Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Frank Sinatra Tribute Concert Tour to Begin in Washington, D.C.

By Chuck Whiting
MCAU Editor

(Editor's Note: From time to time, we post information about arts-related events occurring in other areas of the country. We hope the "Our Way" show celebrating Frank Sinatra will eventually make its way to Nashville. The show will air online on a date TBA.)

           WASHINGTON (June 2016) -- Mishkan Torah Synagogue and Bigshot Records will celebrate pop/jazz legend Frank Sinatra by staging a special 100th birthday concert in Greenbelt, Maryland, on June 26 featuring the Choper Jazz Project, a band led by noted drummer Brian Choper.

           The "Our Way" concert will occur from 3-5 p.m. at Mishkan Torah Synagogue, 10 Ridge Road in the Washington suburb of Greenbelt. The show will include performances of "My Way", "New York, New York", and other classics by vocalist Peter Cannella, a Sinatra prodigy who joined the band last year after packing houses in venues along the East Coast.

           Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for teens 13 and over, $5 for kids 12 and under, and $50 for a family group. They may be purchased online at or

Photo of Choper Jazz Project by Mickie Hill

           Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will support Sinatra for Seniors, an organization that brings music to senior citizens to help improve mental health. To learn more about Sinatra for Seniors, visit

            "We are delighted to partner with the Mishkan Torah Synagogue for this highly worthwhile event to honor Frank Sinatra, while also supporting better mental health for our seniors," said Choper, founder of BigShot Records and its parent company, Washington Entertainment Connection. "This concert has been months in the making."

           Ol' Blue Eyes was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Dec. 12, 1915, going on to become one of the popular and influential musical artists in the 19th Century. The Choper Jazz Project will use the concert as the kickoff for a national concert tour honoring Sinatra.

           Cannella will be backed by the Choper Jazz Project, a band featuring veteran Washington musicians Choper on drums, Harry Appelman on keyboards, and Ephraim Wolfolk on bass. The show also will include a horn section with tenor and alto sax.

           "It's true that Frank Sinatra never worked with a combo or small band, so this concept is brand new," Choper noted. "We have intentionally orchestrated this to produce a great sound with fewer musicians. Most of the people we've introduced this concept to have been impressed or wowed by the rich, full sound of this music coming from fewer players. We also plan to stage shows with 17-piece orchestras like Sinatra used."

           Cannella's vocals have been described as “jaw-dropping and memorable.” Before signing exclusively for Bigshot Records, the vocalist sung both classics and originals at restaurants, nightclubs and casinos from New York to Washington. He describes his sound as traditional pop, swing and jazz. The tenor’s favorite classics include Bobby Darin’s version of “Mack the Knife”, and of course the eponymous Sinatra anthems.

           "Sinatra fans are in for an unforgettable evening," Choper added. "We plan to mix it up by throwing in a Michael Buble’ version of a Sinatra tune, and there will be a few surprises."

           Choper is the founder and drummer of the renowned New Klezmer Quintet and the Nexus Rock Band. Appelman, who teaches at Montgomery College, has appeared around the world with many popular jazz bands. Wollfolk is a veteran talent who serves on the board of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Federation of Musicians.

           The "Our Way" Sinatra tribute concert will be recorded for future online broadcasts at

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