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December 22, 2011
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'A Charlie Brown Christmas' Eve celebration in Avon

Sometimes all it takes is one well-timed holiday tune to put you in the holiday spirit. For some, that song may have come while standing in line at Kohl's during the Black Friday madness. But probably not. For others, that familiar feeling of kid-like excitement may still be hiding under the layers of stress that are as much a part of the season as plastic-wrapped candy canes. In other words, you might still be waiting for that one song. Take heart.

Eagle County musicians Tony Gulizia and Brian Loftus aim to remedy that Saturday afternoon - Christmas Eve, for those who haven't been paying attention - at the Westin in Avon. The duo will perform holiday music from 3 to 6 p.m., but the really good stuff begins at 4:30 p.m. The jazz duo - Loftus on the drums and Gulizia on vocals, piano and bass - will pay homage to a classic holiday soundtrack in the hotel lobby. They'll do nine selections from Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas." The classic Charles M. Schulz holiday special will be shown on a large screen behind them. The event is free and open to the public.

"There are so many adults and kids alike who know 'A Charlie Brown Christmas,'" Gulizia said. "I mean, the thing goes back to 1966 - even I was a kid then."

Loftus came up with the idea for the show.

"This is something I've always wanted to do, as we've grown up with and love the music of Vince Guaraldi and, of course, Charles Schultz's 'Peanuts,'" Loftus said. "People can expect Tony and I to deliver these very special songs in the manner that they were written and originally recorded, with flair. I expect and hope for lots of families and kids (to attend)."

It's hard for Loftus and Gulizia to pick just one favorite tune.

"My personal favorite would be 'O Tannenbaum.' I think it's just brilliant, all around," Loftus said. "And Tony plays the heck out of it."

"I've always been a dire fan of the beautiful ballad 'Christmas Time is Here,'" Gulizia said. "And 'Linus and Lucy,' which is the kids' favorite. One of the most requested songs we get, any time of year, from young kids is 'Linus and Lucy' - they love it."

On Thursday morning, the duo performed a few of the songs live on KZYR The Zephyr.

"Before I had even gotten out of the Riverwalk parking lot, a car came by and honked, rolled down the window and said, 'I just heard you live on the radio,'" Gulizia said. "It was great."

And don't worry, if you can't make it to the show, The Zephyr will broadcast the entire show, live, starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. That means there's still a chance to hear that one special song that will trigger your holiday spirit.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 22, 2011 06:34PM Published Dec 22, 2011 06:30PM Copyright 2011 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.