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Caravan of Thieves to take shelter on Columbus stage for ‘Homeless for the Holidays Tour’

Courtesy of Michael Weintrob

While the name of gypsy jazz band Caravan of Thieves implies a large pack of musical bandits, the four-piece outfit actually focuses far more on giving than taking.

The band is slated to perform the last show of its “Homeless for the Holidays” tour at 7 p.m. Sunday at Woodlands Tavern.

The group is touring in support of its third and most recently released album “The Funhouse.” Caravan of Thieves has also recorded two original songs, “Ms Priscilla Pumpkin” and “I Don’t Want Anything for Christmas,” which are available for download on the band’s website, with 50 percent of proceeds going to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

“It started when we decided to call the tour ‘Homeless for the Holidays’ because we were going to be away the whole time all through the fall and the winter,” said lead singer Fuzz Sangiovanni. “But then we decided to turn it into something more meaningful.”

Sangiovanni and his wife, Carrie Sangiovanni, met and began writing songs and making music together in 2004. Fuzz Sangiovanni said the couple shared a vision to start a band influenced by 1930s-era swing musicians Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.

The group grew by two members in 2008, with the addition of violinist Ben Dean and double bassist Brian Anderson. Caravan of Thieves has since recorded three albums including a live record, and has toured alongside The Decemberists, Iron & Wine and Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Carrie Sangiovanni was quick to describe Caravan of Thieves’ live show in one word: “Fun.”

“We call on the audience a lot to clap along, sing along, make animal noises and be part of the show,” she said.

The band also performs a number of cover songs during its live shows.

Mentioning some of these covers, such as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer,” Fuzz Sangiovanni said as it’s getting closer to the holidays the band might even do a version of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

“We cover a lot of themes and topics in our music, and we tend to use dark humor because that is our personality … a little bit of sarcasm in there and a little bit of playfulness,” Carrie Sangiovanni said.

Fuzz Sangiovanni added that rather than dwelling on serious topics for the whole night or remaining introspective, Caravan of Thieves uses humor to keep its show entertaining.

He also said the band is looking forward to its upcoming show in Columbus due to its previous shows in the city having good turnouts.

“But one of the other things we like about going to Columbus is Northstar (Cafe),” Fuzz Sangiovanni said. “It’s all about the Northstar burger.”

Tickets for the show are $10 and available at Woodlands Tavern’s website. A $5 student discount is offered for the show.

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