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Watch Christmastime in New Orleans Christmas Night
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The festive spirit in New Orleans has always been something special, with the native love for food, music and conviviality never limited to Mardi Gras. Holidays from Thanksgiving to King’s Day have a distinctive feel in the Crescent City, as does Christmas, with Yuletide unique sights, cooking and songs, just to name a few of the standard ages old magical, one-of-a-kind spin by New Orleans-bred renaissance talent. Christmastime in New Orleans airs Christmas night at 6 p.m. on OETA-HD.

This talent is well represented in Christmastime in New Orleans, featuring some of the Big Easy’s finest chefs, actors and jazz musicians. We’ll hear from NOLA’s own internationally acclaimed chefs John Folse, Leah Chase and John Besh who will demonstrate just why the cuisine is a cross section of global cultures and viewers will learn some of the recipes that make the holidays so inviting in New Orleans. Award-winning actor Wendell Pierce will discuss what makes the holidays in the Crescent City the only choice for him, and actor Jim Caveziel talks about why actors prefer to film in the great state of Louisiana, and why it is the favoured “home away from home” town.

Christmastime in New Orleans is topped with the cozy infectious music. Each scene is adorned in beautiful, custom instrumental arrangements of holiday favourites – providing a freshly swinging repertoire which further serves to stoke the mood for Noël and Navidad – New Orleans having been a multilingual, multicultural place since its founding. In addition, there are gorgeously shot performance pieces by The NOLA Players recorded at the historic Saenger Theatre on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans, including such merry classics as “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “Joy to the World” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” the latter given a slinky, finger-snapping treatment like none other. And the hip “Christmas in New Orleans,” recorded so notably by Louis Armstrong with the Benny Carter Orchestra in 1955, sounds fresher and more inviting than ever like the musical equivalent of mistletoe.

The NOLA Players line-up also includes vibraphonist/percussionist Jason Marsalis, a member of the first family of New Orleans jazz, brother to jazz superstars Wynton and Branford, and son of the beloved pedagogue Ellis. About the New Orleans holiday spirit, Jason says: “It’s true that we have our own way of celebrating down here. We have Mardi Gras and our own festive events like Jazz Fest and even Saints games. But when we do Christmas, something people celebrate all over the world, we do it in our own way, with our special food, party atmosphere and things like Christmas in the Oaks, at City Park.”

That contagious spirit of the city comes out throughout this festive holiday special to be transported to the ears and hearts of global viewers in typical extended New Orleans style and hospitality.