Jazz Nights at the Museum. Part of Museum After Dark.
Local group, the Las Vegas Jazz Trio will perform April 8 and 29.
12-time Grammy-winning Las Vegas Academy of the Arts will perform April 15 and 22.
As part of Jazz Appreciation Month, a speakeasy mood will fill the Museum on Friday nights, April 8, 15, 22 and 29. From sultry blues and mellow harmonies to hard-hitting jazz and high-steppin’ swing, enjoy music and half-off drinks—no need for a password.
Prohibition created the Jazz Age of the 1920s, when gangsters owned the illegal booze trade and competed with each other to offer their patrons the best party music, from small private speakeasies to elaborate nightclubs with integrated crowds while the police were paid to look the other way.
Jazz bands and the feeling of illicit fun, especially among women recently allowed the right to vote, inspired dance crazes such as the Tango and Charleston. The popularity of jazz grew throughout the decade from 78 rpm phonograph recordings played in jukeboxes and on the radio.
Jazz nights are part of the Museum After Dark experience only at The Mob Museum.
Las Vegas Academy of the Arts
The World Jazz Studies program at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts is one of several majors for which students audition and focus on throughout their four years of high school, alongside standard academic coursework. Students in the department have had the honor to work with jazz greats such as Randy Brecker, Jeff Hamilton, Marlena Shaw, Jimmy Cobb, Corey Christiansen, Stanton Moore, Chuck Findley, Tom Scott, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Willie Hill, Dave Pietro, and James Burton III, among others.
Recent awards received by the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts World Jazz Studies program include invitations to perform at the 2015 Jazz Education Network and 2014 Annual Midwest Clinic; Big Band and Combo finalists at the 2014 Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival; “Best in State” at every Reno Jazz Festival in attendance; nine Downbeat Awards in the past twelve years for “Outstanding Big Band”, “Best Combo”, “Outstanding Blues Band”, and “Outstanding Latin Ensemble”; and “Outstanding High School Combo” at the 2014 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. In 2015, LVA Jazz had the first student ever accepted from Nevada to the GRAMMY Camp Jazz Session.
The Las Vegas Academy of the Arts campus is located downtown, on the site of the first high school built in Las Vegas in 1930. The school still uses two of the original buildings, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Opening with only 735 students in 1993, the student body has since grown and now exceeds 1,700 students.
Las Vegas Academy has been honored by the U.S. Department of Education as both a New American High School and a Blue Ribbon School. US News and World Report recognized the Academy as one of America’s top high schools, awarding us a Silver rating. In 2015, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts was named an Exemplary Arts School and in 2013, was awarded the Outstanding Arts School Award from the Arts Schools Network, the nation’s largest professional membership organization of specialized arts schools. In 2014, the school was honored with its twelfth Grammy Award, making the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts the high school with the most Grammy Awards in the country.
Las Vegas Jazz Trio with Kai Brant
Kai Brant and the Las Vegas Jazz Trio will perform April 8 and 29. The trio, featuring Brant on vocals, is comprised of Martin Motnik on bass, Moises Sol on piano and T. G. LaFredo on drums (Buffalo, New York).
Vocalist, producer and songwriter Kai Brant performed extensively throughout London and Southern California before pursuing her love of jazz. She released her debut avant-garde record in 2010, followed in 2012 by The Way You Look Tonight, a sultry compilation of classic jazz standards; both albums received high acclaim for their originality and vocal expression. As a live performer, Kai strives to give the audience an authentic performance while using her unique style to create a fresh approach. She is currently working on an electro-jazz project consisting of originals, jazz remixes, and hidden gems in the public domain.
Pianist Moises Sol studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City. Moises has performed with The Buck Ram’s Platters, Jon Secada, and Niccola de Bari, and conducted recording sessions and concert tours for the Mexican Icon Grammy nominee Juan Gabriel. He has served as an educator in the public school system in Mexico City, a professor at the music academy for the Musician’s Union in Mexico City, a piano instructor at UNLV, and currently teaches music at the Coral Academy of Science in Las Vegas. Moises is endorsed by Yamaha.
Bassist Martin Motnik, born and raised in Ludwigshafen, Germany, is a seasoned musician, performing guitar and bass for the past twenty years. As a solo artist, Martin has attained endorsements from Ritter Instruments, Gallien-Krueger amplification, Elixir Strings, and Line 6 effects. With references of international renown, Martin is a busy touring and recording artist who has performed all over the world. In Las Vegas, he has appeared at virtually all major resort hotels and casinos on and around the Strip.
As the son of a drummer, music is at the heart of T. G. LaFredo’s earliest memories. He grew up in western New York but moved to Boston at eighteen, enrolling in Berklee College of Music. There he studied drum set, as well as the percussion of Latin/Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, West African, and Middle Eastern traditions. “Which is why today my house looks like a museum of percussion,” he adds. Since music school, T.G. has recorded and performed in numerous styles, including jazz, rock, fusion, pop, country, and Irish. As a writer and editor, his work has appeared in Modern Drummer magazine, among other publications.