The week ahead: Music

“The Christmas Revels.”
Roger Ide
“The Christmas Revels.”

Revel in it

THE CHRISTMAS REVELS The 43d annual rendition of this festive theatrical celebration began last week, but there are plenty of opportunities left to take in the show, which this year transports its audience via music, dance, and storytelling, to Galacia, the Celtic region of northen Spain. Through Dec. 27, various performance times; see website for details. Tickets: $25-$57. Sanders Theatre, Cambridge. 617-496-2222,


Pop & Rock

MISS TESS & THE TALKBACKS Miss Tess will never fit easily into just one box, and that’s why her fans look forward to each new eclectic release from the rootsy singer, who used to live here. A favorite live act around town, she’ll be playing in support of “The Love I Have for You,” a new EP featuring six covers (of songs by Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Bonnie Raitt, etc.) and one original, veering from ’70s rock to country waltzes. Dec. 19-20, 9 p.m. Tickets: $12. Lizard Lounge, Cambridge. 617-547-0759,


BEYONCÉ Out of the blue, she released a new album last Friday, with no advance warning and as an iTunes exclusive. The strategy worked. The record, a sublime neo-soul affair titled “Beyoncé,” racked up sales of more than 500,000 copies within 48 hours. It caps an impressive year for the pop star, whose latest tour is an all-out spectacle: wind machines, breakneck choreography, and confetti explosions. Dec. 20, 8 p.m. Tickets: $45-$250. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

JOHN TESH Far more than the handsome face you might remember from his 10-year stint as co-host of “Entertainment Tonight,” Tesh has a long list of accolades: six Emmys, two Grammy nominations, and more than 8 million records sold. For this Christmas show, the pianist and composer will play seasonal favorites in a big-band setting. Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $43-$65. Wilbur Theatre. 800-745-3000,

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Love them or loathe them, there’s no denying the showmanship these musicians bring to their performances that incinerate the boundaries between classical music and prog-rock. They come to town for two shows bolstered by mega-selling albums, particularly of the Christmas variety.Dec. 22, 3 & 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $30-$70. TD Garden, 800-745-3000,


Folk, World & Country

TOM MCBRIDE McBride’s most recent album, “Morning in Glen Burnie,” found the Boston native mining inspiration from his record collection — Willie Nelson and Stevie Wonder, George Jones and Sam Cooke, Buck Owens, and Roy Orbison — and ending up with a a distinct brand of Americana that blends country, soul, and pop. Dec. 19, 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. Red Room at Café 939. 617-747-2262,


BILL KIRCHEN'S HONKY TONK HOLIDAY Kirchen is the world's premier purveyor (if not the only purveyor) of what he calls “dieselbilly music,” and he makes another December stop here for an evening of vintage Yuletide fare drawn from country, rock ’n’ roll, R&B, and other dieselbilly tributaries. Dec. 21, 8 p.m. Tickets: $24. Bull Run Restaurant, Shirley. 877-536-7190,

LORI MCKENNA If you didn’t remember to buy advance tickets for McKenna’s annual string of pre-Christmas shows, you’re almost too late; her covers show with her pals, and her full band shows the following night are already sold out. But (as of this writing) there are still tickets available for her two solo outings. Dec. 22, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets: $35. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-7679.



MICHAEL GREGORY JACKSON & SIMON SPANG-HANSSEN/CHARLIE KOHLHASE’S EXPLORER’S CLUB The mercurial Jackson was perhaps the most influential guitarist to emerge during New York’s 1970s loft jazz scene and has performed with such avant-garde eminences as Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, and Julius Hemphill, among numerous others. He first played with Danish saxophonist/flutist Spang-Hanssen back then, and their fruitful collaboration continues. Also appearing: intrepid saxophonist Kohlhase’s adventurous crew, featuring trombone monster Jeff Galindo.Dec. 19, 8 p.m. Tickets: $15. Outpost 186, 186 ½ Hampshire St., Cambridge.

SUGAR RAY & THE BLUETONES The gritty vocals and meaty harmonica riffs of Sugar Ray Norcia front one of the finest Chicago-style blues outfits in the Northeast, guaranteed to rock any house. Dec. 20, 7 p.m. Tickets: $12. Johnny D’s, 17 Holland St., Somerville. 617-776-2004,


AARDVARK JAZZ ORCHESTRA’S 41ST ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT For this year’s edition of the long-running big band’s holiday event, Aardvark will perform the complete 1960 Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn arrangement of the Nutcracker Suite — an imaginative, witty, and joyously swinging take on Tchaikovsky’s indelible melodies. Proceeds will benefit The Pine Street Inn. Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20. Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., Boston. 617-776-8778 or 617-452-3205,

HEATHER PIERSON QUARTET: “A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS” Pianist/vocalist Pierson and her band present the late, great Vince Guaraldi’s beloved score for the venerable Peanuts animated classic, as well as other jazzy holiday fare. Dec. 21, 8 p.m. Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St., Framingham. Tickets: $9-$18. 508-405-2787,



BOSTON CAMERATA: ‘NOEL, NOEL! A FRENCH CHRISTMAS’ With Camerata director Anne Azema, a program exploring early French Christmas music, beginning with 13th-century works from the Beauvais Cathedral. Dec. 19 at First Church in Cambridge; other locations Dec. 20-21. 617-262-2092,

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY: ‘A BACH CHRISTMAS’ Scott Metcalfe makes his H&H conducting debut leading the period instrument orchestra and chorus in Bach’s Cantata No. 62 alongside works by others. Dec. 19 and 22, Jordan Hall. 617-266-3605,

BLUE HERON: ‘CHRISTMAS IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND’ Scott Metcalfe also leads his own chorus in a holiday program of works by Leonel Power, John Dunstaple, and others. Dec. 20 and 21, First Church in Cambridge, 617-960-7956,

CHORUS PRO MUSICA Jamie Kirsch leads motets by Poulenc alongside works by Britten, William Bolcom, and many others. Dec. 20, 8 p.m., Old South Church. 617-267-7442,