Jul 10, 2012 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
When Mario DeSantis debuted his orchestra back in 1947, the Number One hit in the nation was “Heartache” by the Ted Weems Orchestra, with Elmo Tanner whistling. Now, as Mario celebrates his big band’s 65th anniversary, the nation’s top pop tune is “Payphone” by Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa.
Over the intervening decades, Mario and his musicians have rolled with rock’n’roll, bounced to the Beatles, and reveled in rhythm & blues. The versatile 12-piece ensemble prides itself on its ability to entertain every audience whether they dance the Turkey Trot, the Twist or the Macarena.
Ames, Gentile & E.S.P.
The Mario DeSantis Orchestra hosts its third annual Salt City Sunday Music & Art Festival from 2 to 8 p.m., Sunday, July 15, at Johnson Park in Liverpool. Admission is free.
The opening act will be the Christopher Ames Trio playing tracks from its recent disc, “Journeyman” along with plenty of tasty rock’n’roll tunes. Ames et al will be followed at 3:30 p.m. by Lisa Gentile and Tommy Scott. Gentile, a gifted songwriter with a powerful and passionate singing voice, bills herself as “an urban cowgirl with soul.”
At 5 p.m. Syracuse Area Music Awards winners E.S.P. will play smooth jazz from the quartet’s 2011 CD, “Reach.” The disc includes a number named “Salina Street,” bassist Matt Vacanti’s paean to downtown Syracuse’s Wise Guys Comedy Club.
The DeSantis Orchestra takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. and will feature several new arrangements including traditional big band tunes, neo-swing and dance-craze numbers from the 1960s to today. Several of the band’s new arrangements were written by saxophonist Joe Riposo, who lives in Liverpool.
Liverpool’s own !
Speaking of musicians who live in Liverpool, on Sunday the DeSantis combo will spotlight singer Keith Condon who grew up in the village.
Condon has been singing with the DeSantis group for 35 years, often dueting with Maria DeSantis, daughter of the piano-playing conductor, Mario DeSantis.
When he was a kid, Keith sang barbershop-style songs with his three brothers, Don Jr., Mark and Paul.
“Singing all those harmonies with my brothers helps me to be able to sing duets with Maria,” Condon said.
Among the duets they sing are Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “Where is the Love?” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” popularized by James Ingram and Patti Austin. A cool, calm and confident vocalist who channels everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble, Condon is the son of Donald and JeanEllen White Condon.
Salt City Sunday coordinator Matt Vacanti is proud to be presenting all-local talent.
“There are a lot of great festivals in the area, but we wanted to create an event that celebrated artists and musicians from Central New York,” Vacanti said. To complement the stage entertainment, a variety of visual artists including painters, crafters and woodworkers will display and sell their work at the park that afternoon. The Liverpool Is The Place Committee will sell beverages and freshly popped popcorn.
For info, visit saltcitysunday.com, or call Matt Vacanti at 622-1928.
Tom accompanies Jane
When multiple Grammy-nominee Jane Monheit steps up to the microphone on Thursday, July 19, at Beard Park in Fayetteville, she’ll be backed by Liverpool High School alumnus Tom Bronzetti on guitar.
Jane, whose vibrant voice beautifies Bronzetti’s debut disc “Make Someone Happy,” will be joined at Beard Park by Sammys Hall of Fame scat singer Ronnie Leigh, who doubles as the concert’s artistic director.
The July 19 event begins at 6:30 p.m. and is jointly hosted by the Fayetteville Free Library, the Motto Sheet Music Collection and the village of Fayetteville. Admission is free; 637-6374, ext. 328, fayettevillefreelibrary.org.
The Fayetteville Free Library has partnered with sponsor Texas Roadhouse of DeWitt to sell pulled-pork sandwiches at the park with proceeds benefiting the library.