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John Floridis

John Floridis.

Acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter John Floridis will host his customary Christmas concert benefits this weekend in Missoula.

Floridis has already looped around the state before he lands back home this weekend for a set of two shows in his hometown.

The performances will draw on his catalog of seasonal music, including two CDs of serene instrumental guitar work, "Peaceful Season," and "December's Quiet Joy."

More than a few people have told Floridis that they enjoy the albums, even though they're self-described people who hate Christmas music.

For both records, Floridis took the melodies for Christmas standards and rearranged them along with a dose of improvisation that will be familiar with his live performances.

Other songs, he says, are not necessarily Christmas music, but relate to the low-daylight season's transition from darkness into light.

"You can take that however you want," he said, whether it's literally or metaphorically.

He'll also perform seasonal vocal tunes, including originals and others by Bruce Cockburn, Patty Larkin, Ben Harper and John Gorka. That last songwriter provided a rearranged take on "I Hear the Bells on Christmas Day," which uses the words of Longfellow.

Floridis said he's purposefully booked two different venues for unrelated charities that benefit the same cause: homelessness and its prevention.

First up is Saturday's 7 p.m. concert at Crystal Theater, 515 S. Higgins Ave.

It will benefit the Reaching Home, a program of the United Way of Missoula County that helps people who are the verge of homelessness.

Next up is a 4 p.m. Sunday performance at First United Methodist Church, 300 E. Main St.

Donations at that concert will go toward Family Promise, a multi-faith nonprofit that helps the homeless.

Floridis said he likes being able to reach two different branches a cause.

The concerts are arranged so that Floridis' costs are covered and the donations go exclusively to the nonprofit sponsor in question.

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