SohoJohnny Presents Disco And R&B Garden Party 2018 Fundraiser For the American Cancer Society At The Italian Center, Saturday, August 4th, 2018, Reviewed
Sometimes the sun shines on SohoJohnny Pasquale, the real estate magnate who got his nickname from his colleagues and friends due to the buildings he manages and owns South of Houston in the village, and it shined on his inaugural concert production at the Italian Center, on Saturday August 4th, 2018, from 2pm till the light of day. All week long we’d heard dire weather warnings, on the Thursday torrential rain had stopped the Jay Z – Beyoncé concert in its tracks, a day before a tornado had set down in Midtown, and every report promised worse for Saturday. But two hours before “Garden Party 2018” was to begin, the sun came back to the Italian Center in Stamford, Connecticut, and the Gods of disco and r&b shined down upon SohoJohnny’s musical slice of heaven, benefitting the American Cancer Society,
As the tent filled up with SohoJohnny’s friends, relatives, and business partners, there was something in the air: somewhere between nostalgia for the Long Island club world Johnny and his longtime friends came from, and the building of new memories and new dreams, especially for the children eating cotton candy, swimming in a nearby pool, and watching the original performers of disco and r&b from the timeless 1970s.
SohoJohnny was the master of ceremonies and convivial host for his inaugural event, singing along as the DJ. at one point even performing “Take A Letter Maria” and later his own personal act/chorography with the beautiful “SohoJohnny Dancing Ladies” to help raise funds in the battle against cancer. SohoJohnny introduced the performers, dancing with everyone, and having so much fun it was easy to ignore how much pressure must have been involved. SohoJohnny is a music guy, that’s one of the reasons he is a partner in rock nyc, and if you have been following his SohoJohnny Presents column in rock nyc, one reason why he finds himself consistently in the middle of the action whether it be with Alice Cooper or Pat Benatar or Todd Rundgren, and many others including Dave Mason. But that was all leading up to Saturdays bravura performance, with ten musical acts, two huge meals, and endless goodwill, he took the various pieces and ideas behind that had been fomenting in his mind and in a four week rush of activity brought it all together,
The list of performers was incredible: Rainer Martin, George McCrae, Carol Dounglas, Alisha, Nayobe, Cory Daye, Leroy Gomez, Jourdan Carroll (a terrific Barry White impersonator) , the Trammps, and the final act, American Idol winner Constantine Margoulis who performed “Unchained Melody” and “Don’t Stop Believing”.
The day long festival was by invite only, but the next one will be a night of Classic Rock and tickets will be available for it.
In the meantime, thank you SohoJohnny for a day that brought Saturday Night Fever, Soul Train, Studio 54, Dance Fever, and a scene that looked like wedding first Godfather movie with families, children and festivities, and will never be forgotten by any of us there. I, myself, was particularly excited to see George McCrae, a man with a truly sweet voice that takes me back to my own disco days…. And The Trammps, who I had caught a number of years ago opening for Chic at the Hammerstein ballroom.
But one picture or a dozen, is worth as many words as you can ever use… so how about a lot of pictures?