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Moment's Notice: Samara Joy's holiday family affair and more

Moment’s Notice this is week is another holiday bonanza, headlined by a vocal phenom with familial roots in Philadelphia. Also: Bobby Zankel celebrates the solstice, and the Postmodern Jukebox rolls through town. Sign up now to get this guide in your inbox weekly — but take note: we'll be enjoying the holiday next week, back on New Year's Eve.

Spotlight: Samara Joy: A Joyful Holiday — Friday, Miller Theater

Nobody paying attention would have been caught off guard by Samara Joy’s new EP, A Joyful Holiday. Before her breakout moment at this year’s Grammy Awards — where she won Best New Artist, becoming one of the few jazz musicians ever to do so — she was on a limited tour with her family, The McLendons, singing Christmas songs in a jazz-gospel mode. One of those concerts last year was at the Ardmore Music Hall, where the spirit was as warm and welcoming as a mug of peppermint cocoa. This year, Joy and her musical clan have scaled up to the Miller Theatre for two concerts. (At least one of them seems to have sold out early.) As Joy noted on our recent holiday edition of The Late Set podcast, this stop on the tour is likely to feature her grandfather, Philadelphia gospel legend Elder Goldwire McLendon, who recently turned 93.

Dec. 22 at 5 and 7:30 p.m., Miller Theater, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 250 South Broad Street, $35 to $75; tickets and information.

Scott Bradlee's
Dana Pleasant
Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox — Tuesday, Keswick Theatre

In case you haven’t already encountered one of their viral YouTube videos, the Postmodern Jukebox is a hugely popular phenomenon — a canny operation, led by pianist Scott Bradlee, that recasts all manner of pop songs in throwback style. (One of their most recent entries was a 1920s hot-jazz take on Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” featuring Chloe Feoranzo out front on vocals and clarinet.) This Keswick Theatre concert is a kickoff for the band’s “Life In The Past Lane” tour, which will also bring them to The Town Hall in New York.

Dec. 19 at 8 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside, $35 to $76.50 in advance; purchase tickets.

Dylan Band Quartet — Saturday, Chris’ Jazz Cafe

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Dylan Band is a true-blue product of the local jazz pipeline: an alumnus of both the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts and Temple’s Boyer College of Music and Dance; a protégé of the late Larry McKenna; co-leader of the Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band. This weekend he augments his quartet with vocalist Danielle Dougherty, no doubt tossing in a holiday song or two.

Dec. 23 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom Street, $30 to $105, with dinner packages; purchase tickets.

Bobby Zankel
Michelle Lyu
Bobby Zankel

Bobby Zankel and the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound 7 — Saturday, Black Squirrel Club

Alto saxophonist and composer Bobby Zankel has always sent his music down a righteous path, but with A Change of Destiny, recently released on the Makahala label, he raises the bar. Inspired by the excavation of slave quarters on the site of the George Washington’s Philadelphia home, the album interrogates our ideals of freedom — with vital contributions from, among others, pianist Sumi Tonooka and bassist Lee Smith, who rejoin him here for what’s being described as a solstice celebration.

Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m., Black Squirrel Club, 1049 Sarah Street, $20; purchase tickets.

Nate Chinen has been writing about music for more than 25 years. He spent a dozen of them working as a critic for The New York Times, and helmed a long-running column for JazzTimes. As Editorial Director at WRTI, he oversees a range of classical and jazz coverage, and contributes regularly to NPR.