Lani Misalucha’s inimitable vocal power to surmount the Big Apple

It will take some 7 more weeks or so before 2015 bids goodbye and yet Joji Babuschak’s JB Entertainment Productions has already prides itself with a hugely grandiloquent year-ender and newsmaker via its ambitiously conceived Asia’s Nightingale’s pre-Christmas concert aptly labeled “Lani Misalucha, Live in New York” on Sunday, November 22 at 4:00 PM at the historic Times Square landmark, the Town Hall, along 123 W 43rd St., New York, NY.

Even immensely popular performers of Lani Misalucha’s caliber still have qualms, apprehensiveness and trepidation to solely penetrate The Great White Way (the Theater District) knowing that the Broadway section has come to symbolize highly praised live theater entertainment throughout the world and doing an act alone is tantamount to a suicidal attempt betting one’s established name and hard-earned career status to an irresolute game.

But nothing seemed to neither dampen nor daunt the spirits of the “Las Vegas Siren of the Strip” and her risk-taking producer. No amount of dissuasion could put their orchestrated plan on hold. Ambitious and grandiose the conceptualized concert might be, but there seems a guiding voice assuring them of a sure-fire hit. Broadway’s blinding lights, for both, favorably spark positivity from the offing bringing forth unabated guarantee that the show is destined to be sensational.

Joji, being a go-getter and accurately optimistic about the whole idea, was ruled by a self-instilling thought: “If not now, when…? If not Lani, then who …? Undoubtedly, I believe in Lani’s drawing power to attract a colossal crowd and dispel the “jinx curse” for performers outside the mainstream perimeter, if there’s anything at all!”

As early as spring of this year, negotiations went smoothly… as smoothly as getting an instant possibility sans any impediment. Then not too soon, the “Lani Misalucha, Live in New York” posters and flyers came out mushrooming in every nook and social media.

Currently, “Lani Misalucha, Live in New York,” indubitably, has created a high spirited anticipation and dubbed as the most awaited solo concert this side of the entertainment world.

Prior the most-awaited event, let’s take a closer look at the star of the show and get to know her better.

Born Lani Bayot (Lani Misalucha in show business) on August 3, 1969 to Esperanza Dimalanta (a coloratura soprano) and Benjamin Bayot (a tenor), it isn’t surprising for the exotic-looking singer to be one of the country’s well-acclaimed singer-performers having been innately musically-bred.

Young Lani was already reaping awards after awards from gospel music competitions, school and church singing events after earnestly manifested her interest in pursuing a career in music by joining concert choruses, glee clubs, and church choir. Incidentally, she’s still an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints along with spouse Noli Misalucha and daughters Lian and Louven.

The songstress, gifted with a melodiously powerful vocal chord, has deservingly earned Asia’s Nightingale title after having supremely reigned in the recording industry, tin pan alley, and the concert stage since her foray in 1996 to present. She had signed on dotted lines with various recording labels: Alpha (1997), Viva (1999-2005), Universal Records (2006-2014), and Star Records (2014-present) with uninterrupted gradient to the crest where she’s enthroned.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing and easy-as-eating-peanuts for the striving chanteuse to attain what she loftily dreamt of. ‘Though she might have fallen right as a typical exponent of one who met the truism’s perspective, “singers are born not made,” still Lani enduringly passed through painstaking trials and hurdled insurmountable challenges before finally savoring the truest essence of success.

During the 80s and 90s multiplex cassette tapes were in vogue and very much in demand especially among music enthusiasts and aspiring singers. The advent of karaoke machines gave rise to the voluminous demand and sing-along craze that catapulted aspiring singer Lani Misalucha to an unparalleled stardom with just the magic of her voice minus the exposure of her face.

Her widely malleable vocal prowess could easily replicate the voices of famous divas: Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, and many more. But it didn’t take long for Lani to shed off her “Multiplex Queen” title and justifiably adapt a new identity as “Asia’s Nightingale.”

Her merely being behind the scene gave her the necessary break to perfect her own that in 1998 she romped away with the Grand prize, (Minuro Endo Best Interpreter/Singer Award), during the 3rd Asia Song Festival and the Aliw Awards Best Lounge Act trophy and the Best Performance by a Female Recording Artist (for Can’t Stop Loving You) in 1999.

One wonders if  Lani’s trophy room has still enough space for her flooding awards. From Aliw Awards alone, she has consistently received “Best Female Performance in Music lounges, Bars, Clubs and Restaurants” for 3 consecutive years (1999-2002), “Entertainer of the Year Award” in 2002, “Best Performance by a Recording Artist in the 20th Awit Awards, and more.

Her released studio albums sufficiently attest to her unprecedented status in the recording industry. Consider these: More Than I Should (Alpha Records, 1997), Tunay Na Mahal (Viva Records, 1999), All Heart (Viva Records, 2001), Loving You (2003), Lani Misalucha (Universal Records, 2006), Reminisce (Universal Records, 2008), The Gift of Christmas (Universal Records, 2008), and The Nightingale Returns (Star Records, 2014).

Lani’s Live albums are composed of: Love Concert-Volumes 1 & 2 (2001), Crossover Live Tour-Volumes 1 and 2 (2001), The Best of Crossover Presents (2003), and Lani Misalucha Live -Volumes 1 and 2 Viva Records, (2007).

All her compilation albums, (Greatest Hits (2005), Silver Series (2006) and 18 Greatest Hits (2009), equally received tremendous acceptance among her fans and tin pan alley aficionados. It was one exceptional achievement seldom attained by anyone among her peers.. such feat tough to duplicate.

Overseas, The Flamingo along the brightly lit strip of Las Vegas became home to the determined fortune-seeker in 2004 and since turned out to be a regular performer in various venues in different occasions. Impressively, Lani was the first and only Asian to headline in a main showroom of the Las Vegas Strip. Her initial stint at the Jubilee Theater of the Bally’s for 15 months with the famous Hawaiian variety troupe, Society of Seven, offered her a much broader range of opportunity to master pop, rock, jazz, soul, rhythm and blues, and operatic arias effortlessly until the group moved to Flamingo from August of 2006 to April 2008.

As if profoundly guided in treading the right track to triumph Lani was deservingly voted “Best Singer” during the 27th Annual Best of Las Vegas poll by the Las Vegas Review Journal with the title “New Siren of the Strip” aptly attached to her name.

With resolute dedication to her craft coupled with unrelenting perseverance in honing her talent, Lani’s prominence in the field of entertainment farther surpassed her numerous awards and recognitions when two city resolutions were passed in honor of her distinct talent: first by then Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman that declared December 4 as “Lani Misalucha Day” and another from Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. of San Francisco, California which declared August 17 as “Lani Misalucha Day”.

Her inimitably powerful vocal supremacy has incessantly received well-deserved recognitions and awards most recently of which are “Female Concert Artist of 2015” for her “La Nightingale” concert and “The Ultimate” with Asia’s Songbird, Regine Velasquez.

Despite success and fame and being idolized, top celebrities like Lani Misalucha aren’t spared from wagging tongues and negative issues thrown by detractors. In Lani’s case, a few haters capitalized on her undergoing beauty enhancements and similar facial modifications which the ever affable singer straightforwardly met head-on: “I have nothing to hide or deny. I have been open about the whole thing. It was of my own choice to enhance what I felt I needed…for the perfection of my career…and I feel proud of the results!” She justifiably reasoned out sounding defenselessly, “It’s not for me to opine why others don’t want to undergo such enhancement process…it’s their choice and I respect whatever reason they have.”

Her rationale was generally accepted by beauty experts with command knowledgeability on personality development and public appeal. They all find Lani’s enhanced image perfectly fit for the world stage and strongly boosted her physical appeal during public appearances.

In the local entertainment arena, the moniker Lani Misalucha is, undoubtedly, already synonymous to an award-winning singer-performer with an etched credibility of a sold-out-tag duly stamped to her every show.  After having had staged her acts all throughout the country and Asia, including America where she just successfully concluded a concert at the Portage Theater in Chicago, Illinois last October 24. The Pinay Diva is slated for another US performance… this time at the Town Hall in the heart of Times Square in New York City.

It is without any doubt, the incomparable “Siren of the Strip” and one of the Philippines’ best vocal exports, has nothing more to prove to confirm her dominance in the field she enjoys reigning for decades.

Everything for her is purely to entertain her fans while simultaneously releasing the very intensity of the passion she loves doing best—singing!

Sharing the concert stage with Lani is an equally multi-talented fast-rising tenor-pop star Jared Martin, the pride of Toms River, New Jersey. His impressive educational foundation (Master’s Degree in Music Education with Presidential Honors for Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance), stage and theatrical performances (with Gabby Concepcion, Bert Nievera, Lani Misalucha, Jodi Benson, Raymond Lauchengco, Martin Nievera, and Joey Albert), and worthy community service justifiably made him a deserving recipient of awards and recognition from different organizations. Just recently, he was proclaimed “Grand Winner” of Freehold Idol 2015.

Come and bear witness to Lani Misalucha’s exceedingly powerful voice on Sunday, November 22, at the Town Hall along 123 W 43rd St., New York, NY, as she unleashes a universal crescendo of her angst, tormenting sorrows, rupturing pains, euphoric stance, and fondest thoughts when she celebrates life through her own brand of music.

With highly esteemed musician Lorrie Ilustre as concert Musical Director and a 5-piece band for accompaniment with 4 back-up dancers direct from Las Vegas, plus the inclusion of the east coast’s best tenor-pop artist and most in-demand male performer from Toms River, Jared Martin, “Lani Misalucha, Live in New York” isn’t only touted to hit the mark but already evaluated (this early) to enjoy a rousing definitude of its sensational success.

Incidentally, the show is brought to stage through the courtesy of JB Entertainment Productions’ major sponsors: Blakely Hotel, Western Union, and DirecTV with the support of friends and local publications.

Tickets are pegged at $48, $68, $88, $108, & $138. For details, more info, and ticket reservations, please call: 732-929-3909 or 201-388-1927. Proceeds beneficiaries: ABS-CBN Bantay-Bata 163 and  the Filipino-American Community Development Center, Inc. (FCDC).

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