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WKMS Celebrates the 2022 Holiday Season

There will be a wide variety of holiday programming on WKMS from November 23rd to December 30th.

WKMS celebrates the 2022 holiday season with a wide variety of seasonal programs interspersed with regularly scheduled programming. From all genres of music to cooking to storytelling, there are national and local shows for everyone to enjoy this November and December.

See the full holiday program schedule below:

Wednesday, November 23rd

11 am
Giving Thanks
Giving Thanks sounds the way Thanksgiving feels: inviting, warm, and festive. No clichés about pilgrims and pumpkin pies. Instead, it’s a contemporary, thoughtful celebration of the spirit of the holiday. For listeners, whether they're up early in the kitchen, on the road to a family gathering, or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music and truly memorable words.

Thursday, November 24th

11 am
Splendid Table's Turkey Confidential
Turkey Confidential is The Splendid Table’s annual Thanksgiving show. Francis Lam takes calls and comes to the rescue of Thanksgiving cooks, kitchen helpers, and inner guests during the biggest cooking day of the year.

Friday, November 25th

11 am
Sounds Good's Favorite Songs of 2022*
Tracy Ross will ease your Thanksgiving hangover with two hours of his favorite and most-played songs of 2022. Enjoy musical morsels from Spoon, Soccer Mommy, Big Thief, Father John Misty, Andrew Bird, and many others.

Thursday, December 15th

11 am
Sounds Good's Holiday Special*
Join Tracy Ross for two hours of eclectic music for the season on the Sounds Good Holiday Special. Hear classic recordings, covers of holiday favorites by contemporary artists, and a few modern additions to the Christmas music canon.

Friday, December 16th

11 am
Candles Burning Brightly
A delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights! Lots of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus a hilarious lesson on how to prepare a classic Chanukah dish and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.

12 pm
Hanukkah Lights 2022
This NPR favorite returns with the best of the best Hanukkah Lights stories from the last 30 years. Authors TBA. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

Monday, December 19th

11 am
The Big Tiny Desk Concert Holiday Special
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.

12 pm
A Mountain Stage Holiday
Join Mountain Stage host Larry Groce for an hour filled with beautiful music to mark the season. The show features special guests Holly Cole, Joan Baez, Bruce Cockburn, Loudon Wainwright III, The Roches, Kathy Mattea and more. All performances were recorded live on the Mountain Stage.

9 pm
Cafe Jazz Christmas with George Eldred*

Tuesday, December 20th

11 am
Jazz Piano Christmas 38
Check out your favorite holiday classics as you’ve never heard them! This year, our annual sell-out event spotlights ferociously talented Japanese musical phenom Hiromi, Mountain Stage’s Bob Thompson, and Bolivian prodigy José André Montaño, chosen as one of the Kennedy Center’s “Next 50” leaders.

12 pm
Jazz night in America: A Holiday Celebration
This year's Jazz Night in America holiday special will feature drummer Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O; a ruckus band recorded at Jazz at Lincoln Center that flip seasonal songs on their head while inserting humor and joyful swing. and new takes on classics in this special episode. Christian McBride hosts.

9 pm
Cafe Jazz Christmas with Todd Hill*

Wednesday, December 21st

The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays
The Film Score: Music for the Winter Holidays is an hour-long special devoted to holiday and wintertime movie music. In addition to beloved standards (“White Christmas” from “Holiday Inn” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from “Meet Me in St. Louis”), Michael shares an eclectic mix of wintry film scores, ranging from “It Happened in Sun Valley” (from “Sun Valley Serenade”) to Alexandre Desplat’s folk-inspired score for “The Grand Budapest Hotel."

12 pm
All Song Considered for the Holiday Extravaganza
We decided to revisit the very first All Songs Considered holiday party from 2012. The guest list for this (trust us!) unforgettable night of music and tall tales included Kishi Bashi, Dan Deacon, Carrie Brownstein and Nellie McKay. We hosted the festivities at a secluded cabin we rented one weekend in a snowy woods. It was a chilly night, but we had a roaring fire, plenty of eggnog, vegan haggis and lots of holiday songs to keep everybody warm!

7 pm
A World Cafe Holiday
World Cafe celebrated 30 years by revisiting special holiday performances from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Los Lobos, Andrew Bird, The Bird and The Bee, Pink Martini, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more. Hosted by Raina Douris, this musical gift will provide a full hour of hip holiday cheer.

8 pm
A Paul Winter Solstice Concert
Celebrate the return of the sun - and the warming of the heart with Paul Winter's 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 a performance of The Paul Winter Consort and the glorious Cathedral Pipe Organ. John Schaefer hosts.

9 pm
Cafe Jazz Christmas with Brian Clardy*

Thursday, December 22nd

11 am
Welcome Christmas!
There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert conducted by Philip Brunelle. It’s an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries.

12 pm
Holidays from Murray State University 2022*

Friday, December 23rd

11 am
St. Olaf Christmas Special
The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is a chance for listeners across the country and around the world to participate in one of the nation’s most treasured holiday celebrations. Programming includes sacred choral and instrumental music from many traditions: beloved hymns, classical masterworks, folk songs from around the world, and African-American spirituals.

12 pm
Jonathon Winter's A Christmas Carol
An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. From NPR and KCRW.

9 pm
Left of the Dial Christmas*

11 pm
Alien Lanes Christmas*

Saturday, December 24th (Christmas Eve)

9 am
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols presents your audience with an opportunity to share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal Classical music. This special will be presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue, the 500-year-old Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.

11 am
Front Porch Christmas*

9 pm
Beyond the Edge Christmas*

Sunday, December 25th (Christmas)

2 pm
Kitchen Sink Christmas*

7 pm
Stateline Blues Christmas*

Friday, December 30th

11 am
2022 Remembered from the Current
Join The Current in honoring the life, music, and legacy of artists we lost this year with 2022 Remembered from The Current. This hour-long musical tribute is a celebration of all sounds - from indie to influential - and the perfect way for music lovers to unite in paying homage to the artists who have shaped music history.

Listen to WKMS' holiday programming on-air, online at, or via the NPR One app.

*Local show produced in west KY

Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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