Saturday, November 24, 2018

A Jolly Guaraldi Holiday 2018

Thanksgiving arrived early this year, so I'm a few days later than usual, with this annual round-up of the many Guaraldi-themed concerts taking place during the next month, most of which (of course!) are tied in to his music from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

It has become quite obvious that numerous bands and individuals across the country —- and elsewhere! -- have turned this into a popular tradition. Goodness, some of them even have expanded into Halloween- and Thanksgiving-themed concerts, featuring music from those Peanuts TV specials. High-fives to all of them, for keeping Guaraldi's musical torch aloft! I traced the history and growth of this delightful tradition back in 2012, with a modest schedule that now seems quaint. This new post will serve as a clearinghouse for any and all late 2018 concerts that come to my attention. As always, I'll add to this schedule as new information becomes available, so you'll want to check back frequently.


Our Canadian neighbors once again can enjoy the return of the season's most historic booking. Drummer Jerry Granelli, who worked as a member of Guaraldi's trio in the 1960s, will headline Tales of A Charlie Brown Christmas with his own trio: Simon Fisk (bass) and Chris Gestrin (piano). He began this annual celebration with a few shows in 2013, and the results were quite popular (no surprise there). His appearances were modest last year, but he has bounced back with six gigs this season, starting Saturday, December 1, at Calgary's Central United Church; and concluding Saturday, December 15, at St. Alberg's Arden Theater. Check his web site for details.


As has become a biannual tradition, the most ambitious tour news comes from Concord recording artist David Benoit, who once again is taking his on the road. (He tends to tour with saxman Dave Koz every other year.) Benoit once again will be accompanied by special guest Sara Gazarek. Their schedule kicks off November 27 in Phoenix, Arizona; and concludes December 23 in San Juan Capistrano, California, with stops along the way in Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey and Colorado. We caught Benoit's performance in 2011 and 2015, and I can report that it's a great show. It's also tremendously sweet, since he and his team work with a children's choir that is local to each stop. Check his web site for details.


The Heather Pierson Trio — Pierson on piano; Shawn Nadeau on bass; Craig Bryan on drums — has scheduled a tour of (thus far) 10 shows devoted to A Charlie Brown Christmas. All the shows are in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts: They kick off December 1 in Conway, New Hampshire; and conclude December 21 in Framingham, Massachusetts. Check her web site for details.

The Cartoon Christmas Trio — Jeff Knoettner, piano; Rob Swanson, bass; Jimmy Coleman, drums — doesn't concentrate solely on music from A Charlie Brown Christmas; they also pepper their performances with tunes from other animated holiday shows, such as Frosty the Snowman and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (Their album is a kick; give it a listen.) They have several shows scheduled thus far, starting Sunday, December 2, in Milton, Delaware; and concluding Sunday, December 23, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Check their web site for details.


Pianist Eric Mintel and his quartet — Nelson Hill, sax and flute; Jack Hegyi, bass; and Dave Mohn, drums — always have a busy schedule, and this year is no different. They're presenting numerous Charlie Brown Christmas-themed shows through Sunday, December 23, with stops in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Connecticut. The band has numerous gigs in between, as you can see by checking Mintel's web site; unfortunately, he doesn't specify which are Charlie Brown Christmas shows. You'll have to investigate dates in your area.

The Peanuts Gang is new to me: a jazz trio based in Reno, Nevada, and comprising Greg Lewis, drums; Mac Esposito, bass; and Chris Sexton, piano. The combo "specializes in the music of San Francisco-based composer Vince Guaraldi." Their YouTube channel offers three holiday-themed Guaraldi classics, and is worth a listen. The trio has a nine-gig run that began November 23 in Reno, and will conclude December 23 in Truckee, California. Check their Facebook page for details.

The Ornaments, a jazz trio based in Nashville, Tennessee, is celebrating the 13th anniversary of its Charlie Brown Christmas shows. The combo — Jen Gunderman, piano; James Haggerty, bass; and Martin Lynds, drums — is doing a short week's worth of gigs at Nashville's 3rd and Lindsley Bar & Grill, with two shows each evening from Monday through Thursday, December 17-20. An additional show takes place Saturday, December 22, at the Belcourt Theater. Details. (And if you haven't yet picked up the group's spiffy CD cover of Guaraldi's entire Charlie Brown Christmas album, what are you waiting for?)

The Eric Byrd Trio — Byrd, piano and vocals; Bhagwan Khalsa, acoustic bass; Alphonso Young Jr., drums and percussion — also has made a cottage industry of Guaraldi's Christmas music, going so far as to cover most of the album in a 2009 release. Byrd's combo has taken its Charlie Brown Christmas Show on the road during previous years, but this year's tour is limited to four gigs in Washington, D.C., and Westminster, Maryland, from November 25 through December 22. Check his web site for details.


Pianist Chris White and his trio — Joe Policastro/Sean Jacobi, bass; and Joe Adamik/Ryan Jacobi, drums — have a busy schedule planned, with their Tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas kicking off Sunday, December 2, and continuing through Tuesday, December 18, at several Illinois venues. Check his web site for details.

The Commercialists — Anthony Deutsch, piano; Clay Schaub, bass; and Patrick Morrow, drums — have a busy week of Charlie Brown Christmas concerts planned from December 16-23, with two shows each evening, at The Jazz Estate, Milwaukee Wisconsin. (Unfortunately, it looks like all shows already are sold out!) Details.

Keyboardist David Ellington and his "Peanut Gallery" are holding court during December, with five Charlie Brown Christmas dates — December 8, 15, 16, 20 and 22 — at Venkman's, in Atlanta, Georgia. This appears to be a dinner theater-type arrangement; check the venue for details.

Pianist Donovan Johnson and his band — Nick Johnson, guitar; Bucky McCann, sax/flute; Steve Gomez, bass; Doug Montera, drums; Kent Barnes, percussion; and Stephen Sheehan, vocals — will present their Music of Vince Guaraldi and Peanuts tour on November 25 (Omaha, Nebraska), December 7 (Kansas City, Missouri), December 8 (Omaha), December 9 (Denison, Iowa) and December 15 (Clarinda, Iowa). Check his web site for details.

Other groups also have gotten into the act:

Thrio — Nolan Schroeder, tenor sax; Blake Shaw, double bass and vocals; and Chris Jensen, drums — will present the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Thursday, November 29, at Noce, Des Moines, Iowa. Details.

• The Gonzaga University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos will present music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Thursday, November 29, in the Hemmingson Ballroom, Spokane, Washington. Details.

• The Jim Martinez Quartet will present The Music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, December 1, at the First Presbyterian Church, Newark, California. Details.

Robert Crabtree & Friends will present a "Jazz Holiday" concert, featuring the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, on Saturday, December 1, at the Chattanooga Theatre Center, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Details.

• The Ron LeGault Jazz Trio will present Charlie Brown & The Nutcracker, with music from A Charlie Brown Christmas and Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite, on December 1, 8, 15 and 22, at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa, Boulder, Colorado. Details.

• The Malcolm Granger Trio — Granger, piano; Rich Hill, bass; and Michael Dunford, drums — will present A Charlie Brown Christmas Album Live! on Sunday, December 2, at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cotuit, Massachusetts. Details.

• The Alex Murphy Jazz Trio will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 2, at the Vero Voce School of Music, St. Charles, Illinois. Details.

• The Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band will present the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Monday, December 3, at the Stockton University Campus Center Theater, Galloway, New Jersey. Details.

• The Aidan Scrimgeour Trio will present the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Tuesday, December 4, at Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts. Details.


• The Peter Roberts Band will present the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas on December 4, 11, 18 and 23 at Noce, Des Moines, Iowa. Details.

• The Rick Hirsch Quartet — Hirsch, sax; Kirk Reese, piano; Bob Hart, bass; and Kevin Lowe, drums — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 7, at the State Theater, Stage College, Pennsylvania. Details.

• The Joe Cool Trio — Chris Spies, piano; Chris Severin, bass; and John Milham, drums — will present its 10th annual Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas Show on Friday, December 7, at the Laurel Little Theater, Laurel, Mississippi. Details.

• The Ron LeGault Jazz Trio will present Charlie Brown & The Nutcracker, with music from A Charlie Brown Christmas and Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite, on Friday, December 7, at Everyday Joe's Coffee House, Fort Collins, Colorado. Details.

• The Joe Cool Trio — Chris Spies, piano; Chris Severin, bass; and John Milham, drums — will present its 10th annual Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas Show on Saturday, December 8, at the Mobile Saenger Theatre, Mobile, Alabama. Details.

• The Theresa Klinefelter Trio will join the CMS chorus and musicians from the Pennsylvania Philharmonic for a Christmas Time Is Here concert on Saturday, December 8, at the Community Music School, Trappe, Pennsylvania. Details.

• The Ed Croft Trio — Croft, bass; Jake Malone-Brancato, piano; and Candice Thomas, drums — will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, December 8, at the PAUSA Art House, Buffalo, New York. Details.

• The Dave Wild Trio will "revisit the music of Charlie Brown" on Saturday, December 8, at Valley Mills Vineyard, Waco, Texas. Details.

• The Michelle Schumann Trio — Schumann, piano; Utah Hamrick, bass; and Scott Laningham, drums — will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas (along with numerous other Guaraldi compositions) on Saturday, December 8, at Stateside at the Paramount, Austin, Texas. Details.

• The Aidan Scrimgeour Trio will present the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, December 8, at Studio FOLI, Salem, Massachusetts. Details.

• The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra will perform music from A Charlie Brown Christmas and other seasonal favorites, on Saturday and Sunday, December 8-9, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Details.

• The Phil DeGreg Trio, along with sax/flutist Hal Melia, will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 9, at the First Unitarian Church, Cincinnati, Ohio. Details.


• The Jose Gonzales Trio will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 9, at the Cornish Playhouse, in Seattle Washington. Details. (And do pick up Gonzales' terrific Guaraldi-themed album, Linus and Juicy!)

• The Tim Stine Quartet — Stine, guitar; Nick Mazzarella, alto sax; Matt Ulery, bass; and Quinlan Kirchner, drums — will present A Charlie Brown Christmas Brunch on Sunday, December 9, at Headquarters Beercade, Chicago, Illinois. Details.

• The Jim Martinez Trio will present The Music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 9, at the Northminster Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, California. Details can be found within the Sacramento Presbytery December newsletter.

• The Duck Soup Trio — Morgan Jones, piano; Anthony Shadduck, bass; and Sam Webster, drums — will play the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, along with other Guaraldi classics, on Sunday, December 9, at the Santa Monica Public Library, Santa Monica, California. Details.

• The Aidan Scrimgeour Trio will present A Family-Friendly Charlie Brown Jazz Piano Christmas on Sunday, December 9, at Studio FOLI, Salem, Massachusetts. Details.

• The Jerry Devore Trio will perform live to the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas, Monday and Tuesday, December 10-11, at the Indian Road CafĂ©, New York, NY. Details.

• Jazz pianist and avid Guaraldi fan Neil Cowley and his trio will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas during a Classic Album Sundays performance hosted by Colleen "Cosmo" Murphy on Tuesday, December 11, as part of Somerset House's ongoing Good Grief, Charlie Brown Peanuts exhibit in London, UK. Details.

• The Jerrod Cattey Trio — Cattey, drums; Darren Litzie, piano; and Kevin Smith, bass — will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Wednesday, December 12, at the Lyric Hall Theater, New Haven, Connecticut. Details.

• The Music Carolina Jazz Trio — Federico Pivetta, piano; Matt Kendrick, bass; and John Wilson, drums — will present selections from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Wednesday, December 12, at Salem College's Shirley Recital Hall, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Details.

• The Aidan Scrimgeour Trio will present A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Music of Vince Guaraldi on Thursday, December 13, at Tufts University's Distler Performance Hall, Medford, Massachusetts. Details.

• The Ed Croft Trio — Croft, bass; Jake Malone-Brancato, piano; and Candice Thomas, drums — will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 14, at the West Falls Center for the Arts, West Falls, New York. Details.




• The Chris von Staats Band will present Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 14, at The Skinny Pancake, Hanover, Vermont. Details.

• The Sean Drabitt Trio — Drabitt, bass; Brent Jarvis, piano; and Joe Poole, drums — will present Charlie Brown's Christmas on Friday, December 14, at Hermann's Jazz Club, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Details.

• The Daniel Joiner Trio — Joiner, piano; Scott Queen, bass; and Billy Dean, drums — will perform the music of Vince Guaraldi and A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 14, at the Lake Wales Arts Center, Lake Wales, Florida. Details.

Jeffrey Butzer & T.T. Mahoney will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday and Saturday, December 14-15, at The Earl, East Atlanta, Georgia. Details.

Lazorjazz — Dennis Kwok, woodwinds; Jon Wielebnowski, bass; Augustine Yates, keys; and Harry Faunt, drums — will present festive arrangements of Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown music, on Friday, December 14, at Lolita's Lounge, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Details.

• The Jason Fredericks Cinematic Trio will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, along with a screening of the TV special, on Friday, December 14, at the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK. Details.

CHILL: The Entire Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack Played Live and Danced, featuring music by the surf jazz quartet GST!, will be presented Friday through Sunday, December 14-16, at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Details.

• Jazz Pianist Kurt Reeder & Friends will present a program of Vince Guaraldi's holiday music on Saturday, December 15, in the Urbana Free Library's Busey-Mills Reading Room, Urbana, Illinois. Details.

• The Chris von Staats Band will present Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, December 15, at the The Skinny Pancake, Burlington, Vermont. Details.

• The Doc Watson Trio — Watson, piano; Brandon Guerra, drums; and Mike Porter, bass — will play songs from A Charlie Brown Christmas, along with other holiday classics, on Saturday, December 15, at JazzTX, San Antonio, Texas. Details.

• The Alan Zemaitis Trio — Zemaitis, piano; Jesse Boxer-Meyrowitz, bass; and Kyle Sullivan, drums — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, December 15, at the Dakota Tavern, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Details.

Acme Jazz — Mark Poniatowski, bass; Kenny Hadley, percussion; and Joe Mulholland, piano — will be joined by vocalist April Hall and the Franklin Performing Arts Company Youth Ensemble for a holiday brunch concert, featuring the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, on Sunday, December 16, at the Black Box, Franklin, Massachusetts. Details.

• The Karl Stabnau Quartet — Stabnau, sax/flute; Jacob Dupre, piano; Ben Tiberio, bass; and Eric Metzgar, piano — will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 16, at the Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, North Carolina. Details.

• The Jim Martinez Ensemble will present The Music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 16, at the Lincoln Hills Community Church, Lincoln, California. Details.

• The Jose Gonzales Trio will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 16, at the Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater, in Seattle Washington. Details.

• The Alan Zemaitis Trio — Zemaitis, piano; Jesse Boxer-Meyrowitz, bass; and Kyle Sullivan, drums — will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 16, at the Relish Bar & Grill, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (although it looks like all three shows already are sold out). Details.

• The Michael Shirey Trio — Shirey, guitar; Nick Fane, bass; and Ben Dacoba, drums — will present the holiday-themed Guitar for Guaraldi on Sunday, December 16, at the Montrose Saloon, Chicago, Illinois. Details.

• The Jody Nardone Trio — Nardone, piano; Jerry Navarro, bass; and Chris Brown, drums — will celebrate the music of Vince Guaraldi and A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 16, at the City Winery, Nashville, Tennessee. Details.

• The Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band will present the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Monday, December 17, at the Greate Bay Country Club, Somers Point, New Jersey. Details.

• The Robert Scott Trio will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Tuesday, December 18, at the Jazz  Bistro, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Details.


• Jeffrey Butzer & T.T. Mahoney will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Tuesday, December 18, at the Madlife Stage & Studios, Woodstock, Georgia. Details.

• The Pete Peterson Trio — Peterson, piano; Danny Kiely, bass; and Bruce Morrow, drums — will take patrons through the Charlie Brown Christmas album Wednesday through Friday, December 19-21, at Jimmy Can't Dance (that's a club), Louisville, Kentucky. Details.

• The Charlie Brown Trio — LeAnna Wilson, piano; Mike Patterson, string bass; and Terry Vaughn, drums — will present A Peanuts Holiday — an interactive family concert featuring the works of Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas album — on Thursday, December 20, at the Allen County Public Library Theater, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Details.

• The Peter Shea Quartet — Shea, piano; Pat LaBarbera, sax; Steve Lucas, bass; and Terry Clarke, drums — will present The Music of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 21, at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Details.

• The fourth annual Snow Globe Show will kick off with a performance of the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, by the Mack Grout Trio, on Friday, December 21, at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle, Washington. Details.

The Sean Mason Trio — Mason, keyboards; William Ledbetter, bass; and Malcom Charles, drums — will present classic jazz tunes from A Charlie Brown Christmas (and more) on Friday, December 21, at the Loft and Cellar, Charlotte, North Carolina. Details.

• The Adam Bowman Trio — Bowman, drums; Thomas Hammerton, piano; and Tyler Wagler, bass — will celebrate the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 21, at the Guelph Youth Music Centre, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Details.

• The Andrew Boudreau Trio — Boudreau, piano; John MacLeod, bass; and Will Fisher, drums — will present an evening of music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, along with favorites from the Great American Songbook, on Friday, December 21, at Roadside Willies, Bible Hill (Truro), Nova Scotia, Canada. Details.

• Pianist Adam Shulman will perform the music from Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday and Saturday, December 21-22, at SFJazz Center's Miner Auditorium, San Francisco, California. Details.

• Jazz pianist Jim Martinez and his trio will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Saturday, December 22, at The Strum Shop, Roseville, California. Details.

• The Tim Stine Quartet — Stine, guitar; Nick Mazzarella, alto sax; Matt Ulery, bass; and Quinlan Kirchner, drums — will present A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Saturday, December 22, at the Chicago Athletic Association's Happy's, Chicago, Illinois. Details.

• The Alex Murphy Jazz Trio will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 23, at the Vero Voce School of Music, St. Charles, Illinois. Details.

• Jazz pianist Jim Martinez and his trio will perform the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, December 23, at The Auditorium at CLARA, Sacramento, California. Details.




• Touring and session trumpeter Mike Lewis — along with plenty of friends — will present the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas on Monday and Tuesday, December 24-25, at Honolulu's Blue Note Hawaii. Details.

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