Laura Velvet and the Bookhouse Boys feature a unique blend of fresh, young vocal talent and versatile, experienced musicians. Through performances that are as much time travel as music events, Laura Velvet wows audiences with sultry tunes from torch singers of the 1960s as well as danceable hits of quintessential Motown girl groups and modern acts.
Lisa Holman, a recent Music and French graduate from the University of Minnesota, plays the part of 1960's Torch Singer Laura Velvet with sizzle and style. From opera and collaborative concerts to studying abroad at the celebrated French Music Conservatory La Schola Cantorum, Lisa's college experience prepared her well for center stage. Starring at the Duluth Playhouse as Carla in Nine! The Musical, she was lauded by the Duluth News Tribune for bringing operatic flourishes to her performance as the seductive mistress. "Laura Velvet is the perfect fit for me at this stage in my career," says Lisa. "I love watching audiences react to this timeless music presented in an engaging show."
Lisa's vocal partners, the Velvettes, are played by Maija Elizabeth Tatro and Cally Nielsen . Born in Cloquet, Minnesota, Maija has a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Minnesota Duluth where she performed with vocal jazz group, Lake Effect, for four years. She's sung in music festivals in Ireland, the Manhattan Concert Productions Jazz Festival at the Apollo Theater in New York City and starred in four vocal jazz cabaret shows, serving as music director for one. "My family says I've been a performer since I first learned to talk," Maija confesses. "Audrey Bordeaux is different than any other character I've done, so I'm exploring new dimensions as an artist. I'm so fortunate to work with such amazing talent."
Cally Nielsen, a passionate singer, hails from the suburbs of Minneapolis. Growing up in a musical family, she started singing at a very young age alongside her father, a singer/songwriter. He instilled a love for music and creating music as an art form. Cally honed her technical skills in the University of Minnesota Duluth's prestigious Vocal Jazz program. "Music is my outlet for creative expression," Cally shares. "It's a way to connect with people through their heartstrings."
Duluth, Minnesota native Andrew Perfetti plays guitar. Over his 25+ years in music, Andrew has been a go-to player for acts across genres from metal to blues and jazz to reggae. His vision was the catalyst for forming Laura Velvet and the Bookhouse Boys. Much of what you see on stage today came straight from Andrew's imagination. “This is such a great experience," he says. "I get to combine my love for music with my love of theatre and see my talented partners bring it all to life.”
John Heino plays plays keyboards. John has traveled the country in show bands and other acts that ranged from rock and reggae to blues and jazz. "I've been doing this a long time and rehearsals have never been so much fun," John says. "Laura and the Velvettes have such passion for this music. Their energy is positively contagious."
Bass Player Dicky Brooks hails from the deep south. Growing up playing piano and organ in tent revivals, Dicky is no stranger to the musical inspirations behind the Bookhouse Boys particular groove. From country to rock, punk and reggae, Dicky has done it all. Dicky has played with such bands over the years as Gallus, Cry on Cue, Gild, Erik Koskinen, The Boomchuck’s and Onehitter. “I love the professionalism and attitude that we bring to our music. It feels like we are stepping back in time to a different era every time we take the stage, an era where the music meant more.”
Drummer Luke Perry plays drums. A Minnesota native, Luke has been a regular performing drummer for more than 30 years, laying down beats for nearly every genre of music. He's toured with national acts such as Becky Barksdale and shared the stage with a host of legendary performers. “I'm not endorsed by Mountain Dew, but I should be,” he claims.
Whether you're booking a special event or just want your entertainment to be special, Laura Velvet and the Bookhouse Boys are ready to make you a hero. This complete show with soaring vocals, energetic music and dazzling costumes is guaranteed to please!