Happy December! I know we’re a few days into it now, sorry for the delay. Peterborough and the Kawarthas have some amazing music upcoming. Whether you celebrate the holiday season or not, I will offer up some top-notch music in a bunch of genres.
I’ll start with shows of a festive nature with the ‘Six Shows of Christmas’ list. These are six holiday-themed shows in the area: those that have become a yearly tradition for some, and a few that are happening for the first time.
Also important at this time of year is music that is NOT about Christmas or related to Santa. You have to reload with music that sits outside of the tinsel, bows, and jingle bells. So I will also provide you with four live music performances that are most likely not holiday related! You’ll thank me when you’re there.
Six Shows of Christmas (in order by date)
1. In From The Cold at the Market Hall in Peterborough on December 8 and 9
In From the Cold, now in its 18th year, is a tradition for many residents of Peterborough and the Kawarthas. The show is on for two nights at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146), on Friday, December 8th and Saturday, December 9th, at 8 p.m. both nights.
Not only does the event raise a ton of money for the YES Shelter for Youth and Families, but it features some excellent musicianship and brings some extra meaning to the festive season for many folks. Material is drawn from Celtic and contemporary carols and seasonal songs. Acts include Carried Away, the Convivio Chorus, Michael Ketemer, Tanah Harvey, and more.
Tickets are $20 for a regular ticket and $15 for a child or student, with all proceeds going to YES. Get tickets at the Market Hall Box Office or online at markethall.org.
VIDEO: In From The Cold Trailer
2. A Jazzy Christmas with the Bruce McGregor Trio at Victoria Hall in Cobourg on December 12
Jazz in the Afternoon: A Jazzy Christmas will be a great way to enjoy songs of the season with a little twist — or at least with a little swing. Performing these tunes will be the Bruce McGregor Trio (Bruce McGregor on piano, Daryl Know on drums and Howard Baer on bass) with special guest Mike Graham on guitar.
This concert takes place on Tuesday, December 12th at 2pm at The Concert Hall at Victoria Hall (55 King St. W., Cobourg, 905-372-2210).
Tickets are only $17 plus taxes and fees. Call the box office at 905-372-2210 or 1-855-372-2210.
3. A Cozy Christmas at Showplace in Peterborough on December 17
Another Christmas live music tradition in Peterborough is “A Cozy Christmas” presented by the Foley Family and Friends. This show takes place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 17th at Showplace Performance Centre (290 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-742-7469).
This is the 14th annual concert and this year the proceeds will go towards teachers’ wages at a school in a small village in Liberia in West Africa. Performing will be Bridget Foley and the Gospel Girls, Colleen Anthony, Therea Foley, 4 Front, and many more.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children. Tickets are available at the Showplace Box Office or online at www.showplace.org.
VIDEO: Bridget Foley and the Channel Cats at A Cozy Christmas
4. Good Lovelies Christmas at Trinity United Church in Cobourg on December 17
Another concert takes place on Sunday, December 17th in Cobourg featuring the charming Good Lovelies performing a Christmas Concert at Trinity United Church (284 Division St, Cobourg).
The evening show at 7:30 p.m. is sold out, but they’ve added a matinee at 3:30 p.m. The trio of talented ladies have an accomplished resume with numerous tours, studio albums, appearances on many CBC specials, including The Vinyl Cafe, and much more.
They have become a very well-known and beloved Christmas act as well, with lush harmonies, personal lyrics, and funny and touching stories.
This will be one to check out. Tickets are $32 and are available at Zap Records in Cobourg, or online at ticketscene.ca. Dorrs open at 3 p.m.
VIDEO: “I See Gold” – Good Lovelies
VIDEO: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen performed by Good Lovelies
5. The Peterborough Singers perform Handel’s Messiah at Emmanuel East Church in Peterborough on December 18
It is a widespread holiday season tradition: heading to a church to watch a performance of Handel’s epic Messiah. In Peterborough, the Peterborough Singers will be performing Handel’s Messiah on Monday, December 18th at Emmanuel East Church (534 George St. N., Peterborough ) from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
Featured guests include soprano Suzie Leblanc, mezzo Erin Fisher, tenor Clin Ainsworth, bass Andrew Tees, organist Ias Sadler, trumpeter Paul Otway. and tympanist Stan Ewing.
Single tickets are $30 adults 31 and older, $20 for adults under 31, and $10 for students. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.peterboroughsingers.com.
VIDEO: Handel’s Messiah – Peterborough Singers
6. The Kents Holiday Homecoming at The Red Dog in Peterborough on December 21
Lindsay’s The Kents come home (or a little closer to home) when Peterborough Folk Festival presents “The Kents Holiday Homecoming” on Thursday, December 21st at the Historic Red Dog Tavern (189 Hunter St. W, Peterborough, 705-750-1710).
If you haven’t yet heard or seen The Kents, this is a great chance to check out their infectious pop/rock tunes. Also joining the bill are Lost Cousins, Huttch, Cleopatrick, and singer/songwriter Mary-Kate Edwards. This will be a well-rounded night of good cheer, fun music, and also a chance for folks to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit Kawartha Food Share this holiday season.
Entry is $10 at the door with a food item. Doors open at 8 p.m.
VIDEO: “Low Light” – The Kents
Four Not-So-Christmas Shows
1. Bird City, Joyful Joyful, and Lucas Huang at Catalina’s in Peterborough on December 9
A brilliant triple bill takes place at Catalina’s (131 Hunter St. W., Peterborough, 705-874-5972) on Saturday, December 9th with Bird City, Joyful Joyful, and Lucas Huang (Old Haunt).
Bird City is the banjo and tenor guitar project of Guelph singer-songwriter Jenny Mitchell (Jenny Omnichord, Barmitzvah Bros., The Burning Hell). Her music is deeply personal, poetic, and meaningful.
Joyful Joyful is made up of two former Peterborough residents: Cormac Culkeen sings beautiful melodies and hymn-like vocals over Dave Grenon’s droney soundscapes.
Last but not least is Old Haunt (Lucas Huang) who “uses multiple pickups, effects, and split-signal amplification to conjure forlorn gospel and folk songs as apparitions.”
This show is $10 or pay what you can at the door and it begins at 9:15 p.m., with doors opening at 8:30 p.m.
VIDEO: “A Bit Part” – Bird City
VIDEO: “Sebaldus” – Joyful Joyful
2. Benefit for Jordan Brydges at the Red Dog in Peterborough on December 10
There will be a big benefit called “Never Burn Brydges” for local musician and all-around good guy Jordan Brydges on Sunday, December 10th at tthe Historic Red Dog Tavern (189 Hunter St. W, Peterborough, 705-750-1710).
Jordan has been battling cancer throughout the year and recently is also in the middle of some financial hardships. This will be a night of great music by local musicians as well as Jordan himself, who will play some songs from a soon-to- be-released album of his originals. Guest artists include Chris Culgin, Dylan Ireland, Emily Burgess, Al Black, Jill Staveley, Diamond Dave and the Smokeaters and many more.
Tickets are only $15 and are available at the door. There will be some silent auction items as well!
VIDEO: “Til I Get To Call You My Own” – Emily Burgess
3. Greyson Gritt and Caroline Cox at The Garnet in Peterborough on December 13
On Wednesday, December 13th. you can have “Story & Song” in one great place at The Garnet (231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough, 705-874-0107).
Juno award-winning songster Greyson Gritt from Quantum Tangle and award-winning songstress and storyteller Caroline Cox will take the stage. Both artists live in the Northwest Territories and each brings unique perspectives on the world.
Tickets are $10 at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The show begins around 8 p.m.
VIDEO: “Local Smoke” – Greyson Gritt
VIDEO: “Such A Liar” – Caroline Cox
4. The Rocket Revue with Jerome Godboo at the Market Hall in Peterborough on December 30
The Rocket Revue takes flight again on Saturday, December 30th at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146).
Boogie down like it’s New Year’s Eve with the full band experience: a blasting horn section, excellent rhythm section, and some specil guests including the incredible harmonica skills of Jerome Godboo (The Phantoms).
The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $40 for general seats and $45 for cabaret seating, and are available the Market Hall Box Office or online at markethall.org. Tickets are also available (cash only) at Moondance (425 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-742-9425).
Get your tickets now as this is always a great show!
VIDEO: “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder performed by The Rocket Revue with Jerome Godboo