Lead Vocalist and Tenor Saxophonist for Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra to Appear May 5 at Paramount Theatre

PHOTO; Johnny KarasMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- Johnny Karas, lead vocalist and tenor saxophonist for Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra, will join the SUNY Orange Symphonic Band for its upcoming Pops Concert at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 5 at the Paramount Theatre in Middletown.

Karas will be singing and playing tenor sax during the band’s performances of “I Wan’na Be Like You” by the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s and Elvis Pressley’s “An American Trilogy.” Both selections were arranged for the band by Joe Martellaro, who is concluding his first season as the Symphonic Band’s director.

The evening program will also feature selections by Benny Goodman, John Williams and Elmer Bernstein, along with music from “The Producers” and “Frozen.” Andrew Hulle will be featured on Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

General admission is $10. SUNY Orange Students with a current ID and active military personnel will be admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at either or

Born and raised in Buffalo, Karas has regaled audiences with his virtuosity for more than 40 years. His intensity, versatility and creativity on the tenor sax have resulted in most observers describing him among the best saxophonists ever in the polka field. His unique vocal styling and phrasing have afforded him the recognition of being one of the finest vocalists in the industry. Bobby Vinton has called Karas the “heart and soul” of Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra. His performances are a trademark of the orchestra.

Karas has performed and recorded with Vinton, Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Bill Anderson, Mel Tillis, Myron Floren and the legendary Boots Randolph. He has appeared in numerous videos as well as nationally televised shows and at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and The Grand Ole Opry.

Karas was inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame located in Chicago in 2001. In 2002, he was presented with resolutions acknowledging his contributions and commitment to music and the Polish-American Community. The Common Council of the City of Buffalo and the Legislature of Erie County named Oct. 13 as “Johnny Karas Day.” He recently accepted a position on the board of directors with “Music for Humanity” of Orange County.

The May 5 concert is sponsored by the College’s Arts and Communication Department. The Paramount Theatre, located at 17 South St. in Middletown, is universally accessible. For more information, contact the Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4787. For updates on all cultural and artistic events at SUNY Orange, visit “The Arts at SUNY Orange” Facebook page.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940