An Appalachian Christmas at SFJAZZ features violin great Mark O’Connor and guests playing carols, bluegrass and other traditional American music. (Courtesy photo)

An Appalachian Christmas at SFJAZZ features violin great Mark O’Connor and guests playing carols, bluegrass and other traditional American music. (Courtesy photo)

Dec. 16-17: An Appalachian Christmas, ‘Nutcracker,’ Messiah, Giraffage

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16

An Appalachian Christmas: Violin master Mark O’Connor and guests Carrie Rodriguez and Cia Cherryholmes play carols, bluegrass and other traditional American music. [7:30 p.m., SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., S.F.]

San Francisco Ballet: The troupe opens its annual production of “Nutcracker.” [7 p.m., War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Adam Shulman: The pianist performs Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” [7 and 8:30 p.m., Joe Henderson Lab, SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., S.F.]

Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy: San Francisco’s favorite glamorous redhead — the drag alter-ego of J. Conrad Frank — appears in her annual holiday cabaret show. [7 p.m., Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.]

Jamie Barton: The mezzo-soprano, accompanied by pianist Robert Mollicone and cellist Emil Miland, performs a recital of songs by Turina, Chausson, Schubert, Dvorak and Heggie. [7:30 p.m., Conservatory of Music Concert Hall, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

Downtown Holiday Festival: The Richmond Main Street Initiative, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and the City of Richmond host the annual seasonal festivities, which include entertainments and visit from Santa. [4 to 8 p.m., East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St., Richmond]

American Bach Soloists: The program of Handel’s “Messiah” and Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” features soloists Hélène Brunet, Agnes Vojtko, Kyle Stegall and Jesse Blumberg, and conductor Jeffrey Thomas. [7:30 p.m., Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.]

Brad Wilson & The Rollin’ Blues Thunder Band: The guitarist and contemporary blues rocker’s latest album is “Blues Thunder.” [7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Biscuits & Blues, 401 Mason St., S.F.]

THURSDAY, DEC. 17

American Bach Soloists’ Messiah: The group’s 17th consecutive “Messiah” features soloists Hélène Brunet, Agnes Vojtko, Kyle Stegall and Jesse Blumberg; Jeffrey Thomas conducts. [7:30 p.m., Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.]

San Francisco Symphony and Chorus: Ragnar Bohlin directs The City’s top orchestra and chorale in performances of Handel’s “Messiah.” [8 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfsymphony.org]

New Century Chamber Orchestra: The San Francisco Girls Chorus joins the ensemble for “Holiday Lights.” [8 p.m., First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley]

The Biggest Gift: Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble opens its holiday presentation, an original family friendly musical that encourages audience participation from all ages. [11:30 a.m., Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek]

Giraffage: The San Francisco native and electronic whiz kid co-headlines the “So Cute” tour with Slow Magic; Lindsay Lowend and DJ Dials also appear. [8 p.m. Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Falling In Reverse: The post hardcore band co-headlines with Atreyu on the “Christmas Vacation” tour with special guests From Ashes To New and Assuming We Survive. [7:30 p.m., Warfield, 982 Market St., S.F,]

Being Leonardo da Vinci: Renowned Italian director and actor Massimiliano Finazzer Flory brings the master artist to life onstage in the one-act, 60-minute play. [8 p.m., Strand Theatre, 1127 Market St., S.F.]

Paloma Pavel: The educator, psychologist and international consultant speaks about her book “Random Kindless and Senseless Acts of Beauty.” [5:30 p.m., 1423 Broadway, Oakland]

An Appalachian ChristmasGiraffageMessiahnutcracker

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