Are you getting tired of hearing the same versions of classic Christmas tunes every year? If so, check out this list of Christmas albums from around the world. From Hungary to Hawaii, India to Ireland, there’s sure to be something on this list which will bring a refreshing change to your holiday season.
Christmas Music from Medieval Hungary by Anonymous 4 – The album by the phenomenal female a cappella group features plainchant songs salvaged by monks, nuns, and clerics who fled the Turkish attack on Hungary in the 1600s.
Christmas in Vienna by Vienna Boys’ Choir – The world-famous Vienna Boys’ Choir sings German and Austrian classical Christmas music.
A Hawaiian Christmas by Amy Hanaialii – This album features Hawaiian versions of songs such as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, “Silent Night”, and “Joy to the World”. Amy has opened for artists including Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson, and Wayne Newton.
An Irish Christmas by The Irish Rovers – The upbeat album features serious Christmas tunes such as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Silent Night”; Irish songs such as “Bells over Belfast”; and fun songs such as “Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake” and “Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer”.
Latin Jazz Christmas by various artists – This album features traditional Christmas songs with Latin jazz arrangements. The all-star artist roster includes Caribbean Jazz Project, Poncho Sanchez, Sheila E, and Arturo Sandoval.
Navidades by Luis Miguel – The silky-voiced Mexican singer performs a collection of American classics translated into Spanish. Songs include “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and “White Christmas”.
Northern Lights by Sissel – The pure-voiced Norwegian soprano sings winter songs and a few Christmas carols. US audiences know her from her PBS special.Reggae Christmas from Studio One by various artists – This album features vintage tunes from artists including The Wailers featuring Bob Marley, Dillinger, Alton Ellis, and Johnny Osbourne. There are a few traditional songs, such as “Jingle Bells”, “Little Drummer Boy”, and “White Christmas” along with original tunes such as “Christmas in Jamaica” and “Real Christmas Rock”.
A Scottish Christmas by Bonnie Rideout (Scottish fiddle), Maggie Sansone (hammered dulcimer), Eric Rigler (bagpipe) and Al Petteway (guitar and cittern) – The album features traditional Scottish carols, wassail tunes, strathspeys and reels for the celebration of Christmas, Hogmanay, and the new year.
Spiewa Koledy Sings Christmas Carols by Mazowsze -This album contains the most popular Polish language Christmas carols performed by Polish Song and Dance Ensemble Mazowsze. The songs are sung by a choir with an orchestral accompaniment. Cording to the product description, Polish Christmas carols are almost all anonymous. Some date from the 14th century, while many others date from the 16th and 17th centuries.
World Christmas by various artists – This album takes the listener on a trip around the world with artists including Africa (Cesaria Evora), American jazz (Joshua Redman), Latin jazz/flamenco (Gipsy Kings), Brazil (Gilberto Gil), and India (Zakir Hussain). Proceeds benefit the International Special Olympics.
- Béla Fleck: Jingling All The Way (jambase.com)
- Holiday Gift Guide: Holiday Music (nytimes.com)
- Loving Christmas Music – for Now (socyberty.com)