Christmas is just a week away! Can you believe it? It feels like Thanksgiving was just three weeks ago. If you’re like me and still not totally full of holiday cheer, Pete Balestrieri’s annual Christmas Party at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe this Thursday will be sure to grow your Grinch heart two sizes too large.
Pete Balestrieri is the perfect person in Iowa City to hold an annual Christmas party. For one, he’s got the Santa Claus look down pat. Throw a red suit on the man and you might feel the urge to get him some milk and cookies. But he’s also one of Iowa City’s most adaptable musicians. The former Violent Femmes member shows off his brilliant saxaphone talents on recordings with local punks Slut River, but also fits in great with the freak folk of Ed Gray and the wonked Americana of Brooks Strause and the Gory Details.
The idea of a Christmas party, in which a host of local musicians come together to play short sets of holiday tunes in any style and with any instrument, is a fitting one. After all, the holidays are about inclusion and togetherness, and Balestrieri’s music lends itself perfectly to that feeling. So far, locals Justin Baumgartner, Ali Cooper, Tim Krein, Ross Meyer, Kyle Miller, Doug Kramer Nye, Phil Ochs, Andy Pilkington, Joe Ross, Brooks Strause, Chris Wiersema and Little Village‘s own Kent Williams are all confirmed to play.
This marks the fifth year of Balestrieri’s party. Over the years, it’s grown from a solo affair to the big, sprawling show it is today.
The show begins at 8 p.m. More musicians are expected to be added as well.