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The Diamonds shine at Tarpon Springs
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Photo courtesy of THE DIAMONDS
The Diamonds perform Nov. 8 at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center.
TARPON SPRINGS – The Diamonds take the stage Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $28 for members and students. Call 942-5605 or visit Tarpo­nArts­.org.

It’s a blast from the past: The Diamonds, famed quartet from the 1950s and 1960s, will be performing their hits from the glory days of rock and roll. The group also will pay tribute to the classic four-part vocal groups of the era – covering hits by artists such as The Four Lads, The Four Aces, The Four Freshmen, The Four Preps and The Four Seasons. The Diamonds will honor some of the greatest solo artists in rock and roll history, such as Bobby Darin, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.

Delivering classic doo-wop songs at their best, the concert will showcase the fabulous vocal harmonies accented by their talents as instrumentalists on saxophone, trumpet and trombone.

It was 1957 when The Diamonds released the million-selling hit “Little Darlin’” – a song that continues to sell worldwide and has been dubbed “the National Anthem of Rock and Roll." To date, the single has sold approximately 20 million copies. The many honors and accolades heaped on The Diamonds over the years include three Gold Records, 33 appearances on “American Bandstand,” appearing on the soundtrack for the film “American Graffiti,” appearing on the soundtrack for “Happy Days,” Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame.

The Diamonds, like other creative, forward-looking artists, see the durability of the ’50s music as a lesson as much about the future as about the past.

“We've been pleased to find a growing audience among the age group 25 and up,” The Diamonds say in a press release promoting their current tour. “These people have graduated from loudness and sheer volume, to an appreciation of quality, style and entertainment value in music. They like songs they can remember tomorrow, or even 20 years from now.”

Capitalizing on their popularity among younger listeners, The Diamonds continue to expand their audience to this day, performing in a variety of venues and settings worldwide. These performances include concerts with symphony orchestras, in performing arts theaters and major concert halls, on cruise ships, in casinos, at county and state fairs, on tours of England, Ireland, Brazil, Chile, Korea, and Japan, for benefit concerts, corporate conventions and at nightclubs.

A principal reason for The Diamonds’ longevity as performers and entertainers lies in the diverse backgrounds of the individual members of the group. A very recent addition to the group is tenor Sean Sooter.

Sooter received his early performance training with the highly acclaimed national touring group The Young Americans, playing in eight U.S. tours as well as Japan.

Sooter went on to work as a featured vocalist aboard the MS Noordam with Holland America Cruise Lines. Some of his favorite production credits include various productions of “Forever Plaid” in Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif., as well as performing with the Dapper Dans of Disneyland. Sooter has served as musical director for numerous musical productions including “Five Guys Named Moe,” “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Xanadu.” He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from California Baptist University and a master’s degree in education through Azusa Pacific University. He worked for six years as a high school music teacher before joining the Diamonds – following his dream of singing with “one of the best vocal groups in show business today.”

Sooter’s wide array of talents has made his addition to The Diamonds’ lineup a real plus for both the group and their loyal fans.

Lead singer Jerry Siggins has accumulated some impressive credits of his own. Siggins has worked throughout the United States, Japan and Australia as a singer and actor. He spent five summers at Jackson Hole’s Pink Garter Theater and has guest starred on “The Tonight Show,” “Tony Orlando and Dawn” and “The Love Boat.” Before setting down roots as a permanent member of The Diamonds in 1991, Siggins enjoyed a successful career as an actor in television commercials and was actively involved in Southern California theater. He sang in a doo-wop group called Danny and The Dappers and was a mainstay at Disneyland and Disney World as a vocalist with The Dapper Dans vocal quartet for years.

The newest addition to The Diamonds is bass singer Jeff Dolan.

Dolan has worn many musical hats in his career – first as a member of the sensational vocal jazz group Beachfront Property, then as the bass singer and vocal contractor for Ray Conniff, touring internationally for 10 years. He was a member of the Dapper Dans of Disneyland, worked as a Christmas caroler for 25 years and has appeared on over 25 CDs. He has numerous recording credits including a Grammy award and singing with the Phoenix Chorale. He has graced the musical theater stage in both Phoenix and Southern California, and served as the artistic director of the Tucson Barbershop eXperience Chorus. His greatest accomplishments, however, are his kids: Danny, Bonnie, Hayley and Claire.

Baritone singer Gary Owens has spent the longest time as a Diamond joining forces with bass singer John Felton in 1973. A well-rounded musician, Owens learned his craft as a journeyman bass player around Los Angeles while earning his undergraduate degree in music at California State University, Long Beach. In the early 1980s, Owens took a brief hiatus from The Diamonds to complete his master’s degree in business administration at the University of Southern California.

Besides singing, and playing saxophone and flute, Owens does much of the vocal arranging for The Diamonds. In that capacity, he is well aware of the group’s particular effectiveness.

“Our goal has always been to keep that classic Diamonds’ sound intact” Owens says. “Although The Diamonds are four distinctive individuals we have created one strong group personality. The four of us as a unit have a special chemistry, and it is that chemistry that gives us our unique identity.”
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