In a recent piece, I discussed the long-term effects of the pandemic on entertainers. Many changed careers or sought out a new future in other cities. Some even moved back in with their parents. Despite that world-changing event, the harsh reality is that for those in the entertainment field, things are ALWAYS in flux…
But Sin City can never have enough talent. There’s always someone ready to fill the void. That’s why Teresa Topaz decided to make the City of Entertainment her base of operations…and we’re glad that she did. She’s prepared for a wild, rockin’ ride.
You might be inclined to compare Teresa Topaz with QUEENS OF ROCK headliner Elyzabeth Diaga. Both have an inimitable style and powerhouse vocals. But while Diaga’s show salutes hitmakers and legends, Ms. Topaz focuses on creating her own new music. Her talents include composing, record production, and playing a variety of instruments.
“I attended Le Lycee Francais in Los Angeles during my middle school years, a private prep high school, and Marymount in my college years. I started singing at a very young age and guitar followed soon after hearing Jimmy Page play “Number 1″, his beloved ’59 Les Paul.”
“My parents would take me to dinner and I would go to tables and sing for cherries. I started performing at eight years old with my choir and at the Dorothy Chandler (Pavilion). I started solo shows at nineteen with my “Martin“, became the face of Color Bar Hair Salon, started running nightclubs at twenty-four, and always found a way to be surrounded by music.”
Teresa’s passion for the guitar was immediate. She told me that she even slept with her “blood-red Strat” as a child. That love continued to grow through the years and led to becoming a certified guitar technician. Topaz eventually opened the award-winning Topaz Guitar Repair shop right here in Las Vegas. This year she was designated as Sin City’s official repair and warranty technician for the elite line of Furch Guitars from the Czech Republic.
“At thirty-five I started my own business and became one of the few female-owned/based businesses in the tech world. In a few years, I single-handedly built a respected premier repair shop and have become a certified technician for seventeen major brands.”
Topaz Guitar Repair was awarded “Best Repair Shop in Nevada” by Prestige Awards for calendar year 2021/2022. It’s the state’s only Martin, Taylor, Guild, Cordoba, Santa Cruz, Huss & Dalton, Lowden, Furch, ESP, LTD, and Takamine official warranty repair center. Teresa is a certified technician for Fender, Fender Custom Shop, Charvel, Jackson, and EVH.
In 2019, the striking blonde entrepreneur/performer packed up her instruments, studio, and pets and left Marin County. She headed to Sin City to care for her mother, but quickly became entrenched in the city’s business and entertainment fields.
“Vegas has been very good to me. I have really loved living here and becoming part of the music community. I have met some of the kindest and most awesome people in the industry, period.”
Her cats Angel, Mr. Jimmy Page and Melody seem to agree. “I named Page correctly because this cat is as obsessed with guitar as I am. They all come running when I head into the studio. Angel is a vibrato junkie…she loves being held when I sing.”
After relocating, Teresa’s music grew in popularity and garnered a number of awards. She was in the midst of composing her third album when COVID-19 hit. That setback turned out to be a gift of sorts:
“My last single Whiskey Kinda Girl won “Best Country Rock Song of the Year” in 2020’s Akademia Awards and “The Rising Star Award” for 2021. I just recently was awarded the Legacy Award for my achievements in music to date.”
“I was in the middle of my third record when COVID hit, causing the project to be put on hold. I am grateful for the pause as it gave me the time to re-evaluate tracks and the direction of the project. I am very much looking forward to the new releases. “
In Part Two I’ll explore Teresa Topaz’s inspirations, the impact of her music on several cities…and efforts she’s made to “Keep Portand Weird”.