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“…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 Finland.
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 David Ackert as, “a career GPS for cabaret performers.”
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” and the London Times said, “Michael Bublé isn’t the only person keeping the Sinatra Flame alive”.
Four stars ****
Raised in a Jehovah’s Witness household where Christmas was frowned upon, Gary Williams is something of a latecomer to the concept of festive cheer. The Sinatra-esque crooner is certainly making up for lost time in this ebullient show. Be warned: if you are allergic to Yuletide singalongs, get ready to wander out of your comfort zone in the second half of the evening. (Read more…)December 17th 2014
Returning to this venue after a sell-out run last year, Gary Williams gets the audience to join him an old-fashioned Christmas. And what a party he creates.
He provides a veritable potpourri with seasonable songs – not just old chestnuts but some lesser known ones – non-festive standards and a rich helping of comedy. (Read more…)December 5th 2014
I managed to grab a few minutes between sets with Joe Pettitt bass player and leader of the Len Phillips Big Band. As well and finding out how you can get hired by the band for your cabaret show, we talk about Joe’s steep learning curve in moving from band member to band leader, we discuss the future big band music and the band’s latest album with singers Eleanor Keenan and Matt Ford. (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. (Read more…)