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The Hit Men return with pop hits, Christmas favorites
Friday, November 22, 2013

The Hit Men return with pop hits, Christmas favorites

The Hit Men, five talented singers/musicians, will perform pop hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and Christmas favorites in concert on Thursday, Dec. 12 in King Concert Hall at SUNY Fredonia as part of the DFT Communications Pops Series at Rockefeller Arts Center.

The Hit Men are returning to SUNY Fredonia by popular demand with a holiday show that mixes pop hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s with some favorite Christmas tunes.  The DFT Communications Pops Series at Rockefeller Arts Center presents “The Hit Men: ’Tis the Seasons” on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall.

The Hit Men are not the cast from “Jersey Boys” or a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons cover band. They are the musicians, vocalists, arrangers and composers who were members of both the Four Seasons and the Shondells, who sang with Tommy James. The band members have also played with Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon, Barry Manilow and other mega-star acts.

As The Hit Men, the group relives the magic they created on world stages and in recording studios years ago, bringing audiences a concert featuring hit after hit – including Four Seasons songs like “Oh What a Night,” “Who Loves You,” “Marianne,” “Silence is Golden,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll” and other tunes made even more famous by Broadway’s “Jersey Boys.”  And they also perform other memorable hits that they helped make famous – including “Mony, Mony,” “Hanky Panky,” “Peace Train,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” “You’re So Vain,” “You Belong To Me,” “Mr. Dieingly Sad” and “Younger Girl.”

In this concert, the Hit Men will also perform holiday favorites including “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “So This is Christmas.”  During their performance, The Hit Men also share great back stories and anecdotes from their days in recording studios and on the concert circuit.

The Hit Men are:

  • Gerry Polci – vocalist and drummer for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the 1970s and for Barry Manilow in the 1980s. He was the original lead vocal in the Seasons’ biggest hit, “Oh What a Night.”
  • Lee Shapiro – vocalist and keyboardist for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the 1970s, for Tommy James and The Shondells in the 1980s and for Barry Manilow in the 1980s.
  • Jimmy Ryan – vocalist and guitarist for Carly Simon, Jim Croce and Cat Stevens in 1970s, Rod Stewart in the1980s, Elton John and Kiki Dee and Paul McCartney in 1990s. He co-founded The Critters in the 1960s.
  • Larry Gates – vocalist and bass guitarist for Desmond Child in the 1980s, Bon Jovi in the 1980s and Carole King in the 1990s.
  • Russ Velazquez – vocals, guitar and percussion for Sting, Carole King, the Ramones, LL Cool J, Luther Vandross, Korn and Paula Abdul.  He is an Emmy-nominated composer and arranger for his work on “Sesame Street.”

Tickets are available through the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center at 673-3501 or fredonia.edu/tickets.

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