THURSDAY DECEMBER 14
MUSIC FOR LUNCH
Just in case you can't get enough of Tchaikovsky's music for The Nutcracker, pianist Virginia Moore plays selections from the beloved ballet. Sherman-Clay Piano & Organ, 1624 Fourth Ave, 622-7580, 12:15 pm, free.
Gosh, what might be on the program this time of year? Yes, you guessed it, Handel's Messiah, complete with the jubilant "Hallelujah" shouted by the chorus and bellowed tardily by those of us in the audience who drank too much beforehand. Also Fri Dec 15 at 8 pm, Sat Dec 16 at 1 and 8 pm, and Sun Dec 17 at 2 pm. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 215-4747, 7:30 pm, $18—$68.
STANTON MOORE TRIO
Chiefly known as a compadre of Charlie Hunter and Skerik, this New Orleans—based drummer's trio serves up funky shuffles and amiable riffs that intermingle jazz, blues, and rock. With Will Bernard (guitar) and Brian Coogan (organ/synth). Tractor, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599, 8:30 pm, $15.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 15
SUSAN PASCAL QUARTET
Fluid stick work and coherent, compact solos make this vibraphonist a delight. The adroit comping of pianist Randy Halberstadt buttresses the quartet's suave sheen. Tula's, 2214 Second Ave, 443-4221, 8:30 pm, $12.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 16
SEATTLE PRO MUSICA
Karen Thomas conducts Christmas choral works by American composers including Eric Whitacre (the "Lux Aurumque"), Aaron Jay Kernis ("Dorma, ador," fashioned from Portuguese nonsense syllables), and Morten Lauridsen. There's also an early (i.e., not-too-crazy) work by Charles Ives on the program, A Christmas Carol. Assorted spirituals and Shaker hymn tunes round out the program. Preconcert talks at 2 and 6:30 pm. Bastyr University Chapel, 14500 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore, 781-2766, 3 and 7:30 pm, $15—$23.
I like how this pianoless sax 'n' horn sextet quilts together honking asides, raggedly spirited tuttis, jazz-rock bashing, and dissonant countermelodies that would make Mingus proud. Egan's Ballard Jam House, 1707 NW Market St, 789-1621, 10 pm, $5.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 17
READINGS AND CAROLS
Five children's choirs of St. James's music program sing in a holiday service of readings and Christmas carols. Of course, there's a sing-along and candle lighting too, which makes it a good gig for parking visiting parents and other relatives. St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave, 382-4874, 7:30 pm, $10 suggested donation, families and students pay as able.
Clement, a formidable jazz pianist and winsome singer, takes a turn at leading a weekly jam session. Cafe Amoré, 2229 Fifth Ave, 770-0606, 8 pm, free.
Bassist PK treks up from Portland to play a duo with pianist Wayne Horvitz. The second set features PK and part of Wally Shoup's Spider Trio, Shoup and drummer Dave Abramson. On the following night at Gallery 1412, PK rounds up an enormous cast for an all-out big-band improv at 9 pm; PK assures me, "We're going to wail." Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave, 322-1533, 8 pm, $5—$15 sliding-scale donation.