THIS WEEKEND at Rhythm Kitchen with Blu Flame 6!

Quick Announcement:

THIS WEEKEND, Friday, August 19 & Saturday, August 20th, I will be singing with Blu Flame 6 at The Rhythm Kitchen in Las Vegas!

Here’s all the info….HOPE YOU CAN MAKE IT! :)

BluFlame6 featuring Jazz Vocalist Lisa Smith
2 nights ONLY, special appearance, at The Rhythm Kitchen!

Blu Flame 6 is a Retro-sonic Jump R & B band, with a generous amount of Soul, ladled into a mélange of steamy Latin, Delta-Blues, and Funky rhythms. Blu Flame 6 has all burners on high…

Don’t miss this EXCITING evening of INCREDIBLE MUSIC!

9:00pm – 12:00am
GREAT FOOD….DRINK SPECIALS!

The Rhythm Kitchen
6435 S. Decatur Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89118
(702) 767-8438

Tickets $10 at the door
(or contact Eddie Sasso, of Blu Flame 6, to purchase advanced tickets @ 702-496-1547)

My New iPad – PERFECT for Gigs!!!

Just had to take a moment to write about my new iPad and how great it is for gigs! I absolutely LOVE it!!!! Consider that I usually bring a small suitcase FULL of lyric books and fakebooks to my gigs…literally, a SUITCASE!…particularly the one at Gold Coast Casino because we take so many requests. Now, I only bring my iPad and the charts for whatever musicians I am using (which many times means ONLY the piano book if it’s a jazz gig). I used it for the first time on New Year’s Eve for both The Orleans gig and SC Prime Steakhouse, and it went great…SOOOO much easier! My favorite apps so far are the iRealBook and the unrealBook. PERFECT for the working musician and singer!

The iRealBook is absolutely AMAZING…their website describes the app like this:

“iRealBook is an app for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android that contains a collection of hundreds of chord charts of jazz standards, jazz classics, latin, brazilian, pop classics and more.”

They also have a forum of user-added charts where you can easily download (and EDIT) hundreds more! In addition, you can easily transpose the charts to any key you want and email them anywhere, AND it now features a music player which lets you PLAY the music as well (sounds like a LIVE jazz trio accompanying you…well, sort of….but DEFINITELY good enough to practice to). In the photo of me above, that’s the app I have open on the iPad. And guess what? It only costs $9.99!!!! I know…REALLY inexpensive for what you get!

The unrealBook app on the iPad

The other app I mentioned, the unrealBook, is equally as COOL, but for different reasons. This is where I have PDFs of all my lyric sheets and any other charts or sheet music not already on iRealBook. Their website features a list of the app’s features:

  • unrealBook allows you to access your entire library of music or lyrics on your iPad with ease.
  • Replace your bulky and heavy binders with a small and light iPad filled with your music PDF files.
  • The alphabetized and indexed list makes it easy to find the song you are looking for.
  • No more asking for a light for your music stand on dark stages.
  • No more worrying about a breeze turning a page by accident.
  • Search for a song quickly and easily.
  • Create bookmarks that allow you to easily load up a large PDF and go directly to a page within.
  • Use bookmarks and PDF files together to create set lists for different gigs.
  • Hot spots allow you place highlighted areas on the page that allow you to jump from one page to another when pressed (think To Coda and D.S. signs).
  • There is a built in music player so you can listen to your music while you check out the score!
  • Connect to the world via email, URL download, dropbox support.
  • Annotate your scores with auto-highlighted text and colored pens with different sizes.
  • Create set lists easily. Jump to any song in a set list directly or step through the set list sequentially.

Within just a few hours of downloading the unrealBook (which cost $4.99), I had converted all my lyrics sheets to PDF (previously in Microsoft Word, converted to PDF form using Cute PDF Writer, freeware version) and uploaded them to the iPad. Within the app itself, I then created “set lists” based on song style (medium swing, jazz ballad, etc.) so that I could find what I was looking for easily and quickly during a gig, and added text to each lyric sheet indicating the key. Voila! I now have close to 400 lyric sheets ready to access anytime with one finger!!!!!! So easy…

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE technology!!! :)

Friday Night’s Gig at PRESIDIO!

Had such a great time on last night’s gig at PRESIDIO Restaurant at The District at Green Valley Ranch! I have to admit, though, I was really nervous going into it.

To begin with, we had a brand new guitarist on the gig (John Falbo), whom I had NEVER played with before, and even though I had my regular keyboardist & drummer (Tony Branco & Gary Olds) with me, 90% of the music we ended up doing was NOT the classic jazz stuff we usually do TOGETHER. Scary! And although I’ve sung Motown, R&B & some Rock in the past with other bands, I’d say close to 50% of what we did last night was completely brand new to me as well. LOTS of new songs! But, guess what? It turned out great! John was flippin’ A-MAZING on the guitar…really, really incredible. And Tony and Gary are such pros..listening to them, you would think they’d been playing that stuff together for years.

So I’d like to send out a HUGE thank you to Perry Bruno (manager of PRESIDIO Restaurant) for having us there…seriously, one of the NICEST guys in Vegas AND a really fantastic musician himself (he sat in on drums during the last set for a totally kick-a$& rendition of  “Teach Me Tonight”….very, very fun!).

Here’s some video from the gig that I posted to YouTube this morning:

Not sure when we’ll be back, but if you get a chance, go check out the restaurant…really great food and the nicest staff ever! PRESIDIO Restaurant (formerly Kennedy Tavern), 2235 Village Walk Drive, Suite 141, Henderson, NV 89052

Have a great weekend everyone!

“Music Success in Nine Weeks”

Um, okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted…like 5 months!!!!!!! OMG, I am so sorry. While part of the reason I have been so horrible about posting is that I’ve been really busy, I realize that’s not a good excuse. Everyone is busy, right? So, no excuses…here we go…again:

I am reading a new book, “Music Success in Nine Weeks” by Ariel Hyatt, and I am getting SO MUCH out of it that I just HAD to take a quick moment to share about it. Here’s a brief description from the website:

Music Success in Nine Weeks is a guide for musicians to define their brand, grow their fan-base, earn more income, and achieve success in the digital environment, whether they are new to the industry or longtime artists. Music Success in Nine Weeks provides the missing manual for musicians trying to make sense of the social media revolution and explains step-by-step how to create a profitable and sustainable business from their music. Just released in its second edition, the book can easily be deemed the “what to do next” bible for both new and established artists. Structured like a workbook, with room for exercises and notes, the book takes all of the guesswork out of where to start and how to achieve success as a musician in today’s world.

The first chapter is all about GOAL SETTING, getting things DONE, and celebrating your SUCCESSES. After writing out all of my goals by hand, I purchased a great little iPhone app (for my iTouch) call 2Do and transferred them all into there. In the two weeks I’ve been using it, it has proven to be an absolute God-send for helping me follow through on the goals and tasks that I set for myself each day (which in turn helps get me that much closer to all of my short-term, 12-month and lifetime goals!). Highly recommend checking it out.

The second chapter is about creating your PERFECT PITCH…the idea being that you need a succinct way to explain to someone who has never heard your music what’s it’s like. Here’s  what I came up with: “Classic Jazz, Contemporary Edge.” Took me a few days to settle on that, but I think it sums up what I do pretty well. Any thoughts???? Then I went through all of my various websites, social networks, and added that “tagline” to the top of every page.

Chapter 3 is about OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBSITES! Making sure they load quickly, giving them a consistent feel (using the same colors/photos on all of your various profile pages across the net, so that you can begin to establish a “branding look” of your own), linking all of your sites together, etc. TONS of great info there! Still working on this chapter, but I’ve gotten quite a bit done. Check out my website, www.lisasmithjazz.com, and my NEW twitter page, www.twitter.com/lovinazz! Let’s just say I’ve been having a lot of FUN in Photoshop this week!!! Let me know what you think???

I still have several chapters to go, but I am absolutely LOVING everything I have gotten out of the book so far…thanks Ariel!!!!!!

Winner of 2009 RISING STAR AWARD!!!

I am SO excited because I just found out that I was awarded the 2009 Rising Star Award from www.GigMasters.com, an online booking site where I am listed…apparently, I am ranked the #1 Jazz Singer in all of the United States AND Canada! Really?!?!?! How cool is that? Yeah baby!!!!

On Monday, March 22, they will be distributing a nationwide press release to all of their press & industry contacts announcing the winners. If you’d like to see my GigMasters profile, you can view it here: http://www.gigmasters.com/singer/LisaSmith/

I know it’s not like winning a Tony or Grammy Award, or anything even remotely similar…but to me it’s a big deal. I’ve worked really hard this past year, and it’s nice to get noticed a little in return. So, thank you to GigMasters for this honor, and thank you to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me to live my dreams and do what I love!!! I am very grateful…

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!