The Christmas Cavalcade for the Homeless has a new home this season. The annual musical benefit for the Somerville Homeless Coalition, led by the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, moves to Somerville’s Once Ballroom on Dec. 21. Hitherto, the event was housed in Davis Square’s now-defunct Johnny D’s. (RIP.)
“Carla [DeLellis] is still a big supporter of this and the Somerville Homeless Coalition,” Chandler Travis says of Johnny D’s then-owner. “We go back a long way. I remember when they first started having music there, so that dates me,” chuckles the Cape Cod-based Boston music scene veteran, best known for the ’80s pop group The Incredible Casuals.
Besides the nine-member Philharmonic’s Dixieland jazz spliced classic pop, this year’s cavalcade numbers Jennifer Kimball, Shaun Wortis, Merrie Amsterburg and Mike Gent. Travis shares his insights.
What Philharmonic Christmas songs are you excited to perform?
We’re rehearsing a classic: “In the Bleak Midwinter” — our female harmonizers sing that. It’s such a pretty song. During rehearsal, I get them to do it over again, even though they get it all right the first time. I just adore it.
You mark the 20th anniversary of the Philharmonic’s existence with a new album, “Waving Kissyhead, Vol. 2 & 1,” next February. Where did the name come from?
Technically, our 20th anniversary is in 2016, but we forgot to celebrate until now. The title’s from a piece of art my sometime lyricist David Greenberger sent to me. It’s a great title, great picture. It’s the CD cover.
Is this a double-disc album?
We put out an online-only EP and there is nothing more useless and insignificant than an online-only EP. So we added it to the album. It came out first, but it’s at the end, so that’s why it’s Vol. 2 and then 1. It’s logical. I wouldn’t want people to accuse me of whimsicality.
Are you a fan of Christmas?
It is the most manic depressive holiday of them all; it’s completely bipolar, and completely neurotic. Even Christmas movies seem to be about people hitting rock bottom before something or someone turns them around. But I find it so endearing that people are dragging around the mall trying to find that something to somehow make someone feel good. It’s the biggest mood swing holiday, but, hey, count me in.
If you go
12th Annual Boston Christmas Cavalcade for the Homeless
Dec. 21, 7 p.m.
156 Highland Ave.,Somerville
$20 advance/ $25 at the door, oncesomerville.com