Date: 11/15/2010 Print This Post

Maria Russell Gives Parents An Early Holiday Gift With ‘Wonderland Escapades’



The Pianist And Composer Offers A Free Download Of
‘The White Rabbit Dance’ And A Buy One, Get One 50%
Off Discount On Album Purchases

Las Vegas based pianist and arranger Maria Russell is inviting parents everywhere to journey along into a magical world of imagination and fantasy with an early gift for the holidays by offering a free download of “The White Rabbit Dance,” from her creative and imaginative “Alice In Wonderland” inspired album, Wonderland Escapades.

Alice is leisurely dreaming among a field of daisies when suddenly she is startled by a thump thump.  A hurried White Rabbit wearing a fancy coat and holding a pocket watch passes her saying to itself: “Oh dear!  I shall be too late!” Alice jumps to her feet and chases the White Rabbit down into the rabbit hole. This is just some of the imagery invoked by “The White Rabbit Dance” and the rest of the songs on Wonderland Escapades.

Now thru December 1, parents can download a free MP3 of “The White Rabbit Dance” by visiting Russell’s official iLike page or thru her MySpace and Facebook. While there, they can sample other songs from Wonderland Escapades, including “Wacky Hot Wheels,” “Dream Child” and “The Fan Tango.”

That’s not the only early holiday gift she is giving. Until December 24, Russell is offering a buy one, get one 50% off discount on the purchase of any two of her albums on CDBaby or Just choose from Wonderland Escapades, Heavenly Magic and The Velvet Touch, Soaring With Angels, and Silent Tropical Nights and visit to email your proof of purchase to receive reimbursement for 50% of the second album you purchased.

Broken into three acts with several scenes and songs each, Wonderland Escapades features Maria’s arrangements and piano and keyboard performances, as well as guest vocals by Shelley Martinsen and Dan Frank, singers for the Vegas based Nevada Opera Theatre. Among the many musical endeavors around the city that Maria takes part in, she has been the featured pianist with this theatre for the past eight years.

One of the remarkable aspects of Wonderland Escapades is Maria’s brilliant and eclectic arrangements, which make each song stand alone as a unique entity representing a different character or setting in Wonderland. “Dream Child” (about when Alice begins falling asleep), “Wonderland Dream,” “Waltz of the Roses” and “Magic Ballet” are classically influenced, while “Wacky Hot Wheels” is an irresistibly funky instrumental synth and piano romp. The pianist weaves a percussive tango into “The Fan Tango” and gets frisky on the vocal tune “The White Rabbit Dance,” which captures the scene where the white rabbit runs across the field and into the rabbit hole. “Pup and Purr” sets the tone after Alice enters the enchanted forest and runs into a big pup chasing what turns out to be the Cheshire Cat (who introduces himself via the jazz and blues influenced “Cheshire Cat Blues”).

Maria’s musical background includes performances at various Las Vegas casino/hotels and restaurants, including the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and the Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas. Serving as the musical director and keyboardist for the City of Las Vegas Melodramas in the Park, she arranged scores to fit the action and drama of the plays.

Maria has also produced five previous CDs and currently plays at two Las Vegas churches (The Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer and Holy Family Church) and for the Nevada Opera Theatre.