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October 30, 2014

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Two lounges — Zebra and Rocks — await Michael Grimm, while Lon Bronson books a CD party

Michael Grimm

Michael Grimm, onstage with Santa Fe and the Fat City horns on Monday night at the Palms. Launch slideshow »
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"The Symphonic Rock Show," featuring Brody Dolyniuk, band leader Lon Bronson a band and 25 orchestral musicians, at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012.

Call it the Ovation Shuffle, the new dance for performers boogieing venues as the showroom at Green Valley Ranch closes this month.

Lon Bronson and Michael Grimm, two of the more prominent performers affected by the decision to shut down Ovation, have already booked new engagements or are about to do so.

Grimm’s updated schedule is tinged in irony, as the Season 5 champion of “America’s Got Talent” is scheduled to play Zebra Lounge at the Palazzo from Nov. 18-21 and again Nov. 26-30. Grimm’s dates begin just as the “America’s Got Talent Live” stage show is scheduled to close (which at the moment is Nov. 17). That show is filled with Season 7 performers, including show champ the Olate Dogs and Season 4 alumni (and Las Vegas regulars) Recycled Percussion.

By starting his run at Zebra Lounge on Nov. 18, Grimm missed by a single day performing at the lounge outside the Palazzo Theater at the same time the “AGT” live production is being staged. Grimm had been headlining at Ovation on Saturdays and is moving to Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort for weekly appearances on Saturdays beginning Dec. 1.

Bronson, whose all-star band has pulled in healthy crowds on Fridays at Ovation, is hosting a CD release party at 8 p.m. Nov. 29 at Chrome in Santa Fe Station for its long-awaited (especially by fans who see the band at Ovation) CD “Doc Goes Vegas.” The release is a collaboration of Bronson and his band and Tower of Power co-founder Stephen “Doc” Kupta, and members of TOP are scheduled to perform with Bronson at Chrome as part of the CD party.

Also, in the aftermath of the announcement that Ovation will close Nov. 24 with a performance by country artist Sam Riddle, Bronson has been approached by Smith Center for the Performing Arts President Myron Martin to discuss the possibility of a few dates for the all-star band at Cabaret Jazz.

“It is a very cool room, and it reminds me of the ‘Last Waltz’ movie set,” Bronson says. “This is all really unexpected. Myron got to me right as he heard Ovation was closing and asked if we’d do a few dates, and I think it would be really fun to play that room.”

The idea of a show band at Cabaret Jazz is not new. There was a brief dalliance between the Smith Center and Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns that went nowhere. It turns out that Bronson’s crew might be the first Vegas big band to play the room.

Elsewhere, Riddle has found a new home at Sunset Station’s Club Madrid, and the songwriting showcase Nashville Unplugged, which was playing twice a month at Rocks Lounge, is now scheduled for that room every Friday.

Left uncertain is Bronson’s schedule with Station Casinos. Look for something to be in order in January for one of the city’s top live acts.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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