It is hard to believe but the holidays are upon us once again and each year the L.A. County Holiday Celebration highlights the Los Angeles area’s cultural diversity with free performances by dance, music and choral artists. This free spectacular has been a Los Angeles holiday tradition since 1959 and 2023 marks the 64th edition of L.A. County Holiday Celebration at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion which will also be broadcast live on PBS SoCal, streamed at pbssocal.org and on the free PBS App.
This year’s two-time Emmy® award-winning event will feature 23 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies. The free in-house performance at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion will be on Sunday, December 24 from 3 pm to 6 pm and available to watch from the comfort of one’s home on PBS SoCal on Sunday, Dec. 24 at 6 p.m., and on KCET on Sunday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 25 at 12 p.m.
“Featuring a lineup of diverse L.A.-based artists and performing arts groups who will showcase their talent, artistry and holiday traditions, colorful costumes and global sounds from China, Korea, Japan, India, Mexico, France Ukraine, Bulgaria and more, this year’s participating artists hail from communities across L.A. County: from West L.A. and Culver City to Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, and from the northern reaches of the Antelope and San Fernando Valleys to Downtown L.A., the South Bay and South Los Angeles.” Press release by Lucy Pollack 10/30/23.
Audience favorites that will be making a return include two-time GRAMMY® award-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea; 10-piece Latin jazz band Gabrielito y La Verdad; the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles; Jewish culture revival band Mostly Kosher; high energy JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble; and internationally renowned Japanese drummers TAIKOPROJECT in a collaboration with Indian-inspired Blue13 Dance Company.
Those making their debut at the L.A. County Holiday Celebration are Carnegie Gospel Choir, recently returned from Carnegie Hall; America’s Got Talent quarter-finalists Divas and Drummers of Compton; the Hiza Yoo Korean Dance Institute; Mexican folklórico company Técnica Arte y Folklore; and Bulgarian dance ensemble XoroTroptzi.
The L.A. County Holiday Celebration is produced on behalf of the County of Los Angeles by The Music Center and PBS SoCal in association with CDK Productions and directed by Emmy® award-winning producer/director Kenneth Shapiro.
WHAT: The two-time Emmy Award-winning L.A. County Holiday Celebration
- Free in-person event: Sunday, Dec. 24 from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m., although the line usually begins to form around noon.
- A live broadcast of the show airs on PBS SoCal on Sunday, Dec. 24 from 3 p.m.–6 p.m.
- Live streaming at pbssocal.org
- An encore broadcast will follow immediately on PBS SoCal on Sunday, Dec. 24 at 6 p.m.
- Two encore broadcasts will air on KCET: Sunday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 25 at 12 p.m.
- Following the live broadcast, the Holiday Celebration will remain available to stream on-demand on the pbssocal.org website, as well as on the free PBS App.
- Performing artists from across Los Angeles County
- Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
- Produced by The Music Center and PBS SoCal in association with CDK Productions
- Directed by Emmy® award-winning producer/director Kenneth Shapiro
- Live telecast, streaming and encore broadcast on PBS SoCal; streaming and encore broadcasts at KCET
WHERE: The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012
PARKING: FREE in The Music Center parking garage.
- FREE; no reservations or tickets to the show.
- First-come, first-seated.
- The line usually begins to form around noon.
HOW: Information hotline: (213) 972-3099 or HolidayCelebration.org
More information on the artists performing in the 64th annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration
(*subject to change)
- Carnegie Gospel Choir, an ensemble created from the many choirs of Byron J. Smith to perform at Carnegie Hall, will perform gospel renditions of “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “Amen.”
- Christian Fellowship Chorale, a non-denominational gospel choir, will sing a contemporary version of “Drummer Boy” accompanied by African drums, and a contemporary jazz/gospel version of “Joy to the World.”
- Divas and Drummers of Compton, a dance and drumline program for inner-city youth, will do a performance with polyrhythmic percussion cadences and an array of dance styles.
- Gabrielito y La Verdad, the premier West Coast Latin music ensemble, brings the fire with a high-energy show stopper.
- Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles returns to the L.A. County Holiday Celebration for the 33rd year in a row to perform holiday songs from film and television.
- Hiza Yoo Korean Dance Institute will perform “‘Y’Nanta,” Hiza Yoo’s original take on a South Korean non-verbal comedy show created and produced by Song Seung-whan which incorporates traditional samul nori rhythm.
- JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble celebrates its 30th anniversary — and 12th year at the annual Holiday Celebration — with a new work set to “Greensleeves” by the John Coltrane Quartet.
- Jessica Fichot brings together her French, Chinese and American heritage, blending French chanson, Shanghai jazz and international folk music to perform two original songs with her band — including “Le Grand Voyage,” a holiday song written specifically for the Holiday Celebration.
- M Dance Collective, bridging eastern and western dance styles, will perform “Ink Impressions,” a dance inspired by the beautiful art of Chinese calligraphy.
- Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, the two-time GRAMMY® award-winning all-female ensemble that has pushed to expand the scope of mariachi music for over 24 years, will perform a bilingual medley of classic kids’ favorites that will have everyone singing along.
- Mostly Kosher and the Jewish Youth Orchestra will join forces, combining traditional Hanukkah offerings with their unique mash-up of klezmer, rock and soul.
- MUSYCA Children’s Choir, a renowned vocal ensemble that brings together gifted young people to study and perform outstanding choral repertoire, will sing the enchanting Ukrainian classic “Carol of the Bells” and the beloved holiday favorite “Sleigh Ride.”
- Palmdale High School Choral Union and Sunday Night Singers, a select ensemble of current high school and alumni singers who have performed nationally and internationally, will perform a jazzy “Jingle Bells” by Derric Johnson and a traditional Christmas piece from the Hispanic culture arranged by Santiago Veros.
- Pasadena Girls’ Choir, cultivating vocal musicianship among young girls, returns to the Holiday Celebration with “All That Christmas Stuff.”
- RAISE, L.A.’s own gospel/R&B/soul choir, will sing a medley of Black music genre-inspired arrangements of “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” “Joy To The World,” “Joy” and “Hallelujah.”
- South Side Symphony, founded by composer Marcus Norris with the idea, “What if orchestras didn’t exist and were invented today by a young Black man?,” will perform a new instrumental orchestral fusion of a holiday medley rooted in Black American soul music.
- TAIKOPROJECT, known for thrilling, heart-pounding Japanese drumming, and Blue13 Dance Company, one of the nation’s leading contemporary dance ensembles inspired by Indian dance forms, will present a visually-stunning collaboration entitled “The Stroll,” blending Japanese American taiko and Indian-influenced contemporary choreography.
- Técnica Arte y Folklore brings folklórico and costumes from the state of Colima, Mexico, and will perform to a mariachi score.
- The Citrus Singers, the first American choir to win the International Choral Festival in Spittal, Austria, returns to the Holiday Celebration with stunning choral arrangements of holiday favorites accompanied by handbells.
- Torrance Civic Chorale, directed by Edward Trimis, providing the South Bay with exceptional choral music since 1961, will perform a selection of three holiday songs.
- Treble on Grand, a jazz a capella group from the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts (“Grand Arts”), will perform two pieces.
- VOX Femina Los Angeles, L.A.’s premier women’s choir, will touch on the joy and meaning of the season with musical selections ranging from the musical roots of North America to a sweet song celebrating Hanukkah and a classic Broadway hit.
- XoroTroptzi, Los Angeles’ only Bulgarian folk dance ensemble, will perform a dance from the Shopski folklore region in costumes typical of the area.
Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton from information on October 30, 2023 press release by Lucy Pollack Public Relations.
Featured image: JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble – Photo by Ed Krieger