She’s shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music like Rod Stewart and Ricky Martin and performed in casinos and lounges all around the Vegas Valley during the past six years. Now, Lydia Ansel might have found the perfect gig at the Hard Rock Hotel, where she combines her skills as a classically trained violin player and a thoughtful DJ while performing at the Center Bar Wednesdays through Saturdays.
“I’ve been at the Hard Rock for about a year and a half, and we’ve turned it into a regular residency that just kind of feels like home,” she says. “I especially love it during the weekends, when there are aerialists [performing] in those hoops over the [casino game] dealers. I’m being entertained while I’m performing, and the girls are just awesome. It adds to that feeling of camaraderie and family here.”
A lifelong musician who has worked across the country in symphonies, small ensembles, big band orchestras and tribute bands and with every type of music imaginable, Ansel configured her DJ/violin act after landing in Las Vegas. “Improvisation is a specialty of mine, and I was getting paired with DJs here, so it just happened naturally,” she says. “I have effects pedals and just started jamming, and being wireless I can walk around and interact with the audience easily.”
The flexibility of her unique act has resulted in lots of corporate gigs in Vegas and beyond, and she also regularly performs at Coyote Ugly at New York-New York. The coming year is shaping up to be a big one for Ansel, who could be traveling to Asia and Europe for performances and is developing new collaborative projects here in Las Vegas.
“I’ve had different incorporations of what I do, sometimes with go-go dancers or featured singers. One project I’m working on is a duo, with a singer/songwriter/instrumentalist,” she says. “I just love to find new ways to entertain the audience. Anything to dazzle and awe and sparkle.”