The Meredith Wilson classic, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” comes easily to mind when strolling the walkable streets of downtown Edmonds and the moody, but picturesque Waterfront during this festive time.

Especially the part that goes: “Soon the bells will start, and the thing that will make them ring, is the carol that you sing, right within your heart.”

Music is a living, breathing part of Washington’s first designated Creative District. Everywhere and anywhere, you can hear the dulcet ringing of songs from the heart in a variety of styles all through the year, especially now.

Even with amped-up Covid protocols in place, holiday concerts and spontaneous sing-a-longs abound,  at a safe, masked distance. (Engel’s Pub never disappoints!)

Here are just a few in the books, all at the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA), 410 4th Ave. N.:

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party puts the zing in the Christmas classics you know and love. This hefty, brass-in-the-pocket ensemble covers them all with a wink-and-a-nod, and that classic, swinging, jazz big band groove. 

Singer Scotty Morris takes the lead, backed by cinematic horns, piano, bass, and drums, and all the good things that make up a celebration.

The contemporary Southern California swing revival band (“Go Daddy-O,” “Mr. Pinstripe Suit”) rolls out the welcome Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Celtic Christmas with the Gothard Sisters, Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.: Greta, Willow, and Solana Gothard grew up in Edmonds and have become a household name in Celtic folk music. They not only play several instruments and write their own songs about nature’s magical powers of uplifting persuasion, but are accomplished champion Celtic dancers. 

Let them inspire you, too, with their annual Celtic Christmas show, featuring tunes from their latest album, Dragonfly, Christmas carols, stories from their lives, and the natural chemistry of sisters at their best.

Ukulele phenomenon Jake Shimabukuro returns for a special ECA engagement, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m., in support of his new Christmas in Hawaii show. As his legions of growing fans know, this YouTube-breakout-star-turned-all-access-worldwide-musical-legend can turn any song into a moment, filled with emotion and dazzling musicality. 

Rock, folk, jazz, Hawaiian... Hawaii’s own Shimabukuro can play it all, his way. He’ll play some of his favorite signature songs, holiday classics, and tracks from his November 2021 album, Jake & Friends.

Accompanying him for this Christmas show are bassist Jackson Waldoff, and special guests, singer-songwriter Thunderstorm Artis and percussionist Taku Hirano (Tao of Sound, Fleetwood Mac).

Take a musical trip to the islands with the multi-Na-Hoku-Hanohano-Award-winning Mākaha Sons, as they share songs from their new release, It’s Christmas All Over the World, in Aloha Mele Kalikimaka Hawaiian Christmas Concert, Dec. 11, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. 

VIP meet-and-greet prior to the show, featuring gift bags, premier concert seating, light refreshments, and an Aloha Market, sponsored by Keli’s Sauces. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Growing up in Hawai’i, everyone listened to the five-member traditional Hawaiian musical group, The Mākaha Sons of Ni’ihau (“E Ku’u Morning Dew/Ke’ala,” “Nohili E”)…at school, weddings, beachside potlucks, cruising Waikiki. They represented the heart and soul of the islands, with transcendent voices that called to mind natural, scenic landscapes… deep, emerald gorges, valleys, and mountains, breathtaking, tradewind-swept shores, and the spiritual depth of the Polynesian people.

The late Israel “Bruddah IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”), all of 17, joined the original band in 1976, but branched off almost two decades later to find his own voice.

Today, the 2013 Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame inductees, The Mākaha Sons, are a trio headed up by the last original member/12-string guitarist Jerome Koko, with bassist Kimo Artis and six-string guitarist Hanale Kaʻanapu.

No Christmas would be complete without the thrilling kaleidoscope of classical soundscapes performed by Edmonds’ very own Cascade Symphony Orchestra in its annual Holiday Pops concert, the cap to a festive season. The CSO performs two in-person Holiday Pops shows, Dec. 12 and 13, 7:30 p.m. 

The holiday set list includes Mozart’s “Sleigh Ride from Three German Dances,” Josef Strauss’ “Fireproof Polka Selections from Bizet’s Carmen and holiday favorites,” featuring mezzo-soprano Cheryse McLeod Lewis, and a sing-along medley of Christmas music.

After going virtual for 20 months due to the pandemic, the CSO joyfully kicked off its 60th season with “Eternal Beauty,” Oct. 25.

“After more than a year of not being able to perform music live, we are so happy to return to our beautiful Edmonds Center for the Arts, and to fill it with the thrilling sounds of classical music,” CSO Music Director Michael Miropolsky says [“Reminder: Cascade Symphony Orchestra to open 60th season with ‘Eternal Beauty’ concert Oct. 25,” My Edmonds News, Oct. 19, 2021].

It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Feature photo: Cascade Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops.
Other photos: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's Wild & Swingin' Holiday Party, Celtic Christmas with the Gothard Sisters/
Ruth H. Photography, Jake Shimabukuro's Christmas in Hawaii, The Mākaha Sons' Aloha Mele Kalikimaka Hawaiian Christmas Concert.