FILM AND TV STAR ROBERT DAVI’S GOT THE WORLD
ON A STRING, PAYING HEARTFELT, SWINGING HOMAGE
TO HIS IDOL ON HIS CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED,
LONG AWAITED RECORDING DEBUT
‘DAVI SINGS SINATRA: ON THE ROAD TO ROMANCE’
The Classically Trained Vocalist Celebrates The
Season With A Re-imagined Version of Frank’s
Christmas Classic “Mistletoe and Holly,” Whose Proceeds
Go To The Salvation Army For Emergency Assistance
To Families In Need
Davi Is Set To Headline at The Venetian Showroom
February 23-25—The Site of the Historic Sands Hotel
Where Sinatra Held Court Throughout the 1960s
Robert Davi thought he had the world on a string in 1977 when he made his onscreen debut at age 24 opposite Frank Sinatra in the TV movie “Contract on Cherry Street.” Embarking on a fabled Hollywood career that would one day include playing a James Bond villain (“License to Kill”), an FBI Agent in “Die Hard” and Agent Bailey Malone in the hit 90s NBC series “Profiler,” Davi recalls the thrill of drinking his first ever Jack Daniels with Ol’ Blue Eyes.
That feeling of sitting on a rainbow at the bar with his boyhood idol seems wee small (as in “In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning”) compared to where the multi-talented Davi is today, achieving a lifelong dream with the release of his critically acclaimed Fontana/Universal album Davi Sings Sinatra: On The Road To Romance (www.davisingssinatra.com)
Bringing his own vocal panache and the spirited swing of a 30 piece orchestra to 12 lovelorn Sinatra chestnuts, the classically trained singer—working with legendary Grammy winning producer Phil Ramone—does more than simply pay homage to an inspiration and legend. Davi’s deeper purpose involves satisfying a deep hunger for the music of the Great American Songbook, which he calls “America’s Shakespeare, the golden age of American music.” Rather than simply include randomly selected songs, Davi chose each piece and designed the tracking to reflect the theme of a true “road to romance”—from the elation of meeting and falling in love to the seduction phase, then falling out of love, dealing with the resulting despair and finally, rebuilding one’s life and becoming open to love again.
While the best is no doubt yet to come, his romance of America is off to a brilliant start.
Recently noted on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart as “greatest gainer,” Davi Sings Sinatra is currently in the Top Ten at #7 and rising—just behind Duets II and The Classic Christmas Album by one of Sinatra’s contemporaries, Tony Bennett, and Michael Buble’s Christmas.
Female fans from coast to coast are bombarding radio stations with requests. And from musicians and songwriters who worked with Sinatra to Hollywood heavyweights (Dan Aykroyd, Mickey Rourke) and fans of all ages who have seen Davi strut his “Nice N’ Easy” stuff at clubs in New York and L.A. (including a sold out show at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato), everyone’s going “All The Way” in their praise.
Vibes great Emil Richards, who played with Sinatra from 1959-74, told Davi, “The power that came out of your voice was stupendous. The ballads you sang showed a charisma and depth that the Old Man would have been proud of. I now know for certain that he would have gladly passed the torch on to you.” In July, 2011, Davi gave three sold out, “standing o” performances in NYC—34 years to the day since he first saw Frank perform. Ervin Drake, one of the last living legends of The Great American Songbook, who penned the classic “It Was A Very Good Year,” attended opening night and returned for a second show two days later. He said, “Robert Davi would make a worthy successor to the incomparable Frank Sinatra, whether in the fields of stage, screen or television. And having been chosen years ago by the Master himself, to act in a film side by side with him, this is not a vain pronouncement.”
Treading and performing on truly hallowed ground, Davi is set to headline The Venetian Showroom in Las Vegas, February 23-25. The Venetian Hotel is built on the former site of the historic Sands, where Sinatra (often performing with The Rat Pack) held court throughout the 1960s.
As ambitious a recording artist and performer as he has been as an actor and director,
Davi’s goal with Davi Sings Sinatra is not simply to offer nostalgic entertainment, but to help unite the country at a very divisive time. “There was a greater civility between people at the time when these songs were first popular, and this music helped breed that feeling,” he says. “During my parents’ time while our country faced many difficulties, these songs helped it glow with promise. The music reminded them that our country was a place where dreams came true, and inspired people from all over the world to find for themselves the magic that was America. Frank Sinatra’s voice was the soundtrack for their lives.
“Today we find our country and the world in extremely difficult circumstances,” he adds. “We are seeing erosion in culture and music. This music is as relevant today as it was when it was created. It was romantic without being crude. The songs were poetic and if there was heartbreak – it was sung with a delicate tenderness not a resentful anger and disrespect toward women. My album is a journey through different aspects of love, but just as importantly, a metaphor for this great country of ours – that no matter how hard times are, ‘The Best is Yet To Come.’”
Davi is in a giving spirit this holiday season, marking the proceeds from his recently recorded, re-imagined version of “Mistletoe and Holly” (which first appeared on Sinatra’s 1957 classic A Jolly Christmas) to help The Salvation Army provide emergency assistance to the millions of families in need this Christmas season. The funds will be donated to the organization’s 120th annual Red Kettle Campaign, which kicked off nationally on Thanksgiving Day.
The track will be be available on iTunes and Amazon.com December 13.
Davi officially announced a call of action to Los Angeles radio stations November 28. “This is an urgent appeal to all media to help us build a momentum of strength and unity in America as we begin our countdown to ‘Mistletoe Tuesday’, said Davi, who recently headlined a benefit event for the Humane Society at L.A.’s The Grove. “In order to better provide for these dear souls who have been knocked to their knees by a wounded economy, we ask humbly for all broadcasters and print media to join our mission in the true spirit of giving by helping us spread this good news and counting down with us.”
Much like Sinatra before him, Davi studied classical music and opera in his native New York. In high school in Long Island, he was in both the glee and drama clubs and won state competitions in voice and dramatic interpretation. He attended Hofstra University on a drama scholarship and worked with some of the top operatic voices, including Italian baritone Tito Gobbi. “I had a good operatic voice,” he says, “but when it came time to pursue a career, I didn’t feel the impulse or need to be a professional singer. I didn’t just want to be a singer who made sounds, but one who could communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings through music. While some opera singers communicate emotion through their voice, most of it to me was more cold and technical than emotional.”
Thirty years into his career as an actor, Davi planted the seeds for his long awaited emergence as a singer and recording artist by recording “So Much In Love” on the soundtrack of “The Dukes,” the well received independent 2007 film (starring Davi, Chazz Palminteri and Peter Bogdanovich) that marked his directorial debut. Davi asked Bob Cavallo, Chairman of Disney Music, to recommend a voice teacher, and Davi began working with Gary Catona, who has developed a revolutionary vocal technique with the classic Bel Canto style at its base. Bursting with renewed passion and confidence, the actor, working with arranger Nic ten.Broek (who did music for “The Dukes” and has worked with jazz great Nancy Wilson), gathered a 30 piece orchestra at Capitol Studios and recorded a four song demo. With Disney Music’s blessing, Davi spearheaded the fundraising for the project whose concept evolved into Davi Sings Sinatra: On The Road To Romance.
Davi is currently starring in the new film “Iceman” with Michael Shannon, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans and Maggie Gyllenhaal. He recently sold an original screenplay called “The Voice” to Mark Canton’s Atmosphere Entertainment MM; the story revolves around a character who is obsessed with Sinatra. Naturally, Davi himself is attached to star in the production.
“As much as I love acting, I felt like the musical side of me was imprisoned inside my success in that arena for years,” says Davi. “Once I got going on this project, it’s like a furnace was lit and the music started pouring out of me. Besides allowing me to get back to my first love, celebrate Sinatra’s legacy and fill a void in our current musical culture, I hope that this music inspires people with the kind of optimism and hope that transcends generations and cultures—just as it did when our parents and grandparents first heard it. My humble mission as a singer and interpreter of this Songbook is to help reinvigorate the spirit of America, the spirit that makes it the greatest country in the world.”