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It must be a conundrum for Santa Claus — something nice coming out of something that sounds so naughty.

Jammin Java in Vienna will play host to the 11th annual Santa Clauster-f@%! Christmas Spectacular on Sunday, Dec. 22 and Monday, Dec. 23. The event, created by singer/songwriter Todd Wright, will not only provide two evenings of holiday favorites for the audience, it will also serve as a benefit for Mathias Giordano, a 12-year-old boy from Ashburn, who had his leg amputated after finding out he had bone cancer.

The 11th Annual Santa Clauster-f@%!

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. Monday

Where: Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna

Tickets: $15-$20

More information: 703-255-1566, jamminjava.com

Wright said the idea for the Santa Clauster-f@%! came about accidentally. Wright started playing Jammin Java 11 years ago on Dec. 23. The next year, Dec. 23 again. The following year – you guessed it – Dec. 23. All three show dates were coincidental.

“I started realizing it was this thing that I accidentally ended up there on the 23rd, and every year I’d invite a couple of guests to come out and do a couple of holiday tunes,” Wright said. “It wasn’t an all-holiday show. We would do four or five tunes and the next year it’d be six or seven and three or four more guys joining me.”

By the seventh year, according to Wright, everyone was ready to make it official. Since the show involves anywhere between 40 to 60 musicians playing Christmas songs on stage with no rehearsals beforehand, an appropriate name for the show was easy to figure out.

“We called it the Santa Clauster-you-know-what,” Wright said. “It’s been more and more musicians every year and it just grew from this coincidence that I kept winding up there on the 23rd. Now it’s just something that we absolutely do every year.”

Finding musicians to perform hasn’t been a problem for Wright. Once he sends out invitations to other musicians to join him, he gets a response pretty quickly.

“It’s become such a part of everyone’s holidays and their lives that it’s more for us than the people in the crowd,” Wright said.

All of the proceeds from the show go to different charities every year, according to Wright. Past shows have raised funds for juvenile diabetes and cancer. This year, instead of giving the money to an organization, the folks behind the show will hand over a check to Mathias and his family.

“[It] is going to feel really good to be able after two nights to just cut a check and hand it directly to the family who is going through the kind of hell [something like] that brings on a 12-year-old boy who was playing soccer a couple of years ago,” Wright said.

The continued support from the fans every year has kept the Santa Clauster-f@%! going. Wright said originally they were going to stop after 10 years because they didn’t want the show to become stale and played out.

With sell-out shows year after year, Wright said the musicians have no choice but to continue the tradition.

“There’s something that people say to me every year, which blows my mind – ‘This has become a part of our holiday every year. We absolutely do not miss this,’” Wright said. “That is the best part, when people bring their entire families to this thing and they look forward to it. It’s really become a tradition for more than just the musicians. People plan their travel around it.”

Surely, Santa wouldn’t keep these folks off his nice list.



wfranklin@gazette.net