Kirk Silsbee’s 2017 holiday-music picks

Music
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During the 1950s, the United States was rebuilding Western Europe and creating the highest standard of living ever enjoyed by the most people in world history. But by year’s end, most Americans just wanted to be with family and friends. It’s ironic how many contemporary holiday recordings still tap that era’s home-and-hearth heritage. The holiday ...

Infectious holiday fun: “Salsa Navidad” at VPAC

Dance · Music
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Oscar Hernandez came of age in the burgeoning New York Latin music scene of the 1970s and ‘80s, when the Fania label recorded many of the greats canonized today: Willie Colón, Bobby Valentín, Pete Rodriquez, Johnny Pacheco, Cheo Feliciano, Larry Harlow, Hector Lavóe, Ray Barretto, Luis ‘Perico’ Ortíz, and Papo Lucca among others. It was ...

Forget your tsuris! Attend Laemmle Theatres’ “Fiddler” sing-a-long. 1

Film
For an “alternative” Christmas Eve, not restricted to the Jewishly oriented but for shower-stall-soloists of every persuasion, we have a suggestion. Try Laemmle Theatres’ sixth annual “anything goes” (and we’re not talking Cole Porter) “Fiddler on the Roof Sing-a-Long.” Belt out your holiday spirit — or your holiday angst — with your fellow meshuggenahs while ...

Holiday sounds: manger, mistletoe, and martinis

Music
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Every December, a crop of new recordings address the season by celebrating the birth of Jesus, playing up the frivolity of holiday parties, and all variations between. These are some of this year’s CDs. PBS viewers know well the angelic boys choir Libera. A recorded concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh soars to heavenly ...