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Hoboken Sinatra Idol Contest Tonight June14th Starting at 6:30pm

Tonight, the 6th Annual Sinatra Idol Contest will take place at Frank Sinatra Park down by the waterfornt in Hoboken. Details are below….

Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City of Hoboken proudly present the 6th Annual

Hoboken Sinatra Idol Contest
Thursday June 14  begins at 6:30pm

(Raindate: Friday June 15)
Sinatra Park on Sinatra Drive bet. 4th & 5th Streets
featuring Host: Gary Simpsinatra
Prizes awarded to the best Sinatra Style Singers
Admission is free

This years first place winner of Hoboken’s Sinatra Idol Contest will automatically be cast  in the 2012 Sinatra Birthday Bash at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, which takes place on Friday, December 7, 2012.  This is a musical celebration of the life and artistry of Frank Sinatra on his birthday weekend.  The Hoboken winner will perform with a dozen of New Jersey’s finest saloon singers, all selected by audition specifically for this performance, at the historic Count Basie Theatre, backed by the 17-piece Red Bank Jazz Orchestra under the musical direction
of Joe Muccioli, who Jazzwise Magazine says, “Works with a maximum of authenticity.”

Thanks to this year’s sponsors: Anastasia’s Accessories, Leo’s Grandevous, Onieals Restaurant, Lepores Chocolates, Empire Coffee and Tea Co., Inc, The Hoboken Man, Trinity, Madison Bar and Grill, Stan’s Sports Center, Tutta Pasta, Carp Diem, Arthurs Steakhouse, Three As Bar, Pleasant Road Spa, The Village Pourhouse, The Wicked Wolf, Pleasant Road Spa, and Tunes

Contestants this year include: 

  • Ralph Muro, Endicott, NY; Retired teacher and football coach, having taught for 36 years in Binghamton, NY. Ever since the boom of karaoke, Ralph’s love for singing Sinatra tunes has grown. For the past eight years, he has been the vocalist of a fifteen piece swing band orchestra. In Ralph’s words, “With every song, Frank became the song, and the song became him. I try to put the same passion and feeling into what I’m singing, the way he exemplified.”
  • George Chartofillis, West Caldwell, NJ; N.J. State Government Worker/Intake Investigator with the Division On Civil Rights, Office Of The Attorney General. Every Friday for the past 5 years, from the beginning of June through the end of September, the Newark Downtown District sponsors summer activities throughout the City of Newark, New Jersey. There’s karaoke twice a week, every Wednesday, from noon-3pm on Beaver Street, around the corner from where George works. This means George has been singing on his lunch hour. He says, “I intend to pursue my dream until I die. I know it takes hard work, going from place to place, having ups and downs, but I’m ready, and I’ve always wanted the challenge and opportunity to let the world know who I am.” www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD57r6VfZLw
  • Sean Hanlon, Holmdel, NJ; Retired, after 40 years in the direct marketing-printing business. Sean began performing Sinatra songs in clubs with the Jerry Lambert Band in the 70′s and continues to perform his music. In December, 2009, he sang at the Count Basie Theatre, for the 3rd Annual Frank Sinatra Birthday Bash. Presently, Sean gives concerts at retirement villages, golf course events, hospitals, and assisted living homes.
  • Barry Wayne, Hoboken, NJ; Works in Midtown as a financial advisor. Barry grew up listening to the sounds of Sinatra at his Grandma Shirley’s House. “She used to put me in a room called the ‘Radio Room’… My Grandpa Bert was a big fan of Bennie Goodman, Manhattan Transfer, and Sinatra, which formed my appreciation.” Through the years, Barry’s love of jazz and big band grew exponentially. When he began working as a disc jockey and entertainer in his 20′s, Barry found himself playing Sinatra tunes at all events. Now he sings Sinatra tunes throughout his day, along with his other advisors – when they don’t have client meetings, of course!
  • James Anthony, Bristow, VA; Operations Manager of digital graphic/sign facility. For James, growing up in Las Vegas during the 70′s offered wonderful memories, from watching performances by Rat Pack members, to hearing Elvis. James started singing in high school choir; during the 80′s, he became a harmonist/percussionist. Later, James left the music industry to help raise a family, but returned in 2006 after relocating to Washington DC, where he recorded a CD of remastered Frank Sinatra songs in different styles. “Frank Sinatra’s way of singing brings joy to me, and I do my best to carry on his legacy.” www.ReverbNation.com/JamesAnthonySinatra
  • Tony Palumbo, Midland Park, NJ; Financial advisor at Wells Fargo. Always a huge fan of Frank and the Rat Pack, Tony really began singing in 1984; while driving down to Florida, he brought the entire Frank Sinatra Collection along with him – all on cassettes. Tony also sang Frank’s songs while he worked as a bartender during the late 80′s early 90′s. But in 1999, he was invited to Gary Simpsinatra’s house party, where he took it to a whole new level.
  • Gary Willner, Valley Cottage, NY; Professional entertainer. Gary got started singing Frank Sinatra music when he was hired by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, singing Frank’s arrangements with the band. He was even lucky enough to perform with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra for the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter, in Washington, D.C. Gary has recorded many albums for the record label, Music Minus One, and his “Pocket Songs” sing along recordings are sold and used all over the world. www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDVgs5v-z_A
  • Larry Dubin, Port Washington, NY; Substance Abuse Counselor. Larry has been singing since age five. And for the past thirty-three years, Larry has used music in his therapeutic work. While working for a drug treatment center, he’d MC, singing, “That’s Life.” Larry’s voice was recently showcased on the Nassau Community College Radio Station, 90.3 FM, in NY.
  • Donnie Farraro, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, Retired truck driver. Sang a little bit when he was in the Army, but life and family obligations kept him busy until he was diagnosed with stage four cancer of the tongue a few years ago. He was told he might not talk again, maybe not even live, much less sing…but with the help of modern medicine and faith in God, made a full recovery. Hackensack University Hospital asked him to give a speech at their annual dinner about his fight with cancer; Instead, he performed a few Sinatra songs. The response was overwhelming.” Donnie feels blessed to be alive and strives to, “keep the music of the greatest singer of the 20th century” alive.
  •  Salvatore Gigante, Newark, NJ; Head of sales and marketing, BBT Logistics. In his late teens and early twenties, Salvatore became interested in singing Sinatra. “Wow, the crowds of people that would show up to hear him sing…And the screaming girls.” I’d never witnessed that before. He remembers the way Howard Cosell introduced Frank Sinatra at Madison Square Garden. It was as if a Heavy Weight World Champion fighter was entering the ring for, “THE MAIN EVENT.” www.bbtlogistics.com/SG.html
  • Ed Houff, Wilmington, DE; Safety consultant for a trucking company. Ed grew up listening to Sinatra; he enjoyed the music and the interpretation. About seven years ago, Ed started singing karaoke, naturally gravitating toward Sinatra songs, due to their timeless nature. “Not only are Sinatra songs crowd-pleasers, but I get tremendous pleasure from singing them.”
  • Bill Gagliardi, Lakewood, NJ; Retired jewelry sales and marketing executive. Since retiring in 2006, Bill has been doing a Frank Sinatra Tribute Act and was one of eleven singers featured at the 2008 Count Basie Theater, Sinatra Birthday Bash. He was also the Senior Idol winner at a competition held at the Strand Theater in Lakewood, NJ. Bill has been a background actor for TV shows such as The Soprano’s, Law and Order, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, Damages, One Life to Lead, as well as for movies Spider Man 3, Enchanted, The Answer Man, and City Island.
  • Alex Grigato, Mantova, Italy; Fashion designer. When Alex was born in 1945, the echo of war was in the air. “My mom told me the only way to keep me quiet was the sound of a record. ‘Night and Day’ was my mom’s favorite song. Since then, it’s become the ‘lied-motif’ of my life. I still have the old 78 record.” In Palm Springs, in 1995, Maestro Joe Malignaggi, first violinist of the Sinatra Orchestra, introduced Alex to Frankie himself. The first time Alex sung on stage was at the 2010 Sinatra Idol Contest.
  • Anthony Kane, Hoboken, NJ; Sales representative for a wholesale company in NYC. Born in NYC, Anthony has been a Hoboken resident since 1989. He started singing and playing harmonica in blues bands when he was a teenager. He has played with many notable musicians, including Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Junior Wells, and Willie Dixon. In recent years, he’s expanded his repertoire to include jazz standards and Sinatra songs, performing at Birdland and other major venues in Manhattan. www.kanebrosbluesband.com
  • Al Procaccino, Holmdel, NJ; Financial planner. Al grew up on Monroe Street in Hoboken, a few doors from where Frank Sinatra was born. His parents remember Frank when he was a young boy, crooning the streets of Hoboken. Al started working with vocal coaches 13 years ago and takes bi-weekly lessons. He says, “Quite ‘Frankly’ something went off inside of me when Frank Sinatra died. I felt a need to sing properly, and the best influence was to go back to my childhood and study the best.” Presently, Al performs with the Saint Francis Choir, alongside his mother. www.repriseorchestra.com
  • Rick Valiant, Vancouver, BC; Professional entertainer. Rick has been paying tribute to Frank Sinatra for the past four years, performing at corporate conventions, seniors’ homes, charity functions, as well as casinos in Vancouver. He recently attended the Tribute Artist and Impersonator Convention, performing in the Golden Nugget Casino and on the Freemont Street Stage in Las Vegas. Rick also performs in Vancouver theatres with his own nine-piece orchestra and continues to bring back the Big Band sound, keeping Frank Sinatra’s music alive in Canada and beyond. www.rickvaliant.com

Here are some prior videos of some standout performances:

2011 Hoboken Sinatra Idol Winner Greg Meyers:

2010 Hoboken Sinatra Idol Winner David Arellano sings “I did it my way”:

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