Wednesday, May 12, 2021


 By Laura Medina

SERGIO MENDES & FRIENDS: A CELEBRATION, a joyfully tuneful salute to the pioneering Brazilian musical artist – producer, composer, keyboardist, vocalist – and Oscar®-nominated songwriter will make its world premiere as part of special programming on PBS stations in June 2021 (check local listings). This program, presented by WNED PBS, was created especially for PBS and is derived from the forthcoming feature documentary Sergio Mendes: In The Key Of Joy by acclaimed filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs John LennonChasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, and The Happy Days of Garry Marshall). The deal was negotiated by WNED PBS and the film's distributor Brainstorm Media.

Mendes, a singular artist who remains as vital and relevant today as when he exploded on the scene in the 1960s with his group, Brasil ’66, played a huge role in popularizing Brazilian music around the world, and at the same time created his own genre by fusing Brazilian music with American pop. He continued to produce hits, decade after decade, staying current and relevant while staying true to his unique sound. 

One of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time, Mendes is a three-time Grammy® Award winner with some 35 albums, including many gold or platinum, including the critically acclaimed Timeless, produced by Hit singles include Mas Que NadaThe Look of LoveScarborough FairNight and DayNever Gonna Let You Go and his unforgettable rendition of Fool on the Hill. In 2012, Sergio’s Real in Rio from the animated film “Rio” was nominated for an Academy Award® as Best Original Song.

SERGIO MENDES & FRIENDS: A CELEBRATION features the singer telling much of his story in his own words. He is joined onscreen by such friends and collaborators as Herb Alpert, Common, Lani Hall (lead singer of Brasil ’66), Quincy Jones, John Legend, Gracinha Mendes (Sergio’s lead singer since 1971 and his wife of 46 years), Jerry Moss, Carlos Saldhana (Oscar®-nominated filmmaker of Rio) and singer/songwriter/producer These friends offer unique perspectives on the man and his music, with plenty of the latter, including recordings and performances from nearly every phase of Sergio’s career. 

“I am really looking forward to sharing my life and musical journey through the decades from Brasil ’66 through present day with PBS viewers across the nation,” says Mendes. “I hope viewers will have a joyful and uplifting experience.” 

“Sergio’s warmth, humor and appreciation of life through all the senses made me feel a strong connection with him and I want others to feel the same way,” says director Scheinfeld. “His life is an exceptional blend of encounters, spontaneity and serendipity and makes him an irresistible subject for a film.”

For more information about Sergio Mendes, this special program and international access to the full documentary, please visit

“Bakeup with Jerrod” Too Faced Baking Recipes with the Same Ingredients in Too Faced Makeup and Skincare.

 By Laura Medina

Too Faced's Jerrod Blandino has gone far from it's glitter makeup of the Nineties.

Through spa trips and learning about antioxidants and collagen from food, he always been incorporated them into his brand's makeup and skincare.

COVID-19's pandemic and quarantine only ramp up his hobby, baking, using the same ingredients from his makeup and skincare to real life baking.

You can follow his creations on

“I’ve always been putting wonderful delicious ingredients into my makeup, like we have a whole line of chocolate bronzers, I have the best-selling peach palettes,” Blandino said. “For me, I’m inspired by food to create color, color creates my bakes and in the end it’s fun, delicious and we all have a great time.”

Many of Jerrod Blandino’s beauty products smell like baked goods.

The Too Face Cosmetics co-founder recently told Jessica that he was inspired by food to create beauty products.

And it goes both ways: Jerrod said that, like many others during the COVID-19 pandemic, he started baking more and fell in love with the creative process.

He even hosts his own cooking class every week on IGTV called “Bakeup with Jerrod”

Jerrod came up with a cookie inspired by chocolate Easter bunnies. Jessica had so much fun baking and decorating her own cookies alongside Jerrod.

For more information about Jerrod, or to join his “Bakeup,” visit his Instagram page.

This segment aired on California Cooking with Jessica Holmes Episode 98.

Chocolate Bunny Cookies


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs


  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium-low until combined, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. Divide dough in two and roll each portion between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4 inch thick. Chill the dough until it is firm, about 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 15 minutes in the freezer.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using floured cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Place on prepared sheets and chill at least 20 minutes before baking. Reroll, chill, and cut scraps.
  5. Bake the cookies, rotating positions of the baking sheets halfway through, until the cookies are set around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate them as desired.

Monday, May 10, 2021


 By Laura Medina

Southern Nevada's premier champion of arts and education, The Rogers Foundation,  has named entertainment executive Kip Kelly as Founding Creative Director for a first-of-its-kind independent film house and theater breaking ground in downtown Las Vegas this fall. With more details about the intriguing venue to be announced soon, in this role Kelly will be immersed in the project’s development and oversee everything from programming to operations.
The Rogers Foundation is a 501(c ) (3) non-profit organization based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Founded in 2013 by James E. and Beverly Rogers, The Rogers Foundation awards scholarships to individual students in Southern Nevada and grants to educational institutions, artists and organizations that support the arts in Southern Nevada.  
“Kip’s breadth of knowledge and entertainment experience combined with his unbridled enthusiasm for creative collaboration make him the perfect choice to shepherd the vision for this project,” said Beverly Rogers, Chairman of the Board of The Rogers Foundation and driving force behind the new theater.
Kelly brings nearly 20 years of entertainment and marketing experience in Phoenix and Las Vegas to his new position as Founding Creative Director. Previously, he was Director of Entertainment and Communications for Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino where he produced the property’s first-ever showroom, developed its only ticketed live entertainment program and curated record-breaking performance partnerships with Life is Beautiful Music Festival, Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival, and various headlining shows. Most recently, he served as marketing consultant for Universal Music Group, where he led national marketing and radio campaigns for their west coast roster of artists. 
Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music business and a Master of Science degree in entertainment business, Kelly has devoted his professional life to the world of entertainment and events and has a demonstrated track record of success in cultivating new relationships and developing creative experiential strategies and programs in the world of nightlife, live entertainment, performance and event production. 
“For years, The Rogers Foundation has been a powerful advocate in supporting arts and culture in Las Vegas,” said Kelly.  “It’s an honor to join this board of visionaries and help build their next big idea from the ground up. Thank you, Beverly Rogers, for the golden ticket, and thank you Rory Reid for the executive trust.”  
For more information about The Rogers Foundation, visit

Monday, May 3, 2021

Gigi Vega's “WATCHU TRYNA DO?” Produced by the "Chainsmokers" Jack London.

 By Laura Medina

Triple Threat, actress, dancer, and singer, Gigi Vega just release her latest single, "WATCHU TRYNA DO?" produced by "Chainsmokers" producer, Jack London.

BreakOut Music Recording Artist GIGI Vega teams with EMPIRE recording artist, TEC and legendary bounce music royalty, Big Freedia (Drake “In My Feelings”), in two new remixes for her Top 40 single “Watchu Tryna Do?” The Big Freedia collaboration is a catchy diddy, dance-forward alliance of pop and bounce dance, produced by New Orleans hit maker BlaqNmilD (Drake, Beyonce). It is a big day for GiGi, as she also releases her music video for the original single, with a feature performance by TEC.

“Watchu Tryna Do?” written by GiGi Vega was a song adapted for COVID, “I wrote the song”, says GiGi, “pre-COVID 19, and didn’t decide to put it out until I changed the words to be more fitting for what we all are going through. The original lyrics will be released when we’re on the other side of this pandemic.” GiGi Vega’s new single is charting at #28 on the iTunes R&B Chart, with Empire Artist, TEC, as well as on the Top 40 charts, coming in at #54, with her video set to premiere on MTVU soon.


“Watchu Tryna Do?” music video was shot in Los Angeles, CA. under strict COVID-19 protocols, with at least one person getting dismissed before shooting started. GiGi Vega had a strong vision for her music video, which she worked on with Producer Julio Mata Jr. and Director Carlos Dupouy. A genuine triple threat - dancer/actress/writer, she brings you on a journey through her visuals. GiGi trained professionally in dance in Boston and NYC, and tapped Roland Tabor (Omarion, Migos) to choreograph. The dance-only video will be released at the end of February.

GiGi Vega debuted her first holiday song for Christmas 2020 “MISTLETOE KISS”. It quickly went viral on TikTok, with over 15k videos and 10 million views. The song was  nominated for a 2021 Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Her co-producer, Miklos Malek, a former judge on X-Factor, Hungary, called the song “a Christmas song that makes you want to dance.” “Mistletoe Kiss” rose to #3 on the iTunes Dance Charts, reached #27 on the Billboard Charts. Mistletoe Kiss was part of the Soundtrack for the Netflix movie “The App that Stole Christmas”.

GiGi has big plans coming up, a new release with visuals in early March, as well as a role in the 2021 BreakOut Music holiday film, “The Drone that Saved Christmas”.

Music Video - “WATCHU TRYNA DO?” -

TikTok - @gigivegaofficial

YouTube - @gigivegaofficial

FB - @gigivega

Insta - @gigivegamusic

Twitter - @gigivegamusic

In this exclusive interview, Gigi introduces her new single and herself, chatting about whom influence her, Janet Jackson, her upcoming movie, "The Drone That Saved Christmas" and how she take care of herself, as a triple threat: singer, actress, and dancer then she has a thing for fashion.

How has your family inspired you and your music?

GV: I would always do little shows and auditions. My father is a jazz musician. He would play the piano, so I was always surrounded by music, and theater as well. 

What or who inspired your song "Watchu Tryna Do?"

GV: It just happened. Actually had it for a while, but was finally able to come back to it. Originally, the lyrics were supposed to be “ in the club”, instead of “in the crib”. But I had to make adjustments due to COVID 19.

Talk about your producer on this song? 

GV: Jack London. He has worked with the Chainsmokers.

Where do you get your ideas for songwriting? 

GV: Melodies just come to me. Melodies come first for me. Lyrics come from everyday life experiences. I’ve always been into dancing and singing. It’s something that just clicked for me, but I got more into it once I started composing my own songs.

What charities are you aligned with and why? 

GV: Anti-bullying programs. 

What acting projects will you be involved with in the future?

GV: I will be in The Drone That Saved Christmas. Production begins in March. After that, I hope the COVID situation improves, so I can be touring.

Who are your biggest influences?

GV: Janet Jackson. Definitely into anyone who is super full out, and she is one of them.

What advice would you give to a singer starting out?

GV: Don’t let anyone steer you in the direction of what they want you to be – it is not worth it, ever.

Talk about your training as a triple threat, what do you do to stay on top? 

GV: Just take a look at my Music video, it is all there. Acting, dancing, singing. I have trained in all three disciplines since I was very young. My dance training was focused on modern dance, but I am schooled in all disciplines. I have always been on stage or behind the camera, so it is second nature. 

How do you take care of your voice? 

GV: Regular training, like an athlete. Lots of lemon and pineapple juice, as well.

If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

GV: Chris Brown or Jason Derulo. Dancer/singer like I am. Janet – anyone who is full out, as mentioned before.

What is on your playlist right now?

GV: Omarion, Michael Jackson, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Popsmoke, Jason Derulo.

Who are you currently watching on TikTok?

GV: Everything that comes across my feed.:)

When did you know you wanted to be an entertainer? 

GV: Never thought about anything else. I was on stage from an early age. I made the move from stage to commercial work in my teens. Once I learned how to write solid music, I knew I wanted to record music. It was a process. I spent hundreds of hours in the studio as a kid. 

What artist did you admire as a child?

 GV: I loved watching Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson is my absolute favorite. 

Do you play any instruments? 

GV: I pluck out notes on the piano and guitar to help my melodies. Had many lessons and music theory, but I won’t be accompanying myself just yet.

What’s your fashion style?

GV: I like more tropical vibes, or casual, put together vibes, but I always like to switch it up. I can be glam or a Tomboy. Get a girl who can do both.

What do you do to relax?

GV: I love fashion, always putting fashion pieces together. I learned to sew as child, went to classes and camps for years. I was one of those kids who got a new shirt, and then I would go to my room and change the shape and design. I love listening to music and writing. Honestly, writing is my happy space.

What other businesses do you plan on starting to promote your brand?

GV: I am very into sneakers and shoes. I have so many different designs in my head that need to come out.

What’s the one thing you think everyone could do to make the world a more positive place?

GV: Less judgment of others, especially strangers.



Saturday, May 1, 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Deep Yet So Fresh, Simon Lunche, as in Just Plain, "Lunch." From Boy Band to Solo Troubadour.

 By Laura Medina

For a 22 years-old, Simon Lunche (as in just plain, "lunch") packed in a lot of musicianship experience in twenty-two years. 

As a "boy band-er" in "The Blondies," wrote songs and fronted since he was 13 years-old.

As the rest of "The Blondies" decided to derail their music careers for college, 18 years-old Simon decided it was time to strike out on his own.

Four years later, he's striking out with his first solo cd, "Never Knew the Night,"

His singing and song-writing is reminiscent of John Mayer, melodic reminiscing of romance and relationships and yes, yearnings.  Sean Hurley, John Mayer's bassist, is helping guide Simon in that area.

Go to to hear his rich, deep, and full spectrum of love, romance, and limerence.  As a 22 years-old, Simon Lunche is coming unto his own.

Friday, April 23, 2021

EcoLuxe Lounge Brings the Oscars Home, in a Drive-Thru. Gilles Marini Brought His Home, Too.

 By Laura Medina

This COVID-19 quarantine shows Hollywood hospitality as its best.

What is usually exclusive is now inclusive.

To avoid virus spread and outbreak, Hollywood's best gifting suites and lounges are bringing the best in makeup and skincare home to the few Oscar televised nominees, needed for that exclusive audience attendance or at home Zoom during the actual awards show.

EcoLuxe Lounge boxed it's awards shows' brunch, in a take-home package, at it's socially-distanced, drive-thru gifting lounge. It's very considerate.  Champagne, brie, parmesan, pasta, tomato sauce, baguette sandwiches, cannolis, gourmet nuts, and craisins.  That's your Sunday Oscar Night spread in a box!

Can't forget dessert,, Liana Treat & Berry, provides Oscar-worthy desserts in edible rose-gold glittered chocolate-coated strawberries and pretzel-sticks.

Of course, it isn't the Oscars if isn't gold.

Debuting at EcoLuxe Oscars Drive-Thru is Reveal U Skincare's Gold Line. Gold Face & Body Gel Moisturizer, spring-water based infused with platinum, gold, copper, zinc, and magnesium.  Actually, oily-complexions need light-weight, water moisturization so the oil glands wouldn't over-produce due to compensating the lack of moisturization from overly drying the skin.

REJUVE GOLD Mineral Rich Hydration Mist is portable, anywhere, and anytime platinum, gold, copper, zinc, and magnesium and mica mist you can spray to calm your skin and nerves.

In an homage to Old Hollywood of silent film Egyptian-vamps and Cleopatra-Elizabeth Taylor and the fact we're still masking, time to big on the eyes with Ace Beaute Quintessential Eyeshadow Palette.  Bold and sexy for those Zoom presentations and telecasting.

As extra treats and needs,...

Mo Eye Wear and Sunglasses for extra protection against COVID and UV rays.

For your fur baby and perhaps, for your own stressed-out tresses, daddy/mommy and fur baby Paul Mitchell Lavender Mint Detangling Spray for salon-neglected hair.

See, Hollywood brings it home this Oscar Season.