by Dan Price
Who loves Neil Diamond? All who do, say "aye". AYE! And I say it proudly.
Do you know who loves Jay White? Why, The Marathon Man of Pop, Neil Diamond, of course. But who is Jay White?
Some would call him a tribute artist, others an impersonator. But if you have ever seen Jay White perform as Neil Diamond, you'd call him Neil. Or Mr. Diamond if you want to go a more traditional route. Whatever you call him, Jay is #1 Neil Diamond performer working today. He and his 8-piece band are getting ready to take the road for the Sweet Caroline Tour, hitting The Eisemann Center on March 12th in Richardson, TX.
Jay didn't fall into being the heir apparent Neil Diamond doppelganger overnight. The music and the fans singing along were not originally in the cards for Jay. He started as a kid from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, with dreams of the National Hockey League. He was a good goalie and knew his way around the ice, having brief runs with the IHL's Kalamazoo Wings and Las Vegas Thunder, eventually moving to a career in life insurance sales. He was already making music in his spare time; theater, musicals and singing with a top-40 band. One day, he was given the opportunity to try out for a tribute show, Salute to the Superstars, at Mr. F's Supper Club in Detroit.
"People had been telling me I sounded like Neil when I sang," he says, "so I shaved off the mustache and styled the hair and went and auditioned. They hired me. Six months later, I quit my day job selling life insurance."
White was offered a 7-week gig at a Reno casino, getting rave reviews for his performances. It was such a success in 1989 he began a 9-year journey in The Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino's Legends in Concert show, where he performed over 2000 shows. He moved to the Riviera Hotel and Casino to perform his solo Neil Diamond show so that new fans and old could appreciate and experience the feeling and the power of a Neil Diamond extravaganza.
Not only does he have the moves, but he also has the look. And when I say he has the look, I am not kidding. Jay was cast in the movie Frost/Nixon in 2008, playing the part of Neil at a party in the film.
But one of Jay's most important blessings is the blessing of Neil Diamond himself. Meeting his inspiration on a few occasions, Neil even signed an autographed pic to Jay with the message, "Jay, Keep singing, so I can stay home & relax!"
It's a very interesting time now for Jay as Neil Diamond has retired from performing. Now, more than ever, Jay has the honor and responsibility to bring the music of Neil Diamond to the people who love it. And Jay has picked up the ball and is running strong with the Sweet Caroline Tour in full swing, delivering the most authentic Neil Diamond experience you can ever have.
The Sweet Caroline Tour is a critically acclaimed production that Neil Diamond has approved as his most authentic concert recreation worldwide. It's the story of a young songwriter born and raised in Brooklyn, who became one of the most gifted and prolific performers of our time. His dozens of hits like Sweet Caroline, I Am I Said, Cherry Cherry, Forever in Blue Jeans, Love on the Rocks, and America are American classics that have found a permanent place in musical history and an irreplaceable home in the hearts of millions. With an 8-piece band, dazzling lights, some video projection, and the Award-Winning talents of Jay White along with Diamond band member King Errisson, this production is not only a feast for the eyes and ears but for the heart. It's the Neil Diamond legacy concert that must be seen to believe!
Watch Jay White bring the music of Neil Diamond to life in the Sweet Caroline Tour on March 12th at The Charles W. Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson, TX. Tickets are on Sale Now!