Remember Jones to play original hits, reprise Amy Winehouse in Bayou Theater
The name ‘Anthony D’Amato’ might not seem to be a very common one, but in the case of an Asbury Park, New Jersey-based singer by that name, it became a problem when he became confused with another singer with the same name at the same booking agency. With a new and unique name and backedup by an 11-piece band, Remember Jones will perform his theatrical pop-soul songs with a throwback, storytelling vibe at University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Bayou Theater Friday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
“About five years ago, I created this theatrical persona,” said D’Amato. “‘Remember Jones’ is my ‘Lady Gaga’ or ‘Freddy Mercury.’ It’s almost a statement. It removes gender and expectation. It allowed me to form myself in every show and in every scenario.”
He added that it was a name people would definitely…remember. “I could have gone in a million different directions when I was trying to think of a new name, but I kept seeing this,” he said. “The word ‘remember’ is one of the first words I learned to spell as a kid. I don’t know why! The word stuck with me and it’s my persona now. We didn’t add a band name. It’s just Remember Jones.”
Now, said D’Amato, with the success of the band, he is able to perform as a solo artist and as the band’s frontman. “We present several different types of events because of the variety of shows we put on,” he said. “Our original music is one part, but I also do theater and theatrical events. I do an Amy Winehouse-themed show and a Queen-themed show, for different audiences.”
He explained that for his upcoming performance at the Bayou Theater, he would be doing Amy Winehouse. “We call it, ‘Back to 'Back to Black,’ recreating her ‘Back to Black’ album and turning it into a theatrical concept show,” he said. “I sing the whole album. It’s a new perspective. I don’t change the lyrics, I don’t dress like her, and I don’t change the lyrics. It’s not a ‘tribute.’ But you will feel the same passion and energy as when that album was first heard.”
It allows people to experience the album again, he said. “When I did it the first time, it was unique and successful, but I thought it was a one-off idea,” he said. “I did it with a 25-piece band. I got calls from other venues to perform this, and I was told that no one else was touring her music professionally.”
In the first set, he said he would introduce the audience to Remember Jones with some of their original music. “We will return for the second set, transform the look of the band and present the show with Amy Winehouse,” he said. “There’s no script. It’s a concert experience in design and delivery. It’s a celebration of music. We will do the entire ‘Back to Black’ album including the B side.”
D’Amato said he grew up in the theater as a performer and a director. “I’ve always had a band,” he said. “As for my original music, it’s high energy, super soulful, and it’s a show band experience. I envelop the audience into what we’re doing. It’s pure entertainment, with some original great storytelling and fun. I call it storytelling with sweat!”
He said that throughout the show, he rarely mentions Winehouse’s name, but it has brought forward many of her fans who remain connected to her after her death. “A lot of people say they did not expect to feel what they’re feeling with a man singing Amy Winehouse,” he said. “But they say they leave feeling as though they’ve just seen an Amy Winehouse show. We are just presenting the music in our own way, but it’s a unique experience because the spirit is still there.”
For more information or for tickets, visit the Bayou Theater online.