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October 17, 2017

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Music:

Q+A, Part 2: Clint Holmes, co-producer Ken Henderson open Palazzo show July 16

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Tom Donoghue / DonoghuePhotography.com

Clint Holmes performs during the Nevada Sesquicentennial All-Star Concert on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Las Vegas.

‘Georgia on My Mind’ at Venetian

Singers Nnenna Freelon, Clint Holmes and a Take 6 member perform as The Venetian Las Vegas announces the engagement of Launch slideshow »

Clint Holmes at Capitol Records

Clint Holmes and members of the Count Basie Orchestra record an upcoming album in Studio A, aka the “Grammy Studio,” at Capitol Records on Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Launch slideshow »

Clint Holmes ‘To Ella With Love’ at the Hollywood Bowl

Clint Holmes and friends rehearse for “To Ella With Love” at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Launch slideshow »

We chatted with beloved Las Vegas singer-songwriter Clint Holmes, in a Q+A posted Friday morning, about his new show making its debut July 16 at Palazzo.

Here is Part 2 of that talk that also includes co-producer Ken Henderson.

Do you look at this as a challenge, as a new departure? How do you look at it?

I just actually wrote a response to my co-producer, Ken Henderson, and put up a beautiful thing on Facebook. Ken wrote:

“I am very excited about this project with Clint Holmes. It is not often in my business that you are friends before you work together. I have known Clint for many years and even collaborated and performed with him on a song we wrote for our Juvenile Diabetes Research charity gala where we both sat on the board.

“Like all of you, I have been blown away by Clint’s performances through the years and have always wanted to find him the home he deserves where he can show the world what he does. Clint and I have always been in alignment on the fact that music creates the most powerful feelings, and it always seems to speak to what is happening in our lives.

“We have spent many months creating this show that is exactly what is in both our souls, a show where the music will speak to you. You not only will think deeper about the feelings they evoke, but also have a clearer understanding of what the song says to us.

“Clint is as humble and gracious as he is talented. He has given back to our community so many times, as well as given so many talented musicians work through the years. Most of our locals have had the chance to see him at the beautiful Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center where thanks to another amazing human being, Myron Martin, Clint was given the opportunity to perform the first week of every month.

“Myron, who is also a good friend of mine, was very supportive of Clint’s opportunity and was eager to help in any way he could. I am certain that we will all work together again in the future.

“I call this opportunity the perfect storm! Great friends who have created an amazing show, and thanks to another amazing friend, George Markantonis, president of the Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo, we have found a home.

“I promise you this: We have the most powerful entertainer Clint Holmes, coupled with the most talented musicians, led by a musical prodigy, Christian Tamburr, in the most beautiful showroom in the most amazing resort hotel, Venetian-Palazzo, partnered with the most respected entertainment company. Hence the perfect storm. You won’t be disappointed!”

So I wrote back to Ken saying, “I am still gathering my thoughts and feelings, but the one I’m sure of is gratitude. ‬To you and the team we’ve put together, to Myron and the team at Cabaret Jazz who have given me the opportunity to continue to grow artistically, and to so many fans and friends who have been unbelievably supportive during my journey here.‬ This next adventure is going to be exciting , fulfilling and frightening, everything that life should be about.

“I know people have so many choices when they come to Las Vegas. Again, how do you make them find you? And that’s where the hotel comes in. The most important thing is the hotel supports it and gets you proper promotion. My job is to give them the show that they want, that people will enjoy. It’s the most exciting thing that I do in my life. Other than be with my wife, of course.”

Ken, who is the president of Best Agency, told me:

“We’re getting people to focus on what the music really is with the meaning of the song, how the music makes you feel, how it inspires, how it relates to love. There’s going to be a John Mayer tune, a John Legend tune.

“This is going to be all about the musicians, every musician is going to be a key piece of the show, they’re going to have solos, they play multiple instruments. We can have five acoustic guitars playing at one point onstage. Our Cuban singer is stunning. She was better than anyone we’d ever seen. She played pianos backup to her own songs, so she gets a solo piano spot in the show, too, with the musicians.

“Our show runs about 80 to 90 minutes with a 10 p.m., maybe 9:30 p.m. start. This lets our audience go to a restaurant comfortably, enjoy a great meal without racing through it, then come nearby to us where the seats have bar tables for late-night drinks.

“About half of the songs are songs that you hear currently on the radio, and they’ll always stay current. The furthest we’ll go back is maybe Stevie Wonder, or Billy Joel, then evolve into Bruno Mars because Billy inspired Bruno. It’s all contemporary, upbeat music, nothing heavy in the show at all.

“Clint has been very open about this. He loves it, its new challenges, a lot of energy. It’s getting a bit away from what he knows. We’ll have songs that everyone recognizes in a wonderfully large acoustic room. We’re looking at 16 songs in the show, and each member of the band will play in addition to the 16 songs. It’ll all move fast. This will be a big, national-looking show.

“I’d been working on getting Clint for some time. One day, I was just talking to him, and all of a sudden he said that he was … it just kind of happened. He does this because he needs to do it and wants to share the music with his audiences. It’s who he is.

“When Clint performs, he brings chills to people and tears because he gets so involved in the music. I actually kidnapped George and took him to Clint. I invited his wife and him to dinner, and I said we’re going to go somewhere afterward. I took him to the Smith Center. His jaw dropped as Clint did James Taylor songs.

“No one compares Clint to anybody. They’re not saying, ‘He sounds like Frank Sinatra.’ He has his own sound. Sometimes with a song, you have to read between the lines to fully experience its meaning, and Clint is going to do that for you every night.”

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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