“Jazz from the Past, Early Las Vegas is Back with Lena Prima at Smith Center!


by Sandy Zimmerman  (Photos of Lena Prima by The Smith Center and photos of Louis Prima from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repositor)

 Those dynamite rhythms, the explosive horn section’s solos and breathtaking mix of musical instruments when the musicians suddenly take off should not be missed!

Lena Prima brought that wonderful feeling of early Las Vegas to Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center! I arrived in Las Vegas, in the 80’s, and heard his music played everywhere in the 80’s and 90’s while the excitement of enjoying Louis Prima still fills the showrooms to this day with his daughter Lena Prima’s band. 

The showroom brightened as Lena Prima’s band began playing their authentic versions of her father’s music. It’s the special sound of the swing bands, the Dixieland bands and Louis Prima’s famous hit songs that people loved so well and now is coming back to delighted audiences.

The audience were thrilled as Lena sang each song and added some Italian numbers, Louis Prima’s hits, and even the comical “Please No Squeeza Da Banana.” Tina’s beautiful interpretations were spotless expressing her love.

It was a nostalgic evening, especially when Lena added stories about her father. www.lenaprima.com

The Smith Center’s Myron’s Cabaret Jazz is an intimate room that features the best of today’s entertainers. For a list of upcoming Smith Center’s shows or information, call 702-749-2000. Set on nearly five acres in Downtown Las Vegas, The Smith Center is at the heart of Symphony Park, at the corner of Bonneville Avenue and Grand Central Parkway.  www.TheSmithCenter.com  

With five albums to her credit, award-winning singer, artist and author Lena Prima is the youngest daughter of the legendary Louis Prima and his singing sidekick, (and fifth wife) Gia Maione. 

 Her more than 30 year musical career has included more than 3,000 appearances around the world. In New Orleans she can be found regularly performing at the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter.

Lena’s touring schedule as well as photos and video of her performances can be found on her website www.lenaprima.com.

A whole new era of music began, with Louis coining such expressions as “swing” and other “hep” sayings like “solid jack,” “crazy man,” and many more. Later, it was decided to name Benny Goodman the King of Swing, but only as a result of a big hit on the song “Sing Sing Sing,” written by Louis Prima.

Louis Prima moved to New York City, establishing a big band and composing the iconic jazz song “Sing, Sing, Sing.” He later wed singer Keely Smith and the two had a highly popular Vegas Act billed as The Wildest, with Prima also having a number of hit recordings. Prima also starred in the animated Disney film The Jungle Book

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Award-winning Sandy Zimmerman is a syndicated columnist featuring Show and Dining reviews, Travel, Health, Luxury Lifestyles, Spas, and more. Sandy is talk show host of “Sandy Zimmerman’s Las Vegas TV Show” programs and “Discover the Ultimate Vacation” travel specials. To suggest topics for articles, for information or to ask any questions, call (702)-731-6491.  sandyzimm2003@yahoo.com




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