If Samson Trinh’s CD is a romp through the pop-cultural dimension of the holidays, the religious side gets equal time with “A Richmond Big Band Christmas.” Organized by No BS Brass trumpeter Taylor Barnett and his wife, Tiffanie Chan, the 75-minute program features “Oh Holy Night,” “Joy to the World” and other spiritually tinged songs. The performance features a little big band of 11 instruments and three singers — almost all of whom are also on Trinh’s project. Shows are Sunday, Dec. 14, at 4 and 7 p.m., at Virginia Commonwealth University. The $15 admission benefits CrossOver Healthcare Ministry. rvachristmas.com.
As for those stocking stuffers: It’s been a great year for local music releases. Rex Richardson’s “Bugles Over Zagreb” is a thrilling live recording of the challenging pieces crafted for his unique set of skills by Richmond composer Doug Richards. “Blue Shift” teams the trumpeter with alto sax great and VCU alumnus Steve Wilson. While everyone on the record is excellent, drummer Brian Jones’ compositions in particular shine, and the guitar work of Trey Pollard is breakout brilliant. Bio Ritmo’s “Puerta Del Sur” stakes a strong claim for Richmond leadership in innovative, genre-expanding salsa. Finally, if nothing moves you in a flood of new music coming out of Devonne Harris and Reggie Pace’s Jellowstone Records, you might want to make sure you still have a pulse.