Brian Newman is a tattooed trumpeter and singer from Brooklyn who is a resident headliner on the Strip. He’s otherwise known for one of his internationally famous friends — Lady Gaga — a friendship dating more than a decade, which Newman recalls on the latest episode of PodKats!
Newman was a bartender and Gaga a DJ, when they met at a place called St. Jerome’s on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
“The place only held maybe 80 people and we would get 100 people in their, routinely, and there were people outside,” Newman says. “Just lots of good vibes, lots of good energy. Her and all the people who gravitated to this scene were a lot of friends of mine who worked in art and fashion and film. It was a melting pot of people, where I could be myself and she was doing the same thing — we were all playing and working for our rent and drinking and partying in between.”
Newman is onstage in Gaga’s “Jazz + Piano” series at Park Theater at Park MGM, just a couple of cartwheels from NoMad Restaurant, where Newman performs after all of Gaga’s residency shows, including “Enigma” and the jazz showcase. The show is back at 11 p.m. Oct. 17 and runs in tandem with Gaga’s productions through December.
Gaga has dropped in on Newman’s shows, post-“Jazz + Piano,” as Newman has built momentum in a show featuring his tight backing band and a series of burlesque numbers. The terrific vocalists Jaclyn McSpadden and Ariana Savalas, tap-dance master Aaron Turner and the comic-operatic clown character Puddles Pity Party have also waded into the scene and been called to the stage.
“We want camaraderie, like when Sinatra was in Las Vegas, you hear stories about so-and-so dropping in and even if they aren’t performing, they are hanging,” Newman says. “It was great, just to have Carrot Top and Wayne Newton — Mr. Newton, I should say — come down and be part of it.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.