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Holiday Best Bets: Why a Christmas tree?

A Cruizin’ Christmas

One of Syracuse’s top R&B revues, The Coachmen featuring Elizabeth Fern, will perform three dozen holiday tunes as part of “A Cruizin’ Christmas,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Pensabene’s Casa Grande, 135 State Fair Blvd., on the city’s West End.

Tickets cost $30 or $15 for kids age 11 and younger for both buffet and show; show-only tickets cost $15 at the door. For reservations, call 466-0312.

Not only will the band play standards like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Blue Christmas,” they’ll also revive lesser-known tunes like Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kaliki Makka” and Louis Armstrong’s “Cool Yule.”

The Coachmen have also unearthed a couple doo wop obscurities, “Christmas in Jail” by The Youngsters and The Drifters’ 1954 version of “White Christmas.”

The sextet features vocalist Elizabeth Fern, trumpeter-singer-arranger John Saltamach, lead guitarist Dickie Cappotto, bassist Carl Putzer, saxophonist Mark Wildrick, Hammond B-3 organist Michael Davis and drummer Bob Papaleone.

‘Jingle Bell Rock’

They’ll be rocking around the Christmas tree from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, when the Mickey Vendetti Band hosts a holiday dance party at the Goodtime Banquet Hall, 526 Teall Ave., in Syracuse.

The audience will hear everything from “Blue Christmas” to “White Christmas” as the Vendetti boys make merry with traditional holiday songs, some country Christmas classics and even a few holiday soul tunes.

The Dec. 2 Christmas party at the Goodtime Banquet Hall is open to the public. Admission costs $10 in advance or $13 at the door, and that price includes a buffet and coffee. Legal beverages will be available for sale at the Goodtime Banquet Hall bar, located on the top floor of Klub Polski, the Polish-American Citizens Club; 345-1002; mickeyvendetti.com.

Baby Boomers’ benefit

The Baby Boomers Band led by guitarist Art Bronstein will entertain at a benefit for the CNY Food Bank and the Temple Concord Food Pantry from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Temple Concord, 910 Madison St., near Syracuse University.

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