Michael Schivo is celebrating his 50th year in
the concert promotion business. When
Jazz took a somewhat back seat to
rock 'n roll and rhythm and blues, Schivo
turned the tables to implement Jazz's
continuous rise in popularity.
Some authoritative business figures in
Las Vegas have said Schivo was
ahead of his time. Others have
admired his foresight in concentrating
on diverse musical cultures and managing
to promote a wide variety of
styles. In summation, he has over-
come adversity through the years.
He produces a concert, festival, or
special event much as a painter creates a
Starting with a pencil sketch outline of
the artists, venues and marketing plan,
Schivo proceeds with the care and
patience of a sculptor as he puts each
piece of the production in the right
place. Schivo's day may start as early as 5:00 a.m.
The journey started in 1966 when
Michael Schivo Presents brought to the
Las Vegas Convention Center some of
the first rock concerts ever to play Las
Vegas. The stars of the day were
Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, and Jethro
Tull, starting the ball rolling and filling
the 7,500 seat Convention Center Rotunda with tickets priced a mere
$3.50. Today, that is not even the price of a ticket
Since that time, Schivo has produced events
in all of Las Vegas' premier venues,
The Thomas and Mack Center, 18,000 seats, The Alladin Theater for the Performing Arts, 7,000 seats, and Artemus Ham Concert Hall,
1,900 seats, as well as many Las Vegas showrooms up and down the Las Vegas Strip. Additionally, Schivo has had long running outdoor events
at The State of Nevada's Spring Mountain State Park and The City of Las Vegas' Hill's Park Amphitheater at Summerlin, Desert Breeze Park
as well as other jazz/pop venues throughout the country.
has worked with such
notable acts as Metallica, Chicago,
Aerosmith, U2, Van Halen, Tom Petty,
Journey, Heart, Hall and Oates, Def
Leppard, Kiss, Genesis, AC-DC, Luther Vandross, Manhatten Transfer and
All of these musical greats were
brought to Las Vegas by Schivo,
paving the way for hotels to introduce
them as headliners. Schivo has temporarily put rock 'n roll on the back burner after producing hundreds of concerts,
and is concentrating on his jazz shows and series, as well as corporate events nationwide. But his first love is still Jazz.
In 1980 Michael Schivo began a
parallel career with Jazz while still
promoting rock concerts. He was truly
excited to have the opportunity to
produce some of the first contemporary
Jazz concerts in Las Vegas.
He recognized the cultural differences
"Rock 'n roll has a way of shouting at
you," says Schivo, "while Jazz speaks to
you in an artistic fashion.
Now in his 38th season of producing jazz in Las Vegas and he has extended his concerts over the years to Reno,
Seattle, Denver, Albuquerque,
Portland, Spokane, Southern
California, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City,
and Phoenix and was instrumental in
producing the first Jazz festival in the
Republic of China in 1993.
Schivo has a great grasp of who
the contemporary Jazz
fan is and how their lifestyles
work. Some of the current Jazz greats
with whom Schivo associates are Diana Krall, Stanley Clark,
Spyro Gyra, Kirk Waylam the late Grover Washington Jr.,
Fourplay, Rick Braun, David Sanborn, Larry Carlton,
Boney James, Mindi Abair, Wayman Tisdale,
The Rippingtons, Richard Elliot, Hugh Masakela, Mike Phillips and Tom Scott just to name a few.
Twenty-Four years ago Schivo instituted the Las
Vegas City of Lights Jazz and R&B Festival.
The festival has expanded to a second day with a Rhythm and Blues day and night show.
This year's festival is on Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th, 2016 at our new location at Government Amphitheater.
Past Jazz and R&B stalwarts that have
graced the festival include: The legendary Jazz Crusaders, Norman Brown,
Chaka Chan, KEM, Lediesi, Eric Benet, Tank, Will Downing, Boney James, Gerald Albright, Fattburger, Larry Carlton, Poncho Sanchez, Flora
Purim and Airoto, Ronnie Laws, The Yellowjackets, Hugh Masakeia, Chuck Mangione, Alex Bugneon, Hirosima, Lee Ritenour , Randy
Crawford and Brenda Russell, the list is very long.
Schivo comments, "Last year's festival was an extreme success, spiraling the 24th Annual City of Lights Jazz
& Rhythm and Blues Festival into a very special light, and as our Festival continues to gain momentum,
it will rank with the likes of all first-rate European and big -city- USA spring and
summer Jazz & Rhythm and Blues Festivals, perhaps more so because Las Vegas is truly a one-of-a-kind city."
Schivo has been well entrenched in
contemporary Jazz the past 37 years,
yet his desire to be affiliated with the
arts is just beginning to take shape.
He found himself producing national
touring comedy ballets and serious
ballets in 1993 and 1994 in Las
Vegas, San Francisco and Seattle. He
now focuses his thoughts in the direction
of orchestral symphonies and
soloists such as ltzhak Perlman, one of
the world's master violinists. Schivo
admits that being another Sol Hurok is
unlikely, although he does feel he is
contributing by producing artistic
events that add to the Las Vegas cultural
Schivo has survived, and he is celebrating his 50th year in the entertainment business, a business that
eliminates upstarts within the first
year or two. What exactly are his
survival techniques and what constitutes
"Surviving is a matter of not taking
yourself too seriously," he says. "One
needs to have a sense of humor in the
entertainment business. You've got to
keep a smile on your face, win, lose or
draw, and enjoy what you've created.
There's nothing more rewarding than
the resounding assurance of an
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