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So the second player I wanted to introduce is Tom Ehlen.  In Vegas he really needs no introduction as many say he is the best this town has…so check him out!

TOM EHLEN

Tom Ehlen learned to play the trumpet in Ohio school bands, performing with the Ohio State University’s Jazz Workshop band in the late 1960s. In 1970, the “road” called and he performed with various traveling groups and bands, culminating with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1975-1976.  In 1977 Tom was called to Las Vegas to play lead trumpet in the Stardust’s Lido show, a Parisian review. That has turned into thirty-five years of performances in Las Vegas for shows ranging from Broadway shows such as The Producers and 42nd Street to the most-popular reviews and concerts. In between, Tom can be found wherever there is music, including industrial shows, casual dates, jazz combos, big bands, and many stars.  In addition to the Stardust house orchestra, Tom worked in orchestras from the Desert Inn, Sands, and Caesars Palace. He has backed top musical performers such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Ann-Margret, David Foster, and many others. On occasion Tom performs with the Tom Ehlen Big Band in Las Vegas.Burt Bacharach and Tom first worked together in the late 1980s, when Tom played the Burt Bacharach/ Dionne Warwickshow at Caesars Palace. Several years later, Tom was invited to join Mr. Bacharach’s group and remains touring with him. Also he currently performs in the revue, Vegas! the Show, at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Tom and his family live in Las Vegas.

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If you haven’t bought tickets….here is the info, come play with us!!

 

 

Meet the Band…

Well we are almost two weeks away from the show, and I wanted to introduce some really talented musicians I’ll be working with for our upcoming show at the Smith Center in Las Vegas.  So today I’ll start with Mr. Dan Aakhus.  I was introduced to Dan a couple months ago by a music colleague and friend Johnny J. Rivera, whom I’ve also had the privilege playing with at a couple of my shows.  I rehearsed with Dan last week and I was blown away at how awesome he was.  He doesn’t play a ton right now as he works as a Physical Therapist, and can’t commit to constant shows and touring, so I feel lucky that we get him…here’s a little more about the man.

Dan Aakhus is a Las Vegas based musician with many years of experience playing lounges and showrooms. A graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Dan has been the musical director for lounge acts and shows including ‘Island Magic’ which played at the Sahara Hotel and Casino for many years. Many years ago he was musical director for a show called ‘Excitement ’79’ featuring an up an coming young impressionist named Danny Gans. More recently Dan has helped arrange and produce tracks on Johnny j Rivera’s CD ‘Trying To Catch Rain’. Dan is a Board Certified Orthopedic Physical Therapist. He is married with two beautiful children, Danny and Annie.

“Keyboards are my bag baby…”

I’ve been working on our upcoming show today and I’m completely stoked to officially have Matt Trygg on board for vocals.  If you don’t know who Matt is here is a youtube video of us bumming around in the studio… He and I will be getting together to rehearse next month for this show at The Smith Center.  Here’s another track of him singing “Back at One”… Super killer voice!  I’d hop on getting tickets if you haven’t yet, since the venue is nice and cozy…not a lot of seats in the house.

I’d love to write more but its one of those days where I’m jamming through to get shhhtuff done.  Til next time!  Peace my friends.

Ashton Z.

Takin’ Over Me

I’v been working over the last couple of days to pull together all the musicians for our upcoming show at the Smith’s Center for The Rape Crises Center benefit, called “Takin’ Over Me” titled after a jazz song I wrote back in 2009. Just a few days ago I met with Bart Doerfler, who directed our last shows “Love and Other Obsessions”, and he was getting goose bumps while we sat together and created the set list, and the flow of the show, which he is brilliant at doing.  I love our time working together.  He has been so generous to donate his time and talents for the show, and for the RCC.  We are taking the audience back to the old Hollywood Jazz and socialite scene…think Audrey Hepburn, Sinatra, Cary Grant, Ella Fitzgerald.  We’d love for guests to throw on their favorite cocktail dress or suit and add to the scene we hope to recreate of the old, as we infuse a little bit of the new as well.  The “new” I won’t give away right now, but be prepared for it.  You can buy tickets at www.thesmithcenter.com If you wish to donate to the Rape Crises Center, you can purchase the special rate ticket at $75, which can also be used as at tax right off and offers you a pre-show cocktail party, or you purchase a regular ticket price which is around $28 on the website.  The room is small and cozy so you will want to jump on getting tickets asap, but rest assured that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

This week I an working to pull all of the charts and audio together for the band, and get that in the mail.  This show is totally different than anything I’ve ever done…its a challenge, and exciting to take on.  I’m looking forward to taking a different performance roll than I’ve ever done.  So stay tuned my friends.

AZ

Hey everyone…so I just finished my latest article on Randy Cooke, Pro drummer.  Very cool hang with Randy, and you can check out the article at roqzine.com, but here is the link to be specific…http://www.roqzine.com/2012/04/12/behind-the-beat-featuring-international-drummer-randy-cooke/

In addition to that we are starting the prep work for our Jazz show in Vegas at the Smith Center in September.  I’m really excited about this new show, and the chance to get to work with Bart http://www.bartdoerfler.com to set a new show again.  I’m also excited to say that we may have my friend Matt Trygg at the show, an amazing R&B singer/writer…wonderful talent…beautiful tenor voice, as my counter to the show.  This is going to be a show you won’t want to miss for sure.  Tickets are available at http://www.smithcenter.com What an amazing experience to work with such wonderful people!!!!  That’s all I’m going to share now because it’s Cinco De Mayo, and I’ve got to get to the Guacamole tonight before it’s too late! =0)  Cheers my friends, and stay tuned for more updates!

Much love,

AZ

 

The song "Fabulous"

Just wanted to thank everyone who made Saturday nights show a total blast!  We not only had a sold out show, but people were wanting to buy tickets at the door to stand in the theater.  I can’t thank everyone enough…your ticket purchase makes it possible to have such a great amount of musicians on stage.  We had nine players….guest violin, cello, drums, percussion, bass, guitar, classical guitar…the works.  We hope to do the same thing in Salt Lake City on March 10th…which is nearly three weeks away.  If you are reading this and in the Salt Lake City area…don’t delay, and pick up your tickets at http://www.ashtonzyer.com on the front page.  I will also have Mikey Clark joining us for this show (we started our music careers together in a little square rehearsal room in Westlake Village)….and possibly a harpist.  We will see though…that is not confirmed, but would be really interesting if it happens!

It looks like we may be playing in Pontiac, Ill on May 5th.  I’m excited to see those details come together, and to do some good fundraising work with the local high school for their band program.  There’s nothing better than doing those shows.  Pontiac is ironically 15 min. away from where my grandmother (recently deceased) was born and raised.  It will be a great time going back to her stomping grounds to play a show.  She always loved music.  I remember her home always had some type of background music going and she loved to hum! Yup, she’s a hummer…I’m not quite a hummer…but I do giggle when I’m around serious hummers!  I don’t know why……my mom’s a hummer and my dad’s a whistler.  Get the two in a room and you think you are going crazy.

Two songs are done…”Near You”, and “Gotta give you away”.  I hope to play them in SLC and see how that goes.  Looking forward to putting it together with the band.  Had a great meeting with Glenn at the Smith Center yesterday and Bart & Michael as well regarding our Jazz Cabaret show in September….this is going to be smokin’!  I really hope we can do this for the Rape Crises Center.  It would be great to be able to partner with them to help them raise some money for local men and women in Las Vegas.  Hopefully we will see soon.

I promise to be better at posting.  I’m a little embarrassed it’s been nearly a month and a half!  Dang…just got lost for awhile I guess. =)

AZ

I’m home for the holidays and man are we fat and happy at the house.  To add to our happiness, we hosted the second anual family cookie bake-off.  I mean, these Zyer’s mean biznaz…the winner of the Golden Spatula award (which I made out of regular old spatula, spray painted gold and blinged out with jewels) “Dave” took his cookie on a test run twice before delivering the goods at the bake-off.  He was not going down without a fight.  The thing that probably cracked me up the most was listening to his wife rationalize whether she would enter a cookie because she was afraid of beating her husband, and the drama it would ensue when she paraded her award all year.  Dave had been talking so much smack,  I secretly wanted her to win…just to witness the throw down!  Here are a couple pictures of the caloric suicide we participated in:

The second award we give out is called the “Golden Grape” award (which are amber glass grapes displayed in a football display case) for the best looking cookie.  My sister-in-law took the price with this German star cookie.  She wasn’t even going to enter, so go figure she took home the prize.  All in all it was a good time.  We gave away “fail” prizes for all the other fabulous entries.  My entry was bamboozled again…and you know what, I know I should have won…the lemon streusal bar with white chocolate and pecans is devils food!  At least it won the “Bam Sucka” vote…and that’s good enough for me!

I’ve started pulling all the music for our February show, when I get home I am slammed with rehearsals.  Bart Doerfler has built a show that is kicking my butt so I’m going to have to lock myself in the studio and just practice, practice, practice!  That and work off all of this holiday goodness.  I’m back in my stretchy pants, and that’s not good!  I threw out all my pants that were my old size…bahaa…serves me right.  Oh well, I sure do love my holiday goodness!  Just a reminder if you haven’t checked it out yet, you can hear Eden’s Angel @ http://www.indiegogo.com/edens-angel-project hope you enjoy the tune and the cause.

Happy New Year y’all!

AZ