By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 15, 2008 at 11:17 AM

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

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 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.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.