Diverse Group of Artists to Perform at LA County Holiday Celebration

Cheering crowd with hands in air at music festival

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The 62nd annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration will be held today at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion but without an audience.  

The Music Center announced Monday the cancellation of the live audience out of an abundance of caution given the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.  

The holiday celebration billed by organizers as Los Angeles County's largest multicultural holiday celebration will be held from 3-6 p.m. and televised live by KOCE-TV Channel 50 and streamed at pbssocal.org/holidaycelebration and kcet.org. It will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m. on KOCE and at 6 p.m. Saturday on KCET-TV Channel 28.  

There will be 22 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies performing during the celebration.  

Cellist Adam Mandela Walden is among the newcomers who will be performing. Walden was diagnosed with moderate/severe autism when he was 3 years old and as a prodigious music savant by the famed neurologist and author Oliver Sachs when he was 6 years old.  

Walden was the subject of two Emmy-winning HBO documentaries, ``Autism: The Musical,'' made when he was 8 years old, and ``Autism: The Sequel,'' filmed last year, chronicling his experiences at the Berklee College of Music/Boston Conservatory, where he is currently a senior.  

Walden will perform ``Fantasia on Greensleeves'' for violincello (also known as ``What Child is This'') and ``Ave Maria,'' both accompanied by classical pianist Jordan Daniels.  

Another newcomer is Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance, which will perform ``Koredjuga,'' a rhythm shared by the Bamana and Malinke ethnic groups on the border of Mali and Guinea, traditionally performed by intermediaries between the people and the traditional chief whose only purpose is to educate others through laughter and irony.  

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles wiil perform at the celebration for the 31st consecutive year, singing classic and inspiring holiday songs.  

Other performers include:  

-- the two-time Grammy-winning all-female ensemble Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, which will perform a Mariah Carey holiday medley;  

-- gospel singers Lorenzo Johnson & Praizum, who will sing high-energy renditions of classic Christmas songs;  

-- the Celtic Irish Dance Academy will perform a traditional Irish dance showcasing fast feet and the ability to tell a story through music and dance;  

-- Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy will perform Geom-mu, a Korean sword dance traditionally performed at royal and official feasts to celebrate victory over war, hardship or disease;  

-- the Palmdale High School Choral Union and Sunday Night Singers, a select ensemble of current high school and alumni singers, will perform ``White Christmas'' and ``The Twelve Days of Christmas''; and  

-- the women's choir VOX Femina Los Angeles will perform holiday songs including the traditional Hanukkah song ``S'vivon,'' ``Jingle Bells'' and the Spanish carol ``A La Nanita Nana.''

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