Named in honor of the program's beloved founder who passed away last December, the River Music Experience's Ellis Kell Winter Blues Jam, taking place on December 30, will showcase the burgeoning talents of students who completed the venue's week-long Winter Blues Camp for area musicians ages eight to 18.

One of the highest-grossing and most Oscar-lauded film series in history will provide nearly 10 hours of fantasy-adventure excitement at the Davenport Public Library's Fairmount branch, as Peter Jackson's epic J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Tours, and The Return of the King enjoy screenings in the December 27 and 28 Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon.

Performing in support of his new album Flickering Light, singer/songwriter Benjamin Cartel headlines a December 30 Rozz-Tox concert with songs from his latest release, his acclaimed EP Money & Love, and his 2015 album Gothenburg, which Rust magazine deemed “a great collection of contemporary Americana-style songs with subtle songwriting and very personal instrumentation.”

Hailing from Champaign, Illinois, the ever-popular, time-traveling tribute musicians of The Brat Pack return to the Rock Island Brewing Company for a December 23 concert event that finds their “almost totally '80s music” playlist updated with a smattering of modern hits.

The Iowa-based indie rockers of The Penny Serfs will play a Moeller Nights concert on December 18, treating audiences to the genre-hopping sound that lead vocalist Michael Loy described to the Prelude Press thusly: “Take The Beatles out for a drink or five; introduce them to Kurt Cobain (preferably under the influence); give them a few topics to discuss (i.e. politics, fear, past, present, and future); convince Paul and John to let Kurt sit in for a few sessions; hit the record button.”

With the 100-year anniversary of Nat King Cole's birth less than two years away, Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Series and the Redstone Room will celebrate the legendary artist's life in a December 17 tribute featuring Tony Sconyers & the Ron Tegeler Quartet – the second in a trio of Polyrhythms performances dedicated to the jazz and swing legend.

An annual holiday-music tradition returns to the area this month as the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers present their latest A Nova Christmas concerts, with exciting and moving arrangements of non-secular, classical, and traditional holiday favorites performed December 15 at Davenport's St. Paul Lutheran Church and December 16 at Galesburg's First Lutheran Church.

Composed of keyboardist Mike Maimone, guitarist Bob Buckstaff, and drummer Chris Pagnani, the Chicago-based rockers of Mutts play a Moeller Nights concert on December 15, showcasing the high-energy talents that earned this rave for their EP Fuel Yer Delusion: Vol. 4: “I seriously don't see who wouldn't go crazy for this band as they press the 'play' button.”

Performing thrilling four-part arrangements of such seasonal favorites as “Run, Run Rudolph,” “Ave Maria,” and “I'll Be Home for Christmas,” the do-wop vocal ensemble Under the Streetlamp visits Moline's TaxSlayer Center with their touring production “Hip to the Holidays!”, which features a collection of tunes from the group's live PBS specials and 2012 album Every Day's a Holiday.

Works by two Davenport-based artists will soon be on display in one Rock Island exhibit, as the Quad City Arts Center's Con/In-Fluence showcases prints, paintings, mixed media, and more by Steve Banks and Philip Laber.