Carmen Jon and Bill Gulino
Carmen grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania with his two brothers John and Carl. His mother Theresa and Father John found a way financially to let him pursue a music education. Carmen now resides with his wife Janet and two sons Nicolas and Steven in northern New Jersey just outside of New York City.
Carmen has always pursued his music dream, starting in elementary school in Easton, PA. "I had a solo in grade school, and people actually applauded. That was it. I was bitten by the bug."
Carmen graduated from West Chester University with combined majors in vocal arts, music education, and drama. He also studied at the Curtis School of Music and took voice lessons from the singers for the Met.
He worked his way through school as an entertainer, alternating with solos at churches and a band on the weekends.
Once out of school, another bug grabbed him - the Broadway bug. Carmen appeared in Broadway productions, musical reviews and touring companies. He's shared the stage with Sid Caesar, Burt Bacharach, Ed Ames, Joel Grey, Robert Merrill, Robert Morse, Red Skelton and many others. He's been in "Funny Girl," "Fiddler", "Oklahoma", "Oliver", "George M", "How to Succeed in Business" and "Man of La Mancha".
After meeting his wife he changed his musical routine and segued from Broadway to night clubs. Carmen makes sure his entertainment activities do not conflict with his family obligations. His family approves of his career but Carmen will tell you that his sons, Nicolas and Steven, don't think he does anything special. (He's the man who has been singing The National Anthem at New Jersey Nets games for many years). "I'm just a normal father," adding that his boys are more interested in where they sit for the Nets games then the fact that he is the opening singer.
Carmen's first major release "The Man With The Golden Voice" was released in 1984 and sold over 22,000 copies. His third release "It's Never Too Late" reflects a lot of his own experiences. The theme of family is a very strong one and is woven through the 11 songs on the album.
"I'm very close to my family." My dad and mom are my greatest fans. They go to every concert and appearance I have in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, and PA). His boys are also fans and have taken to displaying Carmen's CD's to all their friends.
"We're very close and the family sticks together." The one message Carmen would like his listeners to take from "It's never Too Late" is the importance of love and family.
His 4th release "A Touch of Italian" is a project that was on the table for 20 years. Carmen has recorded what people enjoy hearing the most when he performs in clubs and hotels throughout the country. Carmen worked in the studio for 10 months recording and refining this album to create music that is arranged and sung like nothing on this planet.
Carmen, a recording artist since the late 70's recorded his first record which was a recording of "Young Girl." It was played on many radio stations including the star ship station WNEW AM NYC. This was followed by originals "Lead Me to Love" and "The Man with the Golden Voice."
His first band "Carmen Jon and First Class" was formed during a chance meeting with a chauffeur driving Carmen to Kennedy Airport. The driver pulled out his trumpet as he pulled up to the toll booth and brashly asked the collector "a tune or a toll?" The ploy failed, but Carmen, unable to contain a snicker in the back seat, was sold. He played a jazz lick for Carmen and right then and there decided to put a band together.
"My first love is singing with a big band. I belt out a song like many opera singers who can hit high C's, but I sing in a style of a nightclub atmosphere."
Carmen's inspiration is "Jiminy Cricket" of Pinocchio fame. Jiminy Cricket sang "When You Wish Upon a Star." "That's exactly what my life is about, I have never let the passion die."
On a more personal note here are some insights into Carmen's favorite things...
"I love Postachio nuts....my Mom's stuffed shells in meat sauce and meat balls, my wife's (Janet)...chicken soup, minced clams, pumpkin lemon pie, ice cream pie, shrimp scampi, stuffed pork chops, tomato salad, tri-color salad, chicken marsala, orso in wine sauce, baked Alaska, duck in orange sauce, baked ziti, rack of lamb...and many more (Janet is a 1st place winner in many cooking events and a gourmet cook.) I'm spoiled!"
"I love soccer...had a full scholarship in college for soccer...and I'm a referee of high school varsity soccer for many years."
"I have owned, co-produced, co-written, and co-directed my own youth theater for actors age 8-18 for the last 16 years. It is called STUDIO STARS."
During his wide-ranging career, Bill Gulino, a member of the Friars Club, has been not only an arranger-composer but a singer, pianist, published author, musical director, comic and an all-round entertainer. Bill attended Berklee College of Music which he credits as the greatest experience a young musician could ever have. After college Bill landed a regular engagement at the famed Manhattan restaurant Dannys Hideaway. This gave him the opportunity to accompany such notables as Doris Day, Sammy Davis Jr, Donald OConnor and Bing Crosby. He became musical director and arranger of the Platters, featuring the original lead singer Tony Williams during 1977-81 and 1988-91. He also worked on cruise ships as an entertainer and cruise director, performed in Atlantic City and Las Vegas casinos, and worked as the staff entertainer at the Trump Castle, The Sands and more recently The Paris Hotel and Casino.
During the 1990s, Bill Gulino was signed to NBC and was inducted into The Museum of Radio and Television after performing over 500 hours of live television for CNBC and Americas Talking Network including co-hosting the shows Bugged with Brian OConnor and America After Hours. He has also composed the music for the Academy Awards 2001 for FOX and the notable theme for Danny DeVitos Limoncello. He recently signed a contract with Cherry Lane Music and created a piano course The Life Of The Party hosted by John Sebastian of the Loving Spoonful.
Currently Bill tours the country, conducts for singers and performs with his own band. He also has his own show, The Life And Times Of Bill Gulino, during which he tells stories and sings songs about some of the many great talents with whom he has worked.