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DAVID PERRICO - POP EVOLUTION
The idea of a big-band performance might bring to mind grainy footage and scratchy recordings of Glenn Miller leading a swinging take of “In the Mood.” David Perrico has taken that tenet and poured in a few gallons of rocket fuel. His band is big, for sure. It’s just not a big band -- at least not of the Miller variety. Call it a show band, or an audio carnival, or whatever you like, but Perrico’s Pop Evolution project has blended the musicianship of the greatest swing bands with carefully chosen contemporary songs, and amped up the volume. The result has been one of the most powerful, professional and artistically satisfying performances in Las Vegas.
The numbers uncorked by the 22-member orchestra range from Möley Crüe’s “Dr. Feelgood” to Britney Spears’ “Circus,” and “Crazy” by Cee Lo Green. Van Halen fans will relish the powerhouse cover of “Hot For Teacher.” Perrico also peppers his set with a few original compositions, to further enhance the show’s unique appeal. Vocalist Naomi Mauro is charged with delivering the balance of these songs, as she possesses the rare voice resonant enough to sing atop the wall of sound emanating from the stage.
Long a favorite of Las Vegas showrooms and theaters, Perrico is a master trumpet player and arranger and a go-to collaborator for shows and artists seeking an expert music mind. His resume includes performances with such greats as Chuck Mangione, Natalie Cole and Donny & Marie. He spent six years touring with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
Equally important, Perrico is also a great recruiter of talent, and building the band for Pop Evo was not a small undertaking. The musicians summoned by Perrico for the band’s first shows at South Point Showroom include some of the best and busiest in the city. Players have been employed by stage shows starring the likes of Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Shania Twain and many of the top production shows on the Strip.
The show grew from its original venue, where it opened in May 2012, to gigs at the Lounge at the Palms and a yearlong residency at Stratosphere beginning in May 2013. Since June of 2014, Pop Evo’s home venue has been the beautifully appointed and acoustically refined Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Those frequent Cabaret Jazz come out of the Perrico Pop Evo experience with widely shared opinion: This band is a real blast. And for fans of great live music, inventively written and performed, that is a good thing.
~ written by John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Sun Editor-at-Large