The Legends in Concert Tour is coming to Talking Stick Resort this month and is bringing famous tribute acts that can’t be seen anywhere else to the Valley. Portrayers of Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston and the Blues Brothers will make the impossibility of seeing these great stars all at once a reality.
Jason Jarrett, the show’s Michael Jackson, will be performing hit songs by the late pop-star. Jarrett will be singing songs like Jam, Thriller and Billy Jean. He’ll be singing, dancing and acting out a show that will make the audience feel like the King of Pop is still
Jarrett has been a Jackson fan since his mother bought him Thriller. Jarrett also saw Jackson perform at Dodger Stadium in 1984 during the Victory Tour and fondly remembers the show.
“It was such a huge concert,” Jarrett said. “It was a blur as a kid.”
Michael Jackson was one of the biggest inspirations for Jarrett when he decided to go into show business. And now Jarrett gets to perform the ultimate tribute by portraying the late star onstage.
Jarrett recently spoke with Scottsdale Living about what it’s like to put on the rhinestone glove of the King of Pop and perform songs by the late, great Michael Jackson.
Scottsdale Living: How did you get involved in portraying Michael Jackson?
JJ: I’ve been in show business since I was a kid, and I was doing shows out here in Vegas and people started coming up to me and mentioned to me if I thought about doing Michael Jackson as a tribute. I thought about it for a while and then last year I made the decision to just do it. So I put together an act and auditioned for Legends and that was it.
SL: When did tributes to Michael Jackson start getting big?
JJ: Here in Vegas there has always been Michael Jackson tribute artists. It was definitely after he died it just really blew up. The demand for the character just went crazy.
SL: What’s the process of getting into character and becoming the King of Pop?
JJ: I start a couple hours before the show, just start with getting the makeup together and the costumes together. For me, I like quiet; I don’t play music or anything. I just get myself together and then 20 minutes before going out I’ll get into character.
SL: What do you do to train and sing Jackson’s songs?
JJ: I grew up with Michael Jackson [music] when I was a kid. Everybody was imitating Jackson and trying to move like him and dance like him. So when I grew up I naturally had that in my way of moving and dancing. When I started seriously doing the character, I broke out those moves again and started rehearsing and rehearsing. Doing this kind of character, so much about that is just rehearsing.
SL: What’s your favorite song and dance to perform?
JJ: That’s a hard one. I like “Thriller,” because it’s so theatrical and everyone really gets you into it. “Thriller” and “Billie Jean” are the multi-iconic ones and those are always the best.
SL: Any song that you don’t perform that you have a particular likeness to?
JJ: I like a lot of the old-school stuff; the really fun stuff from the ’70s era from the Off the Wall album. There was an era there where it was really fun music that everybody got into it. Those kinds of songs, there so many. [laughs]
SL: Do you do any Jackson 5 stuff or only stick to certain hits or era?
JJ: I do. I do a medley of Jackson 5 songs. You know from the original Jackson 5: “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There.” All that stuff.
SL: When you’re out there performing, do you add anything unique to the show that’s yours or is it strictly what Jackson would have done on stage?
JJ: The costumes and songs I stick to as close to, but naturally my personality comes through; it works in my act. Ultimately, it’s about personality. You have to connect to the audience and make them feel.
Legends in Concert Live will be at Talking Stick Resort Feb. 19-23, 7:30 p.m. For tickets: 480-850-7777 or visit talkingstickresort.com