Isaac Slade, frontman of Denver rock band The Fray, is a big fan of Christmas, particularly the music, which he says he listens to throughout the year.

"Yeah, I jog to ['A Charlie Brown Christmas'] in June," Slade told Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. "That's a thing I do."

Slade and his wife, Anna, opened the second annual Colorado Matters Holiday Extravaganza, a showcase of artists sharing their favorite holiday songs, memories and traditions.

From Christmas carols, to a Chanukah classic, a dose of comedy and a story about how one singer came to celebrate Kwanzaa, the event's lineup included:

Colorado Matters Holiday Extravaganza was hosted by CPR's Ryan Warner and emceed by former CPR Classical host Charley Samson. The event was taped in front of a packed house at the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Performing Arts in Denver, Nov. 29, 2017.

Here's Josh Blue, and Christie Conover:

And here's David Rothman's poem for the season:


In each long December night,

When the snow lies deep and dark

And our merely human sight

Cannot easily, against the stark

Landscape, fathom the mark

Any bright spring bud might make

In this endless winter’s wake;

When the bitter cold

Seems like every bitterness

Going, making every minute less

Sweet than we were told

We could make it if we only

Worked to make it so;

When the parts that used to go

Sweetly now trend sour and lonely,

Drifting unremarked away,

Breaking up and losing meaning

In the burst of each cold day,

With its hard words intervening;

Then I wonder how to hold,

Even to find, what matters,

Given darkness is so bold

That it takes my friends and scatters

Their unfeeling ashes into less than air;

Shreds whatever truth may be to tatters,

Thereby turning us against each other,

Making fair seem less than fair;

Turns my sister even against my brother;

And by all this, renders these short days

Angry, ugly, jinxed and stony

In a hundred icy ways;

Yes, then, then I wonder how to hold on,

Love appearing to be gone.


Darkness, and a slightly tilted parking lot.

Silverthorne, a winter storm, the season’s first.

Tires were good, or so I thought,

As I fishtailed pointlessly and cursed,

Going nowhere fast. The worst.

That’s what happens when a storm

Freezes after starting warm.

Ninety minutes skidding sideways, stuck

Next to a Chinese restaurant.

This was turning into quite the jaunt.

No one stopped. Just my luck.

Chance of getting to that funeral

Now was low. Oh well.

Did my best. But you can never tell.

Love’s a mystic numeral.

Almost quit. Just then this guy pulls up,

Stops, hops out and asks

How to help. “Two-wheel drive?” “Yup,”

I admit. His laugh masks

No contempt. “My truck

Handles more than this all day.

Let’s get you unstuck.”

Hooked a line, checked it would stay,

Lined it up and boom:

Child’s play.

Funny how a day can change.

Given just a little room,

Simple moves can quickly rearrange

Almost anything. No, maybe everything.

I went on my way, with gratitude,

Dusty and his truck one proof of something

Deep within each turning year

That exists but does not need to be said here.