Rocky Fretz
Gig Seeker Pro

Rocky Fretz

| INDIE

| INDIE
Band Classical New Age

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Have you ever heard Rocky T. Fretz play the piano?

Well, here's hoping you get to hear him someday - especially, if you enjoy piano music performed with gusto, enthusiasm and heart.

My pleasure to hear him happened at Brookgreen Gardens Cool Summer Evening Series in July - and wow, with his dynamic movement and renditions of pieces by various musicians and his own compositions, my focus never wavered during those musical moments. - Sun News, The (Myrtle Beach, SC)


Posted on Fri, Sep. 16, 2005
LEGENDS IN CONCERT

Fretz and friends open new show
By Elaine Gaston
The Sun News

Impassioned piano playing, rich vocals and humor converge for a new musical variety show featuring keyboardist Rocky T. Fretz at Legends in Concert's theater in Surfside Beach.

Fretz recently completed a series of performances for Brookgreen Gardens' Cool Summer Evenings program.

Fretz, 47, returns to the digs where he first launched his career as one of the original cast members of The Carolina Opry when it opened at the venue in 1986, and which is now home to Legends in Concert. He left The Carolina Opry about two years ago to pursue other interests.

"It culminates a long-standing dream to eventually have our own show on the Grand Strand," Fretz said. "It seemed like the right thing to do."

Performances are at 5 p.m. every Saturday through November and then Thursdays in December. The show is about 75 minutes long and coincides with the release of Fretz' latest CD, "Faith-Walking on Water."

The cast includes percussionist Greg Ford; keyboardist John Kilik from the Legends in Concert orchestra; violin and fiddle champion Robert Napier from The Alabama Theater's "One" show; bass guitarist Patrick O'Leary; vocalist Heather Whitley; former Carolina Opry emcee Tony Teachy; guitarist Kid Drew; and comedian Bobby Shropshire.

"This show is all about the music and the cast working together," Fretz said. "It's all about the connection that music builds between us and the audience."

Audiences won't hear a lot of singing or see a lot of dancing. That's intentional, Fretz said.

"Ours is a lot of playing music, a more instrumental show than the others," Fretz said. "The real benefit to the person who comes is that they will hear tons and tons of really great music from all different kinds of genres."

Fretz, who's been playing piano since he was a youngster, said his goal with the show is to connect with audiences and leave them feeling they've been a part of something after the show ends.

"Music is a valuable tool," he said. "It's important we don't leave it out of our daily lives. The pieces I pick are decided on how I think it's going to have an impact on that person and how will they be positively changed by it."

The show won't interfere with the venue's regular tribute shows, which are held later in the evening.

"I thought it was a neat opportunity to fill a niche out there where there seems to be a void right now: a piano-driven entertainment product," said Brian Brigner, regional manager of Legends in Concert.

"He's an entertainment staple in the music community who's [been] in this town for 20 years, who's highly respected not only by his peers but by the people who've seen him perform.

"He's got a great local following. I know it will be clean and very presentable. We want to help him make it work."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you go

What | Rocky's Piano Grande

When | 5 p.m. Saturdays through November; and 5 p.m. Thursdays in December

Where | Legends in Concert, 301 U.S. 17 N., Surfside Beach

How much | $23.95 ages 13 and older; $21.95 for locals with ID; free for ages 12 and younger with a paying adult

238-7827 or visit www.legendsinconcertsc.com

- Published on September 16, 2005, Page 21, Sun News, The (Myrtle Beach, SC)


Internationally known pianist Rocky T. Fretz debuts his latest piano rich, full production music show in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina entertainment market.


(PRWEB) August 26, 2005 -- Internationally known pianist and recording artist Rocky T. Fretz returns to the theater stage this Fall/Christmas 2005 season when Fretz debuts his new show, “ROCKY’S PIANO GRANDE,” at the Legends In Concert Theatre in Surfside Beach, SC.

The Fall Season shows, opening on Saturday September 17 are presented every Saturday evening at 5:00 PM through October 29.

Piano Grande Christmas shows are Saturday evenings at 5:00 PM in November and Thursdays in December.

Both are fast paced, piano rich, full production musical showcases designed to appeal to the artistic side of its guests.

Fretz, who has long been a dominant force in the regional entertainment scene and supporter of the arts community, believes the show will appeal to an undervalued niche in the market. “Our goal as a cast and production company is to be the very best in the general market at what WE do,” Rocky explains.”…and what we do is quite different than the current perception of what to expect when seeing a ‘show’ in the Myrtle beach entertainment arena.”

Fretz continues. “…we are not interested in performing or producing shows that try to be everything to everyone. That market is needed but well serviced. While certainly appropriate for all ages (remember children get in free), extremely fun and interactive, the content and presentation appeal to a discerning guest with unpretentious elegance and affordable sophistication".

Centering on Fretz’s impassioned piano, the show will also feature the rich vocal styling of singer Heather Whitley and the incomparable humor of Bobby Shropshire whose work is well known nationally.

“I'm thrilled to join Rocky on the same stage where we enjoyed so many performances in the past.” Bobby says. “The holidays will be even more special as well when, of course as the season progresses, the theme will turn to Christmas.”

Rhythmic underpinnings and dramatic orchestrations will be supplied by an amazing ensemble under the direction of bass virtuoso Patrick O’Leary

“ROCKY’S PIANO GRANDE’ will be quite a bit different from our performances,” says Brian Brigner, regional manger of Legends In Concert Theaters.., “But we're quite excited about it. It’s a niche that needed to be addressed, and we're very confident that Rocky and cast, with their inspiring performances, are just the entertainers to do so.”.

“We're hosting ROCKY’S PIANO GRANDE in addition to our normal line-up. And a very welcome addition it is.”

Rocky’s new CD releases, “Zeal - Soar...Spirit Soar” an original jazz offering and “Faith - Walking On Water” a collection of solo sacred music piano works are scheduled for release in conjunction with the Saturday, September 17 opening night.

Performing on the stage of the Legends in Concert Theater is something Fretz is excited about for personal reasons as well. “When the very first show of its kind on the Grand Strand premiered right here on this stage twenty years ago, I was at the piano,” he says. “Now I'm coming back with my own show and I am humbled by the opportunity and am truly stoked!”

- PR WEB Press Release


NOVEMBER 16, 2005

Rocky's Piano Grande

When | 5 p.m. Saturdays in November and Thursdays in December
Where | Legends In Concert Theatre, 301 U.S. 17 N., Surfside Beach
How much | $23.95 for adults and free for children with a paying adult; 238-7827

What you'll see |

Except for a couple of costume changes by the pianist and an accompanying vocalist and a stage decked out for Christmas, this musical production is not about the visual elements as much as it is a feast for the ears.

"Rocky's Piano Grande" is piano-focused - rich and melodramatic - designed to appeal to the artistic side of the audience and spark the Christmas spirit.

What you'll hear |

Pianist Rocky T. Fretz passionately delivers a host of holiday faves, including "Away In a Manger," which opens the show; "Joy to the World," with vocalist Heather Whitley and joined by the Marion County Mass Choir; a jazzed up version of "We Three Kings"; an explosive "The First Noel"; a goose-bump invoking "A Child is Born," a Christmas song Fretz wrote; a bluesy rendition of "A Christmas Story," which features dramatic tempo changes; a playful "It's Christmas Morning"; and a smile-inducing "The Little Drummer Boy," for which Fretz artistically blends a little bit from Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown sound from "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

You'll recognize Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy" on the left hand and the "The Little Drummer Boy" on the right hand, Fretz alerts the audience during a recent performance.

Other Christmas classics are featured, including a jazzy rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"; a powerful "In Excelsis Gloria"; and a funked-up "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," which also closes the show.

Fretz is accompanied by musicians John Kilik, keyboardist from the Legends In Concert orchestra; bass guitarist Patrick O'Leary; vocalist Heather Whitley; and percussionist Randy Porshay.

Fun factor/snore factor |

Cat-nappers beware: Just when the tickling of the ebony and ivory has nearly lulled you into a tranquilizing reverie, you're catapulted back by the more boisterous melodic ebbs and flows mastered beneath Fretz's fingers.

Nudging your snoring neighbor? Not required. Toe-tapping and subtle head swaying? Inevitable.

Festive factor |

If Christmas spirit has seemed elusive thus far, 90 minutes of nothing but holiday music is certain to ignite the fires. Or at least it will surely have you humming "Rudoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as you leave the theater.

Concessions/extras | Tip: Visit the concession stand before the show, as there is no intermission. Refreshments include sodas, coffee, beer and wine, popcorn, pretzels and candy. Items range from $1-$4. After the show, you can shop in the venue's gift shop or pick up a copy of one of Fretz's CDs, including his holiday CD, "From Rocky For Christmas" and his newest CD, "Faith-Walking on Water." CDs are $15.
- The Sun News -Elaine Gaston


For the perfect ending to a day, enjoy evenings at Brookgreen Gardens in Pawleys Island, SC, every Wed.-Fri., through Aug. 20, 2004, during Cool Summer Evenings, featuring evenings with music, drama, picnics and boat tours and the Brookgreen sculpture.

"This year, we decided to bring the focus for Cool Summer Evenings back to the gardens," said Helen Benso, vice president for marketing at Brookgreen. "The soft evening glow offers visitors a chance to see the gardens in a new and different light."

All three evenings visitors can witness a spectacular sunset aboard The Springfield, Brookgreen's 48' pontoon boat, as it winds its way through freshwater creeks and abandoned rice fields. They may also purchase a cool picnic supper from a variety of gourmet items and dine surrounded by a canopy of massive live oak trees anywhere in the sculpture garden.

Wednesdays, experience history where history was made as Brookgreen presents the play, Aaron and Theodosia, the dramatic story of Aaron Burr, third vice-president of the United States and his daughter, Theodosia, who married Joseph Alston and lived on one of the plantations at Brookgreen and whose disappearance at sea still remains a mystery. Written by Katherine Kellam, Aaron and Theodosia stars local actors Bill Oberst, Jr. and Kelly Callahan.

On Thursday evenings, kids take center stage when Brookgreen offers Kids Kaleidoscope, a changing schedule of storytelling and animals programs. Adults can relax and listen as musicians fill the gardens with soft string music.

Smooth Summer Music on Fridays provides a relaxing atmosphere to unwind and enjoy the gardens at dusk. Headline performers include pianist, Rocky Fretz, former star of the Carolina Opry and Charleston's Nikolai Svishev's Trio playing gypsy swing with influences of new flamenco.

Brookgreen Gardens contains the Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden, the country's first sculpture garden where more than 550 works of American sculpture are displayed and the Lowcountry History and Wildlife Preserve, which contains several thousand acres of native plants and animals.
- Carolina Arts


Powerful pianist rocks

Musician's career grows, new possibilities open

By Johanna D. Wilson
The Sun News

Folks feel Rocky Fretz as soon as his fingers touch the ivory keys of the Yamaha piano he commands with genius.

His I-want-to-inspire-your-soul sincerity is evident.

"You can feel Rocky's passion," says Chris Beattie, 48, assistant general manager of Legends In Concert in Surfside Beach. "The first time I saw Rocky play, I was moved."

Fretz was one of the original cast members at The Carolina Opry in 1986 and remained a featured musician there until 2003. During that time, Fretz had more than 4,000 performances.

Since striking out on his own, Fretz has performed at numerous venues, including Brookgreen Gardens. In 2004, his talent got the attention of Gov. Mark Sanford, who invited him to perform at a reception in honor of former state Rep. Tom Keegan at the S.C. Governor's Mansion.

This year, he's staged his own show at the Legends in Concert theater. In January, he hopes to make his name known globally by attending a music conference in Cannes, France.

"Music has become my voice," says Fretz, a warm fellow who smiles endlessly, gives firm handshakes and gentle hugs.

"I became tired of taking about my faith, and I wanted to live it more and play it."

Fretz's singular, musical aim is to touch hearts and somehow make people richer spiritually and emotionally.

This exemplary pianist wants folks to walk away from his performance with a renewed sense of purpose and passion.

Fretz is that deep. And his talent is that grand. He is convinced that music helps people hear God. And for those who don't believe in God, he thinks music can open them up to the possibility of God.

"We don't use music enough to heal and mend relationships," says Fretz. "I believe music is a divine tool that God gives us to use, and I think we need to use it to help us get to a place where we can communicate with God, one on one."

Members of the Marion County Mass Choir were elated to find Fretz could bring his funky feelings to gospel just as easily as he could to classical and jazz music.

The choir performs with Fretz in "Rocky's Piano Grande," a Christmas show at Legends in Concert. The show, which began in September, runs for the last time 5 p.m. Thursday.

"I was impressed by his versatility," says Elder Gregory Davis, 39, a choir member and pastor of Greater Anointed Word Church in Marion. "He can play, but he also feels. He gets into the spirit of the music, and that's important because you can never expect people to project what they do not feel."

Davis and his wife, Yolanda Davis, 41, are pleased to see that Fretz doesn't act reserved during performances.

Fretz can praise with the best of them. He will shake his head, stomp his feet and jump up from his seat. Such demonstrations of emotions are displayed even when his body isn't at its best.

At his Nov. 19 performance at Legends in Concert, he had a terrible cold.

This was not evident, however, until he asked the audience to excuse his voice while he tried to sing an original Christmas song he wrote.

He sang, and the applause was thunderous. Some folks even gave him a standing ovation.

"I think he mesmerizes his audiences, even those who are not pure piano lovers," Beattie says. "He even captures those who didn't come just to hear a pianist. They walk away saying, 'Wow! That was so amazing!' He has passion, and you can feel it."

The words "passion" and "feel," as you have read, pop up often when Fretz is the topic of conversation.

Jackie Redding, a Murrells Inlet resident who has been planning motorcoach tours for 23 years in this region, says when folks know Fretz will be performing some place, the venue is always packed.

She has watched as Fretz mesmerized people.

So was at the scene recently when Fretz performed at Brookgreen Gardens for its annual "Nights of a Thousand Candles."

Fretz will perform in the event at 5:45, 7:15 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 16-17.

"Van Cliburn [a Shreveport, La., native and child prodigy who won the First International Tchaikovsky's Piano Competition in 1958 at age 23] was a tremendous pianist who could play the piano like nobody else, and I put Rocky in that same category," Redding says. "Rocky can play the piano like nobody else. He brings such great feelings to music that it makes him stand out."

Fretz is a former rock 'n' roller who played in country-rock band called Knight Rider awhile back.

He met his wife of 20 years, Kimberly Fretz, 45, when he played in that Charleston band.

Yet long before he fell for rock and his wife, piano sounds echoed throughout his being.

"My mom sang hymns in church a little bit, but it was actually a cousin who turned me on to piano," says Fretz, who was born in Kennett, Mo. "Her name was Beth, and she was a little older. I would go over to her house and watch her play."

Fast forward to him settling down in Myrtle Beach a - The Sun News - Posted on Dec. 11


Will Ackerman writes;

"I think this story says a lot....I was performing a concert about a year ago along with a handful of some pretty talented people.

I invited Rocky Fretz up to do a piece and the audience just went nuts.

I’d always thought Rocky was brilliant, but seeing the reaction of the audience went a long way to convince me that the world sees him in the same way."

Will continues..."Rocky moves between heartbreakingly gentle beauty and driving rhythm with utter grace, somehow merging these worlds seamlessly in his composition."

"Rocky is as gifted a pianist as I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He has 30 years as a performer and recording artist behind him and it shows. He is a consummate performer and a marvelous composer.

"I love the way you hit that machine Rocky!"

Will Ackerman
Grammy Award Winning Recording Artist and Founder of Windham Hill Records.
Windham County, Vermont - Will Ackerman


Corin Nelsen (a recent Grammy Award winner)describes the "New Acoustic" piano music on Rocky's 2009 release produced by Will Ackermaan...

Mr. Nelsen says, "In 'The Path Ahead...and steps then taken.' Rocky guides the listener through 360 degrees of emotions and dynamic expression with ease. The piano, in his skillful hands, becomes the vehicle needed for this fantastic and eclectic musical journey."

"No need to buckle in, Mr. Nelsen continues... because Rocky is at the wheel!"

Corin Nelsen
Grammy Award Winning Engineer
Imaginary Road Recording Studios
Windham County, VT - Corin Nelsen


Internationally acclaimed actor Bill Oberst, Jr. comments on Rocky's performances:

"Mark Twain once said 'There are things about audiences that cannot be taught; only learned.'
To be on stage with Rocky is to know the truth of that statement.

Mr. Oberst continues, "I strive to connect personally with my audiences, and it sometimes happens, but with Rocky, it is effortless communion."

"I think it is simply this: once an audience meets Rocky, they fall in love. And that is the thing that cannot be taught - how to make a roomful of strangers love you and your art form so passionately that they are on your side because they can tell that you love them." "Rocky never takes from an audience - he gives. And that is why they love him."

Bill Oberst, Jr.
SAG Member
Acclaimed Actor - Bill Oberst Jr.


Discography

BUY Rocky CDs -email rocky@rockyfretz.com

Christmas Off The Streets (1996 out of print) remastered version available

A BETTER WAY (1999) Cover CD Broadway, Movie Themes, Originals, Sacred

FROM ROCKY FOR CHRISTMAS (2000) Rocky and orchestra play Christmas Classics

MUSIC THAT HEALS (2001) Original New Age CD

IMAGINATION -"Vision Beyond Appearances" (2003) Original New Acoustic Solo Piano (LIVE) CD

FAITH - "Walking On Water" (2005) Hymns with original preludes- solo piano.

ZEAL- "Soar...Spirit Soar" (2006) Original Jazz CD Trio Featuring Bassist Patrick O'Leary

Christmas Morning (2006) Solo Piano - unigue arrangements of interesting Christmas songs plus two originals.

2008/09
THE PATH AHEAD produced by Will Ackerman
New Acoustic CD 1/2 solo piano 1/2 ensemble including Cello, Flugal Horn, Violin, Percussion, Mandolin, Guitar, and more. All original except interpretation of "Pictures" by Will Ackerman

Buy Rocky CDs email rocky@rockyfretz.com

Photos

Bio

COMING SOON!

StillAStar.com The only talent show for entertainers 40 and up. Two divisions are being created. 40-64 and 65+
More information coming very soon so stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting. While we are preparing to launch the new StillAStar.com website feel free to browse my online press kit here to learn more about the creator of StillAStar.com and listen to and download some free music in thanks for your participation and patience!

Be well and have fun!

REMEMBER...You are Still A Star and always have been!

love and hugs,

rocky
to stay in the loop join the
FACEBOOK STILLASTAR GROUP
http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=103873359649772
-------------------------------------
More about pianist, performer, composer, recording artist and producer/creator of StillA Star talent contest and showcase.
Rocky Fretz

2009 brought new and exciting projects to fruition as Rocky teamed up with Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer (and founder of Windham Hill Records) Will Ackerman.

Will recently produced Rocky's new CD,"THE PATH AHEAD" (formerly titled Secret Symphony...all coupons valid))

On Sept 12 Rocky and Will performed together in Pawleys Island,SC to celebrate the release of the new CD.

Other players on the "THE PATH AHEAD" CD include Tbone Wolk-mandolin,accordian (RIP), Michael Manring, Patrick Oleary and Dan Greenspan, all on different basses, Eugene Friesen-cello, Steve Shuch-violin, Derrik Jordan-percussion, fiddle, Jeff Oster-flugelhorn, and Will Ackerman, David Cullen-guitar plus Noah Wilding's beautiful vocals.

Will Ackerman
Grammy Award Winning Recording Artist and Founder of Windham Hill Records says this about Rocky...
"I think this story says a lot....I was performing a concert about a year ago along with a handful of some pretty talented people.

I invited Rocky Fretz up to do a piece and the audience just went nuts.

I’d always thought Rocky was brilliant, but seeing the reaction of the audience went a long way to convince me that the world sees him in the same way."

Will continues..."Rocky moves between heartbreakingly gentle beauty and driving rhythm with utter grace, somehow merging these worlds seamlessly in his composition."

"Rocky is as gifted a pianist as I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He has 30 years as a performer and recording artist behind him and it shows. He is a consummate performer and a marvelous composer.

"I love the way you hit that machine Rocky!"
------------------------------------
Internationally acclaimed actor Bill Oberst, Jr. comments on Rocky's performances:

"Mark Twain once said 'There are things about audiences that cannot be taught; only learned.'
To be on stage with Rocky is to know the truth of that statement.

Mr. Oberst continues, "I strive to connect personally with my audiences, and it sometimes happens, but with Rocky, it is effortless communion."

"I think it is simply this: once an audience meets Rocky, they fall in love. And that is the thing that cannot be taught - how to make a roomful of strangers love you and your art form so passionately that they are on your side because they can tell that you love them." "Rocky never takes from an audience - he gives. And that is why they love him."

Gigs of note:
CD Release concert with Will Ackerman!

The Bitter End-NYC- with Lightwood
Pawleys Island Festival Of Music and Art-Pawleys Island, SC

Newberry Opera House-
City Of Morganton Municipal Auditorium

Brookgreen Gardens-Pawleys Island, SC- Nights of a Thousand Candles Christmas-Headline 2003-2008

Open for Marshall Tucker with Sawgrass Bluegrass Band

Jazz at Brookgreen Gardens

Piano Grande Stage Show- Legends In Concert Theater
Music Canvas (Rocky plus abstract artist)

Myrtle Beach, SC Performing Arts Center

The Carolina Opry Show

Good Vibrations Show-Gilmore Auditorium

Turkish/American Consulate - Ankara Turkey- Department of Defense Tour with Grand Ole Opry star and dearly loved fiddle great Bill Haney
On board a US carrier tender - Spain

Music helped Rocky found and, for the first 5 years, run, the only homeless shelter/rescue mission in the Myrtle Beach, SC area.

StreetReach Mission is now more than 10 years old and has recently moved into it's new 20,000 sq ft facility on several acres of property in MB. Music played a large part in the fund raising efforts to start the StreetReach Mission.

Rocky also proudly serves, alongside a distinguished group of Congressman, State Representatives, Senators and successful businessmen and women, as a Board Member-Coastal Youth Ballet Association.

Rocky serves as a consultant and Advisory Board Member-Marion County Technical Education Center's Audio/Visual Production Program under the direction of Morris Ward

Rocky was an original cast member, vocal director and the featured pianist of a large well known music variety show, The Carolina Opry, in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Rocky