“DEAR FRANK”

The story of the greatest singer of the 20th century

SINATRA TRIBUTE BAND & KENT STETLER

Special Guest: Brigitte Wullimann

 

Kent Stetler (voc) – Sandro Häsler (tp,flh,ld) – Rolf Häsler (reeds) – Jérôme De Carli (p) – Reto Anneler (as,bs) – Vincent Lachat (tb) –

 Georgios Antoniou (b) – Daniel „Booxy” Aebi (dr)

 

Special guest:

Brigitte Wullimann

 

 

 

On December 12, 2015, Frank Sinatra would have turned 100. The SINATRA TRIBUTE BAND honored the artist and his six decades of continuous career with a fabulous show that showed that Ol 'Blue Eyes is immortal.

 

The fantastic anniversary program had musically traced Frank Sinatra's life stations and was so successful that demand continues to this day.

 

So we decided to take a new version of the concert show back to the actual programs, this time with the Canadian singer Kent Stetler and as a guest with the great singer Brigitte Wullimann.

 

 

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the famous American song-writing duo, considered Frank Sinatra to be the greatest singer of the twentieth century, surpassing even Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Bing Crosby.  One of the reasons was the sheer length of Sinatra’s career – which spanned six decades, starting in 1939 with his demo recording of “Our Love”.  Kent Stetler and the Sinatra Tribute Band pay homage to the artist from Hoboken in New Jersey with their fabulous show which captures the enduring appeal of “Ol‘ blue eyes”. 

Frank, the everlasting sensation…

It all started in the 1940s with Sinatra-mania and screaming teenagers…

There followed the film career and superb records like “Songs For Swinging Lovers” or “In The Wee Small Hours” in the 1950s …

Then came the Rat Pack era and the success of Sinatra’s own Reprise Records label…

The 1960s saw great albums like “September Of My Years”, “Strangers In The Night” and “Softly As I Leave You”…

These were followed by Swing and the Big Band sound, then Latin sound with Antonio Carlos Jobim …

Later came the duets and, in 1981, the much underrated last Reprise album “She Shot Me Down”…

And not to forget Sinatra’s 34 Grammy nominations, of which he won 13, in addition to the three Oscars on his mantelpiece.  In other words, and to paraphrase the hit song which was practically tailor-written for him by Paul Anka: “He did it in his way”.   NB:  NOT “He did it in his way”.

“So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of it”

Frank Sinatra has celebrating his 100th birthday on 12 December 2015.  The Sinatra Tribute Band has chosen to mark this special anniversary in a particularly stylish and dignified manner.  The Sinatra Tribute Band wears the name of the world-famous artist with pride, but this certainly does not mean its performances have a retro style.  Band leader Sandro Häsler from Switzerland comments: “Frank would never have wanted his repertoire to be dutifully reproduced in exactly the same manner as he performed.  That’s not how he chose to interpret his songs”.  This is clearly illustrated by Sinatra’s very varied recordings of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” or “The Lady Is A Tramp”.  SInger Max Neissendorfer adds: “We are transposing Sinatra‘s songs into the here and now – giving them a new lease of without losing sight of their roots”. 

 

The SINATRA TRIBUTE BAND & KENT STETLER have put together a fantastic program which retraces the various stages in Frank Sinatra’s life.  The unique duets, performed by Kent Stetler and charismatic guest singer Brigitte Wullimann, are imbued with the spirit of Frank Sinatra - who often chose to sing with top female artists such as Liza Minelli, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole.  Anyone who has seen the Sinatra Tribute Band and front man Kent Stetler perform live will know that the band is close to their namesake in more than just name.  Sinatra’s shows were as perfect as they were legendary.  Listening to the Sinatra Tribute Band, audiences can expect a similarly high standard – and not only on the occasion of Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday.

 

 

Biographies

 

Kent Stetler

breathes new life into Frank Sinatra's timeless songs. With a voice that sounds distinctly different from the Crooner's, who died in 1998, but which nonetheless gets under your skin. The Canadian interprets the many decades old classics with his own modern concept, with charm and nonchalance, and expands the already wide range of Sinatra interpretations in a refreshing new color. His warm, multi-layered timbre and his fine flair for swing phrasing touches and inspires, not to mention his casual stage presence, his reserved cunning and his humorous entertainment.

 

The singer from Toronto, who first gained experience in a church choir, taught himself piano, plays saxophone, writes songs, worked as a record producer, directs a gospel choir, works as a vocal teacher and as a singer, toured for ten years with Udo Jürgens and the Pepe Lienhard band throughout Europe - until Jürgens' death in 2015. The broadcast company RTL Germany employed the Canadian for their Saturday night show "Let's Dance" and offered him the opportunity to perform in front of millions. In the RTL studios the Canadian met the fantastic singer Eric Benet - ex-husband of Halle Berry. Benet's compliment, "You are a great singer and showmaster!" confirmed that he was on the right track. Kent also co-starred with greats like Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Curtis Stigers, James Moody, Michael Bublé, Mich Hucknall (Simply Red), Jamie Cullum and many others.

 

Love led him to Switzerland, says the professed romanticist, much before completing his masters at the University of the Arts in Bern. He remained because of love and music.

 

A long lasting friendship connects him and bandleader Sandro Häsler and the band. Kent Stetler must be seen live to really experience what caliber musician and entertainer he is. The ideal man for the Sinatra Tribute Band.

 

 

Brigitte Wullimann

born in Zurich, began with classical singing lessons during her school days. Later she discovered her love for jazz. After studying English at the University of Zurich, she decided to pursue a professional vocal career.

 

Brigitte Wullimann studied at the "College of Music and Theater" in Bern with Sandy Patton, Denise Bregnard and Andy Scherrer. In October 2005 she graduated in performance and pedagogy. She participated in various master classes, including "New York Voices", Dianne Reeves, Mark Murphy. Brigitte Wullimann plays in various band projects, from jazz to pop, funk to cabaret.

 

 

Sandro Häsler

is the driving force behind the Sinatra Tribute Band, which he founded.  He is also one of Switzerland’s most versatile trumpet players.  After his classical musical education, he studied under Bert Joris at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne. Sandro Häsler has a busy concert schedule, performing as lead trumpeter and soloist in different ensembles and covering a wide range of styles.  But his real passion is swing and the big band sound (Swiss Jazz Orchestra, Martin Streule Jazz Orchestra, Second Line Big Band etc).

 

 

Reto Anneler

(Alto saxophone) lives in Aarau, Switzerland and studied jazz at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and at Amsterdam School of the Arts.  In addition to performances with his own quartet, he plays as sideman in a range of other formations and can be regularly heard with Keller‘s <10>, Peter Zihlmann‘s TOW, the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra and the Swiss Jazz Orchestra.  As the youngest member of the Sinatra Tribute Band, Reto Anneler is living proof that swing also appeals to the next generation.

 

Rolf Häsler

(Tenor saxophone) studied under Andy Scherrer at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne before attending master-classes by Dick Oatts, Jerry Bergonzi, Don Menza, Sal Nistico, Michael Brecker and Bob Mintzer.  Performances with various big bands and his own quartet have taken him to Germany, France, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Spain, Austria and Switzerland.  The majority of Sinatra Tribute Band arrangements can be attributed to Rolf Häsler.

 

Vincent Lachat

studied at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne.  A much sought-after lead trombonist, he plays in many orchestras, such as the Swiss Jazz Orchestra, Pepe Lienhard Big Band and the Big Band de Lausanne, as well as in smaller formations.  Vincent Lachat has played at numerous international festivals and has performed with well-known musicians such as Clark Terry, Al Porcino, Jon Faddis and Adam Nussbaum.  In addition to being a first-class lead trombonist, he is also a multi-facetted soloist who plays with utmost sensitivity.

 

Jérôme De Carli

was born in Berne and began playing the piano at the age of ten.  Having completed his studies at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne, where he was taught by Silvano Bazan, Günther Kühlwein and Joe Haider, he founded a trio and played with various jazz orchestras.  One of the highlights of Sinatra Tribute Band concerts are Sinatra‘s famous saloon songs, for which he accompanies Max Neissendorfer.  And Jérôme De Carli’s Italian temperament ensures plenty of fun both on and off stage!

 

Georgios Antoniou

was born in Greece but has lived in Switzerland since 1994 and studied at the Swiss Jazz School.  As a freelance bassist he has performed in Switzerland with Joe Haider, Isla Eckinger, Roman Schwaller, George Robert and Sandy Patton, as well as playing at various European festivals including Burghausen, Nuremberg, Nice, Colmar and Ascona.  In great demand internationally, Georgios Antoniou has played supporting bass for well-known artists including Cedar Walton, Phil Woods, Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson, Alvin Queen, Billy Hart, Bobby Durham, Dado Moroni, Roy Hargrove, Terell Stafford, Scott Hamilton, Benny Green, Kirk Lightsey, Brad Leali and Roberta Gambarini.

 

Daniel Aebi

began playing the trombone at the age of ten.  Aged 15, he changed to drums.  In 1994, he studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and, from 1995 to 2000, at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne under Billy Brooks.  In 1993, he co-founded the funk band “Grand Mother’s Funck”.  In 2000, Joe Haider brought him into both his combo and his big band.  Daniel Aebi continues to work with George Gruntz, Sandy Patton, Andy Scherrer, the Big Band de Lausanne, the Horn Knox Quartett and the Sandro Schneebeli Group.  He won two Chrysler Jazz Awards at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2000.

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