Longtime Las Vegas headliner Clint Holmes has proven himself as one of the most versatile entertainers on and off the Strip during the two decades he’s called the desert home. He has carried his own show at multiple casino properties and more recently teamed with another local legend, Earl Turner, for the short-lived but kaleidoscopic Soundtrack at Westgate, all while maintaining a regular home at the Smith Center and lending his talents to countless charitable efforts around town.
Holmes didn’t jump into virtual shows or pop up in other pandemic-era productions last year, choosing instead to write and collaborate behind the scenes. As Vegas slowly reopens, he has found a natural home for a new monthly performance he’s dubbed The Regeneration Series at Downtown’s Notoriety Live.
“I purposely did this and called it Regeneration because I didn’t want to back and do my act. A year went by and I would feel foolish going back to that,” he says. “It’s all about collecting those songs you hear and think, one of those days I’d like to do something like that. That was my direction—material I never did because I’d been in this whirlwind of jazz shows in New York and putting stuff together for the Smith Center and casino shows. I’m doing songs I’ve never done before, and it’s such a treat.”
Holmes is still mixing in plenty of jazz—“It’s where I started and now where I feel my career going more in that direction,” he says—but there’s been much more contemporary material in his first two Regeneration shows at the bustling Neonopolis theater, including songs by Billie Eilish and keyboardist and composer PJ Morton.
He’s also bringing different guest acts to the stage including student artists, and that’s a big inspiration for the series overall and its eclectic design. “I’m involved with the school district through my own foundation, and I’m on the board of directors for the Jazz Outreach Initiative, and that makes it easy to see and hear these young artists and just say, hey, wanna come play?” Holmes says. “That’s something I really want to continue to do if for no other reason than to give them this experience of walking into a professional show, getting up there and working with world-class musicians and having that experience of rehearsing with them.”
Holmes recently co-hosted and performed during the 15th anniversary show of the Composers Showcase, another Smith Center-based institution, at Notoriety. The multiroom venue in the former movie theater space at Neonopolis is operated by his friend and former producer Ken Henderson, who has represented Holmes through the years via his Best Agency.
Having a familiar name like Holmes on the Notoriety roster has helped the place build some buzz, especially with the hurdle of bringing Las Vegans Downtown for an evening of live entertainment—something many locals aren’t used to doing.
“I was in on the walk-throughs when [Henderson] was explaining his plan to do this, when it was basically a shell,” Holmes says. “One of the things I really respect about what he did is when so many venues just got stopped cold, Ken didn’t [complain], he just kept working and making it better. And then when he could really open it up for audiences again, people walked in and said, oh my God, this is a gem.”
Clint Holmes: The Regeneration Series May 8, 3 p.m., $50. Notoriety Live, 702-472-7514, notorietylive.com.
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