Gary Williams

Introduction:

"Michael Bublé isn't the only person keeping the Sinatra Flame alive" so said the London Times of Gary Williams, star of the West End's "Rat Pack" and soloist with leading big bands and concert orchestras throughout the world, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony, the BBC Big Band, the Ulster Orchestra and the Lahti Sinfonia of Finland.

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About Gary...

"Michael Bublé isn't the only person keeping the Sinatra Flame alive" so said the London Times of Gary Williams, star of the West End's "Rat Pack" and soloist with leading big bands and concert orchestras throughout the world, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony, the BBC Big Band, the Ulster Orchestra and the Lahti Sinfonia of Finland.

Gary found his voice in community theatre and social clubs before getting his first break with the BBC Big Band. The concert was broadcast on regional radio and caught the attention of BBC bosses who immediately invited Gary to perform in a series of concerts with the band for Radio 2's Big Band Special and on national television paying tribute to Vic Damone. It was there he met broadcaster David Jacobs who suggested they tour the UK together with a new show 'The Legend of Sinatra' which ran for 12 months.

After guest appearances with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra Gary was introduced to conductor and arranger John Wilson whose dedication to recreating the original sound of the great orchestras led to numerous concerts including tributes to Frank Sinatra and Nat 'King' Cole. Gary has since worked with John as a soloist with many orchestras including the Hallé, Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Adelaide Symphony, Icelandic Sinfonia, and the Northern Sinfonia.

Gary has been a regular guest of the BBC Concert Orchestra for 'Friday Night Is Music Night' and had the honour of performing for The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. In 2010 he was invited by the LA Jazz Institute to perform at Frank Sinatra's famous Palm Springs home. He starred in the 50th anniversary concert of 'Songs for Swingin' Lovers' with Ireland's RTE Orchestra presented by Nelson Riddle's daughter Rosemary, and subsequently 'Putting on My Top Hat' with Fred Astaire's daughter, Ava.

In 2004 Gary enjoyed his West End debut, recreating the role of Frank Sinatra for 150 performances of 'The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas' at The Theatre Royal Haymarket, The Strand and the subsequent 2005 European tour to Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands. In 2006 his cabaret show 'An Evening with Gary Williams' sold out at London's 'Pizza on the Park' as did 'A Swingin' Christmas' at the world famous Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. In 2007 Gary opened the 'White Christmas' orchestral tour with two sell-out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.

Other work includes a concert The Legend of Sinatra (UK tour), the Nelson Riddle Orchestra in Los Angeles, BBC Pebble Mill, 'That's Entertainment' a tribute to the MGM musicals with the John Wilson Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Gloria Hunniford's 'Open House' (with Donny Osmond and Burt Bacharach), and the soundtrack for the Warner Bros' motion picture 'Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution'. Gary performed two new songs for 'Doctor Who - A Celebration' from Cardiff's Millennium Centre complete with Daleks, Cybermen, and the Welsh National Concert Orchestra (broadcast on BBC1?s Christmas day special and available on BBC DVD). He has appeared on Radio 2?s 'Jazz Notes', Radio 4?s 'Loose Ends' and has contributed to their consumer programme 'You and Yours'.

Internationally Gary has presented concerts in Florence, Portugal, Finland, Iceland, Oslo and Jordan (for the British Council). A regular headliner for the world's largest cruise lines Gary has visited over 60 countries including such varied places as Alaska, Brazil, the Falkland Islands, Hawaii, China and Libya - leading BBC Radio 4?s travel show 'Excess Baggage' to include him as a guest on their 'Ocean Cruise' special. As a presenter has recorded corporate films for McCain, the Health Protection Authority, Seafish and Jessops Cameras.

He has entertained numerous private and corporate audiences at The Ritz, The Savoy, The Dorchester, The Ivy, Mossiman's, The Pigalle, The Houses of Parliament, Alexandra Palace and Spencer House. For two years he performed with his musicians at the Royal Garden Hotel's 'Manhattan Nights'.

In 2002 Gary received the Outstanding Support Award from children's charity When You Wish Upon A Star and was recently given the RNLI's Bronze Award. In 2008 he was invited to Downing Street in recognition of his work for the Caron Keating Foundation.

He's recorded for the Reader's Digest 'Timeless Classics' series, with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia for 'What A Carry On', and with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. Of his nine solo albums, his latest two, a tribute to Sinatra and a "best of" his Abbey Road recordings, were recently released, prompting Oscar winning lyricist Don Black to say "In a world of Pop Idol mediocrity Gary Williams shines like a dazzling beacon."

Click on the video below to watch Gary perform: