American Idol season 2 finalists Lou Gazzara and Broadway actor/trumpet recording artist Joey Pero are slated to release O Holy Night, dedicated to longtime friend and Erie, PA resident Troy Schmidt who is currently battling Glioblastoma or “GBL”, a progressive form of brain cancer.
Pero and Schmidt met while performing in the Drum and Bugle Corps activity 20 years ago. “Troy is one heck of a brass musician and friend” Pero said. In late September, 2020, Schmidt asked to hear Pero perform his favorite Christmas tune, O Holy Night written by Adolphe Adam. Pero immediately jumped into action “This is the fastest I’ve ever turned around a recording project” He said. Schmidt, 58 has had a difficult past several years. His wife Amy, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2015 and has deteriorated rapidly to the point of unawareness prior to his own diagnosis. "Troy has remained positive and faithful throughout his difficult journey, always putting others first". Pero remarked.
In August, Pero cut-short a visit with friend and former Zappos CEO/venture capitalist Tony Hsieh to attend a surprise performance for Schmidt in Erie, PA. Hsieh unexpectedly passed away at age 46 on November 27th from injuries sustained in a house fire. “Everything happens, what matters is what happens after”.
“I had only one artist in mind to perform the vocals on this track” Pero said. “Lou and I have been friends for years. I’m so happy he was able and willing to perform with me.” Gazzara graciously accepted and offered to co-produce the release. Las Vegas based headliner Lou Gazzara was a finalist on season 2 of American Idol, besting millions of vocalists to secure his place among the elite competition. He’s since been seen performing on Vegas The Show and has headlined numerous cruise ship voyages around the globe.
Gazzara and Pero enlisted UK based producer Ryan Louder whose credits include collaborations with Dua Lipa, Migos, Pavrov Stelar, Pixie Lott, Katherine Jenkins Anastasia among others. In 2018, Louder reached Billboard No.5 with Migos and in 2019, had a Worldwide No.1 Album with Dido’s Still On My Mind having co-written and produced 8 Songs. “This release features a full orchestration with Lou and I at the helm. I utilized a multi-layered trumpet performance.” Pero said.
Pero’s recent release Let It Go has reached a half million streams so far on his social media campaign. Pero was most recently seen on the 50th anniversary tour of Jesus Christ Superstar written by Sir Andrew Loyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice before covid-19 halted all Broadway shows and touring companies. He performed the part of Nick Radel in the Tony Award-winning show Bandstand written by Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor.
In a November interview, Pero said “I’ve plans to release music on a more frequent basis now, including serious work on a new rock opera aimed for Broadway”.
Pero said “I also would like to give special mention to Shannon Lewis, Keith Thompson and Noriko Sunamoto for their brilliant ideas and fast paced work in aiding this release”
O Holy Night is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and all major digital distribution/streaming sites.
For more information,
Follow Joey Pero on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @joeyperomusic
Follow Lou Gazzara on Facebook and Instagram @LouGazzaraOfficial