March 8, 2016

Entertainment

Louis Prima Jr and The Witnesses

To get an understanding of Louis Prima Jr. one needs to know a bit about his lineage. His father was swing / jazz great Louis Prima and his mother was Louis’ female vocalist, Gia Maione who taught young Louis how to play drums at an early age. These days, when people hear the song “Just a Gigolo” they think it’s a David Lee Roth song or that “Jump, Jive, and Wail” is a Brian Setzer & His Orchestra song. Wrong on both accounts! They are both Louis Prima songs which have stood the test of time! As you can see, Louis Prima Jr. has some influential history behind him.

Fast forward to present day where Louis Prima Jr. & The Witnesses shows are a mix of energy, fun, and most of all, great music! You will get a mix of old standards made famous by his father done with a bit of a modern flair.  These cats get into their music as much as their fans do and rarely are they still. From Marco Palos dancing with his sax, to Ryan McKay back bending while wailing on his Gretsch White Falcon guitar, to Philip Clevinger doing a Russian Squat Dance while playing his trombone, there is never a dull moment! One is even treated to a dual drum attack when Louis joins drummer A.D. Adams on the drum kit during their rendition of Louis Sr’s classic, “Sing, Sing, Sing”.

As a tip of their hat to New Orleans, the birthplace of both jazz and Louis Sr., Louis Jr and his band end their shows by marching through the audience playing their instruments as his father did with his band years before. Frequently audience members will follow along behind them to join in on the fun.

Lights Out

LIGHTS OUT is a four part vocal group that is being hailed as “America’s #1 Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons”.   This popular multi-talented group has been entertaining audiences for years by focusing on the art of harmony and the pure sound of voices.  With their infectious personalities, and their love of meeting the  people who see them perform, LIGHTS OUT’s shows are a MUST-SEE!  

LIGHTS OUT has worked tirelessly over the years to find and perfect their signature sound. Starting out in their college dorm rooms as four friends who enjoyed singing, LIGHTS OUT now takes their shows from city to city across the nation.

Their show includes the Frankie Valli hits: Sherry, Walk Like A Man, My Eyes Adored You, Let’s Hang On, December ’63, …. and many, many more!

 

Gina Severino-Gedler with The Soya Vista Jazz Orchestra

Our local Italian gal is well known to the Des Moines entertainment scene and has been performing for many years. She has had the honor of appearing in numerous musicals on stage and many professional music engagements throughout the state and outside the state as well.

To say that Gina is passionate about entertaining is an understatement. She likes to keep things interesting with her eclectic choice of music, everything from jazz, country, showtunes, disco, 70’s and 80’s, and favorite Italian songs. You just never know what to expect!

 

 

 

Il Gruppo Trattenimento Italiano

This Des Moines Italian Folk Dance Group had its start in 1959. Guided by Patricia Civitate, they will perform a variety of traditional dances, dressed in native costumes.

 

 

The Punching Pandas

The Punching Pandas are a high-energy party band playing everything from Pop, Funk, Rock, Country and all genre in between! This seven-piece band from Des Moines specializes in booty shaking music, upbeat shenanigans and audience participation.

So ……………. get ready for a wild and rowdy good time!

 

 

 

 

 

Willie FarrellWillie Farrell – Master of Ceremonies

Des Moines native Willie Farrell has performed in nearly every comedy club in the country, but now spends most of the year onstage performing at showrooms on the Las Vegas strip and at corporate events.

Farrell’s career began during open-mic night at a local Des Moines comedy club in the early ’80s when his friends convinced him to take the stage.  “I thought, ‘It’s only a Monday night. There won’t be many people here,'” Farrell said. But he was in for a surprise — the audience was comprised of 300 people.

“I tried to back out but all of my friends came and paid a cover. They said I’d have to repay them if I didn’t go on. I didn’t have any money, so I had to go on,” Farrell said. “I was either too dense or too scared to know that public speaking is supposed to be scary because it didn’t bother me. I still haven’t learned because it still doesn’t bother me.”

Twenty-five years later, Farrell has made a career out of making people laugh.

“To be honest, I have no other marketable skills,” Farrell said. “If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be leaning on a shovel for the city somewhere.”