Luxe Life Blog
Strip Scribbles: Santana returns, launches tequila; Andres’ $26,500 course
Legendary guitarist and hometown music hero Carlos Santana resumes his residency at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay tonight and celebrates by launching a tequila.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame music superstar and icon has joined the Casa Noble tequila board of directors and is now one of the owners. He’ll open up bottles of the brand in the Foundation Room for a VIP crowd before performing. The 10-time Grammy Award winner also gets his own locker alongside HOB owner Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi to store his drinks and cigars.
Carlos, who has lived here nearly years, will perform his “Greatest Hits: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” through Sunday, Sept. 23, and returns Nov. 7-17 as part of his new two-year deal with HOB. The venue has been reconfigured so fans can sit up close. Carlos said, “Every night is a different show. We can improvise and experiment. It’s like a living room with a close connection with the audience, a combination between a living room and a laboratory so we can try out stuff.”
Along with the Rolling Stones, Carlos, in his 40-year career, is one of two music acts in history to score at least one Top 10 album in each decade starting with the 1960s. His latest album, “Shape Shifter,” is the first for his new label, Starfaith Records, and the 13-song set is an instrumental tour de force. Carlos donates a portion of all tickets sold to his charity Milagro Foundation for vulnerable and underrepresented children.
$26,500 TUITION FEE: New York’s International Culinary Center has recruited the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas chef Jose Andres as dean of its new Spanish cooking curriculum starting in February. The shocker is that it last 10 weeks, and tuition is $26,500 for each of the 22 students! Eventually, Jose and the Culinary Center want to expand the course to six months and include a month in Spain; no word on that bill yet.
Meantime, I hear rumblings of a Las Vegas chef’s university at one of our Strip hotels in December. For a much lesser fee, students receive a diploma after three immersed days of 12 classes conducted by some of our city’s top chefs.
BAGATELLE OPENS THURSDAY: But not to the public quite yet. The sandy beach, though, gets broken in with the 2012 National Volleyball League “Best of the Beach” tournament Thursday through Saturday. The games wrap with an all-day pool party Sunday. The Top 32 men and 32 women compete in eight pools of four on beach volleyball courts at Bagatelle at the Tropicana before reaching the finals battling for a $100,000 grand prize.
Among the star players: Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers; silver medalists Jen Kessy and April Ross; and Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, the top men’s team in the world. Expect the official opening of Bagatelle in mid-October.
LOUIS’ LIVE SHOW: It was a gamble that Louis Prima Jr. was determined to make pay off big time. “Access Hollywood” producers wanted him to tape his segment at his Las Vegas home to promote his new CD “Return of the Wildest,” but he wanted to perform live and spontaneous in the studio.
It was a first for the syndicated show, and Louis, singer Sarah Spiegel and the Witnesses pulled it off. As you can see (and hear), the “Jump Jiving” went really well.
WEEKLONG OPENING: Executives at the new D hotel downtown have decided on a weeklong celebration of its dramatic transformation with two free public concerts. Poison frontman Bret Michaels will take a break from his tour to kick off festivities Oct. 13, and One Republic headlines Oct. 20.
It’s been more than a year since the former Fitzgerald’s was converted to the D with 638 remodeled, contemporary rooms and suites. The two-level casino boasts table games manned by playful dancing dealers on the first level and an old-school Vintage Vegas casino on the second floor. The hotel also boasts Longbar, appropriately the longest bar in Nevada.
DRAG QUEEN BINGO: To kick off Halloween week, female impersonator Frank Marino and his “Divas Las Vegas” launch Disco Divas Bingo at Imperial Palace. “This isn’t your grandmother’s bingo game,” Frank said. “There’s nowhere else in the world you can play bingo with drag queens breaking out in dance on your table while yours truly hosts. These bingo games will be anything but a drag!”
OUR CONDOLENCES: Sincere condolences to family and friends of Las Vegas winemaker Charlie Peters, who has died from a heart attack. His wine school Grape Expectations will continue in his memory ensuring locals can still buy grapes, stomp them, bottle and watch the fermentation of their own wines over the months-long process. This Saturday, Charlie will be remembered and saluted as the new location is opened for reservations for this year’s winemaking season.
“Charlie had told friends he never wanted tears but a good old Irish Winemaker’s Wake to include his past and present winemakers, family members and close friends. It will be a great sendoff for a very charming man who had a knack for touching lives,” said one of his friends. Details of the Nevada School of Winemaking are at GrapeExpectationsLasVegas.com.
Monte Carlo headliners the Jabbawockeez went on vacation to Disney World. The dance crew took a private tour of the park and met up with some of America’s most beloved characters, even leaving Mickey Mouse with a few dance moves and a new, hip-hop swagger. Susaye Greene, a onetime member of the Supremes, watched Human Nature at Imperial Palace on Tuesday night.
Santana returns to his residency at HOB, and “Top Chef Masters’ ” Diner en Blanc at the Venetian airs on Bravo at 10. And more than 30 eligible bachelors paired with gin martinis compete for votes at the Best Man launch party at Lily in the Bellagio.
Public House Luxor and the Ainsworth at the Hard Rock Hotel have their grand openings, plus, the VIP grand opening of chef Enzo Febbraro’s Allegro at the Wynn.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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