Tag Archives: entertainment

Getting “Soul-chestra” with Violin ‘Soul-o-ist’ Karen Briggs and the 20 Pearls Foundation of Las Vegas

30 Mar

Karen BriggsBack in January the 20 Pearls Foundation, the charitable arm of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Theta Theta Omega Las Vegas Chapter, of which I and my mother are proud members, presented “An Evening with Violin ‘Soul-o-ist’ Karen Briggs with special guest Freddie B,” for a concert in support of the HerShe Group Foundation, Inc., an organization preparing girls in foster care for successful transition into adulthood.

Me and my mother Patti

Me and my mother

I remember asking, “Who is Karen Briggs?” when it was requested I write and distribute the press release on behalf of our chapter’s 20 Pearls Foundation. Seriously, I had no idea who she was, and I fancy myself “in the know” when it comes to popular jazz artists (See my Jazz Groupies post), so not having name recognition had me less than excited, as well as being told “she toured with Yanni” had me thinking the 90s, world music, a mustache and a mullet. Any enthusiasm to write the news release was all but removed.

Karen Briggs on stage with bandCome to find out after a little digging, I could not have been more wrong. Karen Briggs is a highly sought after featured soloist who has perfected the melismatic style (I had to look that term up, and for those of you that don’t know what the word means either, it is defined as “A passage of several notes sung to one syllable of text, as in Gregorian chant” ~The Free Dictionary by Farlex.) Her musicianship is reflective of her exposure to countless music genres including jazz, gospel, Latin, classical, African and Middle Eastern.

 

Karen Briggs with band 2She is world renown and has played Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, the Apollo Theater, and the Kennedy Center.  Her nickname, “The Lady in Red” was given to her by her fans (I am now one of them) after extensively touring with Yanni.  She was a part of his critically acclaimed and live multi-platinum recorded album Yanni Live at the Acropolis (1993) which became “one of the best-selling PBS specials of all time and was broadcast in 65 countries.”

She began her professional career with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra after graduating from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. Several years later she released her self-titled debut album Karen (1992), her sophomore album Amazing Grace (1996), followed by Soulchestral Groove (2009). And has collaborated with many influential musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Swinging into the 21st (2012) and Selections from Swingin’ into the 21st (2011); Ledisi, Lost & Found (2007); Kenny Loggins, More Songs from Pooh Corner (2000); Vertu’, Stanley Clark, Lenny White and Richie Kotzen (1999); Diana Ross, Every Day Is a New Day (1999); and Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams, The Hopeville Tour/DVD (2009), to name a few and there are many to name.

 

Karen Briggs talking to a fan.

Karen Briggs talking to a fan.

That was a great night and she is one funny lady who really loves and appreciates her fans. At one point we were all grooving when I noticed she had us all clapping along to a square dance song. It felt like Hee Haw for a minute. I was waiting for a Minnie Pearl look-alike to appear on stage.

I highly recommend you catch a show when you can. She has her schedule on Facebook at Karen Briggs, Violinist Page II. She will be in Austin, Texas on Friday, April 5 at the Women in Jazz Association, Inc.’s JAZZ IN P!NK CONCERT.

Inside Hakkasan Las Vegas

5 Feb

hakkasan-LogoOn Facebook, Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub shared a video on the progress of the mega dayclub/nightclub/restaurant, which I mentioned in my January 15 post Hey DJ Won’t You Play That Song And Keep Me Dancin’…

Click here to view the video called “First Look…”

Hey DJ Won’t You Play That Song And Keep Me Dancin’…

15 Jan

hakkasan-LogoLately, there has been so much nightclub buzz around Hakkasan, the $100 million dollar and then some gigantic dayclub/nightclub/restaurant taking residence on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue in the former Rain Nightclub space at MGM Grand, and it’s exclusive DJ contracts as reported by the Las Vegas Sun with Deadmau5, Avicii, Tiesto, David Guetta, Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris, to name a few, you would think it will be the only place to get your groove on. But that is not the case. There are still plenty of DJs and nightclubs to go around.

Here are two new DJ announcements:

Dirty-SouthWynn Las Vegas just announced it has “42 Electronic Dance Music DJ Residencies” on its dayclub and nightclubs roster for 2013 including will.i.am, John Dahlbäck, Max Vangeli, Bassnectar, and Dirty South. You can see the entire list at WynnSocial.com.

PaulyDMTV Jersey Shore alum and current star of his own show The Pauly D Project, Paul DelVecchio, was added to The Light Group DJ roster as a resident with his own night called TURN UP at HAZE Nightclub at ARIA Resort & Casino debuting Saturday, January 19.


And don’t forget, Vegas has so many nightclubs and lounges (not all are listed) with something going on every day of the week, and when spring rolls in so does daylife and that’s an entirely new list.

10 Aok

Chateau Nightclub & Gardens

Ghostbar

Hyde Bellagio

Lavo

LAX Nightclub

Marquee Nightclub

Moon

Pure Nightclub

Savile Row

SHe

Surrender Nightclub

Tabu Ultra Lounge

TAO Nightclub

The Act

The Bank

Tryst

Vanity

XS

 

After the Countdown

7 Jan

On New Year’s Eve I was celebrating with my three-year-old great-niece Brielle, my mother and brother (Happy New Year!) watching the fireworks from atop the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower from my mother’s kitchen window. If I wasn’t such a wonderful aunt to stay in so my nephew Alex could go out, I would have hit up at least one of three great parties (A Vegas New Year’s Eve 2013) and sipped champagne all night. Instead I opted for a Ciroc Peach martini and some sparkling wine from Trader Joes that’s been in the wine fridge for a while.

New Year’s Eve would have been spent at Bagatelle Restaurant & Supper Club. They held a New Year’s Eve Gala hosted by Robin Thicke. I’ve been a fan of his since the Evolution of Robin Thicke album – 2006. It was a fashionable night with beautiful people.

Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke performs. Photo Credit: Carlos Larios

Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke with his gorgeous wife and actress Paula Patton. Photo Credit: Carlos Larios

Lucent Dossier. Photo Credit: Carlos Larios

Lucent Dossier. Photo Credit: Carlos Larios

The celebration kept going the next night at Hyde Bellagio at their “Lost Angles” party, a Tuesday night industry event. Common performed live with The Sayers Club on New Year’s Eve. Definitely a more relaxed night out full of celebrity.

Former mixed martial artist and UFC Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz and friends. Photo credit: Hyde Bellagio

Former mixed martial artist and UFC Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz and friends. Photo credit: Hyde Bellagio

Lil Jon parties in a VIP booth with friends. Photo credit: Hyde Bellagio

Lil Jon parties in a VIP booth with friends. Photo credit: Hyde Bellagio

I love Las Vegas.

Adrienne xo

 

Vegas Happenings

23 Nov

One thing about Las Vegas, there is always something new.

Winter in Venice™

The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas kicked off the second annual Winter in Venice™ featuring The Venetian Queen Aldabella, a skating rink, a spectacular holiday tree, the famous gondolas, and the “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Las Vegas by Chip Davis” in The Palazzo Theatre for six weeks. The grand opening event featured Glee’s Dot Marie Jones (a.k.a. Coach Beiste) and actor Gilles Marini and family (wife Carole, daughter Juiliana, and son Georges) from Dancing with the Stars and Sex and the City.  Photo Credit: © Erik Kabik/ erikkabik.com.

“Sin City Comedy” 

“Sin City Comedy” recently opened at Sin City Theater on The Mezz at Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino featuring a mixture of burlesque and standup comedy from a variety of headliners who have appeared on Comedy Central, VH1, HBO, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan, The Late Late Show to name a few. Recent headliners include John Bizarre, Kathleen Dunbar, and Russ T Nailz. From now until the New Year, Las Vegas locals can attend the show for $5 with proof residency. A one drink minimum is required.

Nightly at 9 p.m. Tickets are  $48.50 and $37.50 and can be purchased at the Sin City box office at Planet Hollywood, online www.planethollywoodresort.com / www.ticketmaster.com and by at (877) 374-7469 or (702)777-7776. Guests must be 18 years and up.

VIVA Hysteria!

Def Leppard signed on to a nine show exclusive for 2013at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The first time I heard Def Leppard the song was “Pour Some Sugar on Me” off their Hysteria album and I was in sixth grade. It was a Friday night at Crystal Palace skating rink. I love nostalgia which is why finding out the band will play their iconic Hysteria album in full in addition to all their greatest hits was a bonus and to top it off, it will be an over the top production show. Photo Credit: Ash Newell

Inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Ticket Prices: Starting at $49.50 (plus applicable services fees)

Box Office

702.693.5583 │ 702.693.5000 │www.thejointlasvegas.com

 Ticketmaster

800.745.3000 │ www.ticketmaster.com

Show Dates

Friday, March 22

Saturday, March 23

Wednesday, March 27

Friday, March 29

Saturday, March 30

Wednesday, April 3

Friday, April 5

Saturday, April 6

Wednesday, April 10

 HYSTERIA Track Listing

1. “Women”

2. “Rocket”

3. “Animal”

4. “Love Bites”

5. “Pour Some Sugar on Me”

6. “Armageddon It”

7. “Gods of War”

8. “Don’t Shoot Shotgun”

9. “Run Riot”

10. “Hysteria”

11. “Excitable”

12. “Love and Affection”

Thank you for reading.

Adrienne xo

I Was Just Re-Tweeted by Musician Tim McMorris

10 Sep

Everyone knows the current Sam Adams “For the Love of Beer” commercial with the great song lyrics

“Make me laugh and show me how

Just how good this life can be

And in our moments filled with joy is where I live

Where I am free

Lay in our arms, I’ll hold you tight

Just like you like, continually

And I am overwhelmed by you.”


From the first time I heard the song and saw the commercial I knew I had to find the name of the artist and support his music because of how those lyrics made me feel. Once I found him on YouTube I had to follow his channel and tweet about it.

Musician Tim McMorrisSo I posted @timmcmorris youtube.com/user/timmcmorr… #joy #happiness #love” and to my delight, this morning he replied @AdrienneNHester Thanks for spreading the word Adrienne :)”

 The real thank you is to him for beautiful music. Take a listen to the entire song and the actual video and I know you will agree.

Thank you for reading.

Adrienne xo

Guns N’ Roses: Appetite for Democracy

13 Aug

I will never forget the first time I heard the name Guns N’ Roses. It was 1987, summer, and I was in LA hanging out with my childhood best friend Nicole at her sister Rene’s apartment on the Sunset Strip. It was definitely one of the cooler places to live in the 80s, CC DeVille of the band Poison lived in her building and the band was always there.

Downstairs hair bands hocked their tapes up and down the boulevard between gigs and I was lucky enough to buy Appetite for Destruction (one of the greatest albums of all time) for $5 from some guy selling them out of his backpack. Nicole and I had the tape on repeat and I couldn’t wait to get back to Vegas to turn my all my friends onto it. I was a fan and I saw them every chance I could when they played Vegas.  Then the bottom fell out and they broke up. I was devastated.

Starting on Halloween night, Guns N’ Roses will have the Appetite for Democracy residency for 12 days inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino sans the original members: Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler. The new band, which played two sold out show this past New Year’s, is now made up of Axl Rose, DJ Ashba, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Richard Fortus, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Chris Pitman and Frank Ferrer

Like I said before, about Faith Hill & Tim McGraw – Soul2Soul, “this is sure to cause a frenzy to purchase tickets and count on this show selling out quickly.” Halloween is a big deal in Vegas and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

Inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

On Sale: Friday, Aug. 17at 10 a.m.

Ticket Prices: Starting at $45 (plus applicable services fees)

Box Office

702.693.5583 │ 702.693.5000www.thejointlasvegas.com

 Ticketmaster

800.745.3000 │ www.ticketmaster.com

Show Dates

Wednesday, Oct. 31

Friday, Nov. 2

Saturday, Nov. 3

Wednesday, Nov. 7

Friday, Nov. 9

Saturday, Nov. 10

Wednesday, Nov. 14

Saturday, Nov. 17

Sunday, Nov. 18

Wednesday, Nov. 21

Friday, Nov. 23

Saturday, Nov. 24

 

 Adrienne xo

The Venetian Las Vegas is Going Country!

7 Aug

Last week I received an exciting invitation from The Venetian Las Vegas to attend a press conference as an invited guest to witness the announcement their newest limited engagement headliners. I was tickled to be included because Las Vegas hasn’t had entertainment news this big since the opening of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, plus I’d almost forgotten the magnitude of a big announcement, and all the planning that goes into it for a Strip property because it has been many years since I worked for a hotel group.

I had been wondering who the major headliners were going to be ever since a teaser announcement was made at the opening of The Bourbon Room in June. I really had no idea until Chris Saldaña posted it on his Facebook page this morning, then I got really excited because it’s the hottest couple in country music and I am a fan.

Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, John Caparella

Faith Hill, Tim McGraw

 

This is sure to cause a frenzy to purchase tickets and count on this show selling out quickly the same way Garth Brooks does at Wynn Las Vegas and Shania Twain’s SHANIA: STILL THE ONE at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace (opening December 1.) It will be next to impossible the first two weekends with the NFR in town so unless you plan on attending months in advance and during the slow time of the year like after New Year’s but before Valentine’s Day weekend    ̶  good luck!

Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Soul2Soul

Faith Hill & Tim McGraw Soul2Soul at Venetian Las Vegas

 The Venetian Theater at the Venetian Las Vegas

Box Office

702.414.9000 │ 866.641.7469

Private Pre-sale: Wednesday, August 8 at 10 a.m.

Open to Grazie members (The Venetians loyalty program), Clear Channel subscribers and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Official Fan Club members

General Public: Monday, August 13 at 10 a.m.

Ticket Prices: $95.50-$295.50; VIP packages $1,000

Show Dates
December 7-8, 14-15
January 18-19, 25-26
February 1-2, 15-16 & 22-23
March 1-2
April 12-13, 26-27

Adrienne xo

A Super Stylish Mother-To-Bee Shower

3 Jun

I’ve been to a few baby showers in my time and I have to admit I am not a fan of the traditional baby shower format. I hate when I have to guess how big the mother-to-be is in width. I’m sure she hates it too. Please don’t ask me to “diaper the baby” in a relay or team either. It’s a doll, not real and I would not use one hand in real life so what’s the point? However, when I received an unexpected invitation in the mail to attend Courtney Rogers-Werner’s Mother-To-Bee, I knew it was going to be a fabulous affair because she is super stylish. Upon arrival, I was given a mini safety-pin and a string to tie around my wrist and told “Don’t Say Baby,” the most popular game, and that was it. Just my type of party! The next time we played a game was right before she opened all her gifts of love. It was the memory game of guessing how many items and what they are on the tray. Whoever guessed the most won a nice gift. Congratulations to Ashley Bell.

If you plan on throwing an upscale baby shower here’s some helpful tips from Courtney’s celebration to make it extra special:

  1. Customize and mail the invite and require an RSVP.
  2. Have a fun yet sophisticated theme.
  3. Greet guest at the door and give any directions necessary.
  4. Limit the number of games to a select few.
  5. Cater the food.
  6. Hire a bartender to serve wine and champagne.
  7. Have groovy music.
  8. Hire a photographer or videographer.
  9. Make the cake amazing.
  10. Relax and have fun.

Thank you for reading.

Adrienne xo

“The Week that Disco Died”

21 May

My friend Ralph Agretto said it best on Facebook today that this is “the week that disco died.” Robin Gibb was another childhood favorite as a member of The Bee Gees. I hate to say it, but I have always referred to him as the ‘buck toothed one’ and for obvious reasons. He was an amazing song writer with and without his brothers, and with that, below are a few favorites.

22 December 1949 – 20 May 2012

“If I Can’t Have You” performed by Yvonne Elliman live on Top of the Pops circa- 1978. I used to sing this song in the mirror with a hair brush and think of Marc Roseberry who was my first backward slow skate kiss at Crystal Palace on Boulder Highway.

 

“Emotion” by Samantha Sang. For years I thought it was the Bee Gees singing because the background tracks are just as prominent and they sounded like women. Anyway, this song had me falling in love every time I heard it on the radio.

 

 Shadow Dancing” by Andy Gibb because he was simply sexy. Even in this video with his skin tight jeans, feathered hair, and deep golden tan with dance moves more like a disco queen than a teen idol. 

 

And from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack: “More Than A Woman,” “Jive Talkin’,” “You Should Be Dancing,”How Deep Is Your Love,” and “More Than A Woman” performed by Tavares. My list could go on for a while. I even have a Bee Gees station on Pandora to keep his memory “Stayin’ Alive.” (sorry, it was too easy.)

 

Thank you for the music and thank you for reading.

Adrienne xo

%d bloggers like this: