Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A season of success

If you’re a fan of the popular Broadway show Jersey Boys, about the life and times of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, you may recall the part when the horn section makes its debut, fulfilling a longtime dream for lead singer Frankie Valli.
Musician Bobby DeAngelis shares his
professional experience with Patel
Conservatory students.

“Frankie’s desire was always to have a big band, that was his love,” said musician Bobby DeAngelis.

DeAngelis should know. He spent three years as part of that famed horn section touring with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

DeAngelis joins us this month at the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center as a musician for our upcoming production of Oklahoma!, opening this Thursday.

A Jersey boy himself, DeAngelis knew Frankie Valli in the early 1960’s before his rise to fame.

“We used to work the same clubs at different times,” said DeAngelis.

When The Four Seasons needed a new bass player, they went back to Jersey. They came calling on DeAngelis’ band, whose name he doesn’t even remember now, and ended up picking up DeAngelis as a saxophone player for their new horn section.

“When we got word that Frankie and The Four Seasons wanted me to join the band, we all went crazy,” said DeAngelis.

DeAngelis enjoyed playing extraordinary venues from coast to coast on tour with the group.

“There was a point in every show where, it was almost on cue, fans from the balconies on down would rush the aisles,” he said. “The thrill of being there, and the love that theses guys received, it was palpable.”

DeAngelis has been a professional musician ever since. He moved to the Tampa area in the late 1980’s, working cruise ships and Busch Gardens, and lots of gigs in between, including a tour in Japan with artist Xavier Cugat.

A saxophone, clarinet and flute player, he enjoys working at the Conservatory on student productions.

“I remember when I was 14 and I was the youngest kid in the band. I know exactly the wonderful feeling they’re feeling doing this. It makes you feel good, you get that energy from them,” he said.

He tells students that versatility is one key to longevity.

"The more versatile you are, the more work  you get."

Come see DeAngelis play alongside a cast of more than 50 students in Oklahoma! May 1 - 10 at the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center.

For tickets or more information, call 813.229.7827.

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