Jazz vocalist Giacomo Gates to perform in Rome

Franca’s Wine Room in Rome has quickly cemented its reputation as the spot in Central New York to hear great jazz, regularly presenting the top local practitioners of the genre and putting on the area’s first jazz festival in recent memory.

Now the venue is upping the ante, bringing in one of the most respected jazz vocalists performing today, Giacomo Gates.

The show, billed as “Giacomo Gates & Friends”, will be held this Saturday, Sept. 24 from 7-10 pm The “friends” are a veritable who’s who of local jazz dignitaries, including Rick Montalbano on piano, drummer Jim Johns, bassist Matt Vacanti and Monk Rowe on saxophone. Admission is free.

In addition to being a jazz vocalist of the highest order, Giacomo Gates is a musical storyteller with an engaging stage presence, and one of the foremost singers in the style known as “vocalese,” a jazz vocal style in which the voice emulates an instrumental party. Unlike the better known “scat” singing, vocalese singers use recognizable lyrics that are sung to pre-existing instrumental solos, whereas scat singing generally uses nonsense syllables.

Giacomo’s performances include refreshing versions of classics from the Great American Songbook and rarely heard jazz treasures, combined with expert scatting, swinging vocalese and the occasional inside jazz anecdote.

In addition to being wowed by Gates’ vocals, audiences also enjoy the interaction on the bandstand between him and his musicians, the spontaneity, the humor, the stories about the music and composers, along with their relationship to everyday life.

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