PLAY ME MOVIE August 2014
From PLAY ME Movie producer-Director Steve Tatone:
"I've been fortunate to catch ND and his Band in Concert over 50 times since my early teens...and I'm looking forward to the next Album & Tour. Meanwhile - I'm more convinced than ever before that our film will help fill the void of not enough Neil to go around.
KENNY LaBELLE & the Diamond Collection absolutely blew me and my team away with their high-energy, perfectly orchestrated and performed Concert tonight at West Springfield's Majestic Theater.
We captured on film the Friday Night Magic of this amazing band led by a vocalist/guitarist who gave his audience and our film so much more than we bargained for. As a Filmmaker, I'm blessed with the opportunity to present a variety of talented, dedicated Diamond artists in PLAY ME - but I can honestly say that Kenny's emotional, brilliant performance alone will be worth the price of admission.
Saturday we'll be filming his interview segment with his wife Trish...and then it's back to the Majestic Theater for the 2nd show! My sincere thanks to the management and staff of the Majestic and to Kenny's dedicated band and crew. Along With KYLE CUMMINGS' solo piano/vocal performance in Charlotte last Wednesday - Kenny's shows this weekend confirm that PLAY ME is destined to become a must-see, musically-charged one-of-a-kind film!"
Icons of the Ages Makes Generous Donation to
Mercy Medical Center Breast Care Center
December 5, 2014. On Friday, December 5, Trish and Kenny LaBelle presented Mercy Medical Center with a donation check of twelve thousand, seven hundred dollars ($12,700). The generous donation was the result of the proceeds from the sold out Icons of the Ages dinner / show.
On Saturday, November 8, at a sold out fundraiser dinner and tribute show at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee, MA, seven tribute artists performed the music of Janis Joplin (Donna Lee DePrille), Rod Stewart (Rick Larrimore), Neil Diamond (Kenny LaBelle), Buddy Holly (Ben Ashley), Frank Sinatra (Patrick Tobin), Elton John (Greg Ramsom), and Jimmy Buffet (Steve Kareta hosted by Jimmy Mazz with all music performed by The Diamond Collection.
"We are thrilled to be able to make this sizeable donation," stated LaBelle as she presented the check to Daniel P. Moen, President & Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Lisa Planeta, MD, FACS. After receiving several options from Dr, Planeta, the LaBelle’s have designated the funds go directly to patient personal care. For example, many insurance companies don’t provide coverage to purchase a wig for women going through chemo or genetic testing for high risk cancer patients. The money will go into a fund for patents needs.
The LaBelle’s chose Mercy Medical Center’s Breast Care Center as the charity to receive the donation at the spring of 2014, while the Icons of the Ages was in early production. “We all know someone who’s been touched by breast cancer, both men and women. Icons of the Ages performance partnered perfectly to help promote public awareness of breast cancer and Mercy Medical Center’s Breast Care Center. We felt confident that it was a deserving organization and would put the money to good use.”
"We are amazed at the sum we were able to donate to this cause," states LaBelle. “The tickets to the show sold themselves. Our goal was to sell 600 tickets and we were at 650 sold with more than a week to go before the show. At that point I had to cut off sales. Our sponsors were also a great help on promoting the performance.” Crestview Country Club, Gaudreau Group, Brookside Auto and The Republican helped sponsor the event.
"I know that Mercy Medical Center’s Breast Care Center are incredibly appreciative of this donation," reflects LaBelle. "Over twelve thousand dollars can go a long way to help them accomplish their goals, and we know that every dollar will be spent to help those in need."
August 16, 2015
"PLAY ME" On-Location Filming update from Director Steve Tatone in West Springfield, MA:
"So here we are, down to one final concert to film tonight for the movie...back where we started almost exactly one year ago - at the Majestic Theater with not one, but 4 dynamic Diamond Troubadours performing together, sharing the stage and singing their hearts out to a SRO crowd.
For the life of me, I have no idea how they can possibly top last night's show. But our cameras will be rolling anyway to capture the magic - just one more time.
But what I witnessed last night was nothing short of the Transcendence of a unique Neil Diamond Tribute into the kind of Live Performance Artist that defies gravity & labeling.
Suffice it to say that KENNY LABELLE - backed by his multi-talented 8-piece band that rivals any I've ever heard during this marathon filming odyssey - is a force to be reckoned with; not just as an excellent ND Tribute - but as a gifted Musician-Singer-Songwriter who is comfortable with his triumphs to date and his lot in Life, whose world-view has been deeply affected by personal tragedies suffered since the first time we filmed him, and who has now crossed over into territory sought after by every live entertainer...that special place where a Singer and his Audience and his Music - in this case the music of Neil Diamond - become One with the Universe and generate the kind of electricity that can only be described as a theatrical, one-of-a-kind, emotionally-charged Musical Statement.
There was something different in the vibe this year at the Majestic...more serious, more heartfelt...you could just feel it in the theater as the pre-concert excitement set in. And true to form, Kenny had his audience with him from the first note.
Kenny's take on Mr. Diamond's songs is inventive and yet familiar. And most of all...best of all...it's original, fresh and delivered by a master showman with an intensity that was not only immensely entertaining, but made you wonder if this weekend could be his swan song? I mean...the guy gave us every ounce of juice in him and left the stage with nothing more to give. He emptied the tank. What more could anyone ask?
Catch Kenny in our film and live on stage at our PLAY ME Movie Las Vegas Premiere at Diamondfest 2016!
For event details check out:
My sincere thanks to Kenny & Trish and TDC for the warm hospitality and to my entire PLAY ME Movie CAST.
Over the last 12 months, you helped me create a truly memorable film by 'revealing the Heart...providing the Soul...and surviving the Life' without holding anything back. Thanks for the laughter and the tears and especially the amazing performances. You've all done Mr. Diamond proud. I can't wait for everyone to see it!"
- Steve Tatone
"Diamond Mountain" is Director Steve Tatone's new Documentary about the trials & tribulations of 13 Neil Diamond Tribute Artists from around the world!
Director Steve Tatone, a lifelong "Diamondhead", began filming DIAMOND MOUNTAIN in August 2015 and wrapped principal photography in August 2016 in West Springfield, MA. He is now hard at work editing his highly anticipated movie depicting the true-life, "behind-the-scenes" Stories of 13 Neil Diamond Tribute Artists from 4 continents to showcase on the 2016 international film festival circuit.
A Private Screening to benefit Military Families is scheduled for the inaugural DIAMONDFEST in VEGAS event on April 21, 2016. For details log on to:diamondfestinvegas.com
Mr. Tatone's highly anticipated film is NOT about Neil Diamond - but rather the Impact that Mr. Diamond's music has had on the lives of 13 extraordinary people chasing their Dreams and daring to be great by paying tribute, night after night on stages large and small, to an American Music Icon...and trying to survive the life in the process.
In alphabetical order:
Keith ALLYNN Super DIAMOND
Peter BYRNE Curt DIDOMIZIO
Kyle CUMMINGS Rob GARRETT
Theron DENSON Kenny LABELLE
Bob DRURY Don LAMKIN
Denny DIAMOND Carlos Reyes PICASSO
Local Tribute Artists’ Las Vegas Debut
Leads to Movie Fame & New World Tour
Kenny LaBelle and The Diamond Collection co-star in New Musical Documentary – “Diamond Mountain”
On April 21st – April 24th, the Suncoast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to a unique music event featuring twelve of the world’s favorite Neil Diamond tribute acts. The first annual DiamondFest weekend kicked off with the premiere of the highly anticipated movie “Diamond Mountain” featuring the trials and tribulations of thirteen Neil Diamond tributes artists from around the world.
Director Steve Tatone began his project by filming Kenny LaBelle and The Diamond Collection in August of 2014 at The Majestic Theater in West Springfield, MA. After that filming, Mr. Tatone said The Diamond Collection “absolutely blew me and my team away with their high-energy, perfectly orchestrated and performed concert. We captured on film the magic of this amazing band led by a vocalist/guitarist Kenny LaBelle who gave his audience and our film so much more than we bargained for.”.
After traveling the globe filming 12 additional Neil Diamond tribute artists, Mr. Tatone asked that The Diamond Collection be the premier band to back up the twelve cast mates for the Cast Concert. Sharing the stage with The Diamond collection were five members of Neil Diamond’s band, Tom Hensley, Ronnie Tutt, Mark LaVang, Bill Cinque and King Errisson.
The Diamond Collection has been performing Neil Diamond’s music for the past sixteen years across New England to a growing legion of fans. As a result of the overwhelming audience response to the band in Las Vegas, Tatone signed Mr. LaBelle as his Musical Director and The Diamond Collection to be the core band of Tatone’s new Neil Diamond Broadway-style Musical Experience titled “Diamond Mountain Live!”.
The “Diamond Mountain Live!” World Tour commences this summer and is slated for performances all across the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia over the next 18 months. When LaBelle was offered the opportunity to tour extensively outside of his western Massachusetts home base, he stated:
“This is a dream come true for me and the band. We’ve worked tirelessly for years to present Neil Diamond’s hits and deep album cuts in a way that connects our audience with the soul of his music. Our show is more than a Tribute to all things ‘Neil’ – it’s a presentation of his massive canon of work with new arrangements and a passion to do the man’s words and music justice. This world tour gives us the rare opportunity to spread the music of Neil Diamond, as interpreted by The Diamond Collection, to fans in different countries and of all age groups! We’re grateful to be a part of this amazing project and humbled that Steve and Neil Diamond’s Bandmates think so highly of our musical skills. We can’t wait to get started!”
Kenny LaBelle is available for interview. Please contact Trish at 413-977-3019 to set up a time that is convenient.
High res photos & video available upon request.