Santa’s flashiest elf, former “Tonight Show” trumpet maestro Doc Severinsen, returns as pops conductor laureate of the Minnesota Orchestra in a program called “Jingle Bell Doc.” It also features the mammoth Minnesota Chorale, the 12-member handbell ensemble Twin Cities Bronze, and singers Vanessa Thomas and Joseph Wolverton. Here’s a funny quote from handbell ringer Deb Garvey: “As an elementary band director, I deeply appreciate how bells are always in tune.” (8 p.m. Fri. & 2 p.m. Sun., Orchestra Hall, $30-$75.) Tom Surowicz

Tina Schlieske, who has rocked Twin Cities bars with soul and abandon since the 1980s, returns home for her annual holiday show, billed as Lola and Red Family Band. The repertoire usually includes seasonal favorites as well as material associated with Aretha, Janis and Elvis. No one does the King like Tina — even in a holiday outfit. The twangy Saddle Sores open. (9:30 p.m. Fri., Cabooze, $15.) Jon Bream

The Peterson Family’s holiday shows have always been festive affairs. This will be their first “ ’Twas the Jam Before Christmas” without matriarch Jeanne Arland Peterson, who died in 2013. Expect emotional moments and chops to burn from Linda, Billy, Patty, Ricky and Paul Peterson and their assorted children. (5 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dakota Jazz Club, $25.) Bream

After two decades under the directorship of Robert Robinson and then his sister Sandy Robinson, the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir has been handed over to a member of another local singing dynasty. With Fred Steele at the helm, the 30-some-member ensemble stages “Voices of Joy,” featuring singer Tonia Hughes. It includes both predictable favorites and new repertoire. (7 p.m. Sat., Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, $10-$23.) Riemenschneider

She may live in Nashville but her songwriter husband Jon Vezner grew up in Minnesota and her in-laws live here. So Kathy Mattea likes to bring her Christmas tour to a close in the Twin Cities. She’ll offer material from her two holiday collections, “Joy for Christmas Day” and the Grammy-winning “Good News.” And maybe she’ll throw in something from her latest disc, 2012’s “Calling Me Home,” which explores her roots in West Virginia’s coal country. (8 p.m. Sat., Orchestra Hall, $30-$65.) Bream

Karrin Allyson’s holiday shows last year were such a hit that the Twin Cities favorite is back to showcase material from her 2013 album “Yuletide Hideaway.” The premise is that Christmas is a place in our hearts and mind. She chooses cool obscurities like Dave Frishberg’s “Snowbound” and Bill Evans’ “It’s Love, It’s Christmas,” darkens such standbys as “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow,” and sparkles on two originals by her bandmates, “Christmas Bells Are Ringing” and “You’re All I Need for Christmas.” (6 & 8 p.m. Sun.-Mon., Dakota, $25-$40.) Bream

“A Christmas Carol” isn’t the only long-standing tradition at the Guthrie. The Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness stage their African-American-flavored take on “The Night Before Christmas” there. Surrounded by standout vocalists, director Gary Hines always manages to freshen up this production with au courant references to the likes of Beyoncé and President Obama. Look for Rudolph the Rappin’ Reindeer, the dancin’ chitlins and more at this 36th annual presentation. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Guthrie Theater, $20-$39.50.) Bream


Sixty-some tour dates and one memorable Letterman appearance later, Minneapolis’ greatest pop craftsman of the ’10s, Jeremy Messersmith, is wrapping up the biggest year of his career with a hometown finale at the venue he packed for two nights in February, when he released his fourth album, “Heart Murmurs.” The shows and the record were ambitious affairs, elegantly orchestrated with the Laurel Strings but also loud and feisty at times. As a fun nightcap on the year, Messersmith recently dropped a new big-band holiday anthem, “Let’s Ditch Christmas.” Nervy rockers the Cloax Ox, led by Fog’s Andrew Broder, aren’t to be missed in the opening slot. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $20.) Chris Riemenschneider

Doused in as much campiness as hair spray, throwback hair band Steel Panther was a natural fit to release an irreverent new holiday tune. Its innuendo-filled “Stocking Song” is an irresistible tear, as are its always-festive live shows. Led by ex-Atomic Punks singer Michael Starr, the rockers are heading up the 93X Ultimate X Girl show, a rare case in which they’re not the tackiest part of the show. (7 p.m. Fri., Myth, $29.) Riemenschneider

A volatile roar-punk band that was a Hüsker Dü sidekick in the early ’80s and produced a future engineer/producer to the stars, Brian Paulson, Man Sized Action played its first show in 11 years this time last year. Now the quintet returns with a 30th-anniversary reissue of its “Five Story Garage” album and another influential, artfully noisy Twin Cities band of yesteryear, Arcwelder. The ’90s power trio of Touch & Go Records notoriety has made a habit of playing a reunion gig around the holidays — and plays them very well, too. With the Mighty Mofos and Silverteens also on the bill, plus surprise guests, you have what some old-school TC punks might deem the throwback show of the year. Yes, over the Replacements. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Minneapolis Eagles Club, $10.) Riemenschneider

Another side band from Low’s Alan Sparhawk that was way too thrilling to be permanently sidelined, Duluth’s harrowing blues-punk quartet the Black-Eyed Snakes is back for its fourth Twin Cities show this year, after an absence of several years. It’s bringing darkly tinted gospel-rockers Southwire down with them along with violin-spiked local acoustic duo the Lowland Lakers, who are dropping their debut EP. (10:30 p.m. Sat., Icehouse, $8-$10.) Riemenschneider

After 20-some holiday-season shows at the Guthrie, Orchestra Hall and elsewhere in the Twin Cities, Michael Johnson has found the perfect pre-Yule place: the Dakota Jazz Club. Johnson, who moved back to the Twin Cities a few years ago, still possesses a warm voice, a quick sense of humor and underappreciated acoustic guitar skills. His repertoire will include such old favorites as “Bluer Than Blue” and “Give Me Wings” as well as tunes from his commendable 2012 comeback, “Moonlit Deja Vu.” (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota, $30.) Bream


Heiruspecs never lost their mojo as one of our scene’s first and best hip-hop live bands, but they found new energy on record this year with their first album since 2007, “Night Falls,” a rocky yet mature collection. The new songs will add spark to their always-lively year-end gig at the club nearest their alma mater, St. Paul Central. One of the scene’s most reputable MCs, Carnage, will open with a too-rare set by his own live backing unit, the Last Band Standin’. Captivating, feel-good neo-soul singer K. Raydio opens with O-D, her partner on the vibrant new album “One Drop.” (10 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider


It’s been 76 years since the great songwriter Harold Arlen turned out his most famous film score, for “The Wizard of Oz,” and 28 years since he died. Yet singers are happily still unearthing new songs by Arlen to interpret and underexposed gems to revive. On their intimate new album, “Down & Up With Love: The Truth From Harold Arlen,” Barbara Meyer and nationally renowned pianist and arranger Phil Mattson manage both feats. They debut a song Arlen wrote with Dory Previn in 1964, “Hurt But Happy,” and recycle a choice bit of bittersweet saloon wisdom, “Come on, Midnight,” with a lyric by Martin Charnin. It has been heard only rarely since its 1966 creation for the failed musical “Softly,” most notably in a Peggy Lee version, and deserves a better fate. Mattson’s cool little “Round Midnight” reference at the close puts Meyer’s rendition to bed beautifully, with a wink. Something different — no Santa or Rudolph, but some “Old Black Magic” — for Christmas week. (8 p.m. Fri., 318 Cafe, 318 Water St., Excelsior, $10, 952-401-7902.) Surowicz 

“Twin Cities Jazz Sampler Volume One” may have a generic name, but it’s filled with exceptional music, from vital veteran trios led by guys named Chris (Bates, Lomheim), to Adam Meckler’s bold and strikingly original full-scale big band. Trumpeter Steve Kenny did a great job of assembling 13 gripping and representative tracks, and getting the compilation funded through Kickstarter. There’s no free improv or trad fare, and some omnipresent artists missed the cut (Pete Whitman, Dean Magraw, Anthony Cox, Kevin Washington). Still, a better representation of Twin Cities jazz you will not find, and the release party is appropriately at the only full-time jazz venue in the Twin Cities. Three “Sampler” groups will appear: Atlantis Quartet, Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio (with Dave Hagedorn and Phil Hey) and Kenny’s own Group 47, filled with high-flying youngsters to watch. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Jazz Central Studios, 407 Central Av. SE., Mpls. $15. 612-729-1799.) Surowicz

Peering through local gig listings will often bring a chuckle, as with next week’s “Bob Bowman Christmas Eve Spectacular.” What will make it spectacular? Well, Bowman is a great jazz bassist from Kansas City, a Grammy winner for his work with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. He also played with the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band, and was Carmen McRae’s personal bassist. More recently, he’s worked for many years with Karrin Allyson. And if you miss his “Spectacular,” Bowman will appear Saturday in a duets show with the fine pianist Laura Caviani. (8:30 p.m. Wed. & 8 p.m. Sat., Jazz Central Studios, $10.) Surowicz


The performances promise to be revelatory as conductor Paul Agnew helms St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s performances of Handel’s “Messiah.” An expert in the baroque and pre-classical repertoire, Agnew began his career as a singer and conductor with William Christie’s French baroque ensemble Les Arts Florissants, which recently appointed him as joint music director. He has conducted “Messiah” around the world and makes his SPCO debut with these performances. (8 p.m. Fri. & 1 p.m. Sat., Basilica of St. Mary, 88 N. 17th St., Mpls., $14-$52, 651-291-1144, William Randall Beard

Magnum Chorum celebrates its first holiday season with new artistic director Mark Stover. In a program titled “All This Night My Heart Rejoices,” it delivers a wide historical perspective of music for the birth of Christ, from music by Bruckner and Rachmaninoff (“Bogoroditse Devo” from the “All Night Vigil”) to new carols and carol arrangements by Abbie Betinis, Steve Heitzeg and Carolyn Jennings. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, 2115 Summit Av., St. Paul, and 4 p.m. Sun., Colonial Church of Edina, 6200 Colonial Way, Edina, $5-$21, Beard