Two married ex-pats from New York will be home for Christmas, namely singer-songwriter Emily Nicholas and visual artist/video producer John Patrick Wells.
And they'll be staying over for a few days for Nicholas' back-to-back solo concerts at Imbibe on Dec. 29.
Unlike last summer's stage performance at Stars, her upcoming appearance in a different venue will be more up-close and personal.
"The shows will be small, intimate living room-style concerts," she said. "It'll just be me at the piano, old-fashioned salon style."
A dynamic performer with an exciting voice, Nicholas is noted for her versatility. Her program at Imbibe will include jazz, holiday and folk songs and few of her original pieces.
Both Nicholas and Wells have been active in the past six months in live performances as well as producing short films and music video.
"Our newest music video will be released in January," she said. "Our last video was recently featured in the BBC Music Video Festival."
After her last appearance in Bakersfield, Nicholas and her cabaret group, Emily Danger, toured the West Coast for two weeks. Now they're planning to embark on another cross-country trek in early 2014. "We (Emily Danger) have been in the studio for our next album which we hope will be released in April," she said. "Once the album is released, we'll tour throughout the U.S., hitting some major festivals along the way and create more music video and short films with John."
Tickets for the Imbibe show are available at the bar or online at www.emilynicholas.com.
Final Advent recital
Organist and composer T. Paul Rosas will present the final Advent recital of the pre-Christmas season today at First Presbyterian Church.
Rosas, a Bakersfield native, currently is the senior organist at Los Altos Methodist Church in the Bay Area. Meg Wise, First Presbyterian's resident organist, said his program will include one of his original compositions as well as Christmas music by William Bates, Jean Langlais and Michael Burkhardt.
Although the recital is free, those who wish to may donate non-perishable food items to the church's pantry.
A taste of Dickens
To wind up its extensive holiday schedule, Tehachapi Community Theatre will present two performances of professional actor Alex Zonn's "A Christmas Carol" this weekend.
"This is the sixth year Zonn has performed here -- it's based on Charles Dickens' own script from his famous tours," said TCT board member Karl Schuck.
It is the actor's solo reading of the touching story, first published in 1843, about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the Cratchit family and of course, Tiny Tim.
TCT's holiday season began four weeks ago with performances of "A Christmas Story," a comedy based on the film of the same name.
"We usually open our Christmas shows before Thanksgiving and finish in mid-December," Schuck said. "It has become quite a tradition here for families to bring out-of-town holiday guests to the theater on Thanksgiving weekend. We typically fill in the remaining weekend or two with concerts, puppet shows and Zonn's 'A Christmas Carol' so there is a wide variety of holiday entertainment."
Instead of its usual venue, Fiddlers Crossing will present Celtic harpist Patrick Ball in "Christmas Rose" on Saturday at the Beekay Theatre in Tehachapi.
Ball is a native Californian but in his early adulthood became interested in his Irish ancestry and went to Ireland to learn about its music and folklore. He is internationally known and has performed several house concerts in Bakersfield in the past few years.
Ball has a pleasing voice that blends well with the Celtic harp which has a distinctive bell-like tone because its strings are made of brass.
The theater piece he'll do in Tehachapi is made up of music and storytelling. The title is drawn from the lyrics of a carol called "The Gloucester Wassail." The first line of the song begins: "When blossoms flowered midst the snow upon a winter night was born the Child, the Christmas Rose."
In a press release Ball said: "All of the stories and all of the music touch on what is, to my way of thinking the central message of the Christmas/winter season: hope. Hope for something wondrous. Hope for a light in the darkness."