Grammy Winner Jason Mraz Joins SD Symphony for COVID-Friendly Holiday Concert

A photo illustration of Jason Mraz in a Santa hat
John Hancock

Mr. A-Z has a busy holiday season planned: The San Diego Symphony, which wishes everyone a Noel Noel on the regular with its annual concerts of the same name, enlists Grammy-winner/local avocado farmer Jason Mraz to narrate this year's streaming version of its holiday classic.

Even better news is the price: FREE.

The concert kicks off Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. and will also feature a host of special guests, including conductor Timothy Semanik, musical artist Storm Lever and actor Scott Rad Brown -- who will divvy up hosting duties -- as well as the San Diego Children's Choir, San Diego Master Chorale and Reka Gyulai, principal dancer of the California Ballet.

"In a time when so little feels normal, we recognize how important it is to create moments of joy during this holiday season," San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer said in a news release sent out Thursday, adding, "[while] we all obey the stay-at-home orders to collectively overcome COVID-19, we can all unite in experiencing some holiday musical cheer and look forward to being together again in the near future.”

Again, the Noel Noel stream is free for music fans but they'll need to register in advance to take it in all its high-def glory. Can't watch it in real time? The big show will be available on-demand through the end of the month.

The symphony will also be "Jazzed for Christmas" on Dec. 20 in another livestreamed virtual concert. The special "at home" edition of Jazz @ the Jacobs will be curated by one-time San Diego Music Award Artist of the Year Gilbert Castellanos, who --surprise! -- will be featured on trumpet and will also showcase pianist Joshua White, bassist John Murray and Tyler Kreutel on drums.

That stream is also free but viewers will need to register in advance for that one, too.

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