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10 years ago after a concert with the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band I dreamed of recording a world-class Christmas album with star guests. This year that dream could become a reality. New York’s Michael Feinstein and our own Clare Teal have agreed to sing duets, the studio’s booked and the musicians are standing by, but I need your help.
I’ve launched a crowdfunding page to raise the money I need to get the album finished. In return for your support I’m offering some amazing rewards like a chance sit in on the recording sessions, a Luxury hotel/show package and even the opportunity to sing on the album yourself!
Pledges start at just £20 for an advanced copy of the CD but be quick, the appeal only lasts till the end of March. Can you help? Click here to watch the video and learn more.
“…the UK’s leading standard bearer for the supercool era.” is how the London Evening Standard described Gary Williams, star of the West End’s “Rat Pack” and soloist with leading big bands and concert orchestras including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony, the BBC Big Band, Ireland’s RTE and the Lahti Sinfonia Finlad.
Other work includes performing for The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, ‘That’s Entertainment’ a tribute to the MGM musicals with the John Wilson Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, performing at Sinatra’s Palm Springs home for the LA Jazz Institute, Radio 2 with the BBC Concert Orchestra, ‘Winter Wonderland’ at the Royal Albert Hall, ‘A Swingin’ Session’ with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra in Los Angeles, ‘Big Band Wonderland’ at Ronnie Scott’s, ‘The Legend of Sinatra’ (UK tour), a tribute to the music of Fred Astaire presented by his daughter Ava, BBC Pebble Mill, Gloria Hunniford’s ‘Open House’ (with Donny Osmond and Burt Bacharach), the soundtrack for the Warner Bros’ motion picture ‘Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution’ and BBC1’s ‘Doctor Who Christmas Special’. Time Out described his ‘Sinatra Jukebox’ show as “An evening of old school virtuosity.” As the author of ‘Cabaret Secrets: How to create your own show, travel the world and get paid to do what you love’, he’s literally written the book on stage craft. It was described by The Times as “a fascinating insider’s handbook on how to nurture an audience” and, “a career GPS for cabaret performers” by David Ackert.
His three acclaimed Abbey Road studio albums prompted Oscar winning lyricist Don Black to say “In a world of Pop Idol mediocrity Gary Williams shines like a dazzling beacon”. The London Times said, “Michael Bublé isn’t the only person keeping the Sinatra Flame alive”.
As you know, I am running an appeal on Kickstarter for try get the money we need to finish a new Christmas album. I wasn’t sure if would work but on the launch day we’ve already got over £12,700 pledged! (Read more…)February 27th 2015
In 2001, after studying at London’s Royal Academy and spending years as a principle flautist with orchestras across the world, Gary Arbuthnot decided to turn his back on the prestige of the concert platform. He created his own show for luxury cruise liners and he’s never looked back.
Attitudes towards working on cruise ships have changed. At one time they were seen as the place to go if you couldn’t get “proper” work on land. Not any more. If you’re thinking about creating your own show for cruise ships, this interview is packed with wonderful advice. (Read more…)February 13th 2015
Would you like a lead role in a major musical? Cats, We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia, Rock of Ages… the list of West End shows on cruise ships is growing all the time. In this week’s Cabaret Secrets Podcast I talk to Michael Quinn. He went from starring in West End shows to cruise ship production spectaculars and finally created his own headline cabaret act. (Read more…)
About this time five years ago I was hobnobbing with Gloria Estefan as she and six other nautical godmothers launched the Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. Entertaining the 5800 guests was the Broadway show Hairspray. Now Tracy Turnblad and Link Larkin have made way for Rumpleteazer and Mr. Mistoffolees as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats makes it’s debut at sea. I’m back to see what this means for cruise ships and the West End.
Moving away from the review shows typical of cruise ships, Hairspray was among the first at sea to tell a story from beginning to end with lead actors and a full supporting cast. It was the closest anyone had got to recreating the West End experience on a ship. It was a success and Norwegian Cruise Lines took on Rock of Ages and Legally Blonde. Royal Caribbean followed that with Saturday Night Fever, Chicago, Mamma Mia and soon We Will Rock You. (Read more…)