Grammy Award-winning musician and founding member of the hard rock bands Alter Bridge, Tremonti and, most notably, Creed, Mark Tremonti recently released his most ambitious and challenging creative project to date. The jazz-style work, a far departure from his typical rock genre, was inspired by his daughter Stella, who was born with Down syndrome.
Tremonti partnered with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to release the unexpected album of Frank Sinatra covers titled Tremonti Sings Sinatra. Tremonti recorded the tracks with the remaining members of Sinatra’s band, including Mike Smith, Sinatra’s musical director. The seasoned orchestra professionals admitted to doubting Tremonti’s capabilities but were, then, blown away by his surprising crooner-style skills. Tremonti had already won the approval of Stella, who joyfully smiles every time her daddy sings to her.
Tuning in for Down Syndrome Awareness
The album of selections from Sinatra’s catalog was released earlier in 2022, as part of a new charity initiative created by Tremonti called Take A Chance For Charity. Soon after, the album landed #1 on the Billboard Music Chart’s Current Traditional Jazz Album and Independent Album categories!
“It’s a different vibe; a different journey,” Tremonti said in a YouTube video. He felt called to step outside of his comfort zone and use his public platform to further disability awareness and, more specifically, fundraise for Down syndrome research and initiatives.
People with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome which, according to the National Down Syndrome Society, can cause intellectual developmental disabilities, as well as low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes and other differing characteristics. Proceeds from the album support the NDSS and the work they do to advocate for and support individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
This isn’t the first time Tremonti has aligned with the disability community. During his teenage years, his mother, Mary, was diagnosed with lupus, technically known as systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America, is a chronic condition that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body, though most commonly affecting skin, joints and internal organs like the kidneys and heart. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that one’s immune system — the body system that usually fights infections — attacks healthy tissue instead. After Mary passed away in 2002, Tremonti wrote and recorded the song ‘In Loving Memory’ as a tribute to her and his grief process.
Jazzing Up Down Syndrome Fundraising
“For years, I’ve loved singing along to Frank’s songs. One night, I found an old video of him performing ‘The Song Is You’ from 1944. It made me want to dive into his vocal approach. I was all in and I wanted to do something with it,” Tremonti shared in an NDSS press release. He says Stella’s Down syndrome diagnosis offered clarity as to why he so admired the iconic singer.
“Frank Sinatra raised more than a billion dollars for charity and that is a fact I wish the public knew more about. Beneath his cool and calm persona, he had a big heart,” Tremonti explained of his motivation. “I decided to do this record to raise funds for families and individuals with Down syndrome. This project is the start of a new purpose that I will have for the rest of my life.”
While the vocal approach is heartwarmingly similar, popular tunes like “I’ve Got The World On A String,” “My Way” and “That’s Life” found a fresh tone with Tremonti’s chops. Best known for his guitar playing, especially during the post-grunge musical era in the late 90s and early 2000s, Tremonti left the instrumentals to Sinatra’s band and solely focused on the vocals for the collection. Also known for songwriting, Tremonti, of course, did not pen the lyrics to the 14 tracks, but he did paint the original artwork featured on the album cover.
Playing It Forward
Following the release of Tremonti Sings Sinatra, the singer performed the cover tracks at venues in London, England, as well as Orlando, Florida, where he resides with his family. Tremonti, accompanied live by members of Sinatra’s band, is set to perform at the Fly Me to the Moon gala and auction, benefitting NDSS. The event will be held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City on March 2, 2023.
Tremonti Sings Sinatra includes the following songs:
- I’ve Got You Under My Skin
- I’ve Got The World On A String
- I Fall In Love Too Easily
- Fly Me To The Moon
- Nancy (With The Laughing Face)
- My Way
- You Make Me Feel So Young
- Luck Be A Lady
- That’s Life
- Come Fly With Me
- In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
- The Song Is You
- All Or Nothing At All
To purchase a copy of Tremonti Sings Sinatra, visit tremontisingssinatra.com.