A celebration of David Jacobs

A page from Pebble Mill's running order 18 years ago

A page from Pebble Mill's running order 18 years ago

I'll be recording with the BBC Concert Orchestra next week for a special “Celebration of David Jacobs” alongside Michael Ball, Joe Stilgoe, Marti Webb and Liz Robertson. Other contributors include Chris Evans, Tony Hall (Director General of the BBC), Desmond Carrington and Ken Bruce. It's scheduled for broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 9th February, almost exactly 18 years to the day after I first met David on Pebble Mill. Here's a nice find from the archive, a page from the BBC's running order of that very Pebble Mill broadcast. Happy memories.

I am coming back from the Caribbean for this concert, and then flying back again straight afterwards (for one day) then back to London. That's 15,000 miles in 5 days. I'm going to spend my wages on flight socks and sleeping pills.

Oasis of the Seas countdown begins

Excitement is mounting as Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, is soon it visit Europe for the first time. Royal Caribbean's Michelle Arrazola generously said today, "On Oasis of the Seas, guest expectations are high. We need the best of the best. That's why Gary Williams was always on our wish list". The feeling's mutual; I'm thrilled to be a part of the entertainment line up for this historic season. The crossing from Miami starts on 1st September.

It won't be my first time on board Oasis. I was lucky enough to attend the very first guest cruises and the official naming. Click here my own video of the best bits of the ship. Click here to read more on Royal Caribbean's web site.

New shows added due to popular demand

December's Christmas show at the Crazy Coqs has almost sold out so we've added two new Sinatra Jukebox shows just after Christmas. Harry the Piano will be away sunning himself somewhere, well... sunny so I'll be joined by the very talented Nathan Martin at the piano.

Click here to see the Sinatra Jukebox video, reviews and song list.

Bookings are open now here. See you there!

The World's Largest Cruise Ship Comes to Europe

The world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship is coming to Europe and Gary Williams has been confirmed as part of the entertainment line-up. The Oasis of the Seas will make a 12-night eastbound cruise from the ship’s homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona on 1st September 2014 and a 13-night westbound cruise will return Oasis of the Seas to Port Everglades from Rotterdam on 14th October or Southampton on 15th.

Once in Europe, Oasis of the Seas will offer a choice of three European sailings. Guests can choose among two roundtrip sailings on a five-night Western Mediterranean itinerary from Barcelona, and a seven-night Spain itinerary sailing from Barcelona to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where Oasis of the Seas will enter dry dock in Képpel Verolme shipyard for routine maintenance. Additionally, a two-night Bahamas cruise departing on 30th August and a five-night Western Caribbean cruise departing on 27th Oct both roundtrip from Port Everglades, will bookend Oasis of the Seas’ short 2014 Europe season.

Demand has been unprecedented for this landmark event and Gary is thrilled to be a part of it. “I was lucky enough to be onboard Oasis on her maiden voyage and launch, but didn't perform,” said Gary, “With a capacity of over 6000 guests, she is massive to say the least. As a feat of engineering she is truly awe inspiring.”

Mel Tormé's pianist

I'm delighted to be working with John Coliani, Mel Tormé's legendary piano player, on 31 August at Boisdale Belgravia. I've been a fan of his since I heard his playing on one of my favourite Tormé CD's: The Great American Songbook Live At Michael's Pub in New York City. It'll be a good weekend with this on the Saturday and Ronnie Scott's the day after. Check out the diary page for more details.

Radio 2's Demond Carrington

Last week Radio 2's Desmond Carrington played Luck Be A Lady from Gary Williams Meets Frank Sinatra and said, "Gary Williams with “Luck be a Lady” from the nineteen-fifties and the clever American musical “Guys and Dolls”. Actually I bumped into Gary recently and besides having yet another CD album out he has written a guide book about how to get into the world of cabaret, and be successful!  Well, he should know, because he is!"

Global Charity Trust launch at The Savoy

I'll be entertaining delegates of the Global Charity Trust for their worldwide launch. The Global Party of 2011, inspired by Phileas Fogg, grabbed a worldwide audience of 80,000+ with 80+ parties held in a 24 hour period, making it a world-wide event that transcended continents. This time inspired by 360°; 360,000+ of the world’s most influential guests will be invited to party with 360+ premier Venue/Owners across 120+ cities, all in aid of raising awareness and money for the chosen 360+ Official Local Children’s Charities as well as The Global Charity Trust.

Gary will be singing for invited VIPs in the Savoy's iconic Beaufort Bar ahead of the ribbon cutting - officially launching The Global Party around the world.

Let's hear it for cruise ship entertainers!

Time Out London

Time Out London

Pick up this week's Time Out London and turn to page 64 to find my 5 reasons to love cruise ship cabaret. Variety isn't dead, it's just moved to sea. Giving credit to the cruise industry is something I talk a lot about in the book. It gives great work to 1000s of entertainers and the guests onboard love it. Thank goodness the cruise industry is going from strength to strength.

The article's also online here.

Let's hear it for cruise ship entertainers!

Pick up this week's Time Out London and turn to page 64 to find my 5 reasons to love cruise ship cabaret. Variety isn't dead, it's just moved to sea. Giving credit to the cruise industry is something I talk a lot about in the book. It gives great work to 1000s of entertainers and the guests onboard love it. Thank goodness the cruise industry is going from strength to strength.

The article's also online here.

Time Out London

A first on the Royal Princess

As I type this, the Duchess of Cambridge is almost certainly flicking through her frocks, wondering what to wear for tomorrow's ceremony when she names the new Royal Princess cruise ship at Southampton. No doubt she's wondering what the ship's like; I'm expecting her call any moment now.  I've just got back from Southampton - honoured to be the very first entertainer to perform in their new Vista Lounge. The ship's lovely. Lots of new features and as you'd expect, very shiny. I'm not a big one for taking pictures, I figure you can see better on their website, but here are a few I snapped on my iPad.

Royal Princess

That's a big telly

Skywalk

Theatre

When Harry Met Gary

Star of the West End's 'Rat Pack' Gary Williams has joined forces with Harry the Piano (‘The best damn pianist in the civilised world’ Jonathan Ross) for an evening of musical perfection and tomfoolery.  The boys have no idea what they are doing. Only the audience know what's coming next as they wait for their command. Welcome to 'Sinatra Jukebox', a show full of surprises as Gary (“One of the best voices Britain has ever produced” The Times), performs whatever the audience requests from 100 of Ol' Blue Eyes' best loved hits.

Gary is joined by Harry the Piano who plays absolutely anything on piano (“Staggering virtuosity” The Sunday Times, “An uncanny ability” The Independent), has YouTube hits of over three million and is known for playing any tune in any style upon request.

If you're very nice they might even play their Lady Gaga Foxtrot medley - an irreverent nod to Sinatra's favourite arranger, Nelson Riddle.

Sharpen your pencils and catch Gary Williams and Harry the Piano, your very own walking, talking Sinatra Jukebox. Remember, if you don't like it, you've only got yourself to blame.

The place The Crazy Coqs The dates 16th-20th April 2013

See you there!

"Let There Be Love" reviewed by Journal Into Melody

Gary needs no introduction to readers of this magazine; his work has been praised by us on many occasions in the past. This time we find him in a sophisticated cabaret setting, with superb arrangements by Andrew Cottee. Gary sings in the kind of relaxed and confident manner that can only be achieved by a performer with plenty of experience and bucketfuls of talent. Both Gary and Andrew have deservedly enjoyed considerable success in their careers since 2004, and long may they both continue to regale us with top quality popular music. The future is bright with talents like this around the scene.

David Ades, Journal Into Melody, June 2011

BBC Radio 2's Russell Davis review 'Let There Be Love'

It’s a pleasure to welcome into our library another offering from Gary Williams: His latest – “Let There Be Love – A Celebration of Nat King Cole’ doesn’t disappoint. As these are all live performances, the acoustic isn’t studio-sharp but pleasant and atmospheric. Gary sounds on great form - hear him especially on ‘Nature Boy’, a testing piece for any singer – and pianist James Pearson & his Trio are perfect accompanists throughout. Every song (there are nineteen) is, of course, associated closely with Nat but Gary brings is own interpretation to them, with no attempt at imitation. Russell played track 4: 'Walking My Baby Back Home' on Sunday 6th March 2011. Click here to visit Russell's Radio 2 page.