• Graham Parker & the Rumour

When the holidays descend upon us each December and the concert calendar cools off, the time is ripe to check out all of the great local talent you tend to take for granted most of the year because they played around town all of the time. It’s a good exercise to indulge in, as it can remind us how strong the Chicago music scene really is. On Monday cornetist Rob Mazurek’s new trio Alternate Moon Cycles, with bassist Matt Lux and drummer Mikel Avery, ends its December residency at Curio, while musical polymath Robbie Fulks continues his ever-changing residency at the Hideout in bluegrass mold, joined by guitarist Josh Williams and banjoist Greg Cahill (the founder of Special Consensus, with whom they all worked). On Tuesday Raul Malo—lead singer of the recently reunited Mavericks—plays holiday-themed music at Space in Evanston, while Jason Stein’s excellent quartet hold forth at Bar DeVille. Tuesday is also your last chance to take in a Chicago Symphony Orchestra program of Bach concertos, Prince of Clouds, a new commission from Mead composer-in-residence Anna Clyne. On Wednesday Mars Williams carries on a recent holiday tradition of combining holiday fare with classics by free-jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler in his group Witches & Devils at the Hideout. Highlights from this week’s Soundboard can be found after the jump.