“The Vegas Player”: Jimmy Mulidore Quintet w/ Richie Cole & Tomoko Ohno The Las Vegas jazz legend and renowned bandleader - whose resume includes performances with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, & Louis Armstrong - brings the swagger of the Vegas Strip to Akron's Main & Market for an evening of hard-swingin' bop, blues & more! Featuring saxophonist extraordinaire, Richie Cole & pianist sensation, Tomoko Ohno.

Saturday, September 5

Woodwind master, author and West Coast entertainer, Jimmy Mulidore, didn’t just witness Las Vegas in the ’50’s, ’60’s and ’70’s – he lived it. From his humble beginnings in Youngstown, OH to the heights of Las Vegas, playing beside his mentor, James Moody, Mulidore’s career reads like a who’s who of showbiz royalty.
Moving to Las Vegas in 1957 provided Mulidore the opportunity to work with some of the biggest stars in the business. He began working at the renown Sands Hotel and Casino with the Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, and Dean Martin. Then he moved to the Rancho Vegas, a real hot spot in the sixties. By 1969, Jimmy was musical director at the Las Vegas Hilton, a position he held for eighteen years. In this role, Jimmy conducted for an array of stars including: Liberace, Barbara Striesand, Natalie Cole, Raquel Welch, Pearl Bailey and Louis Armstrong. He also worked with Elvis. One of his most memorable performances was Elvis’ Closing Night at the Las Vegas Hilton when Elvis acknowledged Jimmy’s outstanding flute solo in the “American Trilogy.”

“Muldoon, you are a star…”
- Benny Golson

After leaving the Hilton in 1987, Jimmy started touring as Jimmy Mulidore’s Jazz All Stars. This tour featured Mulidore’s mentor and friend, jazz legend, James Moody. For nearly twenty years now, Jimmy has been dedicated to playing jazz. He has played in Europe, Italy, Mexico and through out the United States.
Jimmy has played with some of the great jazz musicians such as, Tony Bennett, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Shelley Manne, Red Rodney, Richie Cole, Phil Woods, and many more.
In his new 2014 book, “The Vegas Player” (Tate Publishing), Mulidore recounts his experiences in showbusiness first-hand.
Don’t miss this very special one-night-only event at BLU Jazz+ as we bring the swagger of the Vegas Strip to Akron’s Main & Market for an evening of hard-swingin’ bop, blues & more! Joining Jimmy Mulidore are two of his favorite musical collaborators: saxophonist extraordinaire, Richie Cole (Eddie Jefferson, the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Tom Waits, Boots Randolph, and Nancy Wilson), pianist sensation, Tomoko Ohno (Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi, James Spaulding, Rufus Reid, The John Lee Quartet, The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Big Band, Sherry Maricle & the Diva Jazz Orchestra), and Midwest fan favorites Dave Morgan (bass) and Reggie Jackson (drums)!
Get your tickets while they last for this very special homecoming performance for Jimmy – two shows, 7PM & 9:30PM! The concerts will conclude with a Meet & Greet with Jimmy and the band, who will be on hand to sign copies of his book, DVD’s, and CD’s!


About Jimmy Mulidore

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Jimmy took up the saxophone at the age of ten. Shortly thereafter, he added the classical clarinet, studying with one of the best teachers around, Albert Calderone. He spent his high school years frequenting the Cleveland jazz clubs soaking up the influences of such greats as James Moody, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Clifford Brown. When he was old enough, his summers were spent on tour with Billy May, Hal McIntyre and Ralph Marterie. At Ohio State University, he was chosen solo clarinetist for their orchestra.
Impatient with his progress at Ohio State, Jimmy took off for New York’s Julliard School of Music where he studied theory and composition with Hall Overton. While studying, he often sat in with Phil Wood’s group at the Pink Elephant. In the late fif ties, Jimmy and bassist Scotty La Faro began a trip to Los Angeles that included a stop in Las Vegas. It proved to be a turning point in Jimmy’s life —he stayed on in Vegas while Scotty went on to L.A.
Jimmy’s career blossomed in his new home. He worked with the Red Norvo Quintet; Carl Fontana’s group; a band that included Sweets Edison, Leroy Vinegar and Jackie Wilson; and with Georgie Auld. He also lent his talents to some very special recordings — Louie Bellson “Live At The Thunderbird,” Red Rodney’s “Super Bop,” albums by Sinatra, Streisand and Nat King Cole and, the one of which he’s most proud, a flute solo on Elvis Presley’s “American Trilogy.”
Jimmy met Presley through Joe Guercio, then the Las Vegas Hilton’s musical director. When Guercio left the Hilton, Jimmy was chosen to succeed him as musical director for both the Hilton and Flamingo Hotels. Through those years of conducting for such stars as Louis Armstrong, Ann Margaret, Gladys Knight, Liberace, Barbara Streisand, Natalie Cole, Raquel Welch, Pearl Bailey, & Olivia Newton-John. Jimmy kept in touch with his old friend Phil Woods. In 1974 and ‘75, when Woods was based in L.A., Jimmy commuted regularly from Las Vegas to study with him.
So, while his first love is still the sax (alto and soprano), Jimmy’s impeccable style comes through just as lovingly on the English horn, flute, clarinet and bassoon. His rainbow of talents is excitingly displayed on this first solo album.


About Richie Cole

Richie started playing alto saxophone when he was 10 years old in his home town of Trenton, New Jersey. Influenced by Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker, Cole’s talent and dedication won him a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine to the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
His professional career began in 1969 when he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band. And after stints with the Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Cole formed his own quintet and toured worldwide, doing a great deal to popularize bebop and his own “Alto Madness” style in the 70’s and early 80’s.
Cole has performed and recorded with the great vocalese artist Eddie Jefferson, the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Tom Waits, Boots Randolph, and Nancy Wilson, to name just a few of his musical collaborations. Notably, Cole has performed at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall as well as gave a command performance for the Queen of England.
Cole has recorded over 50 albums and CDs, including his top hit album “Hollywood Madness” (1979 Muse Records) and his tribute album to Leonard Bernstein, “Richie Cole Plays West Side Story” (1997 Music Masters Jazz). A prolific composer, Cole also finds time to arrange for full big bands, symphony orchestras and frequent performances at jazz festivals worldwide. Moreover, he enjoys sharing his love of music with younger generations and is active recording, touring and presenting university master classes.
Cole was appointed to the Board of the National Jazz Service Organization and the Board for the National Endowment for the Arts where he served as chairman for one year. He is also a charter member of the International Association of Jazz Educators. In 2005 he was awarded the State of California Congressional Certificate of Lifetime Achievement in Jazz on behalf of the Temecula Jazz Society. Richie Cole is recognized worldwide for the sweet sounds of his alto saxophone and the creativity behind his Alto Madness Orchestra.
The Alto Madness Orchestra was developed by Cole in the early 90’s and its continuing popularity is proof of its uniqueness. As Richie explains, “The idea of the Orchestra is the concept and sound of an eighteen-piece big band using only seven instruments, four of which are horns. Not only does this have the big band ensemble sound, it also allows us plenty of room for improvisation as if we were in a quartet setting.”


About Tomoko Ohno

Tomoko Ohno, born in Tokyo, began piano studies at the age of 4. As a teenager, she began playing professionally in the Tokyo area jazz scene. After graduating from Rikkyo University in Law and Politics, Miss Ohno moved to the United States and entered the Jazz Studies Program at William Paterson University in New Jersey, where she studied with Harold Mabern and Rufus Reid. During this time she had the opportunity to perform with such artists as Jerome Richardson, Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson and Joe Henderson. A recipient of the Student Award of Outstanding Performance and a member of the Dean’s List, Miss Ohno graduated with a B.A. in Jazz Studies.
She has performed at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, The Blue Note, Sweet Basil and The Lenox Lounge in Harlem, in addition to appearing on live radio broadcasts by WBGO and WNYC, and ABC TV’s Good Morning America. She has performed and/or recorded with Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi, James Spaulding, Rufus Reid, The John Lee Quartet, The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Big Band and Sherry Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra, as well as working as a side musician with such diverse musical ensembles as the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble and The Spirit of Life Ensemble.
Miss Ohno also leads her own group, and has released three CDs on the Japan-based Tokuma label. In 1997 her first album, “Powder Blue” was released, and in 1999 her second album, “Affirmation” was released, followed in 2000 by the album “Natural Woman.” Her album “Shadows of Spring” (recorded in Argentina) was released by MDR Records in 2005. Her latest album “Tomoko Ohno in Buenos Aires” was also released by MDR Records in 2007.
Miss Ohno is also active as a composer, and has been the recipient of a grant from The Meet The Composer Foundation. Commissioned works include pieces written for the Englewinds Chamber Ensemble.

7:00 pm, 9:30 pm


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Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.