Now in its fifth year and spanning three separate shows, the New Standards Holiday Concert has become a celebratory annual treat for local music fans. The swank confines of the Fitz are ideal for framing the group's sparse yet surprisingly rich renditions of holiday classics, with the Suburbs' Chan Poling and Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare's John Munson trading off vocal duties while masterful vibraphonist Steve Roehm crafts a shimmering, stylish backdrop for their melodies and harmonies. The trio will be joined by what is being billed only as "an orchestra of stunning guest accompanists" including "upcoming singer-songwriters to some of the most esteemed local and international rock stars to poets, dancers, and storytellers," which should make for an eclectic and highly entertaining kickoff to the frenzied holiday season. Note to families: Sunday's matinee performance is said to culminate in an appearance by St. Nicolas himself.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 5, 2 p.m. Starts: Dec. 3. Continues through Dec. 4, 2010