Festivus and Other Twisted Holidays!

Festivus and Other Twisted Holidays

Question: What do Seinfeld, Christmas, The Tin Woodman, Queen, Sting, Charlie Brown, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, and award-winning American poetry, have in common?

Answer: Streaming Festivus and Other Twisted Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020
7:00 p.m. 
On Facebook Live and YouTube Live 

Sponsored by Larry McDonough Jazz and Black Dog Café 

Larry McDonough Quartet
Larry McDonough, piano and vocals
Richard Terrill, saxes and poetry
Greg Stinson, bass
Dean White, drums

No cover but $10 donation suggested.

Order takeout from Black Dog Café: Consider Festivus fare such as meatloaf on a bed of lettuce or a reasonable facsimile. 

Facebook Live

Facebook Event

YouTube Live from the Larry McDonough Jazz YouTube Channel

Sample: We Are the Champions

Festivus and Other Twisted Holidays in the Media

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Do you need a break from the pandemic, politics, Zoom meetings, and maybe some family members?

Are you tired of the same old holiday music?

Do not worry! On December 23, the Larry McDonough Quartet (LMQ) will perform music in celebration of Seinfeld’s fictional December 23 holiday “Festivus for the Rest of Us” along with other odd takes on holiday music. See the online show that has filled Black Dog Café. Order takeout from Black Dog Café and then watch the show online.

Festivus was created by Seinfeld character Frank Costanza (played by Jerry Stiller) as an alternative holiday in response to the commercialization of Christmas. The tradition of Festivus begins with an aluminum pole. Frank cites its “very high strength-to-weight ratio” as appealing. During Festivus, the pole is displayed unadorned. Frank admits, “I find tinsel distracting.”

Festivus includes practices such as the “Airing of Grievances.” During the Festivus meal, each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed them over the past year. Frank begins by yelling, “I got a lotta problems with you people, and now you're going to hear about it!” Throughout the meal, Festivus participants label easily explainable events as “Festivus Miracles.” After the meal, “Feats of Strength” are held where family members wrestle the head of the household to the floor. Festivus concludes when the head of the household is pinned. 

For Festivus, LMQ will perform:

Airing of Grievances: “She’s Too Good for Me” by Sting
Festivus Miracles: “If I Only Had a Brain” by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg from The Wizard of Oz
Feats of Strength: “We Are the Champions” by Queen combined with • Maiden Voyage” by Herbie Hancock

Some clips from the Seinfeld Festivus episode will set the scene. A headless music stand will serve as the Festivus Pole. Audience members will be invited to submit grievances about friends and family. Come ready to listen and rant.

LMQ also will perform odd holiday tunes and arrangements from the CD Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things. Andrea Canter noted, this is “not your mother’s holiday album.... Spending the holidays with Larry McDonough is like the best of family reunions – getting reacquainted with relatives who seem so different from how we remember them, and so much more interesting.” 

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On top of this, LMQ has new odd holiday arrangements including: 

“I'll Be Home for Christmas” – 7/8 dark minor
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” – 3/4 bebop
“Christmas Time Is Here” – 3/4 dark minor

Minnesota Book Award Winner Richard Terrill adds seasonal poetry.

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Audience Checklist for Festivus and Other Twisted Holidays 

1. Order takeout from Black Dog Café: Consider Festivus fare such as meatloaf on a bed of lettuce or a reasonable facsimile. 

2. Prepare grievances about friends, workmates, and family and email to Larry at mcdon056@umn.edu or submit comments during the show.

3. Pour a beverage.

4. Watch the show.

5. Enjoy your Festivus feast and beverages.

6. Donate to the musicians.

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The Larry McDonough Quartet 

Larry McDonough is a St. Paul jazz pianist and singer, performing around the world and recording with his group the Larry McDonough Quartet as well as solo, and in duos and trios. He has performed with legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, Trombonist Fred Wesley, and trumpeter Duane Eubanks, as well as a who’s who of local jazz artists, and was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons. He has released nine CDs and DVDs as a leader. Alice in Stonehenge and other AcoustElectric Adventures has played on radio stations and streaming services around the world. The CD charted #18 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Jazz Album Chart. Simple Gifts reached number 29 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and also has been played on hundreds of stations around the country and throughout the world. He also is a lawyer and law professor selected by William Mitchell College of Law as one of “100 Who Made a Difference” over the 100-year history of the school. Larry directs pro bono legal services for the poor at Dorsey & Whitney.

Richard Terrill, sax player and Minnesota State University Mankato English Professor, received the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry for his poetry compilation “Coming Late to Rachmaninoff” (University of Tampa Press, 2003). Richard has been performing with Larry McDonough since December 2001. He also has performed with guitarist Jim McGuire and with Chaz Draper’s Uptown Jazz Quartet. As a college student, Richard was a member of the award-winning University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble and performed with later-to-be Pat Metheny keyboardist Lyle Mays in the Lyle Mays Quartet, winner of small group honors at the Midwest College Jazz Festival. He has also worked with pianist Geoff Keezer. Richard is a retired English professor from Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

Bassist Greg Stinson plays in several bands around the Twin Cities. He has been the bass player in the Century College Jazz Ensemble for more than 25 years. He also plays in the CC Septet, Shorn Hortz Quintet, Paul Berger Trio, the St. Croix Jazz Ensemble, and regularly subs with the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Classic Big Band, and Cedar Avenue Big Band. Greg spent many years playing saxophones, guitar, bass, and vocals in jazz/rock and variety bands in the area. He is an active composer/arranger with jazz charts in the books of the Century Band, Nova, CC Septet, and others. He has also written a number of choral arrangements and compositions for school and church groups. Greg was a band and choir director in public and private schools before changing to his career in telecommunications technology, now retired.

Dean White grew up in Superior, Wisconsin, and played in various working bands while attending the University of Wisconsin, Superior. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in percussion performance, he moved to Hollywood, California, to attend Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music. Half-way through the first year, Dean was offered a main showroom gig at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. He was the first drummer in the Legends In Concert Show that still performs in various incarnations across the country today. He left Las Vegas to join Tony Axtell and Toshi Hinata in Tokyo to write and play original music. Since settling back in the Twin Cities, Dean has performed with many groups, including Good, the Bad and the Funky; the Autobody Experience; Century Big Band; Nova Jazz; Big Time Jazz Orchestra; the Shorn Hortz jazz quintet; Power of 10; Jack Knife and the Sharps; Tubby Esquire; Hennessy Brothers jazz; and many others. He has also studied privately with Gordy Knudtson and his Open/Close hand technique. Dean feels blessed to be part of the rich music scene in the Twin Cities.

Flautist Carol Bergquist has been active as a performer, soloist, and teacher in the Twin Cities for 30 years.  She has performed with members of the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and in local orchestras, including the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, Mississippi Valley Orchestra, and Allegro Sinfonia.  In addition, she has performed for at The Basilica of Saint Mary for 35 years, performing Masses, special events, and NDI Production’s annual summer musicals, involving numerous Basilica members.  Carol studied with Cynthia Stokes, Adam Kuenzel, and Donald Peck and has performed at master classes at the Ordway Music Theater with Carol Wincenc and DePaul University in Chicago with Donald Peck.  Carol also will add her new accordion skills to show. She holds an undergraduate degree in writing and an MBA in Technology Management, teaches flute, and works as a contract proposal writer. She is married to pianist Larry McDonough.

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Contact information:
Larry McDonough