What’s a holiday season without music, especially in the Live Music Capital of the World? Here’s a look at our best bets for seasonal sounds, plus a short list of many others.
“Sing-it-Yourself Messiah.” Go on — don’t let the holiday mood hold you back. You can join in with Chorus Austin when they sing Handel’s Messiah. 2 p.m. Dec. 3, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 8134 Mesa Drive. $15-$25. chorusaustin.org.
A Gospel According to Jazz Christmas at One World Theatre. Saxophonist Kirk Whalum, guitarist Norman Brown and pianist Keiko Matsui team up to put a jazz spin on yuletide favorites for two shows at the west-of-town showcase venue. 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. $42.75 - $123. 7701 Bee Caves Road. oneworldtheatre.org.
“Songs of the Season.” Grammy Award-winning tenor Dann Coakwell and soprano Teri Johnson join the Temple Symphony Orchestra in a holiday concert presented by Georgetown Symphony Society. 4 p.m. Georgetown High School Performing Arts Center, 2211 N. Austin Ave., Georgetown. $5-$30. gsstx.org.
“Conspirare Christmas with Matt Alber.” The Grammy Award-winning choir is joined by folk-pop singer Matt Alber for its signature holiday concert, a New Age musical blend of pop, classical, folk and seasonal favorites. 7:30 p.m. Dell Hall, Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. $25-$85. 512-476-5664, thelongcenter.org.
UT Combined Choirs Holiday Concert. When the University of Texas assembles its choirs, the holiday sounds are big and bright. 7:30 p.m. Bates Recital Hall, Music Building. $10-$20. choirs.music.utexas.edu.
Handel’s Messiah. Austin Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Austin join together for Handel’s masterpiece. 8 p.m. Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway. $15-$60. 512-473-8743, austinsymphony.org.
“An Early Christmas.” Texas Early Music Project sings Baroque carols and traditional songs. 8 p.m. Dec. 9-10 at First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Ave.; 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive. $25-$30. 512-377-6961. facebook.com/TexasEarlyMusicProject.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Music of Vince Guaraldi.” Pianist Michelle Schumann has made this concert an Austin tradition, playing Guaraldi’s heartfelt jazz along bassist Utah Hamrick and drummer David Sierra. 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress Ave. $22-$37. 512-472-5472, austinchambermusic.org
Holiday concert. Jazz vocalist Suzi Stern joins the Austin Civic Orchestra for a program that spans from the music of Mel Tormé to Prokoviev to traditonal carols. 7 p.m. Dell Fine Arts Center, St. Andrews Upper School, 5901 Southwest Parkway. $10-$15. 512-200-2231, austincivicorchestra.org.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar at Palmer Events Center. The coolest of all Austin holiday music traditions has long outlived its namesake Armadillo World Headquarters origins. Wind your way through dozens of booths packed with gift items to the spacious stage area with both seats and standing (or sometimes dancing) room to hear some of Austin’s top talent. Performances are at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. Highlights include Charlie Belle (Dec. 14), Shinyribs (Dec. 16), Carolyn Wonderland (Dec. 18), Marcia Ball (Dec. 20), Ruthie Foster (Dec. 21) and Asleep at the Wheel (Dec. 23). Admission each day is $8, good from 10 a..m. to 10 p.m. 900 Barton Springs Road. armadillobazaar.com.
Invincible Czars & Panoramic Voices “Beat the Rush” holiday show at the Blanton Museum. Known for their inventive recasting of “The Nutcracker,” Austin band Invincible Czars promises “a whole different set of holiday songs” for this collaboration with the Panoramic Voices choir as part of the Blanton’s free third-Thursday programming. 7 p.m. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. blantonmuseum.org. (The Czars also play a free holiday set on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Highball, 1120 S. Lamar Blvd.)
“Repeat the Sounding Joy! Christmas with Ensemble VIII.” The chamber choir Ensemble VIII sing vibrant medieval and Renaissance carols. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church, 7127 Bee Cave Road; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at St. Louis Catholic Church Chapel, 7601 Burnet Road. $10-$45. ensembleviii.org.
Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis Holiday Shindig at the Paramount. It’s the 19th year for the Austin country couple’s popular show that features familiar carols, favorites from both of their repertoires and home movies with the family. This year’s special guest is Grammy-winning singer Lee Ann Womack, returning from Nashville to her native state. 8 p.m. $30-$48. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.
“On A Winter’s Eve.” A family-friendly choral concert featuring traditional and new holiday songs and the invitation to sing along. 4 p.m. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 8134 Mesa Drive. $15-$25. 512-719-3300. chorusaustin.org.
“A Swingin’ Christmas.” Billy Stritch — Liza Minelli’s longtime pianist — is joined by Broadway vocalists Jim Caruso and Klea Blackhurst for swinging jazz arrangements of classic carols and songs. 7:30 p.m. Rollins Studio Theatre, Long Center, 701 Riverside Drive. $49-$59. 512-474-5664, thelongcenter.org.
Robert Earl Keen’s Merry Christmas from the Fam-O-Lee at ACL Live. When you write a big ol’ silly Christmas song, as Keen did for his 1994 album “Gringo Honeymoon,” you better be prepared to play it every December for eternity. Keen went so far as to build a whole annual show around it. This year’s soiree, well-timed with Keen’s new “Live Dinner Reunion” album that includes a new version of the song, features an opening set of swing-jazz from Hot Club of Cowtown. 8 p.m. $29-$49. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com.
Legends & Legacies Holiday Show at Continental Club. An annual event that gathers some of Austin’s prominent musical families together on one bill, this year’s is special: It serves as a benefit for Savannah Welch, who lost a leg in a recent accident in Wimberley. Her father Kevin and brother Dustin will perform, along with members of the McMurtry, Graham, Gilmore, Hood and Allen clans. 9 p.m. $32. 1315 S. Congress. continentalclub.com.
THE MORE, THE MERRIER
Dec. 2: Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas at One World Theatre. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $23.75 - $103. 7701 Bee Caves Road. oneworldtheatre.org.
Dec. 2: Brian Kremer’s second annual Christmas Show at the Townsend. 8 p.m. $10. 718 Congress Ave. thetownsendaustin.com.
Dec. 5: Asleep at the Wheel “Lone Star Christmas Night” in-store performance at Waterloo Records. 5 p.m. Free. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. waterloorecords.com.
Dec. 6: Oh Hellos Christmas Extravaganza at Emo’s. 7 p.m. doors. $20-$22. 2015 E. Riverside Drive. emosaustin.com.
Dec. 7: Jelly’s fourth annual Christmas Jam at One-2-One Bar. 9:30 p.m. doors. $7. 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. one2onebar.com.
Dec. 8: Nightowls Christmas party with Kalu James at Continental Club. 10 p.m. $16. 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclub.com.
Dec. 10: Grapes & Friends eighth annual Xmas Extravaganza at the Hole in the Wall. 7 p.m. Price TBA. 2538 Guadalupe St. holeinthewallaustin.com.
Dec. 18: Soul of a Musician Series Christmas show at Iron Cactus North. 6:30 p.m. Free. 10001 Stonelake Blvd. stmattsaustin.org.
Dec. 21: Chris Gage & Friends third annual Christmas Extravaganza at Strange Brew. 6 p.m. $6. 5326 Manchaca Road. strangebrewloungeside.com.
Dec.26: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis at ACL Live. 8 p.m. $49-$89. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com.