Today's must-see concerts

Catch the best live music tonight in New York City.

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Mariah Carey

  • Critics choice

This year, Mariah Carey's seasonal smash, Merry Christmas, turns 20. Mimi celebrates the anniversary with a series of dates at the Beacon, giving fans who still can't get enough of "All I Want for Christmas Is You," a very special present.

  1. Beacon Theatre 2124 Broadway, at 74th St
  2. Mon Dec 22
More info

Justin Vivian Bond: Star of Light! An Evening of Bi-Polar Witchy Wonder

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Bond performs with a mama-snake mixture of nurture and menace: part transsexual den mother, part cultural assassin, part offhand Cassandra. Now the downtown performance legend returns to Joe's with a yuletide cabaret show that probably wouldn’t sit well with either Jesus or Santa Claus.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Tue Dec 23
More info

The Brain Cloud

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Dennis Lichtman, of the lively New Orleans–style jazz band the Cangelosi Cards, leads a highly talented group of musicians into energetic Western-swing territory. A mainstay at Barbès and several other local haunts, the Cloud is one of the city's most dependably charming retro acts.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Mon Jan 26
More info

Los Lobos + Happiness

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

More than four decades into a career that’s taken them from the barrios of East Los Angeles to a 2009 gig at the White House, David Hidalgo and his bandmates sound no less juiced about exploring their fusion of Chicano culture and muscular roots rock than they did during the outfit’s early

  1. City Winery 155 Varick St, at Vandam St
  2. Mon Dec 22
More info

Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch: A Swinging Birdland Christmas

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Three Birdland mainstays—the clarion-voiced Klea Blackhurst, the waggish host Jim Caruso and the velvety pianist-crooner Billy Stritch—get into the swing of the holiday season with a jazzy set of Christmas classics.

  1. Birdland 315 W 44th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Thu Dec 25
More info

Mingus Big Band

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The city’s hardest-working big band lifts your spirits in Gramercy, serving up Charles Mingus’s unique combination of lofty ambition and bluesy Holy Roller soul.

  1. Jazz Standard 116 E 27th St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Mon Jan 5
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Liz Callaway

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The sunny Callaway—whose gleaming Broadway belt has brightened such shows as Cats, Baby and Miss Saigon—shines on in a Christmas set that includes songs from her album Merry and Bright.

  1. 54 Below 254 W 54th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave, 10019
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Sat Dec 27
More info

Jill Sobule

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Had it not been for the anomalous monster success of her 1995 hit, "I Kissed a Girl" (that's pre–Katy Perry, for anyone keeping score), everyone would be a lot more willing to cop to a deep affection for Jill Sobule, who has an undeniable gift for couching clever, personal lyrics in instantly

  1. SubCulture 45 Bleecker St, between Bowery and Lafayette St, 10012
  2. Mon Dec 22
More info

Our Lady J: The Gospel of Dolly, A Hard Candy Christmas

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Wonderfully strange and extremely talented singer-songwriter-musician Our Lady J is taking a yearlong break from touring to write for the Amazon original series Transparent. Catch her before she goes on hiatus at this Dolly Parton–infused Christmas show.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Mon Dec 22
More info

Dick Hyman

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Pure only-in-NYC class is in store, as Dick Hyman, an octogenarian piano master specializing in swing and ragtime, presents a program he's calling "Variations on the Great American Songbook: Standards and Stride."

  1. Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (at Frederick P. Rose Hall) Broadway, at 60th St, 10019
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Tue Dec 23
More info
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