The Trans Fat Orchestra playing Woodlands Tavern on Thanksgiving Eve has become a tradition in Grandview Heights.

Just how long it's been a tradition is up in the air.

"I would say it's been 10 years, just about," said Fred Muccio, who plays trumpet in the band.

"That sounds good -- this is the 10-year anniversary," he said. "If someone wants to dispute that, well, we have some attorneys in our band, so we'll see you in court," Muccio said, laughing.

The Trans Fat Orchestra doesn't take itself too seriously, said guitar player and vocalist Chris Ritz.

"We just want to put on a good show and have fun playing the music we love," he said. "The fun we're having is contagious. Because we're energized, the audience gets energized and we're all having a good time."

The band's free show is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, at Woodlands, 1200 W. Third Ave.

"Our Thanksgiving Eve show has become a fun Grandview-oriented community event," Muccio said. "We get a lot of people who are in town for the holiday who stop by.

"People ask me all the time, 'Are you guys going to be playing at Woodlands this Thanksgiving?' " Ritz said.

The band was formed about 13 years ago by Muccio; his son, Sam; and Jack Liberatore.

"It was just a neighborhood, friends-getting-together-type of thing," Muccio said.

Over the years, the band's lineup has changed as people come and go, but the group's dedication to what Ritz calls "late 20th-century popular music" hasn't.

"You're going to know most of the songs we play," he said.

Those songs range from tunes by Louie Prima and Bob Dylan to Tom Petty and Tom Jones, the Beatles and Johnny Cash, Muccio said.

"We're looking for songs we'll have fun playing and that people will enjoy hearing," he said.

The band also plays during the Bobcat Boosters Ox Roast -- its other major annual performance.

"We have 11 people in the band now, and it's hard to get everyone together at one time," Ritz said.

Along with Ritz and Muccio, the band's current lineup includes George Wolf, Dave Cribbs, Steve Keller, John Besch and Bill Rees, all of Grandview Heights; Eric Dyarmett of Upper Arlington; Brian Leinheuser of Westerville; and Donni Howell of Columbus. Jackie Ziliak will fill in for regular lead vocalist Kim Herlihy at the Nov. 22 show.

"We're probably at our most cohesive as a group now," Ritz said. "It's like merging on the freeway. If you know what to expect, you can merge right in there. We have a sense of how each of us plays, so everything just gels."

"We try to keep the spirit of when you're young and playing in the garage," Muccio said. "We want to play like we're 16 years old, with that enthusiasm. If it starts getting too serious, it's time to change things up."

With so many band members from Grandview, the Trans Fat Orchestra serves as a kind of tribute to the community, he said.

"There are so many people in Grandview who have the musical ability to join and play in a band like ours," Muccio said. "I think that's a tribute to the strong marching-band program we have here. A lot of great musicians go through that program."

For more information about the Trans Fat Orchestra, visit