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home : on stage : on stage January 24, 2015


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5/5/2014 12:13:00 PM
Dynamite Divas return to stage Saturday at Sedona Verde Valley Jewish Community Center
Sedona's Dynamite Divas are (from left) Jeanie Carroll, Susannah Martin and Shondra Jepperson.
Sedona's Dynamite Divas are (from left) Jeanie Carroll, Susannah Martin and Shondra Jepperson.

It's Sedona Dynamite Diva time again! Steve Douglas and Artists in Rhythm is proud to present the 7th annual Dynamite Diva Concert, onstage at the Sedona Verde Valley Jewish Community Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 10.

The Sedona area abounds with such talented performers in many styles and in 2008 the Sedona Dynamite Diva Concert was born. This year's audience is in for an extra special treat since it's a 90-percent all new, never-been-done-together before show.

This year's concert includes a huge variety of music genres from Motown Favorites, Andrew Sisters, Manhattan Transfer, Disney Hits, 70's Power Ballads, Classic Rock, Latin and Disco tunes to Broadway!

The Sedona community is certainly familiar with Tom & Shondra shows and all of the many singing, acting and emcee performances Shondra does around Sedona.

Susannah Martin is extremely well-known for singing in her jazz and pop bands in many venues in Sedona and across the Verde Valley.

Jeanie Carroll, besides being the music teacher at West Sedona Elementary, is known for her singing, musicianship in several bands as well as DJ work at events all over Arizona.

The initial idea behind a vocal showcase back in 2008 was to bring these three songstresses together and feature them in music that Sedona is not accustomed to hearing them sing neither as individuals nor as a singing team.

Douglas developed a show where the ladies could choose any song in any style and be backed up by a band that consisted of some of the finest and talented musicians in the Verde Valley. The band members are, keyboardist Steve Sandner, Kevin McQuaid on drums, Michael Reed on sax, Steve Douglas on bass and Robin Miller on guitar.

Due to the popularity and success of the Diva's concert, it has become an annual event and one that folks look forward to each year. With hundreds of hours of preparation going into the one night concert, the Dynamite Diva Show is a must-see production of pop, rock, jazz, 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 15 years, has been a professional singer and musician for years. She has a successful DJ business called Arizona DJ Music & More! and is hired to provide music for ceremonies and receptions. She is also a wedding officiant.

She entertains, DJs and KJs for 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 and combos, including her portrayal of Janis Joplin in the Heavenly J's.

She also loves acting and has appeared in several FLOC productions and had a role in "Cabaret" for Theatrikos in Flagstaff. Last summer she was a featured player in "Crushes and Bouquets" with Red Earth Theatre.

An avid traveler, she has a degree in French with minors in Spanish and Italian and has lived and performed in France, England and all over Europe. In late May she'll be on tour with the Master Chorale of Flagstaff to Turkey and Bulgaria. Jeanie created the Annual International Festival Of Food & Song where her young K-6 students sing in foreign languages as Ambassadors of Peace representing various countries. Jeanie is a passionate advocate for Music Education and World Peace, committing her talents to support organizations associated in fundraising and building public awareness.

Shondra Jepperson, known in this area as half of 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 8th year as the music director at the Center for Positive Living Sedona every Sunday now located in their new church home at 45 Castle Rock Road in the Village of Oak Creek and produces the on-going Wednesday night, In the Living Room Music Series there. She is the on camera and voice talent for Red Rock TV Channel 16, DahnTV.com, LifeParticle.com, Billy Mitchell's SAPPA.net, various other websites and film projects.

Shondra is the show 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 and private parties as well as emcees all the Sedona Chamber mixers. With a long list of emcee credits in which include the Sedona Marathon and Jazz on The Rocks, she continues to emcee other popular events in Sedona and around the Verde Valley. 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 the soundboard in the courtroom for the 2011 James Ray trial broadcast on CNN, Headline News and TruTV. Regardless of her busy schedule, Shondra makes time to coach acting, voice, stage performance & voice over techniques to individual students every week. She just released two new CDs of her original songs, "Inside Fire" and "I AM," in which can be purchased on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon.com and her new website ShondraMusic.com.

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 managing the festival 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.

In 2011 she spent the year commuting from Sedona to San Diego performing in popular jazz clubs with an array of different musicians. This year, she toured with band Miller, Miller, Martin & Ki performing their "Baby Boomer Blast" show in fine art theatres and venues throughout Arizona. Susannah also coaches contemporary a cappella choirs and teaches individual voice lessons.

Each year, local sponsors contribute to the production of this concert and this year is no exception. Special thanks goes to 2014 Sponsors, Pam Clark of Massage Matters, John Copenhaver, Dr. & Mrs. Eric Cohen, Dick & Marge Youngberg, Jeff & Suzie Dunn, Gary Drake and Lewis Sokolov, Lisa Dahl of Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante Italiano, Cucina Rustica, Pisa Lisa and Mariposa Grill, Kathy Shriver of Sedona Lock and Key, Linda Goldenstein of Goldenstein Gallery both in Uptown and on Dry Creek Rd. in west Sedona, Fred Shinn & Terrie Frankel with Mystic Hills/Seven Arches Productions and Al Comello of Comello Media.

Be sure to catch this extraordinary concert, Saturday, May 10, at 7 p.m., at the Sedona Verde Valley Jewish Community Center, 100 Meadowlark Lane in Sedona. Tickets are $25 cash or checks only and available in advance at The Jazz Bouquet in the Bashas' Center.

It is suggested to purchase tickets in advance since it has become the event of the year with standing room only. Tickets can be purchased at the door although seating is limited.

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