Jonathan Carr, director and one of the lead vocalists of The Gatsby Show Band, is amongst the most upbeat and proactive individuals we’ve featured here in the online magazine, City & Beach Lifestyle – no doubt a key to his success. His band travels constantly, works with clients with multi-million pound budgets and he prides himself on having put together a group of talented musicians that also often works with major stars such as Robbie Williams and Adele. Here we talk about Jonathan’s background in music and what The Gatsby Show Band offers…

C&B: “First, Jonathan, where did you get your background in music and what made you decide on ‘Gatsby’ for the name of the band you ultimately put together?”

JC: “It all started for me at age seventeen when I received a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and went to study there. After Berklee, I moved to the south of France and joined the ‘Phly Boyz’; I then traveled the world with that group for eighteen months performing at luxury events. During my time with the ‘Phly Boyz’ we’d often have show bands performing after us… these bands were talented but often they all played the same songs and the repertoire felt a bit tired. I felt there was potential to create a show band that would be a breath of fresh air in the market so I moved to London and started Gatsby –  we chose that name as we wanted to project imagery of the epic parties and classiness of the Gatsby era – decadence, elegance and class personified. It didn’t take long for our quality and versatility to shine through and we quickly got a reputation across Europe as one of the very top bands for designation and luxury events…”

Our musicians are all top of their respective fields and renowned across the UK; when not with Gatsby, they’ll often be performing with acts such as AdeleRobbie Williams, Beyoncé and Jessie J… Gatsby is truly a ‘dream team’ of musicians and vocalists…”

Jonathan Carr, founder, The Gatsby Show Band

C&B: “Where do you travel to, what are you’re favourite venues, and how do you keep the sound of Gatsby consistent across all your international engagements?”

JC: “We’ve performed in over thirty countries across 5 continents; it’s truly the most blessed part of our job. Our favourite locations are the villas in Como, Villa Balbiano, Cimbrone, Erba – all of which are stunning. Over the coming months we’ve confirmed events in St Tropez, Maldives, Cabo, Hong Kong, Athens and Tuscany – among many others. It’s a busy season! Bringing our own trusted sound engineer with us is a ‘must’, however there are also a number of production companies who’ve been fantastic for us to work with over the years. We prefer to arrive at the location of our event at least one day before to ensure a good night’s sleep for everyone and that guarantees high morale and energy in our performers…”

Our busiest times are the summer season – May through to September – then the December festive period. Clients source us through personal referrals and we also liaise with a number of wedding planners across Europe, North America and the Middle East and they regularly book the band…”

Jonathan Carr, founder, The Gatsby Show Band

C&B: “Which musicians inspire your sound the most, how long do you perform for and what song is the most popular when you perform it… what keeps the crowd enthusiastic to hear more?”

JC: “We’re inspired by classic musicians  with charisma and genuine talent: The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Prince, Frank Sinatra, Robbie Williams. As standard, during an event we perform one stunning forty five minute dinner set followed by two one hour high energy party sets. Our most impactful song? Have you ever heard a live band perform ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ from start to finish? It’s our showstopper that brings the house down…”

I’m very lucky to have such a talented group of musicians who love what we do at Gatsby – and that comes across on our performances. Our thirteen-piece show band is made up of three vocalists (one male and two female), guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, percussion, violin and viola! Simply the best entertainment money can buy!”

Jonathan Carr, founder, The Gatsby Show Band

C&B: “Over the course of your career with The Gatsby Show Band what have been the most memorable occasions?”

JC: “Bringing in the New Year in the Maldives comes to mind as a highlight! Our favourite audiences are American clients who come over to Europe, they bring so much energy. We’ve had the most epic parties entertaining American clients in Italy, France and beyond. Once at an event staged in Portugal, I was asked to climb up on to the roof of a mansion and sing the opening song from the huge tile roof overlooking the Algarve; I’m not sure it would have passed health and safety restrictions but it was quite the spectacle!”

We’ve performed for a host of discerning clients around the world as well as companies like Ferrari, Google, Yankee Candle, Yahoo, and many more –  we even closed the show at the official Brit Awards after party!

Jonathan Carr, founder, The Gatsby Show Band

Gatsby is the best kept secret in luxury events… have a look through our website and instagram to see why!”

Jonathan Carr, founder, The Gatsby Show Band


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