The radio will be pumping Christmas pabulum out for the next month, as will every retail store speaker within earshot. The 17-member North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra serves a holiday music tonic with guest singer René Marie, offering a program of seasonal classics and jazz standards. The orchestra is top notch and worth the ticket on their own, but you should pounce on the chance to see Marie perform. She's much more than a singer, bringing an unblinking musicological activism into her art through mash-ups. On Marie's second album, Vertigo, she combined the minstrel classic "Dixie" with "Strange Fruit," the anti-lynching song that Billie Holiday made famous. When asked to sing the national anthem before Denver's "State of the City" address in 2008, she replaced Francis Scott Key's lyrics with James Weldon Johnson's words from "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a song sometimes referred to as the Black National Anthem.