Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mid-week update Feb 26th

First, this news in the Las Vegas Sun:
Elite jazz quartet to perform Sunday
By Jerry Fink · February 25, 2009 · 6:12 PM

For less than the price of a CD jazz fans can hear live music performed by a quartet of elite Las Vegas musicians this weekend. The Hammond B-3 Quartet makes its debut concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Winchester Culture Center.

“There’s a possibility we could keep this going if we get a good response Sunday,” says Ronnie Foster, one of the nation’s premier Hammond B-3 organists. “I love all the players in the band.”

With Foster are Calvin Brooks on guitar, Bobby “Boppin’” Barnes on tenor saxophone and Jess Gopen on drums.

Foster was a member of George Benson’s band for many years and recorded with the likes of Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Chet Atkins, David Sanborn, Sheila E., Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lee Ritenour, the Temptations, Stanley Clarke, Robbie Robertson, Earl Klugh, Stanley Turrentine and Grant Green.

Brooks performed for President Clinton as part of Aretha Franklin’s band and worked with singer Lou Rawls and with many of the stars of Motown. He has recorded four albums, including the highly-praised “Jazz Standards Recorded Live,” made at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

Barnes was a key figure in the Detroit jazz scene before retiring to Las Vegas and Gopen is a member of Ronnie Foster's other quartet.

“We’ve all played together off and on for years,” says Foster, a native of Buffalo, N.Y. Foster, who has been performing and producing records for more than 30 years, is known as a talented funk and soul-jazz keyboardist.

He learned classical piano as a child but as a teenager became a jazz pianist and eventually began playing organ as well.
  • Who: Hammond B-3 Quartet
  • When: 2 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 S. McLeod Drive
  • Tickets: $12 general admission, $10 for members of the Jazz and Guitar Societies
  • Information: 455-7030

Very cool.


Recall seein' that blimp rambling around town for quite a while now?

I saw this story about the new "M Resort" while hangin' with my Ma at the nursing home last night. It opens this Sunday night, I-15 south at St Rose Parkway exit. Be interesting to see how they fare in this lousy economy.
M Resort dares to be different
Casino creator hopes to carve out a niche in recession by getting right what struggling giants got wrong

By Liz Benston
Wed, Feb 25, 2009 (2 a.m.)

Built on a hill with a dramatic view of the Las Vegas Valley, the M Resort features a television studio for live cooking shows, an on-site pharmacy, a rooftop restaurant, the world’s largest mother of pearl ceiling and a modern design of inlaid wood and cantilevered glass.

But eye candy won’t sustain the $1 billion M Resort, which started construction two years ago when Las Vegas was booming and opens Sunday on the southeast corner of St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard South amid a recession with no end in sight.

While competitors grew into corporate giants by taking on billions in debt and building luxurious properties, Anthony Marnell III was taking notes on the dark side of the spending spree. He saw hotels with automated methods of communicating with customers.

He saw gambler swipe cards, points programs and loyalty club kiosks proliferate. He saw rising customer service complaints. He saw gamblers upset by reduced-odds table games and slot machines. He saw outrage over $15 martinis and $90 steak dinners.
His resort, he said, would be different...

Click the title to read the entire article. There's no specific information on the M Resort website as to the extent of live music they're gonna have.
I drove by last night and shot these (below):

This is all their website says on the "entertainment" page:
"Enjoy live music and rock out poolside in our Villaggio Del Sole Pool and Entertainment Piazza, with breathtaking views of the desert night sky as the backdrop. Celebrate with friends enjoying a glass of fine wine in our spectacular wine cellar. End the night at our rooftop restaurant and lounge, hundreds of feet above the Las Vegas Strip, surrounded by stunning views of the twinkling lights below. Whatever mood you’re in, we have the spot for you."
We shall see. Wish them the best. Their little slogan is "Built by locals for locals."

This Head Honcho
Anthony Marnell III looks like he'd get carded on the way in, LOL! (everyone's startin' to look young to me, haha).

I may have to run by for the opening, check it out. It's not far from my house (I live in the Paradise & Windmill 'hood on the south side).


Stevie Wonder Honored By President And All-Star Lineup At White House
By: Judy Rosen

It was all about Stevie Wonder at the White House last night (Wednesday, February 25th) as a star-studded lineup gathered to help honor the music legend with the Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, speaking at the East Room reception of 150 invited guests, spoke about how much Wonder's music has meant to them through the years. The president said, "I think it's fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me. We might not have married. The fact that we agreed on Stevie was part of the essence of our courtship."

Upon receiving his prize, Wonder had nothing but praise for the president: "But what's really exciting for me today is that we truly have lived to see a time and a space where America has a chance to again live up to the greatness that it deserves to be seen and known as through the love and the caring and the commitment of a president as in our president, Barack Obama."

A star-studded lineup of singers performed tunes from Wonder's vast songbook, including pop legend Paul Simon, country singer Martina McBride, jazz vocalist Diana Krall, R&B singer-songwriter India.Arie, singer-comedian Wayne Brady, hip-hop star Will.I.Am, and gospel duo Mary, Mary.

Wonder opened the evening with "Sir Duke." At the end of the night, Wonder took the stage for a medley of hits including "Superstition," "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," "Isn't She Lovely," and "All About The Love Again."

Presenting the award, Obama said: "It is my extraordinary privilege to present the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to an artist who has stirred our hearts and our souls for a generation. Whose music knows no boundaries. An inspiration to us all. Please give it up for Mr. Stevie Wonder."

The show airs on PBS stations tonight (Thursday, February 26th). Check local listings for times. The show will be available for viewing online on February 27th on and other local PBS websites.

Cool. Here are the KLVX broadcast details:
In Performance at the White House
Stevie Wonder In Performance at the White House: T #1501

Air: Thursday, February 26, 8:00 pm on Vegas PBS Channel 10
Future Airs: 02/27/09, 1:00 am Vegas PBS HD 10.1 Digital; 02/27/09, 1:00 am Vegas PBS Channel 10; 02/28/09, 2:00 am Vegas PBS Rewind 110 Cox Cable; 02/28/09, 8:00 am Vegas PBS Rewind 110 Cox Cable; 02/28/09, 2:00 pm Vegas PBS Rewind 110 Cox Cable; 02/28/09, 8:00 pm Vegas PBS Rewind 110 Cox Cable

Broadcast In: English

President Barack Obama presents the Second Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to Stevie Wonder at this special concert in the East Room of the White House in celebration of African American History Month. The concert features a tribute by top performers singing the songs that propelled Wonder to the ranks of international stardom. In addition to Stevie Wonder himself, performers include Tony Bennett, Diana Krall. Will I Am, Kathleen Battle and more. The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song was created by the Library of Congress to honor artists whose creative output transcends distinctions between musical styles and idioms, bringing diverse listeners together, and fostering mutual understanding and appreciation.

Run Time: 00:56:46



OK, I watched the PBS show. No Wayne Brady. What's up with that, I wonder?

They did feature Esperanza Spaulding, though, O.M.G! This young woman is totally amazing. The clip from her performance tonight isn't up yet, but here's one of her on Jimmy Kimmel (she played upright tonight).


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