Lovin' Jazz In Vegas!

Lisa Smith, Singer…Classic Jazz, Contemporary Edge!

Archive for the tag “Mark Giovi”

Las Vegas Entertainers SALUTE TO BILL FAYNE!

Yesterday, March 6, 2010, my vocal trio Dangerous Curves had the FABULOUS experience of singing with some of the greatest talent in Las Vegas at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino when we participated in the “Las Vegas Entertainers SALUTE TO BILL FAYNE!”

The rundown for the show read like a regular “who’s who” of the BEST talent in the city, and we were incredibly honored to have been asked to be a part of it! In addition to those pictured to the right (Michelle Johnson, Fifth Avenue, Lou Martinez, Swing City Dolls, Dangerous Curves), the AMAZING cast included: Clint Holmes & Kelly Clinton (who hosted the show together), Terry Fator, Louis Anderson, Rick Faugno (Jersey Boys), Jerry Lopez (Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns), Pete Barbutti, Robin Leach, Lance Burton, Mark Giovi (Bite at Stratosphere), Domenick Allen (former lead singer of Foreigner) and his daughter Cayleigh Capaldi, Susan Anton, Cast members from Menopause the Musical (Skye Dee Miles, Sandra Benton, Vida Corimbi), Lena Prima, Voce Vegas, Frankie Scinta, Las Vegas Tenors, Tina Walsh (Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular), Gayle Steele, Vinnie Falcone, and many, MANY more!!!! It was absolutely incredible!

Some of my favorite moments from the day include:

  • Singing backups (with Karen, Gret, Lori & Michelle) for Mark Giovi on his original song, “Young Angels”…GREAT song, and the man can SANG!
  • Rockin’ out and sharing a mic with the incredible Domenick Allen in the finale of the show…so much talent in one man!
  • Spending time with so many of our talented, wonderful friends!!!!!!!

THANK YOU to everyone involved for a FABULOUS day!

If you don’t know Bill Fayne (amazing arranger and musical director for Clint Holmes, and member of Las Vegas Tenors) or don’t know the story behind why we were all participating in this benefit concert, you can read his story in this recent article from the Las Vegas Sun.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Okay, so as you can tell by my the fact that I am actually WRITING something, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is going to be to update my blog more often…like more than once every 6 months!!! LOL… So, I thought I would start the year with a few highlights from the past few months and give you a little update as to where things are now…

SEPTEMBER was a busy month for Ron and myself. First, we headed down to California over Labor Day weekend for my 20-year Young Americans Japan Tour Reunion…what a BLAST! So many people that I hadn’t seen in years…and they all looked fantastic (and surprisingly YOUNG…ya gotta love that about performers)! A HUGE thank you to Tiff, Craig & David for planning everything and putting in so much work to make sure the entire day was so successful…you guys are the best! Immediately upon returning, Ron and I went back to work preparing for the Heritage Makers Annual Convention, where we hosted the HM’s Got Talent competition, and performed a bunch of our own material, less than 2 weeks later. It was a LOT of work getting it all ready, but ended up being so much fun. Thanks so much to Doug, Brytt and Chris for inviting us to perform, and congratulations to the winners of the competition and to all who participated…you ladies ROCKED! The following week, I was off to the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco for a couple of days to sing an evening of Jazz at a swanky corporate event…got to sing all of my favorite music, wear a pretty dress, and I got paid too…gosh I LOVE my job!

Shades of Sinatra on Channel 13 News!

OCTOBER was equally as busy and also oh-so-much FUN! The first week was filled with special appearances with Shades of Sinatra as we went throughout Las Vegas (San Gennaro Feast, Radio Appearance on KJUL 104.3, Spotlight Appearance on Hit Parade, Television Appearance on KTNV-Channel 13 News) to promote our headlining weekend, October 3-4, at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. We added several new songs to the show this past year–You Will Be My Music, Lady is a Tramp [Ella & Frank version], The House I Live In, Winners, One For My Baby, Where or When, Please Be Kind, Don’cha Go Away Mad–and the crowd really seemed to love all the new stuff.  As a bonus, we also got to promote our brand new CD!

The next week (from October 7-12), Ron and I flew to Hyannis, MA to rehearse & perform with the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra for their Gershwin Pops Concert. Talk about FABULOUS and FUN! Wow, we could not have asked for a better experience. The symphony conductor, Jung-Ho Pak, is not ONLY one of the most talented conductors we’ve ever worked with, he is seriously one of THE NICEST people we’ve ever met! We cannot express enough what a wonderful experience it was working with him and with everyone involved with the orchestra…we are just so grateful for the opportunity we were given. The show turned out to be a wonderful success for all involved…the 1400-seat theatre was completely sold-out for EVERY night of the performance!

“Rhythmic razzle-dazzle, toe-tapping jazz and swinging tunes explode in a tribute to the indomitable master of melody, George Gershwin. From Broadway to the silver screen, from Fred Astaire to Sting, Gershwin’s creative output transcends musical styles and idioms with off-the-charts hits like An American in Paris, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, S’Wonderful, and Summertime.  An intriguing virtual performance of Gershwin’s famous Rhapsody in Blue combined with a dynamic singing duo, husband and wife team Ron and Lisa Smith, up the volume on a performance packed with entertainment.”

CMA Awards - October 15, 2009

From Gershwin to Motown…just a few days later I had the opportunity to perform the following songs,

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Natural Woman
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
My Girl/Guy
Proud Mary

for the Motown themed CMA Awards at the Golden Nugett Hotel & Casino, dressed in 1960′s clothing, complete with big, blond wig & 3-inch Go-Go boots (ouch!).  The event planner/client, Jodi, turned out to be incredibly nice and even followed up by writing a fabulous review on GigMasters when it was all finished:

“Lisa was easy to work with, accommodating, talented, adorable and fun! Everyone loved her. I’d recommend her to anyone.” – Jodi Owens, Event Planner for Credit Management Association, Las Vegas, NV (Oct 15, 2009)

Lisa Smith

The next day I headed down to Riverside, CA with Dennis & Karen Michaels (two of my very FAVORITE people to sing with!) to perform for the BIA (Builders Industry Association) Awards Dinner at the Mission Inn Hotel. We were hired by Stargazer Productions to do a “singing waiters” gig…lots of GREAT MUSIC and I didn’t actually have to wait on ANY TABLES! Gotta love that!! Lol… :)

I ended the month (October 31, Halloween night) at Les Artistes Steakhouse at the Paris Hotel & Casino, singing an evening of Jazz Standards with Gary Stevens (piano) & Jeff Davis (bass). Their “regular” singer had another gig that evening so I got to fill in…what a great night!

Um, feel free to call me again anytime guys…seriously, anytime!

Dangerous Curves at Lupus Walk, 2009

Las Vegas Lupus Walk!

NOVEMBER was mostly about rehearsing for the numerous Christmas gigs coming up in December! In addition to getting ready for our annual appearance at the Las Vegas Lupus Walk (where we sing the National Anthem every year for the Alliance for Lupus Research), the gals of Dangerous Curves decided to take on a few more “challenging” arrangements for the Holidays, including a KICK “A” big-band arrangement of Jingle Bells that ended up requiring a few more rehearsals than we were used to!!!!! But the good news is, it really paid off! In fact, we’re thinking about keeping that new rehearsal schedule as we head into the new year…

November also marked the beginning of the 3rd month of our album “Girl Talk” being on iTunes…it’s been really fun to watch the sales increase month after month!  It’s been getting great reviews too!  In addition, we used this month to finish our EPK (Electronic Press Kit) and create a NEW website. You can check them both out by visiting us on the web at www.DangerousCurvesLasVegas.com.  And remember, you can follow us on Twitter AND Facebook as well!

Howard Hewett, Lisa Smith, Galaxy GlennThe only other appearance I had in November was as the opening act for Howard Hewett (legendary singer/songwriter & former member of the group Shalamar) at the Coker Foundation Annual Benefit Concert.  The event was hosted by the very talented comedian Galaxy Glenn and I presented 30 minutes of Jazz, Blues and R&B. To be quite honest, I was more than a bit nervous opening for such incredible talent…but everyone was extremely nice, and the concert turned out to be a HUGE success! Whew!!!!

Dangerous Curves, Christmas 2009Well, that brings us to DECEMBER! The beginning of the month was all about Dangerous Curves…with 7 performances in 5 days, the girls were quite busy!  On December 6th we had the opportunity to sing at all 3 services for the wonderful congregation of New Song Church in Anthem…we sang an absolutely BEAUTIFUL a cappella arrangement of Star of Wonder, written by Terre Roche (of the incredible vocal trio, The Roches). Thank you to Pastor Dave & Pastor Marta for always being so welcoming and for inviting us back again & again!

Immediately following those performances, we jumped in our cars and headed down to the Library District Performing Arts Center for the Performing Arts Society of Nevada’s Annual Holiday Show, where we shared the stage with some of Las Vegas’ best talent, including three of OUR favorite musical ladies, Kellie Wright, Cyndi-Lee Mack & Dolly Coulter. We premiered our new Jingle Bells arrangement AND sang a very fun rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town with Dennis Michaels, based on the FABULOUS Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters arrangement recorded back in 1943! Thanks Tom & John…we always have a great time performing in your shows!

On Wednesday, December 9th, we performed for the ROWC Annual Holiday Party out at Nellis AFB. We did 30 minutes of music, which included:

  • Star of Wonder
  • Love Being Here With You
  • Old-Time Radio Medley (Sentimental Journey, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Old Cape Cod)
  • Cloudburst
  • Jingle Bells
  • Moon River
  • Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town

We had a wonderful time, and the ladies were so complimentary. A big thanks to Virginia & Janet for inviting us!

The next day, December 10, Dangerous Curves appeared on the Hit Parade Show at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. Hosting that day were the incredibly talented Mark Giovi & Robin Vincent (of “Swing City Dolls”). We sang Jingle Bells & Star of Wonder. As always, we just LOVED performing for the Suncoast crowd…they are always so appreciative of everything we do!

We finished the week at Studio 8 Ten, downtown in the Art District, performing for their Annual Holiday Open House on Friday evening. We presented an hour of music (a mixture of Holiday music and some Dangerous Curves’ favorites) for the guests and staff. And talk about a wonderful cause…here’s a little information about Studio 8 Ten:

Studio 8 Ten is a non-profit arts and crafts studio providing paid training and employment for adults with disabilities in Las Vegas’ Transition Services supported employment programs. Resident artists train in the design, production, and sales of over 50 different handmade products, all unique to our company, and learn the specifics of running their own business. Studio 8 Ten fosters pride, self-sufficiency, and self-esteem by providing positive interaction with the community and opportunities to show off their personal talents. All proceeds from sales in the gift shop go directly back into the program to purchase supplies, upkeep facilities, and pay the individuals for their efforts.

Just before our performance at the Stirling Club, December 15, 2009

The following week, Ron and I performed a 30-minute version of our popular “Christmas Thru the Decades” Show for the Towne Club Holiday Luncheon at the Stirling Club at Turnberry Place. This is such a fun show to do because it includes all the BEST Holiday music from the 1930′s thru the 1960′s! Songs such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1934), Baby It’s Cold Outside (1944), Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (1944), Let It Snow (1945), White Christmas (1947), Blue Christmas (1957), What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve (1960), Please Come Home for Christmas (1960), Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (1960), You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch (1966), and more…

(Note: The years given above are based on certain recordings of the individual songs, not necessarily the year the song was written.)

The week of the 21st, Ron and I performed the show 2 more times. First for the Foreign Travel Club Holiday Party (20-minute version of the show) at Desert Vista Community Center in Sun City Summerlin, and then out in Boulder City for the residents & staff of the Nevada State Veterans Home (full 1-hour show). Both audiences were so wonderful and appreciative…particularly at the Veterans Home. It is one of our all-time favorite places to perform! Thanks so much Angela for having us back again this year!

To see available shows OR to book Lisa & Ron Smith for YOUR event, please visit www.BeyondTalentProductions.com

New Year’s Eve found me at 2 different gigs at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. The first was with Shades of Sinatra for our New Year’s at NOON Show in the main showroom, and the second was an evening of Jazz at SC Prime Steakhouse for their New Year’s Eve Dinner. Accompanied by the FABULOUSLY talented Dehner Franks on piano, it was an evening I will not soon forget! Completely wonderful in so many ways. To begin with, the restaurant is absolutely stunning, the food is spectacular, and everyone that works there is so nice. Secondly, it was such an HONOR to work with Dehner! He is so incredible and so much fun to sing with. I need to say a HUGE thank you to Glenda Zuhse (who recommended me for the gig, was SO sweet & accommodating the entire evening, and even arranged a Birthday cake for me!!!!) and Terry Jenkins for giving me the opportunity. Thanks for everything!

And that about wraps it up…2009 was quite a FULL year! I am grateful for so many things in my life–my family, my friends, my health, having a “job” that never feels like a job, those who actually take the time to read this blog :), etc–but I am MOST thankful for my dear, sweet, sexy, hard-working husband who is my best friend and supports me in everything I do…I love you so much honey…thanks for a great year!

Look out, 2010, HERE WE COME!

Sunday Night with “Zowie Bowie” at Green Valley Ranch Casino

entertainment2A couple of Sundays ago, Ron and I headed out to Green Valley Ranch Casino, in Henderson, to catch Chris Phillips and Marley Taylor, also known as “Zowie Bowie,” perform their Vintage Vegas Big Band show in the “Ovation Showroom.”  Very fun!  Several of our good friends were in attendance as well: Carmine Mandia (of “Shades of Sinatra”), Ed Mathews (Desert Productions and producer of “Hit Parade” at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino), Justin Olsen (President of “Swing Beat Entertainment”), Mark Giovi (AMAZING tenor and Lead Singer in the late-night Vegas show, “Bite” at The Stratosphere Hotel), and Ned Mills (musical director of “Shades of Sinatra” and creator of “Lionardo: Piano Follies”).  Upon arrival, Ron and I were immediately recognized and greeted by Buddy who treated us like absolute royalty, showing us to the “reserved” tables and making sure we (along with my mom and dad) were well taken care of all evening long.  It was quite something.  Talk about “old Las Vegas style”…I loved it!  Thanks Buddy…you’re the BEST!

Hangin' with Buddy, Chris (Zowie Bowie) and Mark after the show!

Ron and I hangin' with Buddy, Chris (Zowie Bowie) and Mark after the show!

As for the show, it was incredibly entertaining.  Featuring a 12-piece big band, and some of the greatest music of all time (Sinatra, Steve and Eydie, Sammy Davis Jr, Bobby Darin, etc…), Zowie Bowie’s Vintage Vegas show was a total hit with the crowd (plus, if you haven’t noticed from the photo above, Chris and Marley aren’t exactly tough to look at!  Talk about GORGEOUS…SOOOO not fair!!) :) AND not only are they talented and gorgeous, they also happen to be two of the nicest, most genuine people I know…very sweet and VERY fun!

Unfortunately, this looks like it may have been one of that last times that you (or I) will be able to catch their Big Band Show at Green Valley Ranch.  But fortunately, it’s for a very good reason.  Chris and Marley are headed to the PALMS Hotel & Casino!! Yes, that’s right!  Beginning March 6th, 2009, you’ll be able to catch “Zowie Bowie” every Friday and Saturday night in “The Lounge” at the Palms Hotel & Casino.  And although it will most likely be their Top 40 Show, rather than the Big Band show (my personal favorite), you can be assured it will be an FABULOUS evening!  CONGRATS on your move to the PALMS, Chris and Marley….you two deserve it!  We had a great time at the show, and we look forward to seeing you again soon…

To find out more about Zowie Bowie, check out their official website at www.zowiebowie.com.

Another GREAT Show at the “Hit Parade” at Suncoast Casino!

With Lorena Provincio, Gary Oldes, and Karen Murphey Following the "Hit Parade Show"

With Lorena Provincio, Gary Oldes, and Karen Murphy following the "Hit Parade Show"

Wanted to take a few moments to let everyone know about the GREAT show we saw last Thursday, with our dear friend Karen Murphy, at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino! If you don’t know already, every Thursday afternoon at 2:00pm the Suncoast Hotel and Casino in Summerlin hosts a FREE show for their Coast Club Members (and by the way, it’s FREE to become a Coast Club Member) in their 500-seat showroom called “The Hit Parade.”  It’s produced by Ed Mathews, co-founder of Desert Productions, who also produces many of the popular, and always sold-out, evening shows at the Suncoast (including The Las Vegas Tenors and Shades of Sinatra).  The weekly show, which got it’s start back in 2006, features some of the best acts and musicians found in Las Vegas.  Each week the regular co-hosts (Jay Robert Joseph and Terri Lynn Pershing) and the extremely talented band (Ned Mills, musical director/keyboards/vocals; Gary Oldes, drums/vocals; Jiggs Hemsley, sax/flute) bring the audience an entirely new show and a different featured guest entertainer.

Bobby Black

Bobby Black

This past week, the guest entertainer was Bobby Black (of the Las Vegas Tenors) and the female co-host (filling in for an absent Terri Lynn) was Robin Berry-Vincent, one of the Las Vegas “Swing Sisters.”  Occasionally, they will also feature an up-and-coming artist to do a song or two, and this week the audience was fortunate to have classical singer Lorena Provincio share her beautiful voice.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see Bobby Black perform, you are totally missing out.  He really is an incredible singer.  While I may not always agree with Bobby’s business decisions (particularly everything that happened with Mark Giovi…don’t even get me started on that one…), I have to admit that he is absolutely one of the best singers in Las Vegas right now.  He presented a full 25 minutes of non-stop entertainment, and the audience loved him.

In fact, as a whole, last Thursday’s show was quite possibly one of the best “Hit Parade” shows I’ve seen there (and we’ve seen, and actually performed in, a lot of them).  Jay and Robin worked great together (both of them are incredibly seasoned performers who know how to choose the right songs for their voices…an often underestimated talent) and the addition of Ned Mills as musical director/accompanist (together with Gary Oldes) has made a HUGE difference in the quality of the show in general.

You can pick up your FREE tickets for the weekly show at the Suncoast Box Office every Monday between noon and 8pm (although, I would suggest getting there early…the regulars start lining up by about 10:00am and tickets go QUICKLY!!). :)

To read more about talented co-host Robin Berry-Vincent, visit the “Swing Sisters” Website at www.swingsisterslasvegas.com/bios.php

To learn more about co-host Jay Robert Joseph (what a fantastic singer and performer!), visit his website at www.JayRobertJoesph.com

Visit the Las Vegas Tenors website to learn more about Bobby Black: www.LasVegasTenors.com

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