Spencer Bohren’s Christmas Extravaganza
8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Thursday
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St.
Spencer Bohren, the local blues/folk/gospel troubadour, spends much of his time on the road in the U.S. and Europe, alone with his array of lap steel guitars. But he always finds his way home for the holidays. The 19th edition of his annual Christmas show will strain the capacity of the Snug Harbor stage, as Bohren invites a parade of musical friends and family members to join in. Scheduled guests include Bohren’s fellow Write Brothers Paul Sanchez and Alex McMurray, plus jazz vocalist Cindy Scott, singer and clarinetist Aurora Nealand, guitarist Mark Fowler of Lips & the Trips and singer Alex Bosworth. Bohren’s son Andre, a classical pianist and the drummer in Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, and daughter Corinna Rose Bohren will help out. Christmas songs, Bohren said, are “always included, but never required.”
9 p.m., Friday
Howlin’ Wolf, 901 S. Peters St.
Tickets: $30 general admission.
The forward-thinking modern rock band, born in New Orleans, returns for radio station 106.1 FM The Underground’s “Elfin Christmas” concert. Proceeds benefit the charitable Songs for Kids Foundation. Members of the Revivalists, the Rebirth Brass Band and PJ Morton are also slated to join in. MuteMath released its fourth full-length album, “Vitals,” in November.
9 p.m., Saturday
Chickie Wah Wah, 2828 Canal St.
Tickets: At the door.
Texas guitarist Mason Ruffner found a home away from home at Club 544 on Bourbon Street in the late 1970s and ’80s. He peddled a tremolo-drenched brand of rockabilly and blues, making fans out of Bob Dylan, Jimmy Page and Carlos Santana. His driving “Gypsy Blood” was a modest rock radio hit in 1987. After more than a decade away from New Orleans, Ruffner returned for a show this summer. He’s back this week for his first-ever gig at Chickie Wah Wah.
8 p.m., Friday-Saturday
Tickets: $35 to $65, plus fees via Ticketmaster (Friday is sold out).
Fads and bands may come and go, but Zebra is forever. Guitarist/vocalist Randy Jackson, bassist Felix Hanemann and drummer Guy Gelso first joined forces in New Orleans in the 1970s to play Zeppelin-inspired hard rock. They eventually moved their base of operation to Long Island, N.Y., and signed to Atlantic Records. Their self-titled 1983 Atlantic debut, featuring “Tell Me What You Want” and “Who’s Behind the Door,” went gold. Though they never graduated to arena headlining status, the trio continues as a popular part-time endeavor. They even made their New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival debut in 2012. Sledgehammer opens for Zebra this weekend at the Civic.
Calvin Johnson’s ‘Winter Wonder Jam’
5 p.m., Sunday
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave.
New Orleans jazz saxophonist Calvin Johnson has assembled a 10-person ensemble that includes a string section, keyboardist Kyle Roussel and drummer Raymond Weber. Joined at times by special guests Glen David Andrews and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Johnson — who has performed with Harry Connick Jr. and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, among others — and the ensemble will render “classic Christmas tunes with a New Orleans twist.” Admission is free, but representatives of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity will be on hand to accept donations. The show will be broadcast live on WWOZ 90.7 FM.