Central New York’s orchestra, Symphoria opens its 2019-20 pops series by welcoming singer, pianist, and songwriter Tony DeSare to Syracuse for a salute to the songs of Ol’ Blues Eyes titled Sinatra and Beyond. DeSare, who starred in the Off-Broadway show, Our Sinatra, will sings songs made famous by “The Sultan of Swoon” including Come Fly With Me, I’ve Got the World on a String, My Way and many more “ring-a-ding-ding” tunes.
DeSare and his band will join Principal Pops conductor Sean O’Loughlin and Symphoria for a night filled with old-school Sinatra classics at 7:30 p.m. Saturday October 12 at Crouse Hinds Concert Theater in Syracuse
One of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century as well as one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, Sinatra died 20 years ago at age 82. But his music has never gone out of style.
Last October, Capitol Records released the 60th anniversary edition of “Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely,” an album that went straight to No. 1 and stayed on the charts for two years. The album, regarded by many as Sinatra’s greatest record of all, included songs such as “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road),” which DeSare will perform with Symphoria.
Today, when people think of Sinatra, they think of the mature Sinatra, dressed in a tuxedo, singing such songs as “New York, New York.” But DeSare, age 42, prefers Sinatra’s music from the 1950s, when he recorded such albums as the 1958 release “Songs for Only the Lonely”. “Frank’s voice was dead-on perfect, and he was such a great interpreter,” DeSare told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in September 2017.
Named a Rising Star Male Vocalist by Downbeat magazine in 2009, DeSare has appeared in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to jazz clubs. He’s headlined in Las Vegas with comedian Don Rickles, and he’s appeared with many major symphony orchestras in North America.
As a child, DeSare initially studied violin, but soon discovered the piano. “I’m not sure exactly what it is,” he told the South Bend Tribune last August. “I know one of the big things is that it’s the only instrument that lets you be your own orchestra.” At age 11, he became obsessed with learning George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Mining his parents’ record collection, he soon developed a fondness for such classic pop singers as Sinatra and Nat King Cole.
Still, music remained a hobby through his teen years, and he studied pre-law at Ithaca College until he attended a Billy Joel concert. The singer/songwriter shared some advice from the stage for the audience of 20,000.
“What Billy said is that we did not have to become recording stars or follow in his footsteps,” DeSare recalled in the interview with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “He basically said, ‘If you feel you can pay your bills by playing music, that alone is reason enough to follow your dream.’”
“I just sat back, thinking to myself, ‘Wow, when you put it that way,’” he added. “I was much too far along for me to switch and begin pursuing a music degree,” he said. “But I dropped my law courses the next Monday and became a business major.”
Described in the New York Times in 2012 as “two parts young Sinatra to one part Billy Joel,” DeSare channels the best of the Great American Songbook.
“My view of it is, with the Great American Songbook, these great songwriters and the recording industry gave the world a huge gift,” he told The Daily Press. “And when we look back through the lens of the 21st century, it’s interesting to find ways to present all sorts of songs, from all different decades, that are great music.”
Single tickets and season subscriptions can be purchased at the Symphoria box office 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 234 Harrison St., Syracuse, or by calling 315-299-5598 ext. 201, or by visiting ExperienceSymphoria.org.
Single tickets for the 2019-20 concerts range from $20 to $90. Admission is free for kids 18 and younger and only $5 for college students with a valid student ID.
For a full list of 2019-20 concerts and details of this performance, visit ExperienceSymphoria.org.
Symphoria is a fully professional orchestra serving Syracuse and Central New York. It is one of only two co-op orchestras in the U.S., founded by nearly 50 members of the former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, which was considered one of America’s top 50 orchestras. Symphoria is passionately committed to serving its community with inspiring orchestra and ensemble performances, and innovative education programs for kids of all ages. SymphoriaCNY is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit youtube.com/ExperienceSymphoria for videos. For more information about Symphoria or to purchase tickets, visit ExperienceSymphoria.org or call the Symphoria Box Office at 315-299-5598 ext. 201.