STAMFORD, Conn. — Stamford resident Illario Altamura, co-founder of Parachute Concerts, has come a long way from his days at Hofstra University, where he spread the news about events he was promoting on foot.
"Back then, there was no Facebook. I got the word out by walking around campus handing out fliers and putting them under dormitory room doors and on cars," said Altamura, who is now 33.
Parachute Concerts is a 2-year-old concert promoting business that Altamura owns with his partner, Ross Atamian.
“I took a liking for the whole business from the age of 18. I enjoy seeing people go out and have a good time together. It’s great seeing my hard work pay off," Altamura said about his growing business.
For Altamura, the road to success took hard work, persistence and perseverance. For an event to go well, “You need good entertainment and good music. Also, you need the place to be packed," he said.
After he graduated from Hofstra and moved back to Stamford, he quickly saw there was a big void in the nightlife there. “I was used to going out and partying in New York City where there was much more of a nightclub scene," he said.
So, he got to work doing what he does best — making connections and spreading the word.
"I wanted to bring more of a New York City vibe to Stamford. My goal was to bring in big electronic DJs."
With this in mind, Altamura approached the owner at the former Grand Nightclub in Stamford about doing a show with DJ Jonathan Peters.
“After some convincing, he gave me a Sunday night on Martin Luther King weekend -- a night he would have been closed,: Altamura said. “The owner didn’t want to take the risk to pay for him so I had to put up the money for him myself."
It turned out that a snowstorm struck that night, and Altamura was nervous. But the event turned out to be a huge success, with 500 people coming out for it.
From that point on, Altamura’s career took off. Parachute Concerts promotes classical, rock, comedy and pop shows. He has brought in such celebrities as Ringo Starr, Carol Burnett, Tony Bennett, Frankie Valli and Diana Ross for shows.
He also produces the "I Love The '90s Tour" that features such artists as Vanilla Ice and Salt-N-Pepa.
He said a key to being successful is “being creative and having a vision of what you think will work.”
Over the next 10 years, he wants to promote more shows and bigger and better artists -- “not only across the U.S. but across the world.”