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Meet Adam Chester

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Chester.

Adam, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Music has always been the focus of my life. One of the many things I do as a singer/songwriter and piano player, is that I’m the Surrogate Elton John. A title bestowed upon me by Davey Johnstone, Sir Elton’s guitarist and MD dating back to 1971. What does it mean to be “SUR” Elton? I’m glad you asked that question. I guess you can say I’m Elton when Elton isn’t there. For the band’s rehearsals and sound checks, I play piano and sing his parts so he doesn’t have to always attend. I’ve also had the honor of arranging and conducting choirs for him in concert, and for the Grammy Salute to Sir Elton John/I’m Still Standing that aired on CBS, I got to play his piano with the band in front of Elton, his husband David, and his lyricist Bernie Taupin, while guest artists sang his songs! I also conducted the small string section and choir that accompanied Lady Gaga as she sang, “Your Song” on that show. If you had told me when I was a child, with my Elton John posters plastered all over my walls, that I’d be doing what I do now? I would have called you insane. What began as a childhood fantasy to one day BE Elton John, has turned into a pretty amazing gig.

I also play events and private parties and work regularly at the bars playing piano for the Sunset Marquis and The Four Seasons. Since the pandemic began and the bars temporarily closed, every musician was home wondering what to do. It was then that my wife Maria and I dragged my keyboard out to our front lawn where I put on weekly concerts for our neighborhood to entertain people, bring some smiles to faces, while streaming it all on my Facebook page. Voila! Quaranchella was born! We decided we would choose a different non-profit organization each week, to fundraise for during the Covid-19 crisis. This got the attention of welikela.com, that wrote an amazing review about what we were doing. Within a week of that article’s appearance, the AP, Foreign AP, NPR, CBS This Morning, and Spectrum News were all doing stories about our little home grown Quaranchella! To this day we’ve raised over $11,000 for orgs such as WeSpark Cancer Center, World Central Kitchen, Man/Kind Project, ALS, Together We Rise, Liberty Hill, and Harmony Project to name a few! It’s a thrill and an honor to do this, and something I hope to continue doing long after this pandemic is over.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
After all the press came out, people wanted to physically be at the sing-a-long concerts and we had to police that, telling people to only watch on my Facebook Live stream, as this is a private neighborhood and we had to maintain appropriate quarantine protocol. Now there’s a huge chalk-drawn box around me and whatever guest musician I have accompanying me, and we hand our face masks to those who do attend, and may show up without one.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I believe these Quaranchellas have shown me that people are craving more positive stories. I also realize my music can reach far beyond the walls of the bars I play piano in. So my energy is now focused on building my YouTube Channel and what we’re calling Zoomtunes, where I get to entertain for large corporate events/fundraisers, people’s anniversaries, birthdays, social gatherings and dinner parties for anywhere from 2 people to a roomful of attendees! Over the summer, we’re thinking we could even harness this model for other home owner association summer events. This is truly a social experience that connects listeners craving a little human touch from the music that touches them, in times when human touch can be a cause of unwanted anxiety.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Everything that’s happened to me has brought me right here where I’m needed.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Quaranchella pix-AP Photographer Chris Pizzello

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