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'Mannheim Steamroller Christmas' launches live holiday music celebration

"Mannheim Steamroller Christmas," an eclectic performance of reinvigorated traditional carols and Yuletide favorites, will be presented Tuesday at the Alerus Center. (Photo by Matt Christine Photography)

Featuring a 20-piece orchestra, "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas" will light up the Alerus Center stage at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Strings, keyboard, percussion, brass, woodwinds and guitar players will present a program filled with traditional carols and Yuletide favorites that demonstrate the group's eclectic approach.

Mannheim Steamroller, which released its first Christmas album in 1984, is known for blending "elements of classical, rock and pop music into something altogether unique," according to publicity materials.

The tour of this show marks the 34th anniversary since creator and composer, Chip Davis, produced his first album in the Fresh Aire series in 1974.

At that time, Davis' new approach to music led to the creation of a new classification in the music industry, New Age.

The name of his band, Mannheim Steamroller, is a play on the 18th-century musical technique known as the "Mannheim crescendo," that was conceived by musicians in Mannheim, Germany.

Davis has written, arranged and recorded more than 35 albums in a career spanning five decades.

The best-selling Christmas music artist in history, Davis has achieved worldwide sales in excess of $40 million, with four multi-platinum, eight platinum and 19 gold certifications in the U.S.

Now in its 34th year, "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas" is one of the longest-running tours in the entertainment industry, Davis said.

"Christmas is family time, and our music and concerts are all family friendly," he said. "We often see three generations attending one of our shows."

If you go

What: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Alerus Center, 1200 S. 42nd St.

Tickets: $27-$76; visit www.aleruscenter.com or call (800) 745-3000 or (701) 792-1200