If Uli Geissendoerfer says there’s a great deal of artistic energy in Vegas’ jazz scene, you should believe him. He’s the director of the Latin Jazz Ensemble and coordinator of Jazz Small Groups at UNLV and the musical director/curator/performer at the Dispensary Lounge, among other hats he wears. As such, the pianist/composer spends a great deal of time with some of the most talented players in town, and he wants to unify their creative efforts.
Enter Vegas Records, which Geissendoerfer is launching to release new music by local players, and to reissue older albums by veteran Vegas musicians, in the form of downloads, CDs and vinyl records. Fans would also be able to live-stream and then download monthly “Live at the Dispensary Lounge” performances. In essence, Geissendoerfer wants Vegas Records—which will launch with four releases on January 30, at a venue to be announced—to serve as a go-to hub that also shines a spotlight on the recent surge of local jazz talent.
“What’s going on here has never happened before,” he says. “There were lots of great musicians coming through here but never a lot of real creativity, per se. Now, it’s ridiculous—all these kids, from 20 to 35. I see three waves of really talented musicians. It’s one thing to be a working musician. It’s another to be an artist. You’re putting out your reflection of life and what’s going on. And that’s what we need. That’s what Vegas Records is about.”