Tap House Italian American Bar & Grill in Las Vegas
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Tap House Italian American Bar & Grill in Las Vegas
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Jerry Tiffe

LIVEN UP YOUR GOLDEN YEARS
Tap House StarPut More Music in Your Life

By Esther Lynn

"Jerry T," he sings at the end of a two hour set on a Thursday afternoon in Boulder Station‘s Railhead showroom. "Jerry T, T-I-F-F-E," he continues. The enthusiastic crowd of more than 200 seniors know his name, even without the reminder and his spelling it out in song. Many of them are regulars, following the talented vocalist around from venue to venue. Some come just to listen to Jerry Tiffe (rhymes with spiffy) and his band of tuxedo-clad merry men. Others are there to dance with a partner they have been moving to the music with for decades, or to, hopefully, find a new and willing dance partner for a couple of hours. First and foremost, though, it’s a chance for the Great Generation to get out and meet, mix and mingle with a group of happy, active people.

The mood is friendly, with temporary strangers introducing themselves, asking questions like "Where are you from?," and "How long have you been in Las Vegas?" Some are relative newcomers to the community, while others have been here since the 1950s. "The first time I saw Jerry perform was at the Tropicana," one lady related, "and I have been a fan ever since."

The Atrium Lounge at the island-themed resort was Tiffe’s home-away-from-home for 12 years. The Cleveland, Ohio-native has spent more than two decades singing for his supper in rooms up and down the Las Vegas Strip. Along with his run at the Trop, there was a five year stint at the Sands (now The Venetian) and regular bookings at Bally’s, MGM Grand, New York-New York and the Desert Inn (soon to be Steve Wynn’s Le Reve).

For the most part, the music is familiar and comfortable - "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," "Night & Day," "Where or When," "I’ve Got You Under My Skin," an Italian song medley, even something from "Phantom of the Opera," are all part of Tiffe’s extensive repertoire. Then there are tunes many may not have heard before - "All I Have to Give" for example - unless it was during an earlier Tiffe set or on one of his CDs. Fans of Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Steve Lawrence, Bobby Caldwell and others of that ilk, will, more than likely, add this saloon-style singer to their list of favorites.

What started out as a one shot engagement at Texas Station seven years ago has turned into three crowd-pleasing events every week at one of the Station’s properties. Judy Alberti, Station Casinos’ Vice President of Entertainment, knew a good thing when she saw and heard it, making Tiffe a regular part of the Station’s entertainment lineup. In addition to Boulder Station on Thursday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m., these days and nights, you can also find Jerry Tiffe and his top-notch musicians creating moods and bringing back memories on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 11 at Santa Fe Station; Friday’s from 4 to 7 at Arizona Charlie’s West; Thursday and Friday nights from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Tiffe is back at the Tropicana in the Celebration Lounge; and Saturday nights from 11 to 3 he entertains at Capozzoli’s Italian Restaurant. In addition, Texas Station offers Sunday Swing with Tiffe and company from 4 to 8 p.m.

Most of the men who back up Tiffe, both instrumentally and vocally, have been with him for years. Keyboard player Tom SanFilippo and sax man Nick Tahoe are both from Cleveland and began working with Tiffe more than 30 years ago. Dallas, Texas, is the original home of guitarist Bill Owen who has been a band member for 20-plus years, while drummer Dale Sweetland from Portland, Oregon, has been a part of the ensemble for five years.

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