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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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In Music

Suzanne Grzanna just released her second CD of Christmas music.

Gig roundup: Grzanna gives the gift of music


What can she say? Singer and saxophonist Suzanne Grzanna just loves Christmas. That explains why two of her five full-length CDs -- including the latest -- are holiday affairs.

"I really enjoy the holidays and I love Christmas music," Grzanna says. "I know in the future I may record another Christmas CD."

Grzanna performs Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at The Baby Grand, 11302 W. Bluemound Rd., in Wauwatosa.

"Christmas Night," released by Grzanna's own Diva Records label, has eight snow-dusted tunes, and follows "My Santa Baby," released in 2003. Grzanna's non-holiday CDs include 1994's "The Cat's Meow," it's follow-up, "Fly Me to the Moon" and 2006's "Simply Sunday."

"I wrote a few Christmas songs on this CD including the title track," Grzanna says. "My children love this song. They sing it all the time. Also, my father has a few originals on the disc. I re-recorded 'By the Fireside,' and wrote lyrics for it. It is a great song.

"I also have a few standards that everyone loves to sing along to during Christmas. They are also on the CD."

"Christmas Night" was recorded at Dave Vartanian's studio (Violent Femmes, Jerry Harrison, Crash Test Dummies and others have recorded there) and Grzanna drew on the talents of pianists David Hazeltine and Scott Currier, bassists Hal Miller and Uganna Okegwo and drummers Andy LoDuca and Mark Johnson.

All of Grzanna's CDs are available online at CDBaby.com.

Some other gigs on tap in the second half of December include:

Shank Hall hosts a couple holiday bashes, including the annual Sleighriders Christmas on Monday, Dec. 15.

The roster of musicians includes Steve Grimm and his Bad Boy bandmate, Xeno, Eddie Butts, Steve Cohen, Warren Wiegratz, Greg Koch, Sigmund Snopek, Annie Dennison and representatives from Blue Hand, Crisis, Speakeasy, Dirty Ernie, The Boogie Men and a host of other local bands.

Doors open at 7 p.m., the admission donation is $10 and proceeds from the show benefit the SafeZone Community Arts Center.

On Boxing Day, Friday, Dec. 26, the club hosts the OnMilwaukee.com Regifting Extravaganza in support of Hunger Task Force. Bring your unwanted holiday gifts to exchange with other concertgoers and check out Milwaukee's own Testa Rosa, John Sieger and the Subcontinentals and kb. Showtime is 8 p.m. Cover is just $5.

Other holiday cheer at Shank includes The 5-Card Studs Holiday Extravaganza on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. with Joe Hite. Tickets are $8. Acoustic Christmas is Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. and costs $10.

Meanwhile, former Ambrosia and Bruce Hornsby & the Range member Joe Puerta -- a Milwaukee resident -- leads Christmas Dreams with Maji on Sunday, Dec. 21 at Turner Hall at 7 p.m. Puerta has a host of guests, too, including Paul Cebar, John Sieger, Robin Pluer, Grace Weber and Barb Stephan. Cover is $12.

Jesse McCartney and Sister Hazel both play The Rave on Wednesday, Dec. 17, although in different rooms. McCartney's show starts at 6:30 and also includes Metro Station and Shontel. Sister Hazel's gig is at 8 and includes the Pat McGee Trio and Luke Mullholland.

Primer 55 plays The Rave on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 with No Conviction and Life Since Death and Hinder, Trapt and Rev. Theory share the stage on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.


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