The Invincible Czars Performs their Quirky Rock Version of the Holiday Favorite “Nutcracker Suite”

The Austin-Based Rock Band Hits the Road for their Sixth Annual Holiday Performances

AUSTIN, Texas—Austin’s The Invincible Czars, known for composing a “…frenzied, turn-of-the-century riot inducing classical music…” The Dallas Observer, continues to spread a unique variety of holiday cheer by performing their zealous take on Tchaikovsky’s classic “Nutcracker Suite” at Discovery Green on Saturday, November 28 at 7:30 p.m. to open the park’s ice skating season. Their re-imagined “Nutcracker Suite” appeals to everyone from children to the young at heart seeking to experience the classic holiday tradition in a radical new format that is certain to delight.

The Invincible Czars use their exceptionally original talents of fusing Eastern European folk idioms with classical arrangements, heavy metal waltzes with jazz grooves and country shuffles with circusy polkas to create a holiday experience like no other as they perform their wacky twist on the traditional “Nutcracker Suite” live. Audiences will hear eclectic variations of “Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy,” “Waltz of the Snowflakes,” “Spanish Dance,” and many more. The band’s update on the timeless classic comes to life with a vivid instrumentation of electric guitar, electric bass, drum kit, synthesizer, violin, and horns.

This year, The Invincible Czars are inviting videography novices and professionals to participate in their DVD project by giving them full access to record the performances. The footage can then be submitted to the band for potential inclusion in the in-development 10th anniversary special release as well as other prizes.

The band will also offer a sneak peak of their show by joining costumed characters from the venerable Houston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” as part of the City of Houston’s Christmas Tree Lighting at the Wortham Theater Center Grand Foyer on Wednesday, November 25 at 11 a.m., also free to the public.

After their Houston performances, they will play excerpts from their rocking rendition of the Suite as part of Austin’s beloved Holiday Stroll on Congress Avenue on December 5 at 7 p.m. The Czars will wrap-up their holiday activity on December 12 with their annual dance-along Nutcracker show at Jovita’s. This year the band will perform both their 3 p.m. kids show and the 9 p.m. “loud” show with Wicked Cricket Dance Theater. Of course, in keeping with the tradition, the Golden Arm Trio will open the late performance. .

The studio recording of The Invincible Czars’ reworked “Nutcracker Suite” that was released Dec 2007 and is available for purchase at and on iTunes.



24 – Houston, TX: KUHF 88.7 FM live in-studio performance. Tune in or listen online:

25 – Houston, TX: 22ND City of Houston Christmas Tree Lighting; Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Avenue at Smith St.; 11 a.m. – 1 p..m.

28 – Houston, TX: Discovery Green; 1500 McKinney St.; 7:30 p.m.


5 – Austin, TX: Holiday Stroll, Congress Avenue; 7 – 9 p.m.

12 – Austin, TX: Holiday Show with Golden Arm Trio; Jovita’s, 1617 S 1st St; Kids show: 3 p.m.; Adult show: 9 p.m.

Created in 2002, Austin’s Invincible Czars have made their mark by creating exceptionally original music and applying that same inventiveness to their interpretations of classical and contemporary music. Their original songs and instrumental pieces are like four-to-five minute “mini-symphonies” chock full of memorable melodies, meticulous arrangements, dynamics, and humor. Their music fuses riff rock, classical/symphonic music, heavy metal, loungey grooves, odd meters, klezmer, country shuffles, punk rock and circusy polka.

The group gained a fair amount of attention for their interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” in 2004 and have made performances of the Suite an annual holiday tradition. They continue to add material to their holiday repertoire.

The Invincible Czars have also reinterpreted Iron’s Maiden’s “Number of the Beast”, Mussorgsky’s “A Night on Bald Mountain”, scored a number of short films and written new scores for the silent films “Aelita, Queen of Mars” and Fritz Lang’s “Destiny”.

The band began as the brainchild of guitarist and founding member Josh Robins with the goal of creating truly unique, interesting and complex rock music. Seven years later, the band finds itself in the top of its class at Austin Weird Rock High having played venues as disparate at Emo’s and Discovery Green everywhere west of the Mississippi.

2009 has been the group’s busiest to date. Three of the members provided a rhythm section for St. Stephens High’s production of Tommy in February. In March, the Czars shared the stage with Asleep at the Wheel on Houston KUHF FM’s broadcast from the stage at Discovery Green. Then they premiered their original score to Fritz Lang’s silent film Destiny later that night on the same stage. April marked the release of Fortissimo, the Invincible Czars’ first CD of original material in nearly four years along with masquerade release parties in Houston and Austin. April also saw the launch of the band’s new label Future Banana Replacement in conjunction with Opposite Day. In May, they opened Texas dates for Oakland scariest band – Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. They premiered their version of “1812 Overture” at the 25th annual OKMozart! classical music festival in Bartlesville, OK in June and followed up with a hometown debut on a 105 degree Fourth of July in Austin’s Wooldridge Square Park. In August they headlined the Golden Hornet Project’s “German Masters Hoot Night” performing new versions of works by Beethoven, Wagner and The Scorpions.

The group is also known for its ability to grow beards and currently consists of:

Phil Davidson – violin, voice

Leila Henley – soprano/tenor sax, flute, voice

Adam Kahan – bass, voice

Louis Landry – drums, percussion, voice

Bill Petersen – keyboards

Josh Robins – guitar, percussion