San Clemente, CA – Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, a nonprofit southern California cultural center, welcomes jazz pianist, singer and composer Tony DeSare to perform for its annual fundraising gala on Friday, March 16, 2018. Casa Classic: An Evening with Tony DeSare will support performing arts and cultural programs for people of all ages in Orange County, and is the cultural center’s second largest fundraising event. The cabaret-style evening features a live performance of Frank Sinatra songs by DeSare along with a three-course catered dinner, fine wine and martinis, and a live auction. An Evening with Tony DeSare is chaired and underwritten by Dr. Standiford and Noel Helm. The Casa Classic series as a whole is underwritten by Fluidmaster.
“Tony DeSare is an artist whose professionalism, sensitivity and commitment to his craft make his every selection a delight to audiences across North America and Europe,” says Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz. “Having DeSare in this intimate setting is something you can only experience at Casa Romantica.”
The intimate fundraiser is limited to 100 guests. Last year’s fundraiser completely sold out nearly two months in advance, and the event has sold out every year for the past four consecutive years since its inception. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens has a goal of raising over $15,000 at this preeminent event from ticket and auction sales. DeSare will entertain VIP guests at a champagne reception prior to the performance, and the live auction – which elicits participation from nearly every patron – will include prizes such as a complimentary Porsche weekend rental, Mexican cruise, and exclusive theater tickets. The three-course meal will be catered by Iva Lee’s, which will recreate Frank Sinatra’s favorite menu.
Dr. Standiford and Noel Helm are sponsoring the event for the second year in a row. “I feel that organizations like the Casa have a responsibility to their communities culturally,” says Noel Helm. “We are excited about the prospect of bringing such a well-renowned musician and performer to Casa Romantica. [The Casa is] here to showcase local talent and encourage creativity but also to bring awareness of what is happening on an international landscape.” The Helms are ardent supporters of the cultural institution, with Noel participating on an additional level as a member of the Board of Trustees. In November 2017, Dr. Standiford Helm donated his prize winnings from the Farmers and Merchants Bank’s “People You Can Count On In The Community” annual awards to Casa Romantica in support of its arts and wellness programs.
Named a Rising Star Male Vocalist in Downbeat magazine, DeSare has won critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances throughout North America and abroad. From jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas headlining with Don Rickles and major symphony orchestras, DeSare has brought his fresh take on old school class around the globe. The singer, pianist and composer has three top ten Billboard jazz albums under his belt and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, and the Today Show.
The New York Times affirms of DeSare, “He is two parts Sinatra to one part Billy Joel, meshed seamlessly…. a Sinatra acolyte in his early 30s who sings Prince as well as Johnny Mercer.” The Wall Street Journal adds its own flattering comparisons, stating, “He is one third Bobby Darin, one third Bobby Short and one third Bobby Kennedy.” Rounding out the accolades is USA Today, proclaiming that “DeSare belongs to a group of neo-traditional upstarts stretching from Harry Connick, Jr., to Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullum. DeSare covers old and newer pop and jazz standards without smothering or over-thinking the material.” His music has also been praised publicly by social media celebrity juggernaut George Takei.
DeSare’s renditions of Frank Sinatra classics are among the freshest and most romantic since the man known as “Ol’ Blue Eyes” first crooned them. He will perform top selections in Casa Romantica’s Main Salon, transformed to resemble a mid-century jazz club.