Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

There’s a whole lot of trumpet blowing with Chris Botti in town

Posted by Kimberly on June 3, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
June 3, 2008 (676 words)

Chris Botti would rather not consider himself as elevator music. At least, that’s the impression the Portland-born jazz trumpeter gave at an interview yesterday.
“If you’re an instrumentalist, you’re linked back to Kenny G and it’s like ‘ooh’,” he says. Not that there’s anything wrong with Kenny G, adds Botti. After all, the former has managed to create a sound that is instantly recognisable to those familiar with his work, which Botti says he’s achieved as well, to some degree.
“A lot of people think I play the saxophone because we both stand there and blow into an instrument.
“Being asked to get onto TV shows has catapulted us both, but our music is very different,” Botti adds.
Enough about Kenny G. Botti’s last appearance in Asia will be occurring tonight, in the Grand Auditorium of the Macau Cultural Centre, after a tour that has encompassed Singapore, Korea, Japan and Beijing to name a few.
After which, comes the US cities; Washington DC, Nashville and New York. It’s a scenario that’s been played for so long now, that hardly a free moment exists for writing new material, with only two songs from his latest album Italia being written, or co-written, by Botti. Read the rest of this entry »


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Starstruck to light up MGM’s Lion’s Bar

Posted by Kimberly on May 16, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
May 16, 2008 (318 words)

The successful run the MGM GRAND is having with its musicians at the popular Lion’s Bar looks set to continue with the arrival of a new band – Starstruck. It would seem like a tough task to follow the rave reviews earned by the previous act – the Freddie James Project, but after a sneak preview it looks like this good looking group will also be a crowd pleaser in Macau.
Hailing from Los Angeles, Southern California, Starstruck formed in 2001 and has been performing their high-energy and well-choreographed show to the USA casino crowds for a while. This experience will no doubt have prepared them for their 6 week stint in Macau.
The group is fronted by female vocalists and dancers, Vivien Lesiak and Kimberly Hoey and  male vocalist/dancer, Lance Jones. This talented trio is backed by an equally talented 4-piece rhythm section.
The band has performed in many of California’s casinos including Pala, Pechanga, Morongo, The Spa of Palm Springs, Barona, and San Manuel. Most recently, Starstruck has performed on the Las Vegas Strip with a three month run at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. From elegant corporate events to rockin’ it out at some of America’s finest nightclubs and casino’s, the MGM is no doubt counting on Starstruck to continue to deliver the highly entertaining performances the Lion’s Bar crowd has grown accustomed to. audiences around the world with their fiery brand of musicianship and live performances.
Like the diverse music style that Hollywood is famous for, Starstruck’s performances are a celebration of rock, soul, disco, alternative music and many other genres. Starstruck promises to take it’s audience on an interactive journey through the last three decades of music and with the energy they have shown in their first few performances, they are guaranteed to keep the crowds on the dance floor
Starstruck will perform nightly at the MGM GRAND’s Lion’s Bar until June 29.

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Projecting a sense of fun onto the Lion’s Bar scene

Posted by Kimberly on April 18, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
April 18, 2008 (543 words)

Lately, it’s been a little difficult to ignore the reputation that MGM’s Lion’s Bar has managed to amass in what appears to be a very short period of time, all good of course. And while that had plenty to do with their first act “HB Wild,” the latest addition to Macau’s happening night-life, in the form of The Freddie James Project, has taken it to another level.
Also hailing from Canada, specifically, Montreal, the six-member group consists of Freddie himself (vocals), Alan Springer, lead guitar; Anthony Cooperwood, keyboards; Ben Vezina, drum; James Challenger, bass and Katie McNally, vocals/backing vocals, who will perform at the Lion’s Bar until May 12.
Asked about the reason behind the name, Freddie responds by suggesting it’s a project “and we’re never satisfied.
“We’re always in the works, new clothes, new steps, new songs and always in motion.
“I don’t think we’ll ever stop and say we’re done otherwise the band is finished,” he adds.
Those that have yet to get themselves over to Lion’s Bar have been missing out on the energy and rhythm the group exudes, with music ranging from  Motown, R&B, Hip Hop and Soul and pretty much anything goes.
That means George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Bob Marley or even AC/DC, with Freddie adding “we don’t stay in one style. Read the rest of this entry »

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When Irish bands are playing

Posted by Kimberly on March 13, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
March 13, 2008 (883 words)

Three-man Irish band Bahouki may not be well known in Macau but come St Patrick’s Day, March 15 with the celebrations planned at Starworld and it’s likely the whole neighbourhood will be entirely familiar with their music by night’s end.

Consisting of David May (fiddle), Oliver Quinn (boron, mandolin, flute, bazookie) and John Hutton (singer and plays guitar, harmonica), Bahouki have been around for more than a decade in Hong Kong but have never played at any of that SAR’s Irish bars. Both David and Oliver come from Ireland originally, although John hails from Scotland.

The trio sat down to an hour (or three) of beer and questions about their music, beginnings and goals.

Oliver: Our base is in Celtic music and from there we find something to do that’s punchy and we do swing, music form the 1920s and 1930s. We do a lot of songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s. Read the rest of this entry »

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The ‘barefoot diva’ returns to Macau

Posted by Kimberly on February 22, 2008

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
February 22, 2008 (572 words)

Cape Verde export Cesaria Evora is as intriguing in person as she appears to be to the countless dedicated fans of her songs.
Every question posed gains a succinct response which only tells you what you asked and nothing more. It’s that mystery that adds to the character of a woman that admits there are still some secrets she refuses to divulge.
In Macau for the second time to perform at the Cultural Centre tomorrow night, Cesaria has been nick-named ‘the barefoot diva’ for her propensity to perform on stage sans shoes.
Yet, despite what media have reported about her reasons for doing so, they are as simple as the fact that it is the state in which she feels the most comfortable, nothing more.
Her diminutive stature belies the strength that lies within, coming out in a voice that has been likened to such singing greats as Billie Holiday and Bessy Smith.
Her music could almost have its own category, a Creole style that mixes Portuguese fado with Brazilian modinha. Read the rest of this entry »

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