CLASSICAL

The music of ancient times resonates more closely during the holidays, with their spirit of universality. One ensemble that relishes the connection between past and present is Quidditas, which is presenting Christmas settings of familiar melodies for early brass, recorders, reed instruments and voices.

The music of ancient times resonates more closely during the holidays, with their spirit of universality. One ensemble that relishes the connection between past and present is , which is presenting Christmas settings of familiar melodies for early brass, recorders, reed instruments and voices.

Several Quidditas performers double as vocalists as well as recorder players, and three hail from the talented Smith family, which includes busy composer/singer/percussionist Kile, soprano Jacqueline and their daughter, Priscilla, on Renaissance oboe and other wind instruments. Flora Newberry and K. Rebecca Oehlers are the other artists, with Susan Moxley giving forth on the trombone's predecessor, the earthy sackbut. Travel back through the centuries with these exuberant and accomplished players.

Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse, 100 E. Mermaid Lane, 8 p.m. tomorrow, and Byberry Friends Meetinghouse, 3001 Byberry Road, 3 p.m. Sunday, free, 215-728-0350, www.angelfire.com/music5/

quidditas.

- Tom Di Nardo

JAZZ

Whether they celebrate the holiday or not, most musicians come home for Christmas - if only because there's a scarcity of venues. So Philly-born pianist Uri Caine (right), here recently with his post-modernist classical/jazz mash-up Mozart Project, is back - in more ways than one. He's reprising a gig from his past, accompanying tireless Philly tenor man Bootsie Barnes, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday. Barnes gave Caine one of his earliest breaks and the two have remained close. Caine will join Barnes' regular band with trumpeter John Swana. Expect Caine to play sans tongue in cheek, an all-too-rare occurrence these days.

Whether they celebrate the holiday or not, most musicians come home for Christmas - if only because there's a scarcity of venues. So Philly-born pianist (right), here recently with his post-modernist classical/jazz mash-up Mozart Project, is back - in more ways than one. He's reprising a gig from his past, accompanying tireless Philly tenor man , who recently celebrated his 70th birthday. Barnes gave Caine one of his earliest breaks and the two have remained close. Caine will join Barnes' regular band with trumpeter . Expect Caine to play sans tongue in cheek, an all-too-rare occurrence these days.

Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St., 8 and 10 tonight and tomorrow, $15 and $20, 215-568-3131, chrisjazzcafe.com.

- Shaun Brady

ALTERNATIVE

If any band screams holiday masquerade, it's definitely the Dresden Dolls. The Boston punk-cabaret duo consists of New Wave theater-kid/pianist Amanda Palmer and heavy-metal drummer Brian Viglione, and they appeal to everyone in-between, touring with Nine Inch Nails, Panic! at the Disco, and the gay-friendly True Colors tour with Cyndi Lauper and Deborah Harry. Dress in your finest to hear new songs from Palmer's upcoming solo album, "Who Killed Amanda Palmer?"

If any band screams holiday masquerade, it's definitely the . The Boston punk-cabaret duo consists of New Wave theater-kid/pianist and heavy-metal drummer , and they appeal to everyone in-between, touring with Nine Inch Nails, Panic! at the Disco, and the gay-friendly True Colors tour with Cyndi Lauper and Deborah Harry. Dress in your finest to hear new songs from Palmer's upcoming solo album, "Who Killed Amanda Palmer?"

Fillmore at the TLA, 334 South St., 8 tonight, $25, 215-922-1011, www.livenation.com.

- Sara Sherr

HIP-HOP

He may not have the smooth flow of Lox bandmade Jadakiss (Sheek Louch rounds out that trio), but Styles P has won hordes of fans with his gruff, straight-ahead delivery. He just released his seventh solo album, "Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentlemen)." Chary Ary, Vinny Idol and Doomz will join Styles P for this show.

He may not have the smooth flow of Lox bandmade Jadakiss (Sheek Louch rounds out that trio), but has won hordes of fans with his gruff, straight-ahead delivery. He just released his seventh solo album, "Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentlemen)." , and will join Styles P for this show.

Crocodile Rock Cafe, 520 W. Hamilton St., Allentown, 8 p.m. Sunday, $25, 610-434-4600, www.crocodilerockcafe.com.

- Damon C. Williams

POP

There's a wealth of crooning Ryans vying for your ears on the pop landscape, but this one's worth a listen. Ryan Montbleau and his eponymous band throw down elegantly arranged, funky-edged tunes that somehow evoke the mellow side of Del Amitri for us. The music's more pianocentric, though. Horns, too! They tour a lot, out there on the brink of big success, so we're thinking they probably do a mean live show.

There's a wealth of crooning Ryans vying for your ears on the pop landscape, but this one's worth a listen. and his eponymous band throw down elegantly arranged, funky-edged tunes that somehow evoke the mellow side of Del Amitri for us. The music's more pianocentric, though. Horns, too! They tour a lot, out there on the brink of big success, so we're thinking they probably do a mean live show.

Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 7:30 and 10:30 tonight, $13, 215-928-0770, www.tinangel.com.

- Laurie Conrad