Jazz legend Mulidore in Vegas TV piece
Brier Hill's Jimmy Mulidore, a jazz legend in Las Vegas, says he will be the focal point of a TV documentary on the history of jazz in Las Vegas.
Mulidore said the documentary, which is being planned by The Las Vegas Sun, will be submitted for airing to the A & E Network, History Channel and CBS. He has been the subject of many features in The Sun ever since he arrived there in 1957 from Youngstown and eventually became a musical giant in that city where he is referred to as "Jimmy Jazz." Mulidore said the documentary would cover the period of 1957 until the present time.
Jimmy Mulidore is pictured with James Moody, a jazz legend with the sax, flute and clarinet. Along with Al Calderone of Youngstown. Jimmy regards Moody as a mentor saying Moody, now 82 and still performing, helped make Jimmy one of top sax and flute players in the jazz world. Moody had a seven-year stint in the 70s with the Las Vegas Hilton orchestra directed by Mulidore.
"They (The Sun) are searching the Las Vegas News Bureau for video clips and info on the music scene in Vegas from the days of Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Elvis and some of the musical jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie and others who packed them in," he said.
A clip of the proposed documentary featuring "Jimmy Jazz" can be seen by clicking on to Jimmy Mulidore's website www.jimmymulidore.com. From that first clip, a 45-minute addition would be added featuring his recollection of any and all events that happened to him in Vegas. He reflects on the city's jazz hey days, and the corporate casinos and lack of public support that has "stripped the Las Vegas Strip of jazz, of its greatest genre."
Jazz has a rich heritage in Vegas, but there are a few outlets there for the music that once defined the city, he said. With the exception of a couple of small, smoky bars and restaurants, jazz is a fleeting presence in the city.
Entertainment today in Vegas includes rock bands, rap, hip hop, folk singers, topless revues, poker tournaments, burlesque, comedians, magicians, the Smothers Brothers, musical revues with a lot of noise, fireworks and flashing lights and all kinds of other effects.
There are a handful of talented performers in Vegas trying to keep jazz alive, wondering what happened in the first place, Mulidore said. For them, the beat must go on.
For "Jimmy Jazz," jazz is flourishing elsewhere in places like San Diego where he and his outstanding All-Stars perform often featuring Phil Woods and Benny Golson, His group has tentatively been booked at Lincoln Center in New York City where he is slated to appear with Eric Alexander, and also in Sacramento with Randy Brecker. He also hopes to bring his talented jazz group to Youngstown for a concert in the near future.
Mulidore tried to launch an old time jazz night at the Celebrity Night Club in downtown Vegas last year. The theme of the show was: "Jazz as you, jazz as you liked it."
"The room holds 500," he said. "Only 150 showed up, real jazz lovers who showed their appreciation after each selection; we had a great night performing. But jazz used to be the big draw in Vegas, still the show place of the world which draws tens of thousands of tourists everyday, Back in the days of The Rat Pack, they would filled up the place."
Mulidore says jazz was never supposed to get old in Vegas where he worked with the greats: Louis Armstrong and Pearl Bailey, Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis, Bobby Darin, Ann Margaret, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Lou Rawls, Barbra Streisand and his mentor, James Moody among others.
"In this vast and a growing Las Vegas, you would think there would a better appreciation of the arts and true American music," Mulidore said. "They could bring back Gillespie, Sinatra and others from the grave. Would the people come? I would hope so. I want jazz in this town. I still live here."
An indication that jazz may make a comeback in Vegas is some talk that the Palazzo, a new casino, will open a jazz room which soon which will feature some of the top jazz greats," he said.
"That could be a step in the right direction," he added. "I certainly hope so."
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