“Rolls Royce” Jazz Singer Giacomo Gates at Glenridge PAC on February 28
[Sarasota, FL: January 30, 2015] “If the Rolls Royce could sing jazz, it would assuredly sound like Giacomo Gates,” said Dan Singer, In Tune International. The critics have even more to say about Giacomo Gates, who will be performing one show at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center (7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota) on Saturday, February 28 at 8 PM.
Winner of the 2012 Downbeat Critic’s Poll, Rising Star Male Vocalist, Giacomo Gates is “more than a jazz singer. He’s a musician, a hornman who ‘plays’ through a wonderfully weathered baritone voice. He’s also a storyteller, a traveler who’s seen and lived a lot of life. It’s a combination that gives his performance an unusually deep emotional and musical resonance. Giacomo Gates just may be the Dennis Hopper of vocal Jazz,” Chuck Berg, Topeka Journal.
Tickets for Giacomo Gates’ performance are on sale now, $30 per person, and can be purchased online at www.GPACTix.com, or by calling the GPAC Box Office at 941-552-5325.
“Giacomo Gates is one of the top male jazz singers around today. His scat singing, use of Vocalese and bebop attitude plant him as a successor to Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, and Dave Lambert.”
-Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
Blessed with a full-bodied and mellifluous voice, extraordinary rhythmic precision and an unerring sense of lyricism, Giacomo Gates’ total command of the vernacular, boundless creativity and exuberant passion of jazz sets him apart from nearly every other vocalist on the scene.
Gates is truly an entertainer, delivering music for all ages and styles along with witty patter and stories about the music so that every performance becomes a fun lesson in jazz history. With repeat engagements at major clubs in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, D.C., LA, New Orleans, and San Francisco, Gate’s enormous appeal and popularity are obvious.
He sometimes vocalizes as an instrument – trombone, trumpet, bass, and improvising bass lines or drum sounds in support of the piano solos. Giacomo states “Some of my favorite singers are Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster and Lester Young. They were singing through the horn. If that isn’t singing, I don’t know what is!”
Giacomo Gates does more than sing “a bunch of songs.” He is truly an entertainer, for all ages and styles, as audiences enjoy the music, the interaction on the bandstand between him and his musicians, the spontaneity, the humor, the stories about the music and composers, along with their relation to everyday life. People are smiling, having a good time, while thoroughly enjoying the music. What usually lacks in most of today’s performances is obviously present… fun!
MORE Quotes from the Critics
“Mr. Gates is a solid example of a performer who is doing something that no one else does. He evokes an age (that I would hope is not so terribly bygone) when musicians were entertainers and entertainers were musicians, and a sense of humor was as important as a sense of rhythm.” Will Friedwald in The New York Sun.
“In summary, as exciting and essential as his Jazz attributes (swinging, improvising and feeling for the blues) were that night, Giacomo Gates was also (and perhaps, more importantly), simply a very accomplished professional singer, of the highest order.” -Tom Pierce, Albanyjazz.com
“Gates is one of the most extraordinary singers working in jazz today, the owner of a joyful baritone who has synthesized a host of influences – Eddie Jefferson, Jon Hendricks and Sinatra among them – and turned them into something uniquely his own.” – -Glenn Whipp, LA Daily News
“Gates is a talented, skillful, rock solid professional. What makes him truly exceptional is that there is no difference between his work and his life – Jazz is truly his style.” -Stanley Naftaly, Jazz Now
“Not many people can master this music, but Giacomo Gates has. He’s an important man.” -Jon Hendricks, Sunday NY Times Feature
“Giacomo Gates has established himself as a member in good standing of the ever-so-exclusive club of male jazz singers.” -Tom Ineck, Kansas City Star
“He has the ability to get to a tune’s essence in a way that perhaps its composer couldn’t, something Billie Holiday was noted for in her many interpretations of banal pop material.” -Richard Meyer, Espresso Jazz
“Giacomo Gates is simply, quite unique.” -Bob Agnew, LA Jazz Scene
“It’s loose and jazzy, when Giacomo Gates takes the stage, and you’re in for a treat. He tells stories, makes sounds like a trombone, sings, scats, declares homage to King Pleasure and Eddie Jefferson and makes no bones about it.” -Dick Crockett, 88.7 Sacramento, CA
“Jazz vocalist and terminal hipster Giacomo Gates just keeps getting better and better.” –Joe Lang, New Jersey Jazz Society
MORE about Giacomo Gates
In his own words, “In this kind of music it’s about intention, honesty and what comes through in your voice – the Experience of Life.” Without question, Giacomo’s life experience is unlike any other jazz artist that may come to mind. Blessed with a full-bodied and mellifluous voice, extraordinary rhythmic precision and an unerring sense of lyricism, Gates’ total command of the vernacular, boundless creativity and exuberant passion set him apart from nearly every other vocalist on the scene. However, he didn’t display his talents to the public-at-large until 1990.
Prior to that, Gates led the life of a hardworking blue collar “man’s man.” After a few years of working road construction as a laborer, tractor-trailer driver and bulldozer operator, Giacomo departed for the Alaskan wilderness in 1975, working for 14 years in a variety of jobs, including three years on the Alaska Pipeline. Whether he was doing road construction, operating scrapers, loaders and bulldozers, or driving spikes into railway tracks in the flatland emptiness of the tundra with no directional guides other than a compass and the sky, Gates found these experiences to be powerful stimulation for developing his own artistic expression.
“Two things always struck me out there,” Giacomo says of that experience, “feeling insignificant and feeling very alive.” With severe risk to life and limb from all sorts of dangers ranging from geographic disorientation to heavy machinery accidents to hungry polar bears, Gates was confronted with sights, sounds and experiences that had a profound effect upon his being, and therefore his art.
Although he had always been exposed to music since early childhood, singing and playing guitar through his teenage years, it was for the love of the music, not as a vocation. There were no real opportunities to perform in Alaska until nearly the end of his time there. Looking for growth and development even as a construction worker, Gates would occasionally leave Alaska to spend time in places like Washington State, Louisiana and Arizona, working on new projects and learning the use of new equipment. In these environments, he would perform whenever possible, sitting in on a variety of musical activities. In the late ’80s, he had many opportunities to do the same in Fairbanks, Alaska. After much encouragement from local and visiting performers, Giacomo decided to return to his native Connecticut and devote full attention to music.