Blazing Pianos is a pub-style musical comedy show where the audience dictates the action! Singing, laughing and dancing ensures a good time is always had by all! |
Jess and Mark at Pat O'Briens in New Orleans!
In the fall of 1995 Mark Smith and Jess Mills met in college as they both attended Stephen F. Austin State University as music majors. At the time the focus was jazz. Not only were they in the SFA jazz band, but together they founded the SFA jazz combo as a for credit class. After graduation, the two played in various jazz groups before stepping into their first dueling piano bar in San Antonio. One visit was all it took. Blazing Pianos was now in the infant stages.|
Many years have gone into mastering their own style of dueling pianos. In addition to maintaining the traditions of the New Orleans piano bars, they have added nuances of flash and showmanship that make Las Vegas famous. Blazing Pianos offers a Las Vegas style show of comedy with extensive audience participation featuring an unlikely and surprising mix of music and parodies that range from classic rock and country to rap and show tunes. The success of their musical comedy is based on the completely liberated participation of audience members ranging as young as 18 on up to 98.
Whether it’s a corporate party, wedding, private function, club or bar scene, Blazing Pianos is the top choice for audiences who consistently beg to come back!
Mark Smith~ Originally a trumpet player from Houston, Texas, Mark Smith has welcomed the change to the dueling piano show of Blazing Pianos! A versatile musician, Mark plays the piano, bass, saxophone, trumpet, and all other brass instruments. Mark's extensive musical career has consisted of participation in many local and regional bands. While in Houston, Mark played lead and solo trumpet in numerous big bands and jazz combos. He was also asked repeatedly to perform in various concert bands and brass quintets. Some of his more memorable moments have come while playing trumpet on Premier Cruise Lines, “Big Red Boat”. Mark has also participated in several cover bands around Houston as a keyboardist/vocalist. Additionally, he started his own cover band “Back Alley Blend”, an all request band covering many genres of music.
Jess Mills~ was born into a large and very musical family. He was self-taught at piano until the age of 15, when he began piano lessons under Anne Adams. A little over a year later, he began college, pursuing a triple Major in Music: Piano Performance, Composition, and Piano Pedagogy. While at SFASU, he won numerous awards in musical performance, musical composition, and overall academics, including Piano Recitalist of the Year (twice), Presser Scholar of 1998, and Outstanding Graduate of the College of Fine Arts, 2000.
He acquired an interest in Jazz while at SFASU, which is how he teamed up with Mark. After graduation, he fronted a Jazz Combo in South Texas for several years. In 2002, he discovered "dueling pianos" at the "Howl at the Moon Saloon" on the Riverwalk of San Antonio. He began his dueling pianos career there, working with such dueling pianos legends as "Tommy Ray" Rodriguez and Billy Ward. In 2004, he went to New Orleans to play at the world famous "Pat O'Brien's" piano bar on Bourbon St., the world's original dueling pianos bar. He once again teamed up with Mark there, until a slightly ill-tempered storm named Katrina made him change his mind about living below sea level. He has sinced free-lanced regularly in Las Vegas and Reno, at such places as "New York, New York," "The Stardust," "Harrah's", "Treasure Island," and "The Silver Legacy."
|Presented by Texas Blazin' Pianos, Inc. Copyright © 2006, All rights reserved|