Las Vegas Local 369 Musicians Deliver for Idina Menzel

Las Vegas Local 369 American Federation of MusiciansWhen I saw Kevin Spacey, several years ago at the Wayne NewtonStardust Showroom, the orchestra was filled with local musicians. That was true with all Las Vegas headliners in the good old days.

Performers such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Wayne Newton, Dionne Warwick, Donny and Marie, and all the stars from the 50’s and 60’s highlighted the casino marquees.

My dad (Irv Kluger) a popular drummer from the big bands, moved our family to Las Vegas, because he was always here working with performers such as Juliet Prowse, Jerry Lewis, and Artie Shaw.

The Annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethons were a showcase for local musicians and a paid performance they could count on.

Nevada is a right-to-work state. That means a hotel can hire workers without a union contract. So, when corporations came in and took over the town, they thought an extra corner of slot machines would be more lucrative than a band.

Jeff Kutash-Dancin-Machine

Jeff Kutash’s Dancin’ Machine

This was the beginning of a dramatic decline in the hiring of live musicians. Taped music started with Frank Rosenthal hiring Dancin’ Machine at the Stardust Hotel. The situation worsened with more frequent use of synthesizers, often used to in place of strings and horns.

The shows that are now active, such as: Donny and Marie, many concerts, Vegas the Show, Jersey Boys, and Phantom of the Opera have kept some musicians working. For many others, in a right-to-work state, it was doomsday.

When I sang with Bobby Vinton, Engelbert Humperdinck, Sheena Easton, Joe Piscopo, there were large orchestras. THAT was Old Vegas. That’s what I think of when I hear a big band now.

Sunday, June 10th, at Reynolds Theater at The Smith Center, I heard one of the best concerts of my life, featuring Tony Award Winner, Idina Menzel.

Idina’s Rhythm Section, from New York City, led by her Musical Director, Rob Mounsey,  travel the entire 30-day tour.

The rest of the musicians for her performance are Las Vegas locals. I would like you to know these people. They live here, and go to 90 minute, 2-hour rehearsals, and then perform, brilliantly… as if they had played her repertoire, forever.

Idina asked the entire orchestra to stand, for applause, multiple times. These talented musicians never receive enough credit. It’s my pleasure to share the complete list of local musicians who made her show sound so good, and represented Las Vegas, so well.

Local 369 Musicians for Idina Menzel

SmithCenterLogo1st Violins

2nd Violins



Reed 1 – Alto Sax & Flute

Reed 2 – Tenor sax/Flute/Clarinet

  • Martin Radunz

Reed 3 – Bari Sax/Flute/Clarinet

Reed 4 – Oboe/English Horn

French Horn



Bass Trombone



I want them to know, the music they play, every time they have a concert or show with anyone, is prime and magical. They deserve the applause because without the music, there would be no show.

Thank you for bringing your game, and just know that some of us appreciate you, more than you know.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Maintaining Your Vocal Health

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