“May you live to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine.”
-Francis Albert Sinatra
While Frank is no longer with us, his voice still echoes a lot around this town.
On Thursday, June 12, Hoboken will host its annual “Sinatra Idol” contest, as 16 singers vie for the coveted “Sinatra Idol” crown—in
the waterfront park that bears his name. DeBaun Auditorium (due to potential Thunderstorms in the forecast, the event has shifted over to the auditorium on the Stevens campus, one block in from Sinatra Park).
It’s a pretty intimidating stage, but these guys are up for it:
- Rory “Hawkeye” Aylward, Astoria, NY
- Pete Cannella, Barrington, NJ
- George N. Chartofillis, Newark, NJ
- Chris Corbin, North Plainfield, NJ
- Tony Corrao, Marlboro, NJ
- Joe DeSarle, Staten Island, NY
- Alan Gordon, Florida
- Doug Lubushkin, Genoa, Nevada
- Louis Porecca (Lou the shoe), Philadelphia, PA
- Andrew Poretz, New York, NY
- Marcqiese Rainey, New York, NY
- Joe Settineri (Danny Satin), Staten Island NY
- Charles Stayduhar Jr., Pittsburgh, PA
- William Talarico, Parma Heights, OH
- Rick Valiant, Burnaby, BC, Canada
- Joseph Vozzella, Bayonne, NJ
We at hMAG reached out to Barbara Simon, of the BJ Simon Singing Studio here in Hoboken. Barbara will be one of the judges for tonight’s event, and we wanted to know what she was looking for in her assessment of a “Sinatra Idol.”
“Song choice is key,” says Simon. “Sinatra had great taste in the songs he recorded, but some are better than others for competition, and for showing off a singer’s performance skills. I’m hoping to see songs that the performer relates to personally, that have an emotional impact on the audience, as well as being able to create the Sinatra feel.”
Of course covering “The Voice” isn’t easy. “Contestants will need good vocal technique—a well developed, expressive voice—that can handle the range of the songs chosen,” says Simon. “I’m looking for high-quality musicianship—in addition to emulating the Sinatra style, the performer should have a clear understanding of the lyrics and possible layers of meaning, to be able to work inside the shape and style of the arrangement, and the overall flow of the song.”
Finally, you really need to work it. “An engaging physical performance helps. There needs to be a look that suits the song, the Sinatra time period, the performer’s own personality, and also has a universal timeless appeal.”
So there you go, fellas… break a leg.
Contestants will also perform at number of venues throughout Hoboken on Friday and Saturday—including the Sinatra Cabaret event at Leo’s Grandevous Saturday night.
Finally, on Sunday, “Sinatra Idol” winners past and present will team up with Swingadelic at Sinatra Park for a concert at 6 p.m.
This is all a build up to the celebration of Frank’s 100th birthday on December 12—born here in Hoboken at 415 Monroe Street on that date in 1915.
Should be one hell of a party…