"David Perrico’s Pop Strings Orchestra returns for a livestream concert"
By Brock Radke
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 | 2 a.m.
If you’ve witnessed a Pop Strings Orchestra performance at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace or at lounge spaces at the Red Rock Resort or the Tuscany, you know it’s all about the energy. Trumpeter and band leader extraordinaire David Perrico blends the best of retro and modern styles, selects your favorite songs and presents them in a fresh way with the power of a 15-piece band with full string section.
This party of a show returns this week for its first performance since the spring of 2020, but its audience will be a virtual one. “It’s a little different because at Cleopatra’s Barge, we’re used to playing for that packed house and packed dance floor,” Perrico says on this week’s episode of the Sun on the Strip podcast. “So the approach will be similar to what the NFL does or what other sporting events do. There won’t be anybody in the audience but we’ll still try to get that energy.”
The show is set for 6 p.m. Friday from the Space, with pay-per-view tickets available online here.
Perrico first arrived in Las Vegas in 2004 to teach at UNLV while working on his master’s degree in music. After touring with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and other bands for years, he happily settled into a busy career in Vegas working as musical director for various Strip production shows, composing award-winning original jazz and symphonic pieces, and leading the backing bands for headliners including Gladys Knight, Ben Vereen, Natalie Cole, Frankie Valli, Paul Shaffer and many other stars.
“Two that really stand out are Donny and Marie [Osmond] and Gladys Knight. I just loved playing in that big band behind her,” Perrico says. “Her music director Benjamin Wright hired me to put together the band and he arranged all of her hits for that 18-piece big band, and that really inspired me. And you learn so much from those headliners about how to work a show, how to connect with the audience, how it’s paced and how they pick the material. There’s a lot more going into a show than people might think.”
Creating exciting new arrangements for familiar hits is the formula that has kept Perrico incredibly busy through the years. The Pop Strings Orchestra group was formed after his original Pop Evolution band, targeting a younger audience at different Vegas venues. The popularity and versatility of his acts have generated expansion and now he assembles and manages genre-specific groups of various sizes that perform at casino lounges and showrooms as well as corporate and private events.
The unexpected downtime caused by the pandemic has allowed Perrico to refocus on his assorted operations and find new ways to keep the musical machine rolling.
“It has given me an opportunity to be more creative. I was playing six nights a week, two or three gigs a night. For me, the change allowed me to get more healthy and more conscious,” he says. “And it allowed me to get a new repertoire together for all the different bands, do some more producing and more learning about this kind of stuff, the virtual side, social media modalities. It’s about what can I retool to hone some great products for when we do come back, and we will. Once we get those trade shows and corporate events driving the engine here, we’ll see the showrooms and lounges going full tilt.”
Find this week’s Vegas entertainment news, interviews and more every Wednesday with the Sun on the Strip podcast.
DAVID PERRICO IN THE NEWS
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