The Dean Martin Festival Kickoff ConcertJune 19, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Events in the Ville, Music in the Ville | 1 Comment
Tags: Dave Salera, Dean Martin Festival, Deana Martin, Lauren Mascitti, ohio, old fort steuben, Russ Loniello, steubenville
Last night I attended the Dean Martin Festival Kickoff Concert held at Old Fort Steuben on South Third Street in Steubenville, Ohio.
Over a thousand Ohio Valley residents and many out of town Dean Martin fans enjoyed the outdoor concert that began the weekend festivities. People came from all over the United States and many fans have continued coming back to the annual festival since its beginnings in 1996.
Deana Martin, Dean Martin’s daughter, began the show with songs from her new CD, “Volare.” She told the crowd volare means to fly and said it was also the name of her private plane that she and husband John Griffeth used to fly in for the festival. Both Griffeth and Martin are pilots.
After the show, Martin met with her fans to sign her new CD taking time to chat with each one and pose for pictures.
It was a beautiful evening and fans of all ages enjoyed songs by performers Peter Teris, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Michele Anastasio, jazz singer from South Florida, Dave Salera, as Frank Sinatra, and Eric Richardson and Matt Macis as the comedy team Dean and Jerry.
Another entertainer who wowed the crowd was 17 year-old country singer, Lauren Mascitti, from Canton, Ohio. Mascitti won the crowd over when she belted out the famous Italian American Connie Francis song from the 50’s, “Mama,” to add a little Italian flavor to her country line up of songs. This is Mascitti’s fourth year at the Dean Martin Festival and she has been singing professionally since the age of seven. She also just finished recording her sixth CD in Nashville, Tennessee.
The evening ended when Russ Loniello from Madison, Wisconsin wowed the entire crowd with his tribute to Dean Martin. Even though he resembles Dean Martin and sounds a lot like him, Loniello prefers to pay tribute to Martin in his shows rather than impersonate him.
An entertainer of over 12 different styles of music who has performed all over the world, Loniello began to concentrate on Dean Martin tributes in 1983. Since then he has performed over 2,500 tributes to the famous Steubenville son and considers Dean Martin music his signature style. This is Loniello’s ninth year to perform at the festival.
The annual Dean Martin Festival not only brings a community together to reminisce about their famous native son and enjoy his music, it also brings together a new community of friends and entertainers who travel to the Ohio Valley each year … and memories are made of this.
For more information about the Dean Martin Festival or Deana Martin go to www.deanmartinsteubenville.com Or www.deanamartin.com For more information about Russ Loniello go to www.russloniello.com and for more information about Lauren Mascitti go to www.laurenmascitti.com