If you close your eyes and listen to the rich tenor voice of singer Danny Quintero, you just might think you’re hearing a young Frank Sinatra. With uncanny resemblance to Ol’ Blue Eyes, Quintero’s smooth and deep delivery has that definite “wow factor” to induce a swoon that rivals any brought on by the Rat Pack that Quintero pays tribute to through his music.
What sets Quintero apart is that he’s not putting on an act when he’s crooning the works of Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and others of that era and beyond. He’s not doing an impression or trying to put on anything – he’s a real and true singer who puts his own magic touch in the classic songs of the Great American Songbook. On May 20 for Jazz LIVE at Marine View, he’ll be singing selections from this tome of classics as well as a few more from the 50s, 60s and 70s as sung by an assortment of greats – from Sinatra to Frankie Valli.
“I have a crazy falsetto that allows me to do songs like ‘Sherry Baby,’” Quintero said.
At just 23 years old, the man is making waves on the stages of Seattle jazz clubs and among his peers. He was a nominee for the 2011 Earshot Jazz Northwest Vocalist of the Year. He has performed at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra in “Ol’ Blue Eyes: The Music of Frank Sinatra” and with the Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble both in Seattle and on a tour of Italy. This award-winning high school jazz ensemble’s director Clarence Acox, a Seattle jazz legend in his own right, said of Quintero: “His sense of phrasing and attention to detail and pitch are impeccable… He studies the music of the greats that have come before him and understands the lineage, beauty and importance of the Great American Songbook.”
“It truly is the soundtrack of my life,” Quintero said of the enduring songs that make up his repertoire. He was introduced to these songs from Broadway theatre and Hollywood musicals when he was a boy and his neighbor/babysitter played this music. In high school, his mom gave him a computer, and Quintero was able to download all kinds of music that appealed to him. He found himself drawn to the Rat Pack in particular.
“It’s like a blood I share with these men,” Quintero said. His CD “A Taste of Vegas” showcases this connection, and those who attend his concerts can purchase one while there. It features Sinatra hits like “Luck Be a Lady,” “The Best is Yet to Come” and other perennial favorites.
He thanks many Seattle musicians he’s met on his journey so far for inspiring him to keep singing. “They supported me and encouraged me to stick with it and go for what I want.” John Hanford of the Fabulous Wailers wrote about Quintero: “That Danny possesses a great set of pipes is obvious. What strikes one on first hearing is the sheer quality of the voice, mature and burnished sonority that belies his age. There is also the confident sense of swing, and the evident ear of the subtle nuances of the Sinatra school of ‘bel canto’ singing articulation, phrasing, dynamics, breath control, the works.”
Trumpeter and Tacoma music icon Lance Buller has been a fan of Quintero from the get-go, and will be onstage with him at the upcoming Jazz LIVE gig along with three other local music legends – Randy Haberstadt on piano, Phil Sparks on bass and Clarence Acox on drums.
If you haven’t yet heard Quintero perform live, make it a point to catch the next Jazz LIVE at Marine View on May 20 at Marine View Church, 8469 Eastside Dr. N.E., Tacoma, WA 98422 (1/2 mile west of Dash Point State Park on St. Route 509). The acoustics are terrific, the view is great, the audiences are appreciative and the admission is free to all ages. Show starts at 5 p.m.
Coming up this summer at Jazz LIVE at Marine View: Maia Santell and House Blend on June 10 and contemporary soul jazz pianist Deems Tsutakawa on July 15.
See Quintero perform again in Tacoma on June 2 at Tacoma Musical Playhouse (7116 6th Ave.). Presented by Buller and Jazz at TMP, “Croon: Dreams Really Do Come True” is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $25. All seats are reserved, so call (253) 565-6867 or visit www.tmp.org. Learn more about Quintero and hear his music at www.dannyquintero.com.