SALLY OLSON – CARPENTER’S TRIBUTE IN LAS VEGAS FOR MULTIPLE DATES
Written by Gobi Moore on March 26, 2018
Carpenters Tribute Concert, starring Sally Olson and her all-star band, features the famed-duo’s hits “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “(They Long To Be) Close To You”, “Rainy Days And Mondays”, “Superstar” and more. The show also provides insight on the history behind the Carpenters’ rise to fame, as well as Karen Carpenter’s sudden and tragic death at the age of thirty-two, giving the audience a glimpse of the woman behind the music.
Randy Schmidt, author of Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter, has said that “Sally’s tribute to Karen Carpenter is heartfelt and honest” and Lane Gibson, recording studio owner, producer and engineer, claims that Sally has “an uncanny resemblance” and looks and sounds “just like Karen!” Sally is truly unsurpassed in her startling representation of Karen Carpenter and captures the essence of the late singer right down to her hairstyles, costumes, makeup, gestures and voice. Carpenters Tribute Concert is unique, due to its high degree of authenticity. Sally’s stunning vocals combined with state of the art video projection, vintage costumes, in-character commentary, lovely arrangements and a live band, led by musical director/arranger/pianist Ned Mills, will take you on an incredible journey into the world of the Carpenters.
SALLY OLSON – Artistic Director/Lead Vocals
Sally Olson was born in Rutland, VT and is a graduate of Middlebury College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Studio Art and French. Sally also attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Florence Academy of Art in Italy and the acclaimed Circle in the Square Theatre School in NYC. She has been acting and singing since childhood and can be seen in local/regional commercials, film, theatre and cabaret performances. Sally starred in the commercial Emily’s Bridge for Heritage Automotive Group, written and produced by Mt. Mansfield Media, which was awarded “Television Agency Produced Most Creative Commercial” of 2011. She also starred in Widow, directed by Michael Fisher, an award-winning short film that was praised at both the Green Mountain Film Festival and the White River Indie Film Festival in 2010.
For more than four years, the Vermont native has immersed herself in all things Carpenters. Sally is the managing director at Bill Reed Voice Studio in South Burlington, VT and has been studying voice with Bill Reed since 2009. In 2013, Bill suggested that Sally consider putting together a one-woman show. They started reading through music and came across the Carpenters’ songbook, which was a perfect fit for Sally both vocally and emotionally. Carpenters Tribute Concert, debuted in January 2015 and was conceived by Bill Reed (arranger, musical director & pianist) and Sally Olson (artistic director & lead vocals).
In April 2017, Sally made her NYC debut at the famed Triad Theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. While in the city, Sally was a special guest on Sunday Night Live Featuring The Late Joey Reynolds on 77 WABC and The Mom & Pop Shop Radio Show with George Bettinger on It’s Right Here in Miramar Radio, as well as being featured on Scott Barbarino’s Nite Life Exchange dot com. Sally has also been a guest on several Vermont-based radio shows, including Morning Chat with Kenn Hayes on WSYB 1380 AM/100.1 FM. Sally made her Las Vegas debut in January 2018.
Randy Schmidt, author of Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter, has said that “Sally’s tribute to Karen Carpenter is heartfelt and honest” and Lane Gibson, recording studio owner, producer and engineer, claims that Sally has “an uncanny resemblance” and looks and sounds “just like Karen!” Sally is truly unsurpassed in her startling representation of Karen Carpenter and captures the essence of the late singer right down to her hairstyles, costumes, makeup, gestures and voice. In-character commentary and archival video clips complement the concert, giving fans a glimpse of the woman behind the music.
BILL REED – Musical Director/Arranger/Pianist/Backup Vocals (Vermont-based)
Bill Reed has dedicated his professional life to guiding singers in their quest to realize their potential as performing artists. Bill was born into a show business family, the son of Vernon Reed of the Buffalo Bills (the acclaimed barbershop quartet). He began his vocal music education at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree. (Bill is a proud member of the Badger Ice Hockey Hall of Fame). He completed his studies at Columbia University, where he earned a doctorate in vocal music education. After a busy and rewarding career as a college choral director, studio voice teacher and concert singer, Bill established a private voice studio in New York City near Lincoln Center, and began his twenty-five year career as singing teacher at the renowned Circle in the Square Theatre School. For over thirty years, he was privileged to work with singers from all over the world, whose specialties ranged from opera to pop and rock, and Broadway to folk and country. He has consulted on a number of Hollywood movies and commercial recordings, and his students have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, City Opera, many European opera houses, and in hundreds of Broadway shows and national tours. Bill’s students have won Oscar Hammerstein, MAC, Drama Desk, Emmy and Tony awards.
In Vermont, Bill’s adult students have had leading roles in numerous local community and professional musical theater productions. His college and school-aged students have performed extensively in school productions and have gone on to study singing and musical theater at many of the most prestigious colleges, universities, and conservatories in the country. A number of Bill’s Vermont students are working professionals and have recently performed in leading roles at the New York City Opera and on Broadway. Bill is in demand nationally as a clinician, and has been invited to give workshops at many colleges, universities, and meetings of professional organizations.
NED MILLS – Musical Director/Arranger/Pianist/Backup Vocals (Las Vegas-based)
A versatile pianist, singer, and entertainer, LIONARDO (born in Charleston, South Carolina as Ned Leon Mills) began playing piano at the age of four. He’s entertained audiences in more than twenty countries and on three continents. After receiving his Bachelor of Music cum laude in Jazz Arranging at North Texas State University, Lionardo moved back to his native North Carolina and performed regularly throughout the Southeast. Lionardo has opened for many national acts, including Bobby McFerrin, Don Rickles, Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow.
He has served as musical conductor and arranger for The Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show, the Ink Spots, and The Shirelles. His arrangements have been performed by the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, The Miss North Carolina Pageant, and in Pizazz starring Debby Boone. He has also performed as pianist for the Rockettes and in Legends In Concert. In 2003, Lionardo performed “Rhapsody In Blue” at the Liberace Museum on Liberace’s famous mirrored piano. His film and TV credits include appearances in Matlock (ABC), Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story (Lifetime TV), and the George Lucas film Radioland Murders. He was the piano coach for Halle Berry and Eric Thal in Oprah Winfrey’s production of The Wedding (ABC). Now a resident of Las Vegas, Lionardo performs and serves as musical director for many corporate events at every major casino, including the MGM Grand, The Venetian and Mandalay Bay. In 2000, Lionardo was voted “Most Likely to Exemplify the Spirit of Las Vegas” by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.