Music lovers of all ages are invited to tune in Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m. for the Ebird and Friends 13th Annual (Virtual) Holiday Show.
Heading the popular musical revue is Erin "Ebird" Zindle, who fronts the eclectic folk-rock group The Ragbirds. In pre-pandemic times, the show has been held at the Ark in Ann Arbor, featuring a large, diverse group of musicians from across Michigan performing holiday-themed songs. This year, some performances will instead be live-streamed, with pre-recorded acts interspersed throughout the night.
"We've been thinking creatively and rolling with a lot of punches to bring a show that maintains the spirit of joy and connection the show is known for," Zindle says.
The lineup features 40 artists, including The Accidentals, Seth Bernard, The Native Howl, Sean Ike, Madelyn Grant, and The Sweet Water Warblers. Just like previous years, people tuning in can expect to enjoy a wide range of musical offerings including bluegrass, jazz, soul, and pop.
"Also anticipate some original music and heartwarming classics performed in really unique ways from some of the most talented and bighearted musicians in Michigan," Zindle says. "We're all looking forward to diving deep into the music and creatively harmonizing with each other."
Another change this year is that the show is free of charge. Over the last few months, show organizers have been working to find grants and other funding through local sponsors and community businesses. Zindle reports that a $5,000 shortfall remains, despite many people stepping up to show their support.
"There's still a lot of people to pay and production costs, so we're keeping a donation link open throughout the livestream," she says.
But, while Zindle acknowledges it would be nice to receive, she stresses that the show is more about giving.
"Nothing is certain these days and people are feeling down and isolated," she says. "This year especially, we're grateful for the opportunity to still be able reach people when they need joy more than ever."
Viewers can watch the show via the Facebook pages for The Ragbirds, The Native Howl, or Ebird and Friends. The show will also stream on The Ragbirds YouTube channel.
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Ebird and Friends.