By Raiza Giorgi
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Hart will perform jazz, contemporary, rock ’n’ roll and classical music at the Solvang Rotary Club’s annual fundraiser on March 10 at the Solvang Veteran’s Memorial Hall, and the public is welcome.
“My goal is to bring a different sound and possibly open some people’s eyes. I don’t fit into a specific music category,” said Hart, a longtime professional musician and a more recent transplant to the Santa Ynez Valley.
The event, beginning at 6 p.m., will include dinner as well as silent and live auctions. Net proceeds will support the club’s philanthropy throughout the Rotary year that begins July 1.
Hart is a vocalist who plays saxophone, piano, flute and bass. He is also a composer, engineer, producer, arranger and sequencing specialist who has built a recording studio in his home.
His performances weave in a few of his original compositions to create a fresh experience for the audience.
“I like to bring some old standards with contemporary jazz, folk, rock,” he said.
He can remember listening to Frank Sinatra records and singing along when he was a child in Cleveland, and his early years as a pro.
“I have been playing music professionally since I was 14. My dad used to come to shows if we played in a bar, and he had to assure the owners I wouldn’t drink,” Hart recalled with a laugh.
Hart has appeared on TV and in clubs in Los Angeles and Orange County and on a cross-country tour. Prior to moving to the valley several years ago, he lived in Las Vegas and produced and arranged music while performing as a saxophonist and lead vocalist for several groups.
“When I was asked to perform for the Solvang Rotary, I honestly didn’t know what they did. After talking with a few of their members and learning of all their projects locally and around the world, I felt very honored to perform for this group of people,” Hart said.
Through its foundation, the Solvang Rotary Club has provided more than three-quarters of a million dollars since 2000 in scholarships for students in the Santa Ynez Valley and grants for other local causes and international needs.
Funds raised will directly benefit youth programs and scholarships as well as meals and transportation services for local seniors.
The club notes that the time-value of its members’ volunteer hours adds up to tens of thousands of additional dollars.
Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com (type “Solvang Rotary” in the search box). For more information, call 805-688-1122 or visit www.SolvangRotary.com.