Singer Chris Ruggiero brings his new Christmas show to the Bronx’s newest performing arts space

Spotlight on microphone stand on stage
Chris Ruggiero is scheduled to perform on Dec. 18 at the new Morris Park Performing Arts Center at Jacobi.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

It isn’t every Christmas season that a new album finds its way onto the radio alongside the likes of the perennial holiday classics that have ruled the airwaves for the last 60 years. But 2022 has been Chris Ruggiero’s year, and that’s exactly what the Westchester County native’s new Christmas album has done.

“It is so surreal for me to look at the charts and see my record ranked with some of the biggest names in the history of music,” Ruggiero said.

His recent 37-city tour proved that he has adoring audiences all over the country, but getting a record on the radio around Christmas is a different kind of challenge. “I never had a dream of having a hit record. My only dream was to be on stage and make people happy. Being a hit recording artist was never on my ‘to-do’ list,” he said.

His renditions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” “This Christmas” and the other nine classics that comprise “Christmas with Chris Ruggiero,”have changed that. Of particular note is “Grown-Up Christmas List,” a duet with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love that has made the duo media darlings with appearances scheduled for “Good Morning America” (on Dec. 6), “New York Live” and dozens of other TV and radio outlets all over the country. 

Even before his Christmas album landed him a feature in Rolling Stone Magazine, Ruggiero reached national audiences with two PBS-TV specials that combined, totaled thousands of airings. This led to a social media following that reached more than 70 million fans last year.

“Whether on stage or on Facebook, it’s important to me that people feel connected to me as a person,” he said. “Music is my vehicle, but for me, my journey is not about hitting high notes. It’s all about the people.”

Ruggiero brings his show, chock full of the classics on his Christmas album as well as the songs he’s recorded on his three prior albums, to a dozen cities around the country, including several stops in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Of particular interest to locals should be his show on Dec. 18 at the new Morris Park Performing Arts Center at Jacobi.

“My whole family is originally from the Bronx so to have a beautiful new space available to us will feel like a homecoming and it’s really a Christmas present in and of itself,” said Ruggiero. 

Morris Park Performing Arts Center at Jacobi is located on the campus of Jacobi Medical Center, near entrance by the intersection of Morris and Seminole avenues. The show starts at 7 p.m. and also features comedian Tara Cannistraci and singer Teresa McClean. Tickets start at $32.64 and are available on-line at www.ChrisRuggieroTix.com or by calling the concert’s presenter, Gene DiNapoli Productions at (917) 567-5842.

More from Around NYC