Britbeat sets sail with Beatles tribute cruise

March 26, 2010 8:49:48 AM PDT
It's not aboard a yellow submarine, but BritBeat is setting sail on a Beatles Tribute Cruise. The Chicago-based Beatles tribute band will join fans of the world's most famous band when they set sail this weekend from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. BritBeat will join renowned Beatles artists, photographers, authors and ex-girlfriends of the famous group during the cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas In addition to featuring band trivia, and karaoke and autograph sessions, the cruise will also hold an auction of Beatles memorabilia for the Dara Roberts Fund. BritBeat will hit the stage with three shows that include a special Costume/Dance Party and a set list loaded with all the high-octane Beatles numbers as well as a full production show covering the complete history of the Beatles' music catalog.

Band members include James Lynch as John Lennon, Chris Getsla as Paul McCartney, Danny Leavitt as George Harrison, Dave Robinson as Ringo Starr and Kyle Mann on keyboard. Originating in Chicago, BritBeat has been playing locally and around the country for festivals, corporations and special events since the band was formed in 2001. Complete with mop tops, retro costumes, vintage instruments, and harmonizing vocals, BritBeat catapults audiences back to 1964. paying tribute to the Beatles with their authentic recreation of the greatest rock and roll group of all time. BritBeat performs all of the memorable Beatle hits from the 1960s with British style, charisma and Liverpudlian character. Embodying the same youthful excitement and boyish charm as the original 'Fab Four,' BritBeat recreates the electrifying performances first brought to stage by the Beatles when they invaded the American scene and instigated the craze fondly-known as 'Beatle mania'.

BritBeat's production is a live concert setting featuring the ascending Beatles' eras of music including Ed Sullivan, Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road with suit and instrument changes along with all the memorable hits. As well as musical, it is a visual, multimedia and theatrical experience that will appeal to audiences of all ages. BritBeat has researched the Beatles extensively from their American start in 1964 and brings to the stage an authentic and accurate concert tribute. The band's look, mannerisms, English accents, and musical talents combine for an unparalleled vintage re-creation available that has garnered rave reviews from audiences and venues alike.

In 2002, BritBeat, in association with the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, performed the 'Return to Beatle mania Concert - Chicago Welcomes Paul McCartney' to welcome the musician back to town for his Driving USA concert. In 2005 they performed together with Pete Best, the original Beatles drummer, for the 40th anniversary of the Beatles concert at Chicago's Comiskey Park. In 2007, BritBeat performed in association with Sony Pictures at the Chicago premiere of the Beatle's musical-themed movie 'Across the Universe.'

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Christopher Getsla (Paul) is a native and current resident of Chicago. He attended Glenbrook South High School where he met Danny Leavitt on the school bus just like the actual Paul and George. Getsla also attended Oakton Community College and Illinois State University. Chris is actually left handed just like Paul. He visited Paul's childhood home in England on '20 Forthlin Road', sat on his bed in his room and retraced Paul's steps by visiting the Jacaranda Club, The Casbah Club and the Cavern Club in Liverpool. His original Hofner Bass guitar, which he used to perform with, he traded in and eventually that guitar was sold to the video crew for Paul McCartney's US tour and Paul ended up signing that guitar. Getsla was honored at the 1997 State of The Union Address by President Bill Clinton as one of two students and one teacher chosen to be recognized as representatives of Northern Illinois scoring 'First In The World' on a international assessment of the mathematics and science knowledge of fourth- and eighth-grade students around the world. He is an avid Cubs fan.

Danny Leavitt (George) currently lives in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. He is a native of Glenview. He attended Glenbrook South High School, Northwestern University and University of Chicago. Leavitt has recorded in Abbey Road Studios, visited England and re-traced George's steps at many popular sites including the Cavern Club (the popular Club the Beatles used to play in Liverpool).

James Lynch (John) resides in Chicago. He attended Holy Cross High in River Grove and Steinmetz High Chicago. Lynch has recorded in Abbey Road Studios where he played the song 'Slow Down' on the original piano used on some Beatles songs. He has visited England and re-traced John's steps at many popular sites. He visited John's home where he actually sat on John's bed. He has played the Cavern Club, the popular club where the Beatles used to play in Liverpool, and sang 'Ballad of John and Yoko' in the John and Yoko suite at the Amsterdam Hilton during a Beatles Tour Group. He literally learned to play guitar listening to Beatles and Lennon. Lynch was previously featured on the Travel Channel's special 'Beatle mania Britain' which was also picked up by American Airlines and shown on flights to Europe. He also helped promote 'Beatles 1' record with tour of South Korea for the Hyundai Corporation. He is an avid Cubs fan.

David Robinson (Ringo) currently lives in Rockford where he is a native of. He attended Lena-Winslow High. Robinson, a left-handed drummer who plays right-handed just like Ringo, spent years studying Ringo and his drum sets. The drum set that Robinson plays is completely 1960's vintage. Robinson won the solo drummer competition - Thundering Drums D.I.G. Drum Instructors Guild in 1994 and 1997.

Kyle Mann (Billy Preston, keyboards) is a resident of Clarendon Hills. He is a graduate of Elmhurst College. Mann has studied the Beatles extensively since childhood and 'keyed' in on the piano and orchestration parts always trying to recreate the sounds. He not only plays the keyboards for BRITBEAT, but also utilizes cowbells, shakers and other percussion instruments to further obtain the Beatles sounds throughout their career.