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November 23, 2014

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Clint Holmes’ ray of sunshine is a Charles tribute at the Venetian

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The Smith Center for the Performing Arts

Clint Holmes with Nneenna Freelon in “Georgia on My Mind: A Tribute to Ray Charles” on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center.

Clint Holmes at ‘Georgia on My Mind’ Tribute

Clint Holmes with Kirk Whalum on sax in “Georgia on My Mind: A Tribute to Ray Charles” on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center. Launch slideshow »
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Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton Holmes arrive at the red carpet for Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson One" at Mandalay Bay on Saturday, June 29, 2013.

Clint Holmes’ most recent foray into a Strip production was his six-year run at Harrah’s in which he used music to tell a story — his own.

Now he’s focusing his creative energy on the life and music of Ray Charles.

In his first residency on the Strip since leaving Harrah’s in 2006, Holmes is part of the artistically robust lineup delivering “Georgia On My Mind” to the Venetian Theater from Sept. 18-Oct. 29. Joining Holmes in the production is the 10-time Grammy Award-winning vocal group Take 6 and the great jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon.

Those singers will be backed by a full orchestra under the direction of UNLV Jazz Studies Department Director Dave Loeb, who has developed that school’s Jazz Ensemble band into one of the most prestigious in the country. The producer is Larry Rosen, co-founder of GPR Records, which happens to be the first major record label to issue its music in a digitally mastered format.

If this all sounds more than vaguely familiar, it should: Holmes, Take 6 and Freeman (and also sax great Kirk Whalum) performed this show splendidly at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center in February. Holmes also fronted the production that played Atlanta this year and is to tour in Miami and Orlando in November.

Of course, the Smith Center is typically Holmes’ home court, as he performs at Cabaret Jazz the first weekend of each month. He is taking off September, October and November to focus his energy as a live performer on the Charles show. He’s also busy recording an upcoming jazz CD at Capitol Records in Los Angeles, and a story about his visit to Hollywood last week is upcoming.

Such details as ticket prices, show dates and availability for the shows at the Venetian will be released officially next Tuesday during a news conference at the hotel. But for now, know that Clint Holmes is back on the Strip.

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

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