KGOU

Special Programs

Holiday Specials:

Hanukkah Lights 2017
Sunday, Dec. 17
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, the lighting of the menorah and the spiritual strength of the Jewish people. It's a time to celebrate family, tradition, miracles and mitzvahs. For the 27th year in a row, NPR celebrates the Festival of Lights with stories of the season. Join Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz as they read tales by Andrea Kamens, Debra Darvick, Elizabeth Graver, Grace Paley and Evan Guilford-Blake.

Credit Rhonda Dorsett

Paul Winter’s 36th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration
Thursday, Dec. 21
9 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Celebrate the Return of the Sun - and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter’s Annual Winter Solstice Celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and new sounds from around the world with special guests Fabiana Cozza, Gary Booker, Theresa Thomason, Paul McCandless, Eugene Freisen, the percussion troupe Forces of Nature.


Christmas Eve

A Christmas Gift for You: The Original Rock and Roll Christmas Album Returns
Sunday, Dec. 24
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

The inside story behind this 1963 album featuring performances by The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans that raised the bar for pop/rock arrangements of classic holiday songs. The All Music Guide says, “This is the Christmas album by which all later holiday releases had to be judged,” and Rolling Stone lists it as one of the best albums ever made. Includes interviews with singers Darlene Love and LaLa Brooks, musicians Nino Tempo, Don Randi and Hal Blaine. Hosted by Anthony DeCurtis.

All Songs Considered for the Holidays
Sunday, Dec. 24
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Kacey Musgraves, Conor Oberst and more special guests join All Songs hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton on a steam engine to the North Pole.

Hanson performed at NPR's Tiny Desk.
Credit NPR

The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special
Sunday, Dec. 24
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

Jazz Piano Christmas 33
Sunday, Dec. 24
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for a special Mardi Gras themed holiday concert hosted by Felix Contreras, highlighting the favorite seasonal music of four acclaimed performers. Winner of the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition Helen Sung and 2018 NEA Jazz Master Joanne Brackeen return to the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, along with Brazilian virtuoso Abelita Mateus and Cajun blues master Marcia Ball.

An Afro Blue Christmas
Sunday, Dec. 24
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the a cappela group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one of a kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions…music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.


Christmas Day

Tinsel Tales 4: So Much More NPR Christmas Favorites
Monday, Dec. 25
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the fourth collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places. NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Favorites
Monday, Dec. 25
9 a.m. - 10 a.m.

This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk -- these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Featured Stories:

  • Dad 'n' Sam (Jay Allison)
  • Homeless Christmas (Lee Stringer)
  • Christmas Morning, 1949 (Sylvia Seymour/Paul Auster)
  • Low-Glamour Christmas Party (Bailey White)
  • Doing it in the Closet (John McIlwraith)
  • Christopher (Jay O'Callahan)
  • Ode to Christmas (Chuck Kramer)
  • Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris)
  • Modern Day Joseph and Mary (Scott Simon)
  • John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story (John Henry Faulk)

Tinsel Tales 2: More NPR Christmas Favorites
Monday, Dec. 25
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories overflow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Featured Stories:

  • Santa Claus, Private Eye (Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco)
  • Pass The Fois Gras: Christmas Menu Hard To Digest (Firoozeh Dumas)
  • A 'Silent Night' That Brought Healing (Steve Banko)
  • The Christmas Club (Bill Harley)
  • All I Wanted For Christmas (NPR staffers)
  • Christmas Gift Records (The Ban-Smo Label)
  • The Night Before Christmas, Latin Style (Read by NPR's Claudio Sanchez)
  • The Designated Celebrator (Melinda Shoaf)
  • Christmas Truce (Historian Douglas Brinkley)
  • Wolf Christmas (Daniel Pinkwater)

Tinsel Tales 3: Even More NPR Christmas Favorites
Monday, Dec. 25
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the third collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places.

Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg and other voices from NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Featured Stories:

  • December's Soundtrack (Amy Dickinson)
  • Christmas With UPS (Loree Gold)
  • Merry Stressmas: It's That Time Of The Year (Kevin Kling)
  • Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree (Ken Harbaugh)
  • Stealing Hemlock (Bailey White)
  • Christmas Lights Tour (Bill Harley)
  • Christmas With The Totenbergs (Nina Totenberg)
  • The Gift Of The Magi (O. Henry, read by NPR's Audie Cornish)
  • Christmas For Cows (Baxter Black)
  • Christmas Pudding (Marialisa Calta)
  • Caroling In The Cold (Julie Zickefoose)
  • Christmas Magic (Joseph C. Phillips)
  • Grinch's True End (John Moe)

Ari Shapiro singing with Pink Martini.
Credit Dave Christensen / OPB

Joy to the World: A Holiday in Pink
Monday, Dec. 25
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays the Tiny Desk on Dec. 3, 2013
Credit John W. Poole / NPR

The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special (Encore)
Monday, Dec. 25
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

All Songs Considered for the Holidays (Encore)
Monday, Dec. 25
8 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Kacey Musgraves, Conor Oberst and more special guests join All Songs hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton on a steam engine to the North Pole.

Jazz Piano Christmas 33 (Encore)
Monday, Dec. 25
9 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Join the Kennedy Center and NPR Music for a special Mardi Gras themed holiday concert hosted by Felix Contreras, highlighting the favorite seasonal music of four acclaimed performers. Winner of the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition Helen Sung and 2018 NEA Jazz Master Joanne Brackeen return to the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, along with Brazilian virtuoso Abelita Mateus and Cajun blues master Marcia Ball.

An Afro Blue Christmas (Encore)
Monday, Dec. 25
10 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University's premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the a cappela group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one of a kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions…music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.

Paul Winter’s 36th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration (Encore)
Monday, Dec. 25
11 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Celebrate the Return of the Sun - and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter’s Annual Winter Solstice Celebration. On the darkest night of the year, we head back to New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to hear The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. The performance brings traditional holiday favorites and new sounds from around the world with special guests Fabiana Cozza, Gary Booker, Theresa Thomason, Paul McCandless, Eugene Freisen, the percussion troupe Forces of Nature.


New Year's Eve

The Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday, New Year's Edition
Sunday, Dec. 31 
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Credit capsteps.com / Capitol Steps

(Encores New Year's Day at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.)

Put down those subpoenas, Robert Mueller – if you’re hoping Paul Manafort will sing like a canary, all you have to do is tune in to the Capitol Steps' year-end edition of “Politics Takes a Holiday.”  You might even pick up some classified secrets as he joins the Donald to sing “I’m So Indicted.”

Also featured in the Capitol Steps’ show will be the year’s biggest stars – Mike Pence, Rex Tillerson, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, and those who were gone too soon – Sean Spicer, Tom Price, and, of course, the Mooch.

Now is your chance to finally enjoy the headlines you were too scared to read.  After all, the Capitol Steps won’t tell you what to think, but they will tell you what rhymes with Papadopoulos.

Toast of the Nation
Sunday, Dec. 31 
7 p.m. - 1 a.m.

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It's festive jazz you can party to, all night long. Spirited, improvised, and swinging, each segment stops in a special venue to ring in the new year throughout the country.


New Year's Day

The Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday, New Year's Edition (Encore)
Monday, Jan. 1 
9 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Best of the Best: The Third Coast Storytelling Festival 2017
Monday, Jan. 1 
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Best of the Best presents the winners of our 17th annual Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. From more than 600 entries, eleven were chosen as winners that we can’t wait to share. Meticulously crafted and lovingly produced, these stories intrigue, inform and inspire.

The Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday, New Year's Edition (Encore)
Monday, Jan. 1 
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.