Veteran jazz trio

Bassist Anthony Cox and drummer Phil Hey are some of the best local practitioners of their respective instruments. And pianist Phil Aaron is another exquisite craftsman who held a long-standing gig at Hotel Sofitel before devoting himself to more lucrative film and advertising work. This veteran trio with nothing to prove makes for an incredible value in an intimate setting. (9 p.m. Thu., Khyber Pass, St. Paul; $5 khyberpasscafe.com/music)

Jingle Bell Doc

Doc Severinsen, just seven months shy of his 90th birthday, was one of TV’s original hipsters as bandleader for “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Locally he’s even better known for his “Jingle Bell Doc” holiday shows with the Minnesota Orchestra, where he serves as pops conductor laureate. The show includes a vocal group, handbell ensemble and a separate rhythm section as well as Doc’s irrepressible trumpet and conducting. (8 p.m. Fri. and 1 p.m. Sat., Orchestra Hall, Mpls.; $30-$75, minnesotaorchestra.org)

Homemade jam

The Petersons dub themselves “Minnesota’s First Family of Music.” Yes, the Steeles offer stiff competition for that crown, but the Petersons make a compelling case with “ ’Twas the Jam Before Christmas.” This annual show features the vocal prowess of Patty and Linda Peterson plus the jazz chops of bassist Billy, keyboardist Ricky and multi-instrumentalist Paul, with younger-generation stalwart Jason Peterson DeLaire firmly in the mix this year. (2:30, 6 and 8 p.m. Sun., Dakota, Mpls.; $25, dakotacooks.com)

Warmth in the darkness

By definition, the winter solstice caps the darkest day of the year. There are few better ways to snuggle up than with pianist Laura Caviani and her trio. There is a warmth to Caviani’s phrasing that can be sprightly, though her greatest strength is a gentle illumination (usually falling just this side of melancholy). Bassist Chris Bates and drummer Chris Schmalenberger provide rhythmic support. (7 p.m. Tue., Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Mpls.; $10, croonersloungemn.com)

BRITT ROBSON