Giada Valenti Presents Las Vegas 1st Christmas Show
If the Vegas entertainment scene is sauce, Giada Valenti is the seasoning.
Spicy in her performances and lively character, the Italian singer has shaken things up in Las Vegas with her multilingual recordings, appearances at the Smith Center and her Facebook Live cooking and singing series. She has just released a new holiday song, “Silent Night / Noche de Paz”, sung in English and Italian. The song is the anchor of an album slated for release in fall 2022. At 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, Valenti presents her annual holiday show, “Love Under The Christmas Tree,” at Myron’s in Smith Center.
Originally from Venice, Valenti moved to Las Vegas in 2018, a few years after releasing his PBS special “From Venice With Love”. Her first full show at Cabaret Jazz (now Myron’s) was in November 2017. Eleven months later, she performed the first of her two shows at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Valenti also performed what would be the last pre-stop show at Myron’s (then Cabaret Jazz) on March 12, 2020.
Highlights from our conversation with Valenti, who speaks multiple languages but is just learning to pronounce ‘right’, even though she’s like this:
Johnny Kats: What are we going to see from this show on Sunday?
Giada Valenti: This is a Christmas concert, which I did for many years on the East Coast and which I am doing for the first time here.
It means Christmas is coming!
Yes! And I’m doing this on the 5th, 20 days in advance, so I won’t be late. The Italians are always late.
They are? Why is that?
When you tell an Italian that a meeting is at 7am, you say to yourself “OK, at 7am, we start to prepare”. And then we get there. But I am married to a Dutchman, and if you say the meeting is at 7 a.m., at 6 a.m. he’s already on his way.
The Dutch make great watches.
You mention your husband, JJ, who is also your manager, a great guy.
Yes. You know, we’re like Celine and René (Angelil) before. It’s on time.
I am half Italian and food is important to my family. Same for you?
My Italian family and I realized, when I married JJ, that we were talking about food all the time. I mean, at breakfast we talk about lunch. At lunch we talk about dinner. It has always been in my life. But when I married someone from Amsterdam, all of a sudden it was like, “Why is your family eating and talking, ‘What are we going to eat? this evening ?’ It’s an Italian thing.
Why did you move to Las Vegas?
I was born and raised in Venice. In short, I lived five years in Amsterdam, one year in London, 11 years in New York, one year in Los Angeles and now three years in Las Vegas. I got this PBS special, filmed it in 2016, and it aired nationwide. And every time it was somewhere in the country, I would go there for a concert. We sold tickets to the Las Vegas show during the special, and in the first block, no one was calling. Eventually they started calling, and in the third block I answered one of the phones myself.
Have you ordered tickets for your own show?
Yes. And it was this wonderful lady named Irene, who invited me to the Italian American Club when I was in Las Vegas.
It’s a good entry point for someone from your heritage.
I went there and met people from the community. I fell in love with Las Vegas. I like the people in the community.
We were reminded during COVID that you are a very talented chef. You sang and cooked. You really mix your musical and culinary passions, don’t you?
Cooking is like music, everyone can enjoy it. My grandmother used to say: “Anyone and everyone can cook, as long as you have a passion for it. I always say the secret is to buy the best ingredients possible. So if you see pasta that costs 99 cents and costs $ 2.99, that is good pasta. Always buy fresh tomatoes, fresh basil. You might only need four ingredients, but if they’re good and you put them together, you can cook.
When was the last time you were in Venice?
About two months ago, and I’m going back after my two month gig.
To perform? See family?
To see my family, and my Christmas album came out in Holland and Italy, so we do TV and radio.
You sing in several languages, and you are a kind of show-off. How many languages can you speak?
I can speak well four. In the order it is Italian, Dutch, French then English. Spanish is a work in progress. And during COVID, I learned American Sign Language.
Are you going to do this in the living room? While you sing?
it will be easy for me! I’m already talking with my hands!
John Katsilometes column is published daily in section A. His “PodKats! Podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @ JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.