear festive originals and new takes on classics in this special episode. More details to come soon. Christian McBride hosts. 


Joy To The World – A Holiday in Pink (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 24th 7pm -8pm, preempts American Routes

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.



A World Cafe Holiday (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 8pm – 9pm, preempts American Routes

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.


The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 9pm – 10pm, preempts Sound Opinions

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.


Jazz Piano Christmas 37 (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th, 10pm – 11pm, preempts Snap Judgement

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for this annual holiday tradition highlighting jazz pianists and their favorite seasonal music, captured live in concert with a small audience. The all- star line up includes Patrice Rushen, Gerald Clayton and Eric Reed. Felix Contreras hosts.


Festivo Alt.Latino feat. Gaby Moreno (NPR)

Airs Saturday, December 25th,  11pm – 12m,  preempts The Moth

NPR Music’s Alt.Latino presents a 2015 encore featuring songwriter/performer Gaby Moreno and her band performing tracks from her popular holiday album Posada – recorded live at the KUT studios in Austin, Texas. She was joined by special guests Gina Chavez and Chicano Zen bandleader and record producer Michael Ramos. Hosted by Felix Contreras

New Year’s Eve

Toast of the Nation (NPR)

Airs Friday, December 31st, 8pm – 12m,  preempts The World, The Daily, Marketplace, 1A, The Moth

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. The line-up is almost confirmed and it’s sure to be a good time.

New Year’s Day

2021 Remembered (APM)

Airs Saturday, January 1st 6pm – 7pm

Join The Current in honoring the life, music, and legacy of artists we lost this year with 2021 Remembered from The Current. This hour-long musical tribute is a celebration of all sounds – from indie to influential – and the perfect way for music lovers to unite in paying homage to the artists who have shaped music history.

From musicians and producers to industry icons, the playlist will feature legends like Charlie Watts, Don Everly, Nanci Griffith, Bunny Wailer, Biz Markie, and many more. Host Jill Riley will highlight milestones in each artist’s life and career, explore their lasting impact on the music world, and spin their most beloved songs.


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