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Jazz Christmas concert promotes peace on city streets

For info, visit. Dunbarassociation.org.

"A lot of young lives in the inner city of Syracuse have come to depend on this invaluable service agency daily and nightly for their very survival," Malfitano said.

So Saturday's concert is much more than entertainment.

Spyro Gyra Saturday

Spyro Gyra, the 32-year-old jazz fusion group from Buffalo, will perform a "Jazz Christmas 2010" at Eastwood's Palace Theater, 2378 James St., at 8 p.m. Saturday to benefit the Dunbar programs.

Led by saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and keyboardist Tom Schuman, Spyro Gyra received a 2009 Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Album for its holiday disc, "A Night Before Christmas," featuring improvisations on tunes such as "O Tannenbaum," "Winter Wonderland" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

The Dunbar Association Inc. is co-presenting the "Jazz Christmas" concert in association with Syracuse Jazz Fest and WAER-FM. Tickets cost $25, $35 and $55 (the latter includes pre-show reception); 476-4269 or 395-9869

'Christmas Story' set steals scenes

The local kids cast in "A Christmas Story" at Syracuse Stage bring a welcome warmth to the stage version of the popular 1983 movie about the boy who wants a BB gun from Santa.

This "Christmas Story" not only delights the memory banks, it also dazzles the eye. The real star of this production is its marvelous motorized set design

At the final preview performance on Dec. 2, audience members displayed their appreciation for Michael Ganio's spectacular scenic designs as applause broke out spontaneously several times when new sets rolled into view.

Especially impressive was the sparkling Higbee's department store set in the second act.

While the professional adult actors and the local kids all did yeoman comedic work, those gorgeously decorated shifting set pieces really stole the show.

"A Christmas Story" runs through Dec. 30 at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St. Ticket prices range from $15 to $48; 443-3275; syracusestage.org.

S&Ms play Shifty's Sunday

A talented trio calling itself the S&Ms will entertain at the Shifty's Tavern Christmas Party, from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday Dec. 19, at the legendary watering hole at 1401 Burnet Ave.

The S&Ms feature mandolinist/guitarist Shirley Woodcock-Kolb, bassist Mike Ranger and guitarist Mark Gibson. The S&Ms play a fetching blend of blues, folk and roots rock.

"We'll make you like it," Shirley says, sadistically.

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