When it comes to a story growing up in a musical household in Midwestern Ohio, then moving on to living your musical dream in fabulous Las Vegas, David Perrico is that story. I sat down with Perrico; who is an accomplished local Vegas trumpeter & music director for a one-on-one interview, where he shared with me the background to his humble beginnings in music.
Born and raised in the steel mill town of Youngstown, Ohio, Perrico was no stranger to music, his parents were big fans of music and his father played saxophone. He picked up playing the trumpet at age 9 and from there, his road to musical success began.
“Growing up in the 80’s, my influences were the rock bands, Foreigner, AC/DC, Van Halen, Rush… that kinda’ stuff, until I took the music a little bit more seriously and I got a scholarship to Youngstown State University at the age of 18 and became a Jazz and Classical performance major,” said Perrico.
Perrico credits his Dad as the main influencer in the musical household when it came to listening to jazz music. He was also heavily influenced by some legendary jazz musicians like David Sanborn, Winton Marsalis, Maynard Ferguson, Louis Armstrong, Harry James, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown to name a few, and most of all by late 70’s trumpeter Chuck Mangione. Perrico adds that he is also a fan of classical music; Bach, Mozart, Beethoven.
I asked David Perrico what the inspiration for the live musical productions that he produces and performs today in Las Vegas such as Pop Evolution, Pop Strings Orchestra & Pop 40… “I’ve always had my own bands since I was 18 playing in bars in Youngtown, I had my first band called Kind of Blue named after the Miles Davis Album, but then I went on the road for about 8 years traveling with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, I always loved the Big Bands,” adding that he was also a big fan of The Glen Miller Orchestra and Artie Shaw to name a few.
“You can’t do the Big Band stuff now, today. What I did was took the Big Band format and fused it with the 80’s Rock stuff that I liked and grew up listening to and wrote it out for a big band, that’s how I developed a “Pop” Big Band that was geared to a concert setting” (Pop Evolution) “it really didn’t have the commercial appeal yet when I formed it, you know, a 20 piece band size, payroll, venue….all that stuff” said Perrico. However, it did lead to Perrico’s band landing residencies at Stratosphere, Palms, Red Rock and The Southpointe Resorts. “When choosing the name for Pop Strings Orchestra, it wasn’t even what we were calling it, it was something like Chamber Orchestra Pop or something” (Perrico stated, laughing).
Perrico’s pre-cursor band (Pop Evolution), started at the Tuscany for fun; performing a few jazz and pop covers with originals. When the then vice-president of entertainment at Station Casinos saw the band, she approached Perrico with a mention that there was an opening on Saturday nights at Red Rock Resort, but Perrico respectfully turned it down. “I felt like I was maybe a little too old and didn’t know the lounge scene” Perrico said, but later was affirmed that his band’s music would work out there. “So, from there I started Googling top 40 Hits and lounges and on YouTube checking out various clubs to see what was being played, to see what was current.”
Fast forward to the current band production (Pop Strings Orchestra) which is made up of some of Vegas’s top local musicians who also perform in Las Vegas’ top headlining shows, consisting of a 7 all female string section combined with a core rhythm section of bass, keys, guitar and drums and a horn duo (trumpet & sax) and 3 amazing lead vocalists. The band now performs at their current residency at the world-famous Cleopatra’s Barge Showroom inside Caesars Palace.
Aside from the current showroom residency, the band performs for many corporate functions and events here in Las Vegas and in Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ. When asked what was in the future for Perrico and the band, he replied that he’s looking into taking Pop Strings Orchestra to perform in other US Cities including national jazz festivals, small concert halls and even international live performance opportunities are on the horizon. He also adds that there are two new recorded CD compilations being released later this year, the first being a live recording (Pop Strings Orchestra) at Caesars Palace and the second a compilation of Perrico’s very own “contemporary pop” originals very much like the sound of legendary trumpeter Chuck Mangione.
Perrico also shares that he is the current Music Director for the former Late Show Band Leader the legendary Paul Shaffer Orchestra after being discovered by Paul Shaffer himself and then reaching out to Perrico for the opportunity. Perrico is also the Music Director for many other entertainers here in Las Vegas.
David Perrico and Pop Strings Orchestra is a must-see live music show here in Las Vegas, the band has the most amazingly skilled musicians along with a killer arrangement of top 40 music from the 70’s 80’s, 90’s and todays hits infused with an amazing orchestral sound all arranged and written by David Perrico himself.
I would have to say, not such a bad story for a kid with early musical aspirations from Youngstown, Ohio.
You can visit David Perrico and Pop Strings Orchestra online at davidperricomusic.com and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @DavidPerricoMusic
1 Brand Media Group
Las Vegas Marketing Specialist