‘L.A. County Holiday Celebration’ turns 60
Free music and dance spectacular to entertain thousands
Los Angeles tradition, performed each year at
The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion since 1959,
to be broadcast and streamed live by PBS SoCal
The L.A. County Holiday Celebration, L.A.’s largest holiday spectacular, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019. Join this year’s co-hosts, internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán and actress Marissa Ramirez (Blue Bloods), for this free, three-hour holiday show featuring more than 20 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies from the many neighborhoods and cultures that make up L.A. Once again, PBS SoCal will be hosting a live broadcast of the event that has been a Los Angeles holiday tradition since 1959, while KCET will be airing the program twice on Christmas Day.
Legendary Cuban jazz trumpet player Arturo Sandoval, accompanied by his world-renowned band, will kick off this year’s celebration with a medley of holiday songs. Returning favorites include Hālau Keali’i o Nālani & the Daniel Ho Trio, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, gospel choir Greater LA Cathedral Choir, Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy and folklorico troupe Pacifico Dance Company. Some of this year’s newcomers include Latin folk band Cuñao, the dancers and drummers of African Soul International and a cappella group Street Corner Renaissance. All female, two-time GRAMMY award-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea will team up with their “brother” band Mariachi Espectacular, and Jewish cultural revival band Mostly Kosher will share the stage with Urban Voices Project, a choir made up of men and women surviving homelessness on Skid Row. Scroll down for a complete list of this year’s performers — 25 groups in all.
New this year: from noon to 5 p.m., visitors can enjoy Plaza Wonderland, a family fun zone with games, coloring and face-painting, a photo booth and numerous art-making workshops where kids and adults can create paper poinsettias and lanterns to take home, Guests will also be able to watch holiday favorites on the Plaza screens, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) and The Grinch (2018), and enjoy food for purchase, including four tamale stations.
Those who can’t make it to The Music Center on Dec. 24 can watch the live broadcast on PBS SoCal starting at 3 p.m., with the rebroadcast on KCET on Christmas Day from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., or online at pbssocal.org/holidaycelebration.
Tuesday, Dec. 24 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
• Doors open at 2:30 p.m.
• Patrons may come and go throughout the three-hour performance.
• A live broadcast of the show airs from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. on PBS SoCal, with an encore broadcast at 9 p.m.
• Live streaming at pbssocal.org and kcet.org
• Re-broadcast of the show airs on KCET on Dec. 25 at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.
• Performing artists from across Los Angeles County (see below for complete list)
• Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
• A presentation of The Music Center produced in association with CDK Productions
• Live telecast and streaming on PBS SoCal
The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Information hotline: (213) 972-3099 or HolidayCelebration.org
FREE; no reservations or tickets to the show; first come, first seated.
FREE in The Music Center parking garage.
ARTISTS PERFORMING IN THE 60th ANNUAL L.A. COUNTY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION:
• African Soul International will perform a celebration dance from Guinea, West Africa called “Soli,” featuring dancers, stilt walkers and a fire eater, accompanied by djembe and djun djun drums.
• Arturo Sandoval, the legendary Cuban jazz trumpet player accompanied by his world renowned band, will open the celebration with a medley of holiday songs.
• Cuñao, an alternative Latin folk band, will perform a villancico, a South American Christmas carol called “¿Mamá, Dónde Están Los Juguetes?”
• Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles returns to Holiday Celebration for the 25th year in a row to perform their delightful treatments of holiday tunes.
• Greater LA Cathedral Choir will perform hand-clapping, foot-stomping gospel renditions of holiday songs.
• Hālau Keali’i o Nālani & the Daniel Ho Trio will perform “Christmas in Paradise,” an original holiday song from their new ukulele musical Pineapple Mango.
• Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble, a music ensemble of 11-to-18-year-olds representing the communities of Acton and Agua Dulce, will celebrate the star of Christmas with the historic hymn “O Sing a Song of Bethlehem” and a modern composition, “Novus.”
• Homenetmen Ararat Choir, a vocal ensemble of singers belonging to global Armenian organization Homenetmen, Glendale Ararat Chapter, will perform a medley of short masterpieces by Armenian composer Komitas (1869- 1935), founder of the Armenian National School of Music.
• Infinite Flow, a professional company of dancers with and without disabilities that uses dance as a catalyst to inspire inclusivity and innovation, will be joined by their youth group, Infinite Flow Kids, for holiday-themed choreography that’s a mix of ballroom, hip-hop, contemporary and sign language.
• Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, the official Korean cultural ambassador to Southern California, returns to Holiday Celebration with a Korean Samgo-mu (“Three Drum Dance”).
• Los Angeles Chamber Choir performs classical, modern and sacred choral works from various periods.
• Los Robles Master Chorale, is one of Southern California’s premier choirs, hailed for its remarkable sound, striking versatility and commitment to commissioning new choral works.
• Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, the two-time GRAMMY award-winning all-female ensemble that continues to push and expand the scope of Mariachi music, joins forces with its “brother” band, Mariachi Espectacular, to double the fun at this year’s Holiday Celebration.
• Mostly Kosher will perform a mash-up of upbeat klezmer, plaintive Yiddish melodies and other Jewish heritage folk genres, sharing the stage with Urban Voices Project — a choir made up of men and women surviving homelessness on Skid Row.
• Our Lady of the Angels Children’s Chorus, a dynamic youth ensemble made up of students from Immaculate Heart of Mary and Precious Blood schools, have performed at the Vatican in Rome, Canterbury Cathedral in the UK, Carnegie Hall in NYC and Disney Hall here in L.A.
• Pacifico Dance Company, dedicated to the preservation and reconstruction of classical and contemporary Mexican dance forms, returns to Holiday Celebration with a new work that awakens the agricultural past of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
• Palmdale High School Choral Union and Sunday Night Singers, a select ensemble of current high school and alumni singers that has performed nationally and internationally, will perform “Remembering Decembers” and “Oh Mary, Mary oh Mary, Ring ‘em Bells.”
• Pasadena Girls’ Choir encourages every girl to find her voice through song under the musical direction of Barbara Allen, whose choirs have performed on television’s America’s Got Talent and Dancing With The Stars, as well as at numerous L.A. County Holiday Celebrations.
• Street Corner Renaissance will wow the audience with an upbeat a capella medley of “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time” and special lyrics to “Meet The Flintstones,” followed by a classic Christmas tune.
• The Citrus Singers, the first American choir to win the International Choral Festival in Spittal, Austria, returns to Holiday Celebration with holiday carols sung a cappella and accompanied by handbells.
• The Opera Company at LACHSA(Los Angeles County High School for the Arts), which has produced some of this country’s finest singers, will perform the Shepherds’ Chorus from Amahl and the Night Visitors.
• VOX Femina Los Angeles, a choir that gives women voice through the performance of quality choral literature, will perform a selection of inclusive holiday songs in three- and four-part harmony.
• Yuval Ron Ensemble, featuring Jewish, Christian and Muslim artists who unite the music and dance of the Middle East into a unique mystical, spiritual and inspiring celebration, will perform “Hadasa,” an upbeat Jewish prayer, accompanied by a dancer in traditional costume.