July 2, 2024

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WHAT:               Vic’s Las Vegas brings world-class jazz artists to entertain diners throughout the month of July.

WHEN:              July 5 & 6          KEN PEPLOWSKI –
7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
July 11-13        BENNY BENACK III
– 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
– 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
July 26 & 27    PATTY ASCHER
– 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

WHERE:           Vic’s Las Vegas
                              355 Promenade Place in Symphony Park
No cover and no minimums. Reservations are strongly encouraged.


Ken Peplowski is a jazz clarinetist and saxophonist hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. Ken, and his trumpet-playing brother Ted, made many local radio and TV appearances and played for Polish dances and weddings virtually every weekend all through high-school. “That’s where I learned to improvise, ‘fake’ songs, learn about chord changes, etc.- it’s exactly like learning to swim by being thrown into the water!” By the time Ken was in his early teens, he was experimenting with jazz by playing in the school “stage” bands, and by jamming with many of the local jazz musicians. “By the time I hit high school, I was teaching at the local music store, playing in our family band, and playing jazz gigs around town while still getting up early every day for school.”

After a year of college, Ken joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow. “Buddy heard me with my quartet at a Cleveland jazz festival along with Teddy Wilson’s trio and the Dorsey band and made an offer right then and there for me to not only play lead alto, but to have a feature spot on the clarinet with the rhythm section. It was a great ‘road-school’ – we learned the discipline that goes with playing one-nighters every day for 48 weeks out of the year, and Buddy was a great, very generous bandleader.” Peplowski met Sonny Stitt while on the road with the Dorsey band and studied with him. “He was, and is, an inspiration to all of us who make a living ‘on the road’ – I’ve never heard anybody play with such amazing consistency as Sonny, through all kinds of settings.”

In 1980, Ken moved to New York City, and was soon playing in all kinds of settings, from traditional to avant-garde jazz. “Everything’s a learning experience in jazz music – there’s always an element of the unpredictable.” In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone.

Peplowski signed with Concord Records, under the tutelage of Carl Jefferson, the founder and president, and recorded close to 20 albums as a leader, including “The Natural Touch” in 1992 which won Best Jazz Record of the Year by the Prises Deutschen Schallplatten Kritiken, and “The Other Portrait”, recorded in Sophia Bulgaria with the symphony orchestra and highlighting Ken’s classical side. He also recorded two records on the Nagel Heyer label, “Lost In The Stars” and “Easy To Remember”, the latter of which features Bobby Short on his last recording. “I loved Bobby Short’s approach to the American songbook, and we’d talked about doing a record together for a while – I’m glad we got this one ‘in the can.’

And he has certainly achieved these goals, be it in small clubs, the Hollywood Bowl (where he played a sold-out concert), headlining in Las Vegas, the Newport Jazz Festival, pops concerts, European festivals and clubs, or at home in NYC, doing everything from playing on the soundtracks to Woody Allen movies, guest soloing on records (his more interesting recent ones were Marianne Faithfull and Cuban vocalist Isaac Delgado) to taking on the role of music director for interactive French and Italian cookbooks (“Menus And Music”).

The litany of musicians Ken has collaborated with includes Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Madonna, Hank Jones, Dave Frishberg, Rosemary Clooney, Tom Harrell, James Moody, Cedar Walton, Houston Person, Steve Allen, Bill Charlap, Woody Allen, Marianne Faithfull, Isaac Delgado & Erich Kunzel. (“Although not necessarily in that order,” says Ken).

Ken Peplowski is a Buffet-Crampon artist, and plays the R-13 clarinet, with a Portnoy mouthpiece and Van Doren German-cut reeds. He also plays a Conn tenor sax and a Berg Larsen mouthpiece.

Ken’s new CD is called “Sunrise” and it’s a big band record of new arrangements written exclusively for him, plus some reworking of classic arrangements. His upcoming CD is a duo record with Brazilian guitarist Diego Figuereido entitled “Amizade”. He is currently the artistic director of the Sarasota Jazz Festival, the Newport Beach Jazz Party, and the Oregon Coast Jazz Party in Newport, Oregon.  Ken Peplowski has also been bestowed this year’s “Creative Arts Prize In Recognition Of Outstanding Contribution In The Field Of The Creative Arts” by the Polish American Historical Association.


By age 33, Emmy-nominated Trumpeter and Vocalist Benny Benack III has already become a leading voice in Jazz for his generation, headlining clubs and festivals around the world on the heels of his latest critically acclaimed album “Third Time’s the Charm” which ascended to #2 on the JazzWeek International Radio Charts in 2023. He is the rare talent who is just as formidable as a fiery trumpeter ranging from Freddie Hubbard to Louis Armstrong and everyone in between, while as a singer he delivers sly, mature, naturally expressive post-Sinatra vocal stylings.

His sophomore album “A Lot of Livin’ to Do” (2020) featured the likes of bass luminary Christian McBride, achieving viral online fame w/his vocalese rendition of “Social Call” ft. Veronica Swift that’s been transcribed and covered by singers around the world. He has crooned his way to millions of more listeners alongside groups such as the Grammy-winning “8-Bit Big Band” and YouTube sensation “Postmodern Jukebox”.

His double-threat credentials were first apparent when he was a finalist in the 2014 Thelonius Monk Competition on trumpet, and then won Third Place in the 2021 Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition. His resume for both was recently bolstered in Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Poll for 2023, where he appeared in two categories: The #2 Rising Star Male Vocalist and #15 Rising Star Trumpet.

His global recognition has been bolstered by the recent advent of live-streaming concerts, both through his weekly residency at Smalls Jazz Club, as well as frequent appearances at fellow young lion Emmet Cohen’s “Emmet’s Place” online series. He has emerged from the pandemic as one of the most in-demand touring artists in the Jazz world, with a never-ending intercontinental schedule that reflects his indefatigable love for the music, with his smile and panache on full-display wherever it takes him next.


Calabria Foti is an American singer, violinist, composer, arranger, author, and educator. A consummate musician and a dynamic entertainer, Calabria is a connoisseur of music, from Classical to Broadway.  Ms. Foti’s recordings and live shows have been praised by such diverse artists as piano virtuoso Van Cliburn, composer Johnny Mandel, trumpeter Chris Botti, and a host of other music and entertainment luminaries. Upon hearing her CD, “A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening” (2007, MoCo Records), legendary singer Johnny Mathis said, ” Listening to a beautiful voice is one of my greatest pleasures in life. Listening to this recording of Calabria Foti’s voice is some of the most beautiful and artistic music I have ever heard. She is a treasure!”

Born into a family of musicians and music educators, Calabria was exposed to classical, jazz, and popular music at a young age. Passionate about movie musicals and classic films of the late 1920s on, Ms. Foti calls herself a “throwback”, in love with the period of American history that produced the songs of the Great American Songbook and the films from The Golden Age of Hollywood.

Her highly acclaimed CDs are a testimony to her musical sensibilities and can be heard regularly on adult standards and jazz radio formats throughout the world. She has shared the spotlight and the microphone with TV’s Seth MacFarlane and in 2013, the two paired up to record the duet, “Let’s Fall in Love”, which garnered a Grammy Award nomination.

Equally at home performing musical theatre, jazz, cabaret, or her own original songs, Calabria has been called a “master of improvisation and interpretation”, and her voice has graced several major motion picture and television soundtracks.

Also, an accomplished violinist, Calabria created the jazz violin sound for Fox TV’s Lisa Simpson, performed the virtuosic violin solo for the long-running theme to PBS’ Great Performances, and most recently was a featured soloist in the films, Muppets Most Wanted and Sherlock Holmes. She has played violin on hundreds of television and movie scores, and on CDs for Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Josh Groban, Daft Punk, and many others.

With a delightful speaking voice, Ms. Foti has hosted the internationally syndicated radio program “Music Of Your Life” and is heard occasionally as a guest host on Sirius/XM Radio’s “Siriusly Sinatra”, where she enthusiastically discusses and plays the music she loves so much.


Whether singing in English or her native Portuguese, Patty Ascher brings an alluring quality to bear on every evocative tune. From achingly beautiful interpretations of songs by the likes of Michel Legrand and Burt Bacharach (the latter whom she paid tribute to on the acclaimed album Bacharach Bossa Club) to heartfelt renditions of her own affecting bossa nova and R&B flavored originals, Patty delivers with the kind of classy sophistication that belies to the great jazz singers.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Patty Ascher grew up in a musical household. Her father Neno was part of a very successful Brazilian band from the 70s called Os Incríveis (The Incredibles). “My father was a musician, his brother is a very popular arranger and maestro in Brazil and all my cousins play an instrument,” she says. As a singer, she cites Brazilian divas Leny Andrade and Gal Costa along with American jazz divas Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington as important influences. “What they all have in common,” says Ascher, “is personality. When you hear them, you do know who is singing.”

Patty Ascher also lists Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Al Jarreau as among her favorite male voices, though her earliest vocal influence may have come from a 1930s icon. “The first song I remember in my life was ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ with Fats Waller singing,” she recalls. “I was only three years old, and I loved that song. I’d wake up in the morning hearing Fats, and that always stuck with me. Then I discovered Cab Calloway’s ‘Minnie the Moochie’ from a cartoon, and I loved that as well. My father then introduced me to Louis Armstrong, and I started to listen all the time to his versions of ‘Dream A Little Dream of Me,’ ‘High Society’ and ‘St. James Infirmary.’ I used to love that man singing just to me in my room while I was eating or taking a bath, even when I was sleeping.”

Patty Ascher’s musical horizons eventually expanded to include the Beatles, American Soul and jazz. During her college years while studying for a bachelor’s degree in literature at the University of São Paulo, she began immersing herself in Brazilian music while harboring a dream of becoming a professional singer. She recalls her earliest onstage experiences. “My first gig was in a beautiful theater in São Paulo. It was a benefit concert for the Jewish Community Center. The second one I did was in Rio de Janeiro at Bar Do Tom, a Bossa Nova temple…a very fancy night club in Rio.”

In 2007, after earning a master’s degree she encountered bossa nova pioneer Roberto Menescal, who invited Patty Ascher to record her first CD, singing Burt Bacharach songs in bossa nova style. “Meeting him was a sign to me,” she says. “It was a chance to go on seriously with a career, working with a great producer and mentor. We released our project one year after our first meeting and it was a dream project. It was an incredible opportunity to sing samba and jazz together. They have a lot in common. Both were born in the ‘new continent’ at the same time from the same mother Africa.”

On her latest recording, Bossa, Jazz ‘n’ Samba, Patty Ascher’s gorgeous voice is surrounded by lush orchestrations from such respected veteran MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) artists and composer-arrangers as Dori Caymmi, Gilson Peranzetta, Amilson Godoy and Cristovao Bastos. This spirited cross-cultural project –recorded at the famous Gravodisc studios in Sao Paolo, Brazil –should put Patty Ascher over the top and she was nominated for a Grammy.


Created by Porchlight Hospitality in 2023, the award-winning Vic’s Las Vegas is located in Symphony Park at 355 Promenade Place. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m., Vic’s features Italian-American cuisine, a full-service bar, gaming, and live entertainment nightly. Reservations can be made by calling 725-755-5299 or visit Follow on Instagram @vicslasvegas.

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Hillary Smoot, SRO PR