They are Jewish and they are raging, therefore, this group of comics call themselves Raging Jews of Comedy. Made up of Joel Marks, Sunda Croonquist, Gregg Rogell, Dan Naturman and Tommy Savitt, the funny, edgy, folk will take to the stage of the College of Southern Nevada's Nicholas J. Horn Theatre, located in North Las Vegas, tomorrow night at 7:30. Tickets, which may be purchased through ticketmaster, are $30 for the general public, and $15 for students. You may also order by calling (866) 468-7619. It might be interesting to note that, although they may not ALL be raging, if Jews were taken out of the comedy equation, there would be (and have been) a lot less laughter in the world. Among the great legends of comedy (many with a history in Las Vegas) - Marty Allen, Woody Allen, Jason Alexander, Bea Arthur, Roseanne Barr, Dave Barry, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Shelley Berman, Joey Bishop, Lewis Black, Elayne Boosler, Victor Borge, David Brenner, Fanny Brice, Mel Brooks, Lenny Bruce, George Burns, Sid Caesar, Jack Carter, Andrew Dice Clay, Myron Cohen, Billy Crystal, Rodney Dangerfield, Totie Fields, Brad Garrett, Jackie Gayle, Shecky Greene, Buddy and Sandy Hackett, George Jessel, Danny Kaye, Allen King, Robert Klein, Jack E. Leonard, Jackie Mason, The Marx Brothers, Anne Meara, Gilda Radner, Carl and Rob Reiner, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Freddie Roman, Rita Rudner, Mort Sahl, Peter Sellers, Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Allen Sherman, Sammy and Pauly Shore, Neil Simon, Bobby Slayton, Howard Stern, Jerry and Ben Stiller, Renee Taylor, The Three Stooges, Sophie Tucker, and Henny Youngman. These are just a handful of famous comedians. If we listed them all, it would take up the entire column (instead of just half of it), but you get the idea. Some other time, we will list some of the Jews who have been MAJOR contributors in music writing.
The Three Stooges
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There are a number of entertaining and worthwhile things taking place on the same day Saturday, March 6th. We hate when this happens. If you plan well, since some events are taking place in the daytime and others at night, you may be able to do more than one thing on that date.
On Saturday afternoon, Las Vegas entertainers will gather together at the Suncoast to honor and salute fellow performer, Bill Fayne. This star-studded event will be hosted by Fayne's longtime friend and musical collaborator, Clint Holmes, and Clint's wife, Kelly Clinton Holmes. Beginning at 2 p.m., many of the city's most talented community members - including, among others, Domenick Allen, his wife Leigh Zimmerman, and their daughter, Cayleigh Capaldi; Louie Anderson; Lance Burton; Elvis Presley tribute artist, Paul Casey; Vince Falcone; Terry Fator, 5th Avenue, Jersey Boys' Rick Faugno; Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show; Human Nature; the Las Vegas Tenors; Robin Leach; Jerry Lopez; the ladies of Menopause the Musical; Jeff Neiman; Oh What A Night!, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute revue; Lena Prima; Frankie Scinta; Earl Turner; and Voci Vegas, are expected to participate. Cast members from other Vegas shows, as well as many additional singers and musicians from our community will also lend a hand (and a voice). For those who do not know, singer, musician, songwriter, conductor, arranger Fayne, has been through months of medical hell. In November, he underwent major surgery in Southern California, developed complications that resulted in an induced coma, and was unable to return to Las Vegas until January. Although he is slowly mending, Bill is unable to work, the bills are piling up, and he needs help. As the song goes, "That's What Friends Are For," especially if your friends are talented entertainers. Thanks, in a big part, to Boyd Gaming Corp., who will pick up the tab for the concert costs, with a NO COMPS policy for this show, the afternoon event should raise enough to take care of Bill's expenses for a while. Tickets are priced at $45, $35 and $25, all inclusive, and are available at through the Suncoast and the other Boyd Gaming properties (The Orleans, Gold Coast, Sam's Town). Mark your calendars. Understandably, there will be NO COMPS for the benefit.
On March 6th, the Las Vegas Philharmonic will present Pops Concert III, Broadway a la Carte, in an 8 p.m. performance inside Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall on the UNLV Campus. Five spectacular singers - Elly Brown, Bruce Ewing, Mary Ann Robinson, Kevin Sherrell and Kristy Tingle - along with the entire Philharmonic, will take you on an unforgettable musical journey with music from Les Miserables, Evita, South Pacific and Hello, Dolly! Ticket prices are $35 to $75 for general seating, $31.50 to $67.50 for seniors (62 and older) and students (18 and younger), and are available at the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office or at UNLVtickets.com. Visit lvphil.com or call 895-ARTS for any questions.
At the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin, on the 6th at 7, Sharon McNight stars as Betty, Betty and Bette!, as in Betty Grable, Betty Hutton and Bette Davis. Las Vegans loved her in her sold-out performance as Sophie Tucker in Red Hot Mama, and her take on Pearl Bailey, Judy Canova, Patsy Cline, Ethel Merman, Martha Rae and other great broads, in Gone But Not Forgotten. Now Michael Chapman and Chapquist Entertainment bring back the Tony Award-nominee, saluting the three Hollywood legends. The music includes Bette Davis' "I've Written a Letter to Daddy," Grable's "You're My Little Pinup Girl" and Hutton's classic "I Wake Up in the Morning Feeling Fine." This fun-filled show also includes "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in A Hurry," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," "It Had to Be You" and "Blue Skies." So fasten your seatbelts! It's going to be an incredible evening of music and mirth that only the versatile Sharon McNight can present. Ticket prices for Sun City Summerlin residents at $15, and $17 for non-residents. For credit card orders, call (702) 869-2064. For general show information, call (702) 240-1301.
Sharon McNight as Bette Davis
Mac King's Campfire Magic
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The Society of Seven family is grieving the loss of Ethel A. Walker, mother of Karen Ruivivar, and mother-in-law of Tony Ruivivar, one of the musical comedy groups' founders. Mrs. Walker passed away suddenly on Tuesday. She would have turned 85 on March 24th. A memorial service for Ethel Walker was held yesterday.
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Comedy-magician Mac King debuts his new book, Mac King's Campfire Magic: 50 Amazing, Easy-to-Learn Tricks and Mind-Blowing Stunts...Using Cards, String, Pencils, and Other Stuff from Your Knapsack, next month. King's passion for reading is prevalent in his new book, that features dozens of easy-to-learn magic tricks and stunts, with a focus on feats that can be performed with rope, bandanas, twigs and anything else found around the campfire. The humorous, easy-to-follow, instructions are brought to life by well-known illustrator (and Mac's cousin) Bill King, who also draws the widely syndicated comic strip, "Mac King's Magic in a Minute." With Mac's instruction, and assisted by his sidekick, Lewis the Monkey, readers will learn how to tie a knot with one hand, read their friends' minds, grow a plant instantly, transform a dead twig into a leafy one and more. The children's book, published by Black Dog & Leventhal and with a Foreword by Penn & Teller, is suitable for children from ages nine through 12, and is set to debut in March at all major booksellers. Filled with 250 full-color illustrations, Mac King's Campfire Magic (ISBN 978-1-57912-829-6), in paperback, will sell for $12.95, plus tax. Mac King has been recognized with numerous accolades including "Favorite Male Las Vegan," and "Best Bargain Show" by the Las Vegas-Review Journal 2009 "Best of Las Vegas" readers' poll, "Funniest Act in Magic Today" by Magic Magazine, Magician of the Year by The Magic Castle, and "Entertainer of the Year" by the Las Vegas Weekly "Readers Choice Awards." King, one of today's brightest and most talented magicians, takes the stage twice daily, Tuesday through Saturday, at Harrah's Las Vegas at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Showroom Theatre. Tickets are $24.95 plus tax. Additional information on The Mac King Comedy Magic Show can be found by visiting www.mackingshow.com.
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On Monday, March 8th, from 7 to 10 p.m., Cabaret West Presents By popular demand, Cabaret West presents Mark Winkler's singers workshop, How To Make Your Own CD (and not go broke). This will take place at the Gardenia Restaurant and Lounge, at 7066 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood (that's in California). Singer, songwriter Winkler (who performed in Las Vegas with Judy Wexler on Valentine's Day, thanks to the Vegas Jazz Society) states,
"As I've been teaching my songwriting classes and talking with singers lately, I've been struck with how little the artists I've met know about making a CD. Due to the advances in recording technology, everybody can make a CD today - but as I've learned not everybody can make one that will satisfy their objectives and more importantly get them noticed. So, I've hatched the idea for this workshop." Winkler goes on to say, "I've produced or co-produced over 15 CDs, and that experience has taught me what works and what doesn't, what to spend your hard earned money on and what to say "no" to. Some of what I've learned is quite surprising. My one day workshop covers everything from song selection and choosing the correct recording studio, to hiring the right musicians, from how many tunes to record to mixing the record and then I'll tell you how to distribute and promote your CD. These are all things I've learned the hard way. I promise I'll get to the nitty-gritty. I'll give you costs, studios, time estimates and short cuts - no bull----. I have a plan to take you from the very beginning of CD production to the end. Just bring your questions, a pen and I promise a fun yet educational afternoon." Among those vouching for the merits of this workshop are singer Dolores Scozzesi who enthuses, Wow, what a brilliant class you gave today on how to make a CD without going broke . You were wonderful ...Tons and tons of information. Bravo, Mr. Winkler." Dick Winzeler (writer of Great Expectations and songs by Anita Baker and Diane Schurr) says, "Great session Mark. You covered so much, and so well. It was very appreciated. You certainly gave it your all." "That was such a GREAT workshop you gave today, I really enjoyed it, and so glad I was able to be there. It was chock full of so much hard earned valuable information gained from all your years of experience. I feel like I have some sound guidelines to go forward with now. Thanks so much for all your unequivocal sharing, and the nice handouts as well," says Julie Creswell, industry veteran, singer, guitarist. Workshop costs are $25 for Cabaret West Members and $35 for non members. For reservations, call the Cabaret West voice mail line at (310) 226-7033, or e-mail to [email protected]. Drinks and food will be available.
Joni Morris as Patsy Cline
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Tomorrow, Saturday, February 27th at 7 p.m., it's Lena Prima in Louis Prima, That's My Dad! At the Starbright Theatre, 2215 W. Thomas Ryan Blvd. in Sun City Summerlin. The legendary Louis Prima's youngest daughter, Lena, grew up singing and dancing on stage with her dad and is proudly continuing the tradition. Her high energy show features Prima classics including "That Old Black Magic," "Just A Gigolo," "Jump Jive 'An Wail" and "Sing Sing Sing." Rare video footage of Louis' Ed Sullivan Show performances and heartwarming stories of growing up as the daughter of a legend round out the show. This warm and gracious entertainer has headlined all over the country to sold-out audiences and has been received with standing ovations at festivals, theaters, nightclubs, performing arts centers, casinos and special events. She has received several awards including the Governor Lorraine Hunt Award for "Keeping Tradition Alive In Las Vegas" and the distinguished American Italian Cultural Roundtable of New York honored Lena for continuing her father's legacy and representing women in the field of jazz. Tickets are $20 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $25 for non-residents. All shows at the Starbright Theatre are first come, first served with no limit on the number of tickets purchased. Show tickets may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle community centers in Sun City Summerlin. All ticket prices include Live Entertainment Tax. Tickets are non-refundable. Starbright Theatre shows are open to everyone ages 12 and over. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. For more information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301.
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On February 17th, we attended The Edwards Twins show at Hennessey's Tavern, 425 Fremont Street, seeing it for the third time since it opened in downtown Las Vegas in late December. Each time we have been to Hennessey's, we have never seen the same show twice. There is always something different and/or new when the brothers take to the stage. New to us on our last visit was Anthony performing as Stevie Wonder. Very impressive...not just to us, but to someone who knows Stevie quite well and just happened to be in the Hennessey's audience on a recent night and saw Anthony's portrayal of the music legend. When we first met the twins, Anthony was playing piano and singing as the entertainment at the North Beach Café in Las Vegas, while Eddie was performing in the female impersonator show, An Evening at La Cage. Following a suggestion by Carol Burnett, the brothers united their individual talents and have been traveling around the world, successfully performing together, for about the past 20 years. The special occasion on the 17th, was a birthday celebration, with Anthony Edwards and Eddie Edwards turning 45. Anthony, who is older than Eddie by four minutes, tells us that their mother, Tricia, had no idea she was expecting twins and was completely surprised when she learned she was taking home two babies instead of just one. These two gentlemen have continued to surprise folks for most of their adult lives. This is the first time, in their joint career, that The Edwards Twins have done an ongoing show in the city that they call home. At Hennessey's, located at the east end of the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas, not only can you see a totally unique and entertaining show, but, in a "blast from the past," you can also have a real dinner in the same room where you see the show. The 6:30 dinner show is $45 all inclusive (beverages extra), while show only (at 8 p.m.) is $20. For reservations, call (702) 205-5313. Shows are dark on Fridays. The Edwards Twins ARE a Fremont Street Experience, and a very unique one at that.
March 20th through 22nd, the twins will be performing in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, so no Vegas shows on those nights.
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The City Of Las Vegas Cultural Arts & Community Events presents Legendary Ladies of Country Music, starring Joni Morris, tomorrow (Saturday, February 27th) at 2 p.m. Joni and her After Midnight Band will perform their tribute show at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St. (near Decatur and Charleston). Morris will sing songs made famous by Patsy Cline ("Crazy"), Kitty Wells ("Honky Tonk Angels"), Loretta Lynn ("You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man"), Tammy Wynette ("Stand By Your Man") and many more classic hits. Morris and her band have toured nationally for 15 years, sharing the stage with such renowned entertainers as The Gatlin Brothers, Glen Campbell, Highway 101, Neal McCoy, Janie Fricke, Ty Herndon and The Jordanaires. Morris has recorded several CDs, some containing songs she has written. Known for her extraordinary voice and ability to quickly develop a close bond with audiences, she includes comedy, costumes changes and some of her own original music in every show. Tickets are priced at $10 in advance and $15 on performance day. Call (702) 229-6383 for tickets and information.
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The extensive hit songbook of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, comes to life in Oh What A Night! at the Suncoast Showroom, Saturday, February 27th at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, the 28th at 4 p.m. Oh What A Night!, written and directed by independent Motown producer and creative consultant, George Solomon, and award-winning producer and director, Michael Chapman, is a tribute show that takes audiences on a musical journey through the hits of the famed group that formed in 1960. Recognizable songs such as "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like A Man," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," "My Eyes Adored You," "Working My Way Back To You," "Let's Hang On," and "Who Loves You," along with several other top ten hits, are a part of this exiting musical review. Frankie Valli's chart-topping recording "Grease," the title song from the hit 1978 film, is also a part of the revue and is sure to thrill audiences. Choreographed by Paul Holmquist, Oh What A Night! features four singers who stay true to the classic songs of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, adding their own interpretation to the hits without impersonating the original group. The show has thrilled audiences in theaters, showrooms and cruise ships around the world, including its sold-out engagement in the Suncoast Showroom in January of 2009. Tickets are now available from $19.95, plus tax, and may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 636-7075, or by visiting www.suncoastcasino.com.
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Hash House A Go Go joins together with KVVU FOX 5's MORE! anchors for the third year in a row to create special pancakes in honor of National Pancake Week. The original pancakes are being sold through Sunday, March 7th, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting local charity, Best Buddies. FOX 5's Jason Feinberg, Monica Jackson, Rachel Smith and newcomer Arran Andersen joined up with Chef Anthony Vidal of Hash House A Go Go to put their culinary skills to the test. Each anchor designed their own unique flapjack that is being sold at both Hash House A Go Go locations. The four dynamic anchors are being pitted against each other to find out whose pancake the community likes best. Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing opportunities for one-on-one friendships and integrated employment, will receive $2 from each of the FOX 5 pancakes sold. The best-selling flapjack will earn its creator the honor of having all the National Pancake Week proceeds donated to the charity in their name. Andersen's flapjack," My Pancake is Berry Berry Good," contains a mixture of blueberries, white sugar and white chocolate. Jackson's pancake is "SAW-C," which stands for strawberries, apples, white chocolate and cinnamon. Smith is keeping with her banana theme with the "Rachel's Banana Bonanza," a pancake made up of bananas, cinnamon and brown sugar and topped with whipped cream. Feinberg's "Itchy & Scratchy's Coco-Cocoa Kitty" is a tasty concoction of coconut, cocoa and chocolate. All four creations are featured on a special FOX 5 MORE! menu and priced at $8.95 each. The pancakes are available throughout breakfast, brunch and lunch at the 6800 W. Sahara location from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and at the Imperial Palace location from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Hash House A Go Go brings farm-fresh food with a funky, modern twist to the locals and visitors of Las Vegas. The well-known restaurant is famous for its unusual décor and enormous portions. Hash House A Go Go has garnered dozens of local and national accolades and has been featured on the Food Network, Martha Stewart, Dr. Phil and, most recently, the popular Travel Channel program, Man v. Food. For reservations or inquiries, please call the Sahara location at (702) 804-4646, the Imperial Palace location at (702) 254-4646, or visit www.hashhouseagogo.com.
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Next Wednesday, March 3rd, in two shows (one at 7:30 and one at 9:30 p.m., the Cabaret at the Liberace Museum presents, Travis Cloer, Setting the Standard. Travis Cloer has been entertaining and wowing audiences for almost 20 years. Originally from Kansas City, he has performed for audiences all over the world. His stage credits include, West Side Story, Damn Yankees, Starlight Express, Assassins, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. He joined the original Broadway cast of the smash hit Jersey Boys in 2007 and has been starring in the Las Vegas production of the show as Frankie Valli since 2008. His one man show, The Power of Music, has made him one of the most sought after entertainers in the cruise industry. Travis is also an acclaimed recording artist. His best selling album, Setting the Standard, features some of his favorite songs from the Great American Songbook, and his album, Christmas from the City, will complete your holiday music collection. Both albums have been given rave reviews, including 5 stars from iTunes. Check out Travis at www.traviscloer.com for more information on music, video, and upcoming appearances. Tickets: $20 in advance, and $25 at the door. The Liberace Museum is located at 1775 E. Tropicana at Spencer in Las Vegas. Call (702) 798-5595.
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Michael Ray Tyler
Next Friday, the Freakin' Frog, at 4700 S. Maryland Parkway (across from UNLV), will host a CD release party/performance for Michael Ray Tyler, beginning at 8 p.m. After high school in 1983 and a scholarship at the University of Kansas where he later received a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1992, Tyler was introduced to the life of a musician on the road. He toured and performed with Wayne Newton in 1992-93. Since then, he has opened for Lionel Richie, Stevie Nicks, and Jay Leno, and has also performed as backup performer for such artists as Lou Rawls, Kid Creole, Joan Rivers, Mary Wilson, and currently makes his base in Las Vegas, where he performs at such events as Sho West, Andre Agassi Foundation Fundraisers, McDonald's Corporation Events, Macintosh, IBM, Nortel, Microsoft webpage, Toyota, State Farm, Century 21, Morgan Stanley, Oreck, Tiger Woods Jams Events, Wendy's and many more. Tyler received his Master's in Jazz Composition from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1999. Tyler is one of the most talented, and respected professionals in town. He's worked as a composer, arranger, producer, engineer and educator. And, whether he's performing with his own band, or some of the most well known performers in the industry, Michael Ray is a musicians' musician. His innovative, versatile style puts him in a class all his own. Tyler is not only known for his smooth vocal nuances, but also for his extraordinary and skillful Instrumental abilities. As an up and coming artist, Michael produces, composes and arranges all of the music for his group, and his work speaks for itself. Audiences have praised his originality and fresh new approach time and time again.
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Grammy-nominated artist and international recording icon, Engelbert Humperdinck, brings his legacy of love, sensitive interpretation of lyrics and distinct charm to the 827-seat Orleans Showroom stage March 5th, 6th and 7th. Born Arnold George Dorsey in Madras, India, on May 2, 1936, the popular singer became famous internationally during the 1960s and 1970s, after adopting the name of the famous 19th century German opera composer, Engelbert Humperdinck as his own stage name. Once called "The premier voice of the 20th century" by the London Times, Humperdinck first hit the charts with his smash hit "Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)," which went to No. 1 in 11 countries. The next decade brought such hits as "After the Lovin'," "Winter World of Love," "Am I That Easy To Forget," "There Goes My Everything," "This Moment In Time," and "A Man Without Love." As a seasoned performer and singer extraordinaire, Humperdinck continues to captivate audiences with his ultra smooth charisma and inspiring collection of ballades. He has recorded more than 80 albums in his 40-year career including many multi-language versions, selling more than 150 million records worldwide—64 gold and 24 platinum albums. Humperdinck has performed for Her Majesty the Queen, several Presidents, and many Heads of State. In 1978, he received many accolades including the "Georgie Award" from the American Guild of Variety Artists recognizing his as "Entertainer of the Year." In 1988, his performance of "One World" was seen by over 5 billion people around the globe, kicking off the Seoul Summer Olympics. He has also used his fame to raise funds for numerous charitable causes. Tickets are available now and are priced from $54.95, plus tax. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 365-7075, or visiting www.orleanscasino.com.
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Art Vargas brings his fifties-style lounge flair to Addison's Lounge inside Rampart Casino, 221 N. Rampart Blvd., tonight (Friday, February 26th) and tomorrow night at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. The performances include tributes to legendary stars of the Las Vegas Strip, including Bobby Darin, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra. Singing since the age of 12, Vargas has developed a love for the classic music of the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s eras. Vargas was asked to portray Bobby Darin in Legends in Concert after a casting agent saw him at a Detroit nightclub. After performing as a principal in Legends for eight years, Vargas moved on to an individual entertainer on the club and lounge circuit, playing venues in Atlantic City, Myrtle Beach and Branson, Missouri. Dressed in era-styled suits, Vargas brings his enthusiasm and energy to the stage while belting out the timeless hits. Vargas has received positive reviews for his act, winning "Best Singer/ Performer" from Las Vegas Review-Journal and "Most Exciting Performer" from Vegas.com. Admission is $10 at the cage, and $15 at the door, and includes one complimentary drink.
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The UNLV Department of Music presents the 10th Annual African-American Music Celebration on Sunday, February 28 at 6 p.m. in Doc Rando Concert Hall located on the northeast end of the university campus in Beam Music Building. More than 100 performers - UNLV vocal students, ensembles, and solo performances by undergraduate and graduate voice majors - will participate in this annual celebration of the African-American experience. A variety of spirituals and freedom songs will be performed, including "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Walk Together Children" and "I Want To Be Ready." Featured performers include the UNLV Spiritual Ensemble, UNLV Dance Ensemble, and Vocal Area soloists. The Legacy High Madrigal Singers, conducted by William McKoy and the UNLV Dance Ensemble choreographed by Richard Havey, also will appear. There is no charge to attend this performance.
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Joe Williams by Ed Foster
Sadly, it looks like there will be no Joe Williams Concert this year...at least not at in April or May, when it usually takes place. Why? Because the team that puts the annual event together, was unable to get a room to hold it in. These concerts, done to raise money for College of Southern Nevada music scholarships, have been going on for about 20 years, with folks like Jack Jones, Robert Goulet, Ruth Brown, Marlena Shaw, Julius LaRosa, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bob Anderson and Artie Butler, among those lending their talents. It was hoped that this years' effort, with Diane Schuur scheduled to headline, would add another paragraph to the legend that is jazz singer Joe Williams. Perhaps, some benevolent hotel mogul will come forward to offer a suitable room or theater, for a spring concert date in 2010. Before he passed away in Las Vegas in 1999, Williams had called this city home for many years. Joe's widow, Jillean, still resides here and is a familiar sight at many of the local music offerings.
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Three-time Oscar and five-time GRAMMY Award-winner, Michel Legrand, will perform a tribute to his 50 years of music and movies at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, March 27th. Over the course of his 50-year career, Legrand has composed more than 200 film and television scores as well as several musicals. Legrand was only 22 years old when his first album, I Love Paris, became one of the best-selling instrumental albums ever released. He is a virtuoso jazz and classical pianist as well as accomplished arranger and conductor who performs with orchestras worldwide. Hosted by actors Jon Voight and Jennifer O'Neil, during the show, Legrand will conduct a 66-piece orchestra and perform with many of his superstar friends such as Jack Jones, Roberta Flack, Dionne Warwick, Steve Lawrence, Melissa Manchester, Neil Sedaka, Jerry Lewis, Andy Williams, George Benson and Patti Page. The event will pay musical tribute to some of Legrand's Academy Award-winning MGM movies, including Yentl, The Thomas Crown Affair and Summer of ‘42. The superstar extravaganza also will be captured on film for a made-for-TV-special to air at a later date. "I am thrilled to have the honor to produce and work with Michel Legrand and such an ensemble cast," said Vincent Vellardita, producer and president of Valencia Entertainment. "Legrand is a musical genius and for many years has touched people in all age groups with his work. We have commitments from some of the biggest names in the industry to take part in this television special and we look forward to announcing them in the next few weeks." Legrand recorded more than 100 albums with international musical stars who span the genres of jazz, variety, and classical, to name a few. He has worked with such diverse musicians as Phil Woods, Ray Charles, Perry Como, Neil Diamond, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, James Ingram, Jack Jones, Frankie Laine, Tereza Kesovija, Johnny Mathis, Jessye Norman, Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Sarah Vaughan and Regine Velasquez, Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Legrand has earned an Emmy nomination, 13 Oscar nominations which resulted in the three victories as well as the five GRAMMY Awards. The event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $150, $85 and $62.50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and will be sold at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye