The Doo Wop Project comes to UCPAC

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

RAHWAY, NJ — Take a musical journey down memory lane with the Doo Wop Project on Friday, May 10, at the Union County Performing Arts Center. The classic sounds of Frankie Valli, The Drifters, The Satins and the Del Vikings, to name a few, will be performed by five vocalists and a four-piece back-up band.

The members include Dominic Nolfi, Charl Brown, Russell Fischer, Dwayne Cooper, John Michael Dias and musical director Sonny Paladino.

Not only do they perform the doo-wop hits of yesteryear, but they also add a nostalgic twist on today’s pop hits. Imagine songs by Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Maroon 5 — doo-wop style!

Nolfi is one of the vocalists. “Vocally, I fit well in that genre,” he said.

He’s always been drawn to the 1950s music scene, even as a child. His mother was a teacher and a professional dancer for Jefferson Starship. She also choreographed productions. Nolfi and his brother would go to her rehearsals. His grandfather was a singer in the 1930s.

“My dad was in the trades. We had a balance between practical nine to five and art gigs,” he said.

Living in Brooklyn, Nolfi was originally from San Francisco. He took theater, singing and dancing. “You do it all there,” he said. But it was singing that came easily to him.

He studied at Boston Conservatory and then came to New York.
The other four vocalists live in Manhattan. And they all have backgrounds performing on Broadway. “We’re used to performing eight shows a week,” Nolfi said. “High energy, with professionalism. That’s what makes us unique. We have a Broadway pedigree. We’re vocally driven. We have saxophone solos, piano solos and a full-piece rock band.”

Throughout the concert, band members tell personal stories — where they are from, how they got involved in show business, how they heard about doo-wop and how it influenced them.

Being on the road, they put on shows in every type of venue. “We just performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra with 3,000 people (in the audience),” Nolfi said. “We also play small clubs. We play performing arts centers like Union County Performing Arts Center. That’s what makes this gig cool. We run the gamut. (It) keeps it super-interesting.”

They’ve also performed in Canada and China.

“We make a living traveling around this great country with the music created in this great country,” Nolfi said.

But there are day-to-day challenges. Nolfi said, “Juggling flights, detail work; how am I going to eat between sound check and the actual show. Enduring nights in hotels that aren’t so nice. We get through with a lot of laughter and gratitude.”

Inspired by his bandmates, Nolfi said, “We’re on this journey together. We have our individual careers and come together collectively to do this.” He’s also encouraged by the way actors and singers survive in New York. “Doing gigs here and there before the next big thing,” he said.

Nolfi is also enthused about icons such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, as he’s also Italian American.

As for the future, Nolfi wants to keep The Doo Wop Project going for as long as they can.

To learn more about The Doo Wop Project, visit:

To get tickets to the Union County Performing Arts Center show, visit:

Photos Courtesy of the Doo Wop Project