Date: 10/12/2010 Print This Post

Maria Russell Brings Her Beautifully Crafted Songs To Hastings In Prescott, Ariz., October 16



The Pianist And Arranger Will Sign Copies Of
‘Soaring With Angels’ And ‘Wonderland Escapades’

Las Vegas based pianist and arranger Maria Russell will bring her beautifully crafted songs to Hastings bookstore in Prescott for an in-store appearance on Saturday, October 16 from 12-2 p.m. Russell will sign copies of her album Soaring With Angels and her classic children’s album Wonderland Escapades, a collection of songs composed by her mother Gloria V. Russell that were inspired by scenes, characters and set pieces from “Alice In Wonderland”. Both albums will be available for purchase.

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”).

Other tracks include “The Dee Dum Dee Song” (which finds Alice running into two brothers fighting over a rattle), “The Jub Jub Jig” (which refers to the funny dance done by the dragonlike Jabberwocky), “Teattle Tottle Dance” (after the Mad Hatter invites Alice to his tea party) and “Wondrous Parade,” which functions on the CD (and, one day, will on stage) as the curtain call.     

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. Tate Music Group recently released the second edition of her Soaring With Angels CD.


Saturday, October 16
940 Willow Creek
Prescott, AZ   86301
(928) 776-8764
12-2 p.m.
*Soaring With Angels and Wonderland Escapades autograph signing.