Giants of SA's sax scene, these tenormen are just a sampling of what one can see at Holiday Saxophones. Credit: Courtesy / Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

Musically speaking, some folks get their yuletide kicks from blissfully bobbing to the Christmas Top 100 playing at Michael’s, others from the more traditional seats of theater cushioned chairs while watching Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and a small minority from humble choirs at Chinese restaurants on Christmas Day.

Yet San Antonio’s musical landscape from now until Dec. 25 isn’t a string of white icicle lights, but a fantastic assortment of colored bulbs, bursting to life in new displays of Christmas cheer. So for those who sing a different holiday tune, here are some alternative forms of soaking in this sonic season.

Full disclosure: Not all of these events are exclusively dedicated to Christmas music.

SATX Xmas Showxace

Nick Long throws his head back and forth as he plays on the stage floor. Photo by Scott Ball.
Nic Long throws his head back and forth as he plays on the stage floor. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Paper Tiger continues to fly into new territory – this time with the help of some sweet-soul reindeer crooning into the night. The SATX Xmas Showxase will certainly be the spotlight on San Antonio’s indie Christmas calendar, and will kick off at 7:30 p.m on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Performing a mix of holiday classics along with some original winter lullabies, Lonely Horse and Garret T. Capps will be sharing the bill with the female singer-songwriters Jeannette Muniz and Carly A. Garza, to mention just a few of the artists. The generosity keeps flowing from SATX Music and the musicians on board, with all proceeds for the evening benefiting the San Antonio Children’s Shelter.

Holiday Saxophones 

Called the “devil’s horn” at the turn of the 20th century for the wild sensations it elicited in its listeners, the saxophone will be playing to its angelic side at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center this Sunday, Dec. 18. Holiday Saxophones brings together a veritable compass rose of San Antonio’s horn players, from all sides of the city and from distinct parts of its history in a celebration of the sensuous sound.

An event that has featured Westside Sound legend Frank Rodarte, Grammy-nominated Joe Posada, and the boisterous sound of New York-bred Richard Oppenheim, Regency Jazz Band leader and bassist George Prado continues this blues and jazz-enriched evening of swing classics, soul explorations, and holiday hits. Tickets and more information for the evening are available here.

Fiesta De Navidad: La Pastorela Folklorica

Young girls of the Guadalupe Dance Academy perform during La Pastorela Folklorica. Credit: Courtesy / Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

If you can’t make it to Holiday Saxophones and still want to soak in the season’s sound from the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, you can experience the Christmas story with a San Anto twist. La Pastorela Folklorica features members of the Guadalupe Dance Academy interpreting the traditional shepherd’s play with all the vivacity of folklorico and flamenco music.

You’ll play witness to the Academy’s top performers in the major roles of the Virgin Mary and Joseph, and watch the youngest members of the troupe contribute as townspeople and shepherds in this performance. Tickets for the Dec. 16 and 17 shows are still available for only $10.

Fiesta Navideña With Siggno

On a tour of the Southwest and West coast, the Tejano and Norteño sound of grammy-award winning Siggno will be heard from La Villita’s Maverick Plaza this Saturday, Dec. 17. While fans of Siggno will want to be sure to catch the downbeat for the group at 7 p.m (doors open at 6 p.m.), the festivities will take place from noon-6 p.m. with free activities, live music, and a talent search for young aspiring musicians.

The daytime activities will be family-friendly and free, but in order to catch these world-class musicians, tickets must be purchased, and they can be found here.

Home Alone In Concert

Slap some aftershave on and scream, Macaulay Culkin is back for Home Alone, but this time he’s accompanied by the San Antonio Symphony. The orchestra will perform the movie’s score in perfect time with the Christmas classic, all the way from the culmination of Culkin’s capers, to the more tender moments of childhood melancholy.

Audience members can relish their favorite moments at the Majestic Theatre on Dec. 22 or 23. Tickets can be purchased here.

Back to the 80s Christmas

Remember that George Michael Christmas song? Can’t get it out of my head either. That and many other hits from the 1980s will be made even cheesier in their holiday form as the Brass Monkey opens up its doors to the 21 and up crowd who may prefer to do their caroling with a cocktail in tow. Jingle all the way down the strip and you’re sure to find some other great live music and holiday specials behind the bar.

Adam Tutor

Adam Tutor is a Trinity University graduate, a saxophonist who performs with local bands Soulzzafying, Odie & the Digs, and Volcan, and a freelance music contributor to the Rivard Report.