In its third year, the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival has lined up spectacular ETAs for this year’s shows and competition. The three day event that runs from April 26th to April 28th, promises to be an event you won’t forget. I, along with you all, am very excited to see returning ETAs, and ETAs we will be welcoming to Niagara Falls, Canada, for the first time.
The written portion of this post is from the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival Facebook page. I have edited where necessary, and replaced photos with SIDEBURNS Magazine’s own photos when possible. All the other photos, except where noted, are courtesy of the NFEF page. I hope you enjoy what I put together. I wanted you to see all the performers together on one page. It reminds me of a family photo album—-which is quite fitting seeing the ETA world is one big happy family. C.M.
Editor’s Note: Please note the corrections I have made from the original post. ETA Joseph Hall has withdrawn from the competition, but I am very happy to report that ETAs James Gibb and Patrick Johnson have been added to the talent packed line-up of performers and competitors. C.M.
A Warm Welcome to All ETAs
Michael OConnor became an Elvis fan at the early age of 6, and at age 10, started performing for charities. At age 20, he gave his first professional Elvis tribute show. Expecting 50 people to show, instead almost 900 people had squeezed in. Michael considered it a good start to his career and absolutely enjoys doing his Elvis tribute shows!
"I feel honored and blessed to be able to pay tribute to a man whose popularity is as strong now as it ever was. I am a professional entertainer. I play a part. When I'm off stage, I am myself."
Michael has performed all around the country including Las Vegas and Florida, and in Canada for crowds in excess of 17,000 people.
He has been performing Elvis shows for 30 years and in 2002 competed at the Collingwood Elvis Festival in Canada. We are pleased to welcome Michael back to Canada and the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival.
Joey Cundari is an award winning tribute artist. He has been an Elvis tribute artist for over 10 years. He is also a school teacher. He enjoys singing and keeping the memory of Elvis alive. Welcome back to Niagara Falls, Joey.
Mike Calamusa, ETA has been an Elvis fan just about as far back as he can remember. He grew up listening to Elvis with his late father, Joe, and one of his earliest memories is watching “Aloha from Hawaii with his family”.
Mike began his tribute to Elvis after watching a family member compete at the Collingwood Elvis Festival years ago. Being an ETA proved to be more challenging than he thought that first year, but that only made him work harder to hone his performances through the past decade.
Mikes vocal abilities and his attention to the nuances of Elvis’s performance have won the hearts of fans and have allowed him to win accolades in Canada and the United States. He loves to pay tribute to Elvis’s work and life, and always enjoys connecting with fans of The King. Welcome back to Niagara Falls Mike!
Dustin Bricker is in his fourth year as an ETA and has had the pleasure to perform for so many amazing people. It is a thrill for him to sing his favourite music in front of people who love it as much as he does. He has been awarded first place in the Non Pro division at both the Collingwood and Tweed Elvis festivals. This is his first year as a true professional and he couldn’t be more excited. And we are excited to have him at the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival.
Taylor Rodriguez - Internationally known, multi award winning Tribute Artist from Goode Virginia, Taylor has been nominated to receive the New Horizon award in Las Vegas in 2019.
Taylor competed in our contest in 2018 and we are pleased to welcome him back again this year.
Lee Alexander has been a tribute artist for four years and has very quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the UK's top Elvis Tribute Artists.
An Elvis fan first and foremost, Lee takes great pride and passion performing his tribute to the King of Rock and Roll.
Lee lives just outside London and performs all over England and the world. In a short time he has become a multi-award winning ETA: Return to Graceland 2016 Champion, European Gospel Champion 2017, Best Festival Elvis 2017 and King of Spain Grand Champion 2018.
Singing Elvis is his passion and brings this to every performance.
Before Elvis, there was nothing. Welcome to Niagara Falls, Lee!
Caden Gamblin “When I was a little boy, my dad, who's a big fan of Elvis, introduced me to Elvis and his music. Now I've been performing his music in front of large diverse audiences. I’ve placed first in multiple contests such as the E.P. Expo and Elvis Rocks Mesquite. There’s nothing that I think is more fun than performing for an audience and performing the music of Elvis Presley. My goal is to make others happy and if they’re not happy, neither am I.”
Anthony Joseph is a 25 year old ETA from Hamilton, Ontario. Although he performs all eras of Elvis' career, he specializes in authentically recreating the Concert Years. Anthony has won awards in both Canada and the USA. Working towards his music degree he takes pride in his craft and gives the best performing possible. He looks forward to attending the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival for the first time this year, seeing old friends and making new ones. His favorite Elvis song is Unchained Melody. Welcome to the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival.
Mark Shelton, from Vermont, has being paying tribute to Elvis for more than 10 years and is considered a dynamic performer with astounding vocal prowess that leaves audiences mesmerized in amazement. New to the Elvis Tribute Artist competition world, Mark Shelton was awarded the “People’s Choice” award at the 2017 “Reflections of the King”, runner up in the 2018 “28th Annual People’s Choice in Montreal” (his first appearance at each event), and has been receiving accolades and invites to perform all over the world. He continues to gain global attention due to his humanitarian work, service to his country (Military Police Officer in the United States Army), the quality of his performances and vocals, as well as his long history (since 1978) of his Elvis Tribute performances, and the positive reflection Mark brings to the memory of the King of Rock and Roll. We are pleased to welcome Mark back to Niagara Falls.
Mike Fitzner is from Diessenhofen, Switzerland. He has been an Elvis fan since he was seven years old and has been active as an Elvis Tribute Artist for over twenty years. His favorite album is "Moody Blue" and he loves the decade of the early Vegas years. He competed in his first competition in Switzerland in 2007. In 2012 he had the chance to qualify for the Semifinal of the Ultimate Elvis Contest in Memphis, TN for the first time. After many competitions in the United States and England, it’s a pleasure for him to be in Canada again. His first time in Canada in 2015, he performed at the Collingwood Elvis Festival. In 2018 he was in the finals of the Non-Pro category at the Flaming Star Festival in Toronto. Now, he is happy to be competing for the first time at the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival and seeing all his old and new friends there!
Welcome to the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival Mike.
Matthew Boyce is a 19 year-old Elvis Tribute Artist who has performed at countless events since the age of seven. Matthew has competed at Elvis Festivals in the US and Canada, placing first at the Lake George Elvis Festival in 2017 and earning the title of Grand Champion from the Rock and Roll Remembered Contest in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada and the Barrie Rock and Roll Fest as well. This past year, he starred in the touring show "On Tour: A Tribute to the King", as well as “Memories of Elvis” with casts including Bill Cherry, Dean Z, Sylvain Leduc, Chance Tinder, Gordon Hendricks and Patrick Johnson. In addition to paying tribute to Elvis, Matthew has performed in over 45 musical theater productions throughout New York. Matthew plays guitar, piano, bass and drums, and enjoys performing as a solo acoustic artist, singing all types of music, including his own originals. He’s thrilled to be part of Niagara Falls Elvis Fest, and we are thrilled that he will be joining us!
Dave Weaver has been a fan of Elvis ever since he can remember. And later in life he realized that he could sing some of his song well enough to perform tribute shows. Dave has been performing tribute to the King for 18 years. During that time he has performed and competed in Memphis, TN, Lake George, NY, Brunswick, GA, Manchester, NH, Las Vegas, NV, Dewey Beach, DE, Barrie, ON, Niagara Falls, ON, Westfield, NY, along with many other shows throughout New York State and Pennsylvania.
In keeping true to Elvis' generosity, not only to his friends, but to different charities, Dave has raised a few thousand dollars for the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life over the years and has performed to benefit other local charities. Dave is excited to be back in the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival and we are very happy to welcome him back!
2018 Niagara Falls Elvis Festival Champion Cote Deonath returns! Cote will be part of our spectacular Elvis: Memories show on Friday, April 26, 2019.
You don't want to miss the winner of the 2018 Images of the King contest, champion of the 2018 Branson Elvis Festival and the Grand Champion of the 2018 Tweed Elvis Festival.
He's back! Don't miss Di Diogo Light at the 2019 Niagara Falls Elvis Festival. Diogo will be back in Niagara for the third time, performing in our Saturday night show Elvis: The Way It Was AND in our Sunday Gospel Hour: Where No One Stands Alone.
Bruno Nesci is an international award-winning tribute artist based in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada. His passion for Elvis sparked at a very young age and has continued to drive his extraordinary success.
Bruno’s performances and his authentic renditions of the King’s music have gained worldwide attention. Bruno has played alongside Elvis’s iconic band members, including Elvis’s drummer in the 50s, DJ Fontana, The Sweet Inspirations and a few of Elvis’s close friends and co-stars like Joe Esposito and Cynthia Pepper, as well as Charles Stone.
In his 18 years as a tribute artist, Bruno Nesci has performed around the world and has garnered 28 titles at various contests worldwide. Bruno won the 2017 Peoples Choice Award and represented the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival in the Ultimate Finals in Memphis. This will be Bruno's third time at our Festival and we are thrilled to welcome him back.
Marnie Lee Mackintosh is a one of a kind Tribute Artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba who captures audiences with an authentic, alluring appearance and characteristics of “The King.” Marnie’s dynamic Tribute delivers a fascinating high energy performance showcasing the legendary eras of this Rock n’ Roll icon. Marnie is a multiple Elvis Tribute Competition finalist, who is a dedicated and passionate performer blazing the trail to keep the legacy of Elvis alive for all generations to enjoy. This will be Marnie's second year at the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival and we are pleased to welcome her back for 2019
James Gibb As a lifelong Elvis fan, James Gibb channeled his love for Elvis into a tribute, portraying Elvis in his “Early Years". Since starting out, James has gone on to win 1st place in many competitions.
One of the most important being 1st Place at the 2014 Tweed Elvis Festival which secured James a spot in the 2015 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest held in Memphis, Tennessee.
James is also very proud of his 2014 Flaming Star Elvis Festival Gospel Champion title as well as his 2011 Pro Early Years Grand Champion title at the Collingwood Elvis Festival.
Welcome back to the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival, James.
Richard Wolfe hails from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has been competing for over 10 years and has won many championship titles including 2013 Lake George's Non Pro Champion, 2014 Collingwood's Movie Years Champion, King Trilogy Grand Champion, Flaming Star Festival 2015 Gospel Champion and Pro Division Grand Champion, and 3rd place winner Flaming Star Festival 2017
The highlight of Richard's career was winning Collingwood's Non Pro Early Years in 2013 sending him to Memphis to compete for the Ultimate!
You can find Richard performing at festivals and shows throughout Canada and the United States.
No matter where he performs, the energy Wolfe exhibits brings any audience to their feet, and makes them twist and shout! Welcome back to Niagara Falls!
Sylvain Leduc, a native of Valleyfield, Quebec, was first introduced to Elvis' music as a young child by his uncle. It was at an early age, while living in Massachusetts, USA with his family, that Sylvain was set on the path to becoming an Elvis Tribute Artist.
At the age of 15, with his first Elvis record in hand, "I'm Leavin"/Heart of Rome", Sylvain began his tribute to Elvis and never looked back. Competing professionally since 2015, Sylvain has multiple awards and accomplishments to his credit. His most recent accolades include Top-10 Finalist in the 2018 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and 1st Runner-Up in the renowned Images of the King Contest in Memphis, Tennessee.
Sylvain is honoured to return to the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival to join his ETA brothers and the fans in celebrating Elvis's life in music. Welcome back Sylvain!
Oliver Steinhoff, from Germany, became an Elvis fan at the age of 8. Since then Elvis and his music has made a tremendous impact on his life. Oliver feels his tribute to Elvis is not just that he is a fan but is the means to bring a legacy to the next generation by sharing his love of Elvis music with new and old fans. Oliver is an international Champion, winning many awards including the European Grand Champion twice. Oliver is pleased to be making his first visit to Niagara Falls and we are thrilled to welcome him
to our Festival.
Patrick Johnson As a young boy, Patrick, who was born in Ireland, but resides in the USA, watched and was fascinated by Elvis Presley’s movies. Elvis soon became his hero. Over the years, Patrick has recreated the music and excitement of Elvis in concert venues, casinos, and participated in benefits and private events locally and in the United States and Canada. Aside from singing, his ability to interact with the audience through his humor is one of his best attributes. Comfortable on stage, Patrick has fun while entertaining the crowd. Patrick represented New York, performing in the first Elvis festival in Ireland. He competed in the 1st Niagara Falls Elvis Festival in 2017, and in 2018 placed in the top 10.
We are pleased to welcome Patrick back to our stage.
Don't miss 2014 Ultimate Champion Jay Dupuis at the 2019 Niagara Falls Elvis Festival.
JAY DUPUIS AS ELVIS will be headlining the Elvis Memories Show on Friday, April 26, 2019