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A Huge Success!!!
The 1st Listening Room Benefit Christmas Party
December 11, 2004

Frank Annunziata Plays To A Packed Standing Room Only Audience

The holiday season at Caffe Vivaldi officially kicked off with The First Listening Room Christmas Benefit, "Toys for Tots". Caffe Vivaldi was packed with gift bearing fans, who came to enjoy good music, food, desserts and drinks and donate toys for the children. All the toys collected would go to the "Toys for Tots" program.

Frank sang a set of his new songs followed by some of the old favorites. The audience loved every minute of it.


"MAKE IT HAPPEN" REVIEWS ARE IN

ANNUNZIATA
MAKE IT HAPPEN
STEMCELL RECORDS
RUNNING TIME: 42MINS
Rating * * * *

In a time when most pop music touts anger, angst, or sex, one welcomes a breath of fresh air of positive music. We were treated to some of this with grammy nominated winner John Mayer. So be it on the very impressive CD entitled “MAKE IT HAPPEN’ by the singer/songwriter/guitarist, ANNUNZIATA.

The first cut ‘TRUTH BE TOLD’ has powerful music and deep lyrics, making this track a contender for a movie anthem. Track two the title song, ‘MAKE IT HAPPEN’ is filled with optimism and has a nuance of the band The Walflowers, but comparison is only hinted at and barely realized. As your mind, ears, and soul are tickled, you’re drawn into the rest of the CD. The third track ‘ENTER LOVE’, has the potential to become a radio favorite with a vocal and song content reminiscent of the Beatles (John Lennon with the slide guitar of George Harrison). Other tracks ‘STRANGER’, ‘MONKEY LOVE’, ‘SHOT OF MELLOW’,and ‘GOT TO TAKE IT EASY’ are also strong cuts for radio air play, but every track contained on this CD is a winner.

ANNUNZIATA’S sound and vocal are as unique as his name and so distinctive it stands up to any pop icon past or present. When you come to the end of the CD, you’ll find yourself hitting the replay button over and over again as I did. This CD is highly recommended to all, from the kids to grandparents and everyone in between. Sing along songs and tasteful guitar make for great listening. A truly uplifting musical experience that should bring this artist international recognition and overwhelming acclaim. Available at www.stemcellrecords.com

Felix Marco
THE RECORD


ALL STAR JAM AT TRAX

James Taylor takes the mike for a jam vocal, as Alex Taylor lurks on the right in the darkness, and David Johnson of Pacific Orchestra keeps the rhythms alive.

Then Stephen Stills gets into the action as the relaxed fun fest gets under way. Note how casually James holds his bottle and Stephen smokes his cig as the music rolls along.

Among the songs during the jam were ‘Mona’ and ‘The Thrill is Gone.’ At various times during the jam Kate Taylor, James Taylor, Stephen Stills, Frank Annunziata, and Alex Taylor were onstage. The Doobie Brothers also came by, but were too late to join in the jam.
The band onstage wasn’t well known, in fact they were making their New York debut when it all happened. But by the time it was over, Pacific Orchestra, from Key West, Florida, had been through a night to remember. After they’d done two sets of their jazz influenced pop rock, they were joined onstage by a series of notables who’d dropped by Trax after appearances at the MUSE anti-nuke concerts at Madison Square Garden, and since the night was still young the jam rocked and rolled on till the wee hours….

Brooklyn Born Musician is More than Just a Hermit
by David Kaplan, King's Courier, September 16, 1991

Nostalgia is a word being used a lot these days. In an effort to relive their glory days, people have been flocking to the abundance of '60s reunion tours now being offered. Peter Noone, former lead singer of the popular British Invasion band Herman's Hermits, is currently engaged in one of the most successful of these "flashback" tours.

This is by no means a startling revelation, but it does provide a convenient segue to discuss Frank Annunziata. You see, for the last six years Frank has been Noone's music director. It's his job to organize the band and to make sure everything runs smoothly. Frank also serves as lead guitarist.

Being the only constant band member ("100 nights, 100 different bands," he said), Frank is in charge of recruiting the different musicians - which can sometimes present it's share of complications.

"Some nights my back is to the audience," said Frank, "because when I'm yelling at the drummer to keep in time, I have to turn around."

The band is now in the midst of a worldwide tour, but for Frank, it all began in Brooklyn.

"I grew up in Bay Ridge, around Fort Hamilton." said Frank, in between sips of beer outside a bar on West 4th Street, in Greenwich Village. "Even though I now live in Manhattan, I have always had an affinity for Brooklyn."

One of his earliest memories was seeing the Beatles' legendary performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. "I remember babbling the words and asking my parents for a guitar," he recalled. "I soon found out that in order to get guitar lessons, I had to first study the accordion. It was sort of a Catch-22 situation, but looking back, it did give me the knowledge of the keyboard that has certainly proved useful over the years."

Regarding his early years as a struggling musician, he pointed out how the Brooklyn clubs strongly supported new music. "We played everywhere," Frank said, a cool breeze blowing back his shoulder-length hair. "You name it, we played there. One of the best spots was Bananafish Gardens. We were always welcomed there, by the owner and by the people."

Throughout the '70s and '80s, he continued to play in bands while also gaining an impressive reputation as a session musician. A proficient producer and engineer, Frank has a resume that reads like a who's who of classic rock: he's worked with Gary U.S. Bonds, Ritchie Havens and done pre-production work on John Lennon's "Double Fantasy" album.

When Noone decided to make a comeback six years ago, he needed a music director, and Noone's agent suggested Frank, who was working for him as well. But when the idea was first proposed, Frank had some reservations.

"When my agent asked about going on tour with Peter, I told him, 'No way!' I wasn't exactly a fan, but when I met with him everything clicked. Peter's a very bright guy. I found that he's interested in doing new things, which is the main reason I took the gig. When I was musical director for Ritchie Havens, he wasn't really into doing anything new and writing some hits. Peter is, and that's the kind of people I want to be around."

Frank said that he and Noone have developed a close friendship over the years and that tales of their misadventures sometimes makes their way to the stage. One amusing anecdote that Noone commonly relates to his audiences has to do with a case of mistaken identity.

"We had just gotten off the plane in Boston," said Frank, his grin widening, "and this guy comes up to me and Peter and says, 'Hey, I know you two guys!' So he points to Peter and says, 'Yeah, you're Keith Richards,' and then he looks at me and says, 'And you're Mick Jagger! You're the Rolling Stones!' So Peter tells that on stage and then we break into "Satisfaction."

Although Noone is working on new material, the audiences come to hear the hits. The Hermits had a string of hit songs in the mid-'60s, and were famous for their squeaky-clean image. Radio-candy like "A Hush All Over The World," "I'm Into Something Good" and "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter," among many others, filled the airwaves for years.

Commenting on the sunny disposition displayed in the songs, Frank said, "You can't be depressed listening to Peter Noone. Think about it--it's practically impossible to keep a straight face while someone is singing 'I'm Henry The Eighth, I am.' It's a really good contrast to some groups today who are singing about killing their mother or something. Peter's music makes you feel good."

Frank has been able to create some feel-good music of his own--with a little help from his friends.

One such friend is Martin Rubio, a sculptor and art teacher. Every week or so, he and Frank get together for "Boys Night Out," an aggregation of artists, writers and musicians who have a few beers and discuss various projects and ideas. At one such meeting, Frank played an instrumental song he was working on. Martin, who was working on an exhibit for blind and handicapped people, instantly knew that his particular composition would be perfect for the show.

"We needed to create a mood," said Martin, "and when Frank put on this song, you could actually feel the music. The sounds were so soothing. The piece totally lent itself to what we were trying to do with this show."

Another project that Frank was involved in was in producing the "Soap Stars Save The Children" album, featuring soap opera luminaries like Kim Zimmer and Gloria Loring, among others.

"I had read that 50,000 kids die everyday from malnutrition, dehydration, and diseases that are easily curable," said Frank. "That really got to me. No one took any royalties from sales of the album. It just made me feel good inside to be able to contribute something to a good cause such as this."

He describes his own band, 1 to 3, as "a band with a conscience. We've done a song about the environment--not to get on any bandwagon, but to just tell people, without preaching, that you can't keep taking and taking. You have to give something back."

"Frank avoids politics in his music," said Martin, "He's subtle. He just says what's on his mind and in his heart."

Reflecting on his career, Frank gives thanks for the simpler pleasures that creating and performing music have awarded him.

"I feel very fortunate to be able to make a living in a business that doesn't guarantee you anything," he said. "I don't understand these rock stars who don't like to sign autographs. That's what it's all about--giving back to the fans. If I can get through to one person, make them smile and forget about their problems for just a little while, then I've really accomplished something."

With a world tour and a new album coming out, Frank Annunziata is a man who knows where he's going--in more ways than one.