Christmas concerts are everywhere

Bend is full of Christmas tunes this week

By Ben Salmon / The Bulletin / @frequencyblog

In last week’s GO! Magazine, we told you about a whole bunch of the holiday performances and events happening in Central Oregon between now and Dec. 25.

But this week is a particularly big week for Christmas-themed concerts, especially a handful that didn’t get a ton of ink last week. So we’re going to round ’em up again! Put on your Santa pants, here we go-ho-ho!

Bill Keale

Bend’s beloved bastion of Hawaiian folk-pop, Bill Keale, will put on his fifth annual holiday concert tonight at The Old Stone.

If you’re in the spirit of the season, you’ll no doubt enjoy Keale’s musical selections. And if you’re already tired of the ol’ Central Oregon weather — and who isn’t, this year? — then you can let Keale’s warm, island-vibe aesthetic carry you away to somewhere tropical, at least for a little while.

Keale was born on Oahu, where he discovered music and writing, thanks in no small part to some well-known relatives: Uncle Moe was a popular entertainer, and Cousin Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s uke-fueled “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” medley made him posthumously world famous.

Anyway, Keale carries on in a similar tradition: Gentle, engaging folk-pop songs delivered via exquisite guitar picking and a strong, reverberant voice. Just think how that’ll sound inside a 101-year-old church.

Bill Keale Holiday Concert; 7 tonight, doors open 6 p.m.; $20 in advance at Big Island Kona Mix Plate (541-633-7378) or the website below, $22 at the door, free for children 6 and younger; The Old Stone, 157 N.W. Franklin Ave., Bend; www.billkeale .com.

Holiday Jazz Show

There are a handful of good female jazz singers in Bend, and three of the busiest — Lisa Dae, Lori Fletcher and Michelle Van Handel — will gather Saturday night for a show at one of the busiest music venues in Bend, Northside Bar & Grill. Busy, busy, busy!

Dae is a powerhouse vocalist who has been holding down regular gigs at the Northside for years. Fletcher sings classic, soulful jazz and fronts her own band, Deco Moon Jazz. And Van Handel’s a veteran of the Bend scene whose most recent album “Goodbye Blues” pairs her silky smoothy voice with Latin-groove jazz.

The three women will be backed by an all-star band, and the show is a benefit for the wonderful Cascade School of Music. Raffles and other fun stuff is planned.

Holiday Jazz Show, with Lisa Dae, Lori Fletcher and Michelle Van Handel; 5-8 p.m. Saturday; $10, $5 children 12 and younger, $25 family and VIP, available in advance at www .ccschoolofmusic.org; Northside Bar & Grill, 62860 Boyd Acres Road, Bend; www.northsidebarfun.com or 541-383-0889.

Naomi Hooley

On Wednesday, Naomi Hooley and Rob Stroup will bring their Winter Wonderland tour to Bend’s branch of the McMenamins empire.

Presumably, the tour is based on the duo’s “Winter Wonderland” album, released this year and available for sampling at the CD Baby website. “Wonderland” is a sweet, easy-on-the-ears collection of Christmas-y folk-pop tunes powered by piano and acoustic guitar, plus Hooley’s lovely voice.

This promises to be a smooth and satisfying evening of holiday cheer, and without — or at least without being dominated by — the same old Christmas songs you hear everywhere this time of year.

Naomi Hooley & Rob Stroup’s Winter Wonderland Tour; 7 p.m. Wednesday; free; McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 N.W. Bond St., Bed; www.mcmenamins.com.

12 Bands of Christmas

Well here is a fun idea: The 12 Bands of Christmas! It’s exactly what it sounds like, which is 12 bands getting together and playing throughout the day to accompany Operation Elf Box’s free Christmas party inside the St. Clair Place building, downtown at the intersection of Bond Street and Minnesota Avenue.

Besides the music, Operation Elf Box will be taking donations of new, unwrapped toys to go to needy families in Central Oregon. Santa Claus will be there from noon to 4 p.m., and there will be free hot cocoa and cider for kids, a hot tamale bar, donuts, cupcakes, raffles, prizes and much more.

Also: 12 bands playing all day! Here’s the lineup:

11-11:40 a.m. — Organic Music Farm

11:50 a.m.-12:20 p.m. — The Josh Hart Project

12:30-1 p.m. — Quiet Culture

1:10-1:50 — Chris Beland

2-3 p.m. — Lori Fletcher’s Deco Moon Jazz

3:10-4:15 p.m. — Chiringa

4:30-5:15 p.m. — Franchot Tone

5:30-6:20 p.m. — Justin Lavik

6:30-7:15 p.m. Cascade School of Music’s School of Rock

7:30-8:15 p.m. — Bobby Lindstrom

8:30-9:15 p.m. — Redwood Son

9:30-11 p.m. — Soul Benders

That’s a nice mix of locals and popular out-of-towners, not to mention genres from jammy blues to folk-pop to jazz to Latin dance music. And all for a good cause!

12 Bands of Christmas; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; free admission; St. Clair Place building, 920 N.W. Bond St., Bend; www.operationelfbox.com.

— Reporter: 541-383-0377, bsalmon@bendbulletin.com