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6/4/2012 9:05:00 AM
Dynamite Divas return to Sedona stage June 9
Photo by Al ComelloSusannah Martin, Jeanie Carroll and Shondra Jepperson are the Dynamite Divas.
Photo by Al Comello

Susannah Martin, Jeanie Carroll and Shondra Jepperson are the Dynamite Divas.
The Divas with Steve Douglas at the piano: Jeanie Carroll, Susannah Martin and Shondra Jepperson.Photo by Al Comello
The Divas with Steve Douglas at the piano: Jeanie Carroll, Susannah Martin and Shondra Jepperson.Photo by Al Comello
If You Go ...
• What: Sedona Dynamite Diva Concert

• When: June 9, 7 p.m.

• Where: Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley, 100 Meadow Lark Drive, Sedona

• How Much: $25 available in advance at The Jazz Bouquet in the Bashas' Center

Steve Douglas and Artists in Rhythm is proud to present the fifth annual Sedona Dynamite Diva Concert.

For the past five years audiences have enjoyed these talented singer entertainers as they are showcased singing an array of different styles and genres.

The show is Saturday, June 9, starting at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley.

The community was certainly familiar with Shondra Jepperson who is half of the popular entertainment duo Tom & Shondra, Susannah Martin backed by various duos and trios and Jeanie Carroll's DJ work at events around town. The idea to put these three talented singers together in a show was born from a Jazz on the Rocks exposure concert for fourth and fifth graders at West Sedona Elementary. Hosted by Susannah, the kids were invited up to 'scat' some simple blues phrases. Following that, Miss Carroll was asked to sing something for the students. Her version of Stormy Monday was a jaw dropper and right then and there, the idea came to life to create a concert that showcased the talents of these ladies in a way the public never really sees. So, a show was developed where the ladies could choose any song in any style and be backed up by a ferociously talented band. The selections would include different styles and music genres that feature each of them in a way that Sedona is not normally used to hearing.

The first concert was so well received with a standing ovation that they were asked to repeat the show the next night or the next month or a couple times a year. To keep the enthusiasm at the highest level it was decided to only schedule one annual show. Hundreds of hours of preparation go into preparing for this concert each year and now it has become an extremely popular event that people get excited about attending. Now a fixture on the annual concert calendar, the Dynamite Diva Show is a must-see production of pop, rock, jazz, gospel, Broadway and foreign language selections complete with costume changes.

The credits and bio of these three ladies mount up to an extraordinary list of experience and skills. Jeanie Carroll, known for being the K-8 Music Educator with the Sedona-Oak Creek School District for the last 14 years, has been a professional singer musician for years. She has a successful DJ business called Arizona DJ Music & More! and is hired to DJ for ceremonies, receptions, corporate events and parties. Jeanie's talents are extremely diverse as she enjoys performing a wide variety of music styles. You'll find her singing barbershop harmonies with Red RockAppella, Big Band standards with Sentimental Journey, Choral Music with the Flagstaff Master Chorale as well as in popular duos, combos including her portrayal of Janis Joplin in the Heavenly J's. She also loves acting and has appeared in several FLOC productions in the last few years such as Cabaret, The Merry Widow, The Gondoliers, Man Of La Mancha, Pirates Of Penzance, and had a role in Suburbs, The Musical! at Canyon Moon Theatre. Since she majored in French, Spanish, and Italian, every November, for Thanksgiving, she creates the International Festival Of Food And Song, where her young K-6 students sing in foreign languages as Ambassadors of Peace representing various countries. Jeanie produced and hosted her Annual Variety Extravaganza for the past 20 years showcasing talented children and adults in which was performed at the new Sedona Performing Arts Center at Red Rock High School. Jeanie is a passionate advocate for Music in Schools and World Peace, committing her talents in the involvement of countless concerts and productions to support organizations associated in fundraising and building public awareness.

Shondra Jepperson, known in this area performing shows in the popular Sedona entertainment duo, Tom & Shondra, is also extremely talented. She touts a list of skills that makes one's head spin. An Alumni of Julliard's Acting School in New York, Shondra is a full time versatile singer songwriter, actress and musician. She's performed her own shows in Vegas, Reno, on popular cruise ships and has sung everything from hard rock, blues, country to show tunes. Besides keeping a full performance schedule of out of town shows Tom & Shondra, she's continues her 5th year as the music director at the Center for Positive Living Sedona every Sunday at Canyon Moon Theatre. She is the on camera and voice talent for Red Rock TV Channel 16 and on various websites and film projects. Shondra is also the script writer, director and co-emcee of the quarterly networking breakfast, Good Morning Sedona sponsored by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. Audiences have enjoyed her comedic and dramatic talents cast in lead roles in numerous plays and musicals at Canyon Moon Theatre. She also provides DJ services with her company At Your Request DJ for weddings, corporate events, private parties as well as emceeing all the Sedona Chamber mixers and other popular events such as the Sedona Marathon, Jazz on The Rocks and Sedona Sunrise Superstar. What most people don't know about Shondra is she's also a professional audio production specialist who composes and arranges music for shows, commercials and projects. Being a professional sound techie had her hired by Court TV's show "In Session" running audio in the courtroom for the 2011 James Ray trial in which was broadcast LIVE on CNN, Headline News and TruTV. Regardless of her busy schedule, Shondra teaches acting, singing & voice over techniques to over a dozen students privately every week.

Vocalist Susannah Martin, exploded onto the Arizona music scene several years ago and immediately established herself as one the area's most in demand singers. She worked on staff with Jazz on The Rocks for several years producing the jam sessions with the guest artists as well all of the educational programming. Her formal arts education started with voice and music training at the age of ten at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and culminated in a music degree from Willamette University in Oregon. Susannah has performed in concerts, festivals, clubs and cruise ships across the U.S. and has released a debut album entitled "Tropico Sur." With her ability to bridge numerous musical styles, improvise and to sing fluently in three languages, Susannah brings an international flair to the Divas, colored with jazz and R&B. Being one of the best vocalists in this area, she can be heard around town performing regularly with Patrick Ki, Robin and Eric Miller as well as many other talented musicians here as well as across the country. Susannah also coaches contemporary a cappella choir and individual voice lessons. Although Susannah also lives and works in San Diego where she has a growing fan base, Sedona engagements call her back on a monthly basis to perform and teach.

Each year, local sponsors contribute to the production of this concert and this year is no exception. Thanks to Neil and Mary Pope, Kathy Shriver, Marc Sterling of Sterling Financial Services, Pam Clark of Massage Matters, Gary Drake and Lewis Sokoloff, John Copenhaven and Cliff Castle Casino.

This year, the concert will be produced at the Jewish Community Center and on a Saturday evening in order to reach a wider audience. Tremendously uplifting, emotional, energetic and passionate, this concert has become the event of the year with standing room only.

The Sedona Verde Valley Jewish Community Center is at 100 Meadowlark Lane, Sedona. Tickets are $25 cash or checks only and available in advance at The Jazz Bouquet in the Bashas' Center.

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