John Vento, CEO of CIS Drycare, hosted an invitation only, benefit concert, An Intimate Evening with Gino Vanelli at the Corbrwood Stage in Gibsonia Pa. With only 350 tickets available, VIP festivities kicked off at 6:30 pm where guests could enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks on the patio while listening to ‘Steeltown” sensation Kenny Blake on the piano.
The event was emceed by WDVE’s, Steve Hanson of the Jimmy and Steve Show, which for 11 years entertained thousands of locals on the way to work with their satire, comedy and rock music. The duo also played a vital role in music history, giving airplay to many local artists who found national success and continually promoting talented local bands. Steve continued that tradition welcoming local, acoustic jam band, The Compadres, as special guests for the evening.
The highlight of the evening was international sensation Gino Vannelli and his band, who continue to wow an audience with his magnificent voice and his top notch veteran band. Vannelli born & raised in Montreal, Canada released his first single as a teen and talked his way into a record deal with Herb Alpert’s A&M Records at age 21. He rose to stardom with the release of six albums in six years, ending with the double-platinum “Brother to Brother” in 1978. His song “I Just Wanna Stop” reached No. 4 on the Billboard singles chart in the U.S. (and No. 1 in Canada) earning Gino his first Grammy nomination. After signing with Arista Records, his next album included his second top-10 single, “Living Inside Myself.” In 1985 he released the successful Black Cars album which became Vannelli’s most successful international work to that date. Two years later, he recorded Big Dreamers Never Sleep for CBS, whose single, “Wild Horses,” stormed its way to the Top 10 in several countries. Since then he has continued to tour and produce new music; as well as author poetry and a book, bringing his career to new heights.
It was an unbelievable evening of nostalgia and wonderful music,” said Mike Hepler, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA. “Gino Vannelli still has the amazing talent that we have enjoyed for decades. John Vento and his team put together something very special for the guests and went above and beyond to accommodate folks. I am personally looking forward to the next concert in “John’s Estate!”
Portions of the proceeds will be processed and distributed by the Pittsburgh North Optimist Foundation to 3 local organizations who are fighting to make the difference within our community; the Boys & Girls Club of Western PA, Lupus Pennsylvania and ACHIEVA.