A Los Angeles holiday tradition will continue this Christmas Eve, as the 61st annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration takes on a vibrant new format for 2020.
Presented in conjunction with The Music Center since 1959, the program was filmed on location at both The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Jerry Moss Plaza and at sites around Los Angeles County.
The three-hour showcase of 22 L.A.-based artists will air on PBS SoCal starting at 3 p.m. local time on Christmas Eve and simultaneously stream on pbssocal.org/holidaycelebration, kcet.org and Holidaycelebration.org.
PBS SoCal will air an encore presentation that evening at 7 p.m. KCET will rebroadcast the show on Christmas Day at noon.
Among the performances will be a Hawaiian celebration featuring the Daniel Ho Trio and Hālau Keali’i o Nālani with special guest Tia Carrere. The group will present “Colors in Harmony,” a piece written and arranged to illuminate the diverse cultures of Los Angeles and unity through the arts. With bandleader Ho and actress/singer Carrere singing in English, Hālau Keali’i o Nālani will sing and chant in Hawaiian supported by the music of the trio, Zendeko Taiko and other musical guests.
Other acts returning for the show are Latin folk band Cuñao, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, and folklorico troupe Pacifico Dance Company.
Some of this year’s performers making their Holiday Celebration debut include the Yuko Mabuchi Trio, presenting a medley of three classic Christmas tunes tied together in a jazz style with improvisation on “Little Drummer Boy,” “Christmas Time Is Here” and “Feliz Navidad.”
Also joining for the first time are an ensemble from the American Youth Symphony, a dance and music collaboration from Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles with Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar, French-Chinese chanteuse Jessica Fichot, barbershop quartet Noteable and country-music trio Sean Oliu and The Coastline Cowboys.
Hosted by acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán and actor/producer Brian White, the 61st annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration offers Angelenos of all ages the opportunity to experience and honor the dynamic, rich cultures of the county.
The show’s traditional finale of “Silent Night” will be a virtual collaborative performance, featuring Southern California Brass Consortium with a community choir comprised of many singers from this year’s roster of performers.
The Emmy Award-winning holiday show features choirs, music ensembles and dance companies representing the many cultures of Los Angeles. Highlighting the county’s rich creative diversity, the broadcast will also include five mini-documentaries featuring artists from different neighborhoods as well as performances on location at key landmarks, including the Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro and Angel’s Point in Elysian Park.
Given COVID restrictions as outlined by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and the commitment to keeping artists and the public safe from community transmission, the performance is presented without a live audience this year.
“The holiday season is about spreading joy and goodwill to all, which is so important this year, and we’ll do that with a special broadcast of beautiful and uplifting performances that showcase the talents and diversity of Los Angeles,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center.
For more information about the event and a complete list of scheduled artists and performances, visit http://holidaycelebration.org.
Artists and performances are subject to change.