Abbacadabra: The Ultimate ABBA Tribute

Jack Greenberg signed the up-and-coming Swedish pop group ABBA to its first U.S. recording contract in 1974. It was hard to envision then what was to become a global phenomenon, spawning a Broadway show and several hit movies. When Greenberg first saw Abbacadabra, an ABBA tribute band, he said it was a revelation.

“I know ABBA inside and out and when I first saw Abbacadabra perform, I couldn’t believe it. It was like watching the real deal.”

Greenberg put his money where his mouth is and now manages the tribute band, which came to life in 2004. Gary Raffanelli, a musician, entrepreneur, Benny Andersson look-alike and ABBA fan, saw the group in 1979 and decided to put together a tribute band. He called on his friend Sandy Selby, who has a four-octave range, to help dissect the vocal parts. Every musical note would have to be transcribed and replayed into the computer. All of the parts were assemble and compared to the original ABBA tracks for accuracy.

Raffanelli brought together a team of highly trained vocalists and internationally-known keyboardists, percussionists and bassists to recreate the sounds and sights of an ABBA show. The group’s first show was at the El Dorado Resort and Casino in Reno, but they were soon playing to sold out crowds around the country and on cruise lines such as Princess and Royal Caribbean. Fittingly, in 2007, they began performing in Europe, where ABBA first came to fame.

The group covers 20 of ABBA’s mega-hits, including “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” “The Winner Takes it All,” and “Take a Chance on Me.” They are known for their attention to detail, from the sound to the clothing. Listening to them is like taking a step back in time, when everyone was dancing.

Tony Orlando once told Gary Raffanelli that “When you’re dreaming about your life and future, shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll still be up there among the stars.” Raffanelli took a chance and it has paid off big time, for his band, and most especially, for his audiences. You can take a chance, too.

Partial proceeds to benefit Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens was founded in 1996, and has provided mental health services to more than 35,000 local children in need. We are dedicated to strengthening families and preventing suicide, substance use and other dangerous behaviors by ensuring that all children have access to high quality mental health services. This includes counseling as well as a wide range of specialized programming that helps families cope with issues such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying, school suspension and more. Services are provided in Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Indian River Counties. At Tykes & Teens we believe that we cannot wait for another tragedy to happen—locally or nationally—to make affordable, accessible mental health services a priority.

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