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September 16, 2014

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On a scale of 1-to-tenors, Las Vegas scores highly for vocal groups

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Ira Kuzma

The Tenors of Rock with Priscilla Presley after the Tenors’ performance at Lounge at the Palms on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.

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The Las Vegas Tenors perform during the "Our Town for Newtown" benefit Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at Railhead at Boulder Station.

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The Tenors of Rock appear in "Raiding the Rock Vault" at LVH on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.

The Kats Report Bureau at this writing is Fortuna (a coffee and wine experience) at LVH. That plaintive wail from across the open lounge is that of a small person, maybe 2 years old, evidently auditioning for one of my favorite shows, “Raiding the Rock Vault.”

There is some construction, or maybe deconstruction, in the area at the entrance of what was once Quarks restaurant and lounge, left over from the Star Trek Experience days.

On weekend nights, the open area leading to the hotel’s lobby is home to a Latin-themed nightclub, and I sometimes pop my head in as that club’s house band thumps along into the early morning hours.

If Latin club music is your thing, well, opportunity knocks. If tenor-fashioned vocal groups are your thing, there are two to note — one of whom plays Shimmer Cabaret across the way.

The Las Vegas Tenors are headed up by longtime tenor (and onetime “Bite” singer) Bobby Black and feature former “Vegas! The Show” cast member Lou Gazzara and Shai Yammanee, who hails from Australia and has amassed a long list of production-show credits (“Rent” and “The Marriage of Figaro” among them).

The Tenors sing it up nightly at 8:30. They swap theater time with yet another fine vocal ensemble, Mo5aic, playing the Shimmer.

Up Paradise Road a spot, the Tenors of Rock are to return to Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel tonight for free shows at 6:30 and 11. “Jersey Boys” cast member Deven May continues to work as a “facilitator,” as he terms it, of the international lineup that hails from England and performs across the globe on land and cruise ships.

The singers were in town in November joining “Raiding the Rock Vault’ (“Always a rocking good time,” says Johnny Kats!), Frankie Moreno and performing a one-off at Lounge at the Palms. The guys drew interest from Priscilla Presley during that run. How that happened: Presley once worked with Kevin Wood, the production manager of the group.

The connection between the singers and May dates to the days when May and Tenors co-founder Gareth Richards were cast in “Bat Boy” on Broadway about 10 years ago. These guys sing wonderfully and are looking for a place to perform.

They are hardly alone in that objective, but they are worth checking out.

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

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