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Enjoy A Big Band Christmas, 'Live At Jazz, TX'

DocWatkins_Santa_2017.jpg
Nathan Cone
/
Texas Public Radio

This month, Doc Watkins and his Orchestra have been swinging into the Christmas season at Jazz, TX with Big Band Christmas performances of holiday standards. Doc Watkins, bandleader and club owner, says it’s been sold out every night—and the crowd loves the old tunes, for good reason.

“I think one of the things that I really love about the Christmas songbook is it's part of the American songbook, which,  as jazz musicians, that's what we primarily play. a lot of the standards of American Songbook you know are kind of gradually becoming less familiar to audiences,” Watkins says. “If you were back in the 1940s and you were playing Cole Porter tunes or George Gershwin tunes, most people in the audience would know them. That's not necessarily the case today. But with Christmas music, everybody knows those songs!”

Being a musician, Watkins has almost always worked on Christmas Eve. But this year is different, since Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday. So, he says, he’ll spend some time at home.

“My biggest tradition is that I've never worked on Christmas Day, and never plan to. We always get up do presents, and hang out… make a bunch of food, eat a big dinner at 3:00 and have a ham and turkey and all that stuff, and just spend the day with family. [This year], my sisters are coming in for Christmas Day and my brothers will be there, my mom will be there. So we're going to have a good time.”

Merry Christmas, and enjoy this special episode of “Live At Jazz, TX” on Saturday night at 7:00 on Texas Public Radio, or listen now in the audio player below. This episode is sponsored by Whole Earth Provision Company.

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.