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Dozens of Vegas singers rock St. Baldrick’s fundraiser

Updated March 2, 2023 - 9:03 pm

You know it’s an only-in-VegasVille night when your mom leans over and says, “Kelvis is amazing!”

Kelvis is Kelly Clinton-Holmes in her Elvis persona. The mom in question is my mom, Kathleen Sanna. The show was our annual fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s Day, as always pegged to my birthday, on Sunday night at The Space. The theme was “Colors,” for songs or artists with a color or colors in the title.

Kelvis, who was an unbilled and (we thought) retired superstar, performed “Blue Suede Shoes.” We were fortunate Authentic Brands Group, which owns’ the licensing rights to Elvis’ name and image, endorsed this performance by not suing the lot of us.

Keyboard great Kenny Davidsen, the Mondays Dark bandleader in that same room, headed up the D.C. Magic Tones. This was the band’s inaugural performance. The outfit’s name is inspired by its sponsor, legendary magician David Copperfield. The Magic Tones were Quentin English II (drums), Denny Hechevarria (bass), Andrew Weir (guitar) Sebastien Jean (trumpet), FJ Rodriguez (sax), Kevin Mullinax (trombone), and Jerry Jones and Anne Martinez (backing singers). This lineup held court for about three hours.

Dozens of singers answered the call for the organization that combats childhood cancer. The full list, with the songs performed (get ready for some serious bold-face action):

Clint Holmes (“The Lady in Red,” by Chris DeBurgh), Steph Payne (“Black Cow,” by Steely Dan), Al Bernstein (“Birth Of The Blues,” by The Rat Pack), Tierney Allen (“Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse), Sky Dee Miles (“Colors” by Black Pumas), Michelle Johnson (“Fields of Gold,” Eva Cassidy cover), Travis Allen (“Steamroller Blues,” by Elvis), Colin Cahill as Blue Jackson from “Atomic Saloon Show” (“Tennessee Whiskey,” by Chris Stapleton), David Tatlock (“Brown,” original composition), Christina Balonek (“Red Red Wine,” UB40), Kelly Vohnn (“True Colors,” by Cyndi Lauper), Paige Strafella (“99 Red Balloons,”by Nena), Rita Lim (“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” by Crystal Gayle), Giada Valenti (“La Vie En Rose,” by Edith Piaf), Cassie Stone with Christian Brady (“Child In Time,” by Deep Purple), Mullinax (“Hard To Handle,” by Black Crowes), Stephanie Sanchez (“Bad Woman Blues,” by Beth Hart), Bucky Heard (“Pink,” by Aerosmith), John Di Domenico (“Rainbow Connection,” as Donald Trump, Kermit the Frog cover), Enoch Augustus Scott (“Colors Of The Wind” from “Pocahontas”), Jaime Lynch (“I See Red,” by Everybody Loves An Outlaw), Dennis Blair (“Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum), Chris Phillips (“Gold” by Spandau Ballet), Martinez (“Black Velvet,” by Alannah Myles), Krystal Goddard (“Seven Nation Army,” by The White Stripes), Christina Shaw (“Black Horse And Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall, Davidsen (“I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” by Elton John), Avana Christie (“I Feel Good,” by James Brown), Shawn Eiferman with John Lombardo (“Red Light,” original composition), AND yours truly (“Hey Bartender,” by The Blues Brothers).

At the risk of dating oneself, this night felt like a live performance of an old K-tel compilation commercial. Personal memories are singing in front of a raging, freight-train of a band with the amazing Martinez at my side. Stick to making sentences, I say.

The Space proprietor Mark Shunock, stepped up, yet again, offering his facility and technical apparatus. The staff volunteered their time, as did the performers.

Brian McMullan, of McMullan’s Irish Pub, who along with his wife, Lynn, founded the Las Vegas campaign in 2007. The McMullans lost their daughter, Kyra, to a brain tumor in 1997. She was just 2½ years old.

The McMullans have hosted the shave-a-thon at their pub on West Tropicana since its inception. The event has sprouted several shaving parties across the city, raising more than $11.5 million. The March anchor event at New York-New York’s Nine Fine Irishmen is March 18. The McMullans Irish Pub shave was moved to September, between the March events, after the pandemic knocked that event from the schedule.

Shunock and McMullan each contributed $1,000 to our campaign, which by the end of the night had drawn about $6,400. More support is coming from Alan and Kathi Glist’s “Menopause the Musical,” which is donating all of the sales of their souvenir fans from their show at Harrah’s through the month of March to the campaign. To support, go to stbaldricks.org and search “Katsilometes.” You’ll see the donation button there.

Details of my own annual shave this month are to be announced. This will be the 10th anniversary of my first shave. I’m a proud Knight of the Bald Table, for those who have been shaved seven times.

All we ask is for support for this fight against childhood cancer, a persistent tragedy for families across the country, and certainly in Las Vegas.

And for all who have already joined the fight, to quote Kelvis, “Thanka, thanka very much.”

Cool Hang Alert

Elektra Heavenly and The Majestic Three/Los Tres Majestuosos (John Belzaguy, Todd Simon and Ramses Rodriguez) perform at Maxan Jazz from 7-10 p.m. Wednesday. Heavenly has risen from a time of homelessness to become the first transgender singer to headline her own ticketed show in Las Vegas. No cover, $25 F&B limit per patron. Go to maxanjazz.com to reserve.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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