As part of its Spring Festival, the Dix Hill Performing Arts Center will present a Guitar Extravaganza Salute to Guitar Legend Tony Mottola, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.
One of the most sought-after studio musicians in the recording industry, Mottola worked regularly with music icons like Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, and orchestrated albums for Burl Ives. He recorded 58 albums before his death in 2004, and scored a number of films, including Running On Empty, as well as a ‘50s television series called Danger. Mottola played guitar in the NBC Orchestra under Doc Severinson for The Tonight Show.
Under the direction of Peter Rogine and John Kelly, who are both recognized as Tony Mottola Guitar Ensemble experts, this concert will feature Tony’s Guitar Ensemble music exactly as recorded. The original notated music was stored away until recently and is on loan courtesy of the Tony Mattola Estate.
This concert will demonstrate beautiful music that has thrilled DHPAC audiences year after year. Guitar lovers will love to attend and are sure to be impressed with the professionalism of the concert that includes a simultaneous media presentation. Afterward, there is a Meet-the-Artist-and-their-Classic Guitars Reception. As in the past, the Extravaganza will sure to have some special surprises both at the concert and afterwards.
Saluting Tony Mattola
Guitar ensembles comprised of Five Towns College’s Music Performance Program students will perform Mottola’s original works. The show is produced in full cooperation with the Tony Mottola estate.
A guitarist best known for his extensive solo and session work on producer Enoch Light’s Command and Project 3 labels, Mottola was born April 18, 1918 in Kearny, NJ. He began playing guitar at the age of nine, and attended high school alongside jazz saxophonist Herbie Haymer and the future band leader George Paxton.
After graduating, Mottola toured with George Hall’s Orchestra, making his recording debut on the group’s rendition of “Shine.” In 1941 he was hired by the CBS radio studio orchestra performing behind everyone from Raymond Scott to Sinatra.
There, Mottola also backed Perry Como, with whom he remained as an accompanist for many years. Concurrently he also earned notice for his solo musical score to the Yul Brynner television series Danger.
Mottola released his first Command LP “Mr. Big” in 1959; when Light formed the audiophile label Project 3 in 1965, the guitarist went with him, serving as associate producer, and also working in the NBC Orchestra. After Light’s death in 1978, Mottola remained with Project 3 until 1983, concurrently backing Sinatra in the studio and on tour. His working relationship with Sinatra continued until his retirement in 1988.
A must-see for guitar enthusiasts, audience members will have the opportunity to meet the artists after the concert and view classic guitars on display. It is recommended that tickets to this performance – which sells out year after year – are purchased early.