The Crowd: Would you guess this man can sing?

January 16, 2014|By B.W. Cook
  • Bill Coté, center, surrounded by the musicians of the Tamir Hendelman (seated) trio set to perform Jan. 18 at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Corona del Mar.
Bill Coté, center, surrounded by the musicians… (Bill Coté )

Society tends to label people based on their profession. With these labels comes the inevitable value judgment, and what follows is a tendency to pigeonhole folks into social categories.

There should be no surprise when a person breaks the mold. Why is it shocking for a doctor to also be an artist or a farmer to be an engineer who invents a tool that revolutionizes an industry?

In Newport Beach this week, a man known to the community as a longtime successful real estate peddler will step in front of the microphone and, backed by an A-list of Hollywood musicians, sing his heart out.

Bill Coté will join the Tamir Hendelman Trio on Saturday evening in concert at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Corona del Mar, introducing to the world his first CD recording of some of the classic songs from the 20th-century American jazz songbook.

"I've been singing jazz standards for 50 years," reports Coté. "Recording my own CD has been a longtime dream."


The road to recording for Coté began in 2010 when he met Tamir Hendelman on a vacation that was promoted as a "jazz cruise." Hendelman was a featured pianist with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and he has performed and recorded with Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole and many others. He can be seen (and heard) on the Streisand special "Back to Brooklyn," which has been airing on PBS stations nationwide.

Coté struck up a conversation with Hendelman, and that led to making a little music together on board the cruise. Three years later, a CD titled "Where Do You Start" is born, and Coté will debut his dream for friends and jazz lovers in his own backyard.

Opening night at the BCYC will include dinner followed by a performance at 7 p.m. staring Coté, Hendelman and musicians Luther Hughes, Kendall Kay, Jeff Ellwood and Ron Eschete.

Included in the performance will be a selection of songs such as "Where or When," which Coté confides was one of his dating songs in high school. As a big fan of Tony Bennett, he will perform "When Do the Bells Ring for Me" as well as Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse's "Who Can I Turn To" and, for his wife of 43 years, Alan and Marilyn Bergman's "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?"

Also on the CD are such classics as "On a Clear Day," "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most," "When Sunny Gets Blue" and Coté's nod to Los Angeles titled "LA State of Mind."

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