Las Vegas gives back with benefits for musician Jeff Jordan, Salvation Army

Michael Grimm performs at Ovation Lounge at Green Valley Ranch on May 9, 2011.
Photo: Nate Ludens

Those who say Las Vegas falls short in the area of philanthropy should take note of a couple of charity shows set for Sunday afternoon:

• Several weeks ago, Las Vegas musician Jeff Jordan was hospitalized for an aortic aneurism that might have killed him had he waited even an hour longer to seek treatment. He subsequently suffered nerve damage in his leg and foot, ailments that forced him into a three-week hospitalization.

To help Jordan offset mounting medical bills, an all-star benefit show featuring some of the city’s top musicians and vocalists has been set for Ovation at Green Valley Ranch at 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 and available at all Station Casinos’ Rewards Centers, at the door or at the Green Valley Ranch Web site.

A film composer and sax player best known for his performances with the Rat Pack Is Back now at the Rio, the Lon Bronson All-Star Band and Las Vegas singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Grimm, champion of America’s Got Talent, Jordan is self-employed and faces medical costs approaching $1 million.

Sunday’s show will not come close to paying that entire debt, of course, but nonetheless the lineup for Sunday’s show is strong, with Grimm himself set to perform. Bronson, an event-co producer, is scheduled to appear with a 17-piece orchestra, and Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie is serving as the event’s emcee. Marley Taylor, originally Phillips' partner in Zowie Bowie, will appear with David Perrico in their project the David Perrico Group.

Also set to appear are Mark Cohen, star of Make Me Laugh and The Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central; Leigh Zimmerman, late of The Producers at Paris Las Vegas who recently starred in Chicago on Broadway; frequent Las Vegas headliner (and the husband of Zimmerman) Domenick Allen, onetime lead singer of Foreigner; Sean & John of America’s Got Talent, and Vegas! The Show at Saxe Theater; Reva Rice, whose credits in Las Vegas date to Starlight Express at Las Vegas Hilton and, most recently, Vegas! The Show; the cast of the Rat Pack Is Back; and vocalist Michelle Johnson of Nunsense at the Hilton and Gospel Brunch at House of Blues.

Of Jordan, Bronson says, “He’s one of the guys in the trenches, and now he has no money and no insurance, and he needs our help.”

• Set for noon at the Clarion (formerly the Greek Isles and where the Debbie Reynolds Hotel-Casino once stood on Convention Center Drive, between the Strip and Paradise Road) is the Vintage Vegas Variety Show. The effort is to raise money for the Salvation Army’s disaster relief fund. Money raised will be shifted to help in regions in need of disaster relief.

There is no cover charge, but donations are being accepted at the door, and a silent auction is planned for Clarion’s Fame Showroom. The event is set up as a big Vegas cocktail party, with performers showing up to perform.

Scheduled to appear are the Clarion’s new headliner, magician Jan Rouven; longtime Vegas performer and syndicated TV host Tony Sacca; vocalist Linda Bulgo of Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco; pianist Joey Singer, long the music director for Debbie Reynolds; members of Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show, soon of the Hilton; stage and TV star Rebecca Holden, who played opposite David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider; Robin Berry Vincent of Nunsense; and vocalist Kevin Sasaki, who has frequently opened for Reynolds. The event’s emcee will be someone familiar to readers of The Kats Report, as it will be me.

As Major Robert Lloyd, Clark County coordinator of the Salvation Army, said in a statement: “When push comes to shove, this town truly unites in its generosity.”

In all, it’s a fun way to spend a Sunday.

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