Chris Ruggiero is an old soul. Still in his twenties, the music that speaks to him is the music of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, breathing new life into the timeless classics that form the soundtrack of our lives. His approach to performing is more in line with that of a bygone era, bringing to the stage the panache of Frank Sinatra or Paul Anka, coupled with the energy of Jackie Wilson.
Ruggiero first came to national attention when he performed in concert on a PBS coast-to-coast special and was featured on Good Morning America. Since then, he has traveled the country, delivering his unique brand of vintage rock and roll and sharing his passion for the classics. He has shared the stage with artists such as Bobby Rydell, The Duprees and The Drifters. It seems almost preordained that the young man who loves the special sounds of an era is now performing on the same stages as those he admires most. The young singer was a 2020 East Coast Music Hall of Fame nominee and at the 2019 induction ceremony, he performed alongside Tito Puente Jr. singing the iconic song Tito’s father wrote, “Oye Como Va.”
In his new show, “Teenage Dreams and Magic Moments,” Ruggiero tells his story by breathing new life into the timeless music of the eras he loves, enhanced with a six-piece band and live brass. Songs like “Unchained Melody,” “My Cherie Amour,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” and “This Magic Moment” come to life with unique interpretations of these classics and more, with new orchestrations by Charlie Calello, arranger for the Four Seasons and known in the industry as “The Hit Man.” A fan of Chris Ruggiero, he has said that “it’s been a long time since I heard a voice like that.”
Others in the industry have had praise for this new voice. Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers said, “Chris is so good at making the classics his own. I went to a show and loved every minute.” That’s high praise from someone whose song he sings.
For Chris Ruggiero, the music may be king, but the audience is royalty and entertaining is not a vocation, it’s a way of life. “I try to make every move and sing every song with a touch of class that reminds the audience of a time when entertainers put their heart and soul into their songs and delivering an exceptional concert was paramount,” he said. “When I’m on stage singing a classic love song and I look out into the audience and see that twinkle in their eyes, I know they’re thinking about a special time and place in their life-or maybe their first kiss. It’s magic. Just give me a spotlight and microphone and tell me what time I go on.”
Chris takes the stage at 7. The magic will linger long after he’s left it.