Photo Coverage: Danny Aiello Plays The Iridium
Legendary actor and critically acclaimed singer, Danny Aiello, a native of New York City, has a reputation for no-holds-barred stage and screen performances which are brimming with honest emotion. Mr. Aiello has received unanimous acclaim including Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor and has been named Best Supporting Actor by the Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago Film Critics Associations. His many roles, from his portrayal of Cher’s jilted fiancé in Moonstruck to his award winning role as ‘Sal’ in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, in over 100 different films have endeared him to audiences worldwide. He also starred as ‘Joe Lieberman’ in the romantic comedy Lieberman in Love. Directed by Christine Lahti, the film won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1996.
A legendary self-starter and National Treasure, this versatile actor was 37 when he debuted as a baseball teammate of Robert DeNiro and Michael Moriarty in the film Bang the Drum Slowly. His other film credits include: The Godfather, Part II, Fort Apache the Bronx, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Once Around with Richard Dreyfus, Holly Hunter, Gena Rowlands and Griffin Dunne, Hudson Hawk with Bruce Willis, 29th Street with Anthony LaPaglia, Ruby, Mojave Moon with Anne Archer and Angelina Jolie, Dinner Rush , City Hall, opposite Al Pacino; Two Much with Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith; The Professional, directed by French film maker Luc Besson; Robert Altman’s Ready To Wear; The Cemetery Club, opposite Ellen Burstyn, Olympia Dukakis, and Diane Ladd; Mistress, with Robert DeNiro, 2 Days in the Valley with Glenne Headly, Lobster Farm with Jane Curtain, Lucky Number Slevin with Bruce Willis and Morgan Freedman and Stiffs with Lesley Ann Warren, just to name a few. TV productions include “Family of Strangers” (in which he received an Emmy Award), “Tales of the Darkside,” “Lady Flue,” “The Preppie Murder,” the miniseries, Mario Puzo’s “The Last Don”, and the film version of The Shoemaker, called “A Broken Sole” with Judith Light. He also starred in and executive produced the award winning detective series Dellaventura. His theatre credits include : Lampost Reunion (Broadway), Gemini (Obie) – began Off-Broadway then went to Broadway, Wheel-barrow Chasers and Knockout (Broadway), Woody Allen’s The Floating Lightbulb, John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves and David Rabe’s Hurlyburly (L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Award). He recently starred and co-produced the world premiere theatrical production of Susan Charlotte’s The Shoemaker, that played to sold out audiences last year at The Acorn Theatre in NYC.
He is currently in production of Capone The Musical; partnering with composer/playwright Robert Mitchell on this unique new one man musical written on the life of Al Capone and starring the indomitable Aiello proving ironically, it’s what you ‘don’t know’ about the legendary criminal mastermind Alfonso Gabriel Capone that will ‘thoroughly entertain” you, according to Danny. Packing words and music to boot.
When Danny is not performing in the theatre or making movies, he’s touring with his swinging jazz band he affectionately refers to as “Joe Geary & the Guys” , led by bandleader/drummer Joe Geary. He has traveled the country making music- including shows at the monumental Apollo Theatre, on the stage of the legendary Blue Note, at the breathtaking Rainbow Room, performing with the Boston Pops Orchestra, or in LA at the House of Blues, to name a few.
No stranger to singing, Aiello actually started out singing on street corners as a kid in the Bronx. He sang in the movie Once Around where he starred alongside Holly Hunter, and in the movie Hudson Hawk, where he and co-star Bruce Willis performed “Swinging on a Star” –a duet that has since become a youtube favorite. He has seriously fulfilled a lifelong dream, proving that at any age it’s never too late to follow your heart.
His show consists of songs from his critically acclaimed 2004 debut album I Just Wanted To Hear the Words and his 2008 release Live from Atlantic City a collection of traditional standards such as “All of Me,” “One for My Baby” and “Besame Mucho,” together with a variety of other Aiello favorites including a special tribute to singer Bobby Darin. I Just Wanted to Hear The Words debuted at #4 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Chart, just after five days of release alongside Diana Krall and Tony Bennett and Live from Atlantic City was featured on PBS special That’s Amore.
He recently released a third album entitled “Bridges”- a collection of Aiello favorites that meld his smooth style vocals with hip hop artist Hasan and a new 2011 Christmas album of Aiello’s special holiday tunes entitled My Christmas Song for You. Bridges features various singles with corresponding videos that have garnered over ½ million views on youtube alone.
In addition to his film and music credits, Danny Aiello has received many awards for his numerous philanthropic endeavors and contributions to film and television; including his work with Major League Baseballs’ Stand up to Cancer Campaign, The Lustgarten Foundation on behalf of pancreatic cancer research (his son Danny III passed away in 2010 of pancreatic cancer), his PSAs for various police and fire organizations, including post 9/11 events, and his work with Public Television, just to name a few. A father of four and grandfather of nine, he currently resides in New Jersey with his wife of 50+ years and his baby dog Sofi Belle.
More information and updates on Aiello, performances can be found at www.dannyaiello.com.Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff
Danny Aiello & Joe Geary & The Guys
Danny Aiello at The Iridium