Maria Howell, who will take part in the Hickory Music Factory's annual 1940s Christmas Radio Hour, performs at a past concert.


The Hickory Music Factory will host its annual old-fashioned 1940s Christmas Radio Hour on the SALT Block at Drendel Auditorium, located at 243 Third Ave. N.E. in Hickory on Saturday Dec. 14.

The annual event is HMF’s primary fundraiser of the year. The live performance will feature Maria Howell, The Hickory Jazz Orchestra, Russ Wilson, Liam Bailey and guest artists, and revives the spirit of the mid-1940s when families gathered around the wireless radio for news and entertainment.

Howell is the ballad of beauty and elegance. The melodies flowing from the petite vocalist are amazing. While casting a smile, she mesmerizes her audiences with incredible harmonies and rhythms.

As an actor, she has appeared in hit TV shows such as Lifetime’s “Army Wives” and Marc Cherry’s “Devious Maids,” as well as Eric Kripke’s and J.J. Abrams’ apocalyptic “Revolution” and “Aquarius,” both on NBC, and “Criminal Minds.” In addition, she recurs in Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners” as Lt. Hawkins and plays Ms. Sumner in the Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures.”

Theatrical credits include “The Blind Side,” “Addicted,” “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” as Seeder and “Christmas Wedding Baby” by award-winning writer/director Kiara C. Jones. Howell also stars in writer/director, Shea Sizemore’s “The Next Day.”

A song stylist in her own right, Howell has shared the musical stage with such legendary artists as Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Ray Charles, Earl Klugh and Ronnie Laws. After a very successful six-year stint in Asia, Howell relocated back to the U.S. and performed at Sambuca Jazz Café for nine consecutive years. She and pianist Bill Wilson (son of legendary jazz pianist Teddy Wilson), held the distinction of being the longest running act at the Atlanta location. As of 2017, Howell hosts her live Hollywood music series called #DUETS, featuring “songs to soothe your soul.”

Howell also is a devoted supporter of her charity of choice, Students Without Mothers, where she has served as a board member for many years.

In the digital age, the chance to experience a live radio show is rare, unique and inventive. It’s a perfect way to recapture a bygone era around the holidays, as well as to help fund the exceptional community programs of The Hickory Music Factory.

The show is an interactive experience and audience members are encouraged to dress in period attire for added fun. In a world of instant gratification and speed, the 1940s Christmas Radio Hour encourages people to slow down, enjoy the season and make a special evening out of the event.

General admission tickets for the 2 p.m. matinee show are $20. Tickets for the 7 p.m. evening show are $15 for those 18 and younger (must be bought at the door) and $25 for general admission. Group rates also are available for each show. Tickets can be purchased at Larry’s Music and Sound, located at 266 Union Square in Hickory, or online at hickory musicfactorycom.

For more information, call 828-308-5659 or email contact@hickorymusicfactory.com.

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