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wedding singer: Steven Palumbo

If you are looking for a wedding singer, there are any number of performers out there who can fit the bill. However, if you want a crooner —someone who can belt out Sinatra, Tony Bennett, “Deano” and Bocelli with equal aplomb—Steven Palumbo is your guy.

Nattily attired in black tie and tux, Palumbo blends the smooth grace of American Songbook jazz standards with the soul of Motown, delivering flawless renditions of songs from his musical heroes like Dean Martin alongside Barry White ballads. Palumbo can perform a romantic rendition of “Con te Partirò” in Italian, ham it up a bit with a spot-on imitation of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” then bring down the house with his show-stopping “duet” of “Unforgettable”—singing both the Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole parts, the latter with a convincing falsetto.

Palumbo’s diverse background includes a weekly gig at the Providence Biltmore Hotel and past stints in the popular Motown tribute band TWYCE. He also has performed extensively in musical theater, giving him a natural connection to the audience that shines when he moves from table to table, serenading wedding guests.

Perhaps in the age of “Mad Men” nostalgia, it’s not surprising that young couples are as likely to hire Palumbo to perform as older brides and grooms. “My act appeals to such a wide audience, and it’s perfectly suited to a cocktail hour or dinner hour,” says Palumbo, who is sometimes hired just to perform at those parts of the reception, while a full band or DJ takes over for the rest of the evening.

However, Palumbo also can work with a 10-piece orchestra to provide an entire night of entertainment, working with couples to devise a custom song list that might include some Billy Joel tunes as well as first-dance favorites like the Four Tops’ “I Believe in You and Me,” or “Time to Say Goodbye,” a great last song of the night from Bocelli.

“My favorite part of playing weddings is when everyone is dancing and singing along to songs like ‘New York, New York,’ or ‘Summer Wind,’” says Palumbo. “And when the bride and groom are applauding and smiling and happy, that’s like Mission Accomplished.”


 > Written by Bob Curley

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