Those who attend PBX & MEX annually know it’s about a lot more than Photo Booths and DJ Gear. Entertainment is the core focus and because this is Las Vegas, you never know who might show up on show floor unannounced and unexpected.

This time we’re letting one of the cats out of the bag early— and that cat is Timothy Connolly, a.k.a The Ukulele Hero, a.k.a Sonny Calzone.

Like many entertainers, Tim finds joy by bringing joy to others, and he does that primarily through music. “My greatest gift is my determination to help keep great music from the 20th century alive here in the 21st century. There’s so much music and so little time.” But there’s more to Tim than music. The guy is a real survivor with a quite an inspiring back story.

His birth home was in Long Beach, NY, also known for being the location of the Corleone family compound in “The Godfather.” Timothy’s nickname “Sonny Calzone” came from his similarity to Sonny Corleone—and his love for calzones.

One day in 1974, at the age of three, his life changed dramatically. Kids like to play on stairs and he was finding it quite fun to leap Calvin & Hobbes style into a pile of pillows at the bottom of a stairwell. This was in an older building which still had cast iron radiators (you can probably guess where this is going). On one particular jump, he missed the pillows and went head first into one of those old radiators. The result was a traumatic head injury that cost him his hearing. “I was born with healthy hearing,” he explains, “Approximately ten percent remains and I have no recollection of what it was like. I mostly ‘feel’ sound instead of ‘hear’ sound.”

His connection to music and performing was inherited from his parents. His father played guitar and piano and his mom enjoyed singing karaoke.

Tim joined his first band in 1991 at age 20 on Long Island. “We were very much a ‘garage band’ at first, but it wouldn’t be long before we became a proper rock-and-roll outfit. I later became a founding member of the award-winning ‘Suck It Easy’ band in 2002. That visionary groundbreaking band had two squads… one squad was our cover band that focused on music from the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and the other squad was our freeform improvisational band that performed ‘concept concerts’ and recorded studio albums—three albums of which exist on compact disc in more than 20 countries.”.

Tim left New York in January 2018 for new adventures in the great American west (and also to escape from crazed fans and stalkers in New York.) Even though he no longer drinks or gambles, he has found Las Vegas to be a perfect location. “On weekdays,” he says, “I am the mild-mannered Clark Kent of the logistics industry (working for Scan Global Logistics. By night and on weekends, I am both the Ukulele Hero and the Qigong Coach that this city so richly deserves.”

In 2008, a friend gifted him a ukulele and over the next fifteen years went from playing campfire songs to developing a repertoire of one thousand songs or more.

In a recent interview published in “Vegas 411”, Timothy a.k.a. “The Ukulele Hero” said, “Being both a Qigong coach and a mediation coach allows me to help others become more grateful, mindful, and peaceful. To become their real selves, have better mobility, reconnect with breath, utilize breathing patterns for certain results, and so on. I’m a fun coach, too, with many years of experience. A specialty of mine is helping beginners to discover both Qigong and mediation for the first time.”

PBX Show Producer, Rob Savickis, caught up with Timothy last summer in Las Vegas and invited him to come and share his music, his story and his philosophies on life at MEX/PBX 2024. You’ll get a chance to meet him as you enter the PBX Seminar room—and be sure to stop his booth on the show floor. “When attendees visit my booth, they can meet me and hear me strumming a Fender tenor ukulele. Visitors can also book me in-person, to perform at their corporate events, private parties, weddings and lots more. PBX/MEX will be an incredible experience and I am thrilled to be a part of it with all of you.

More about Tim


Below: Tim fronts Suck It Easy

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