Jon Kondal, above, is an entertainer in an era where they are in short supply. A little dancing, a little conversing, a lot of singing - it's something the native Buffalonian has pursued with passion on Western New York stages for the past 40 years. Kondal works as a real estate agent with Hunt Real Estate in Tonawanda by day, but can often be found interpreting other artists' material in his own inimitable style by night. Some nights it's doing an Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra or Al Jolson show, or singing bunches of rock 'n' roll oldies or country songs. This weekend, it'll be Neil Diamond, as Kondal puts his stamp on such songs as "Sweet Caroline" and "Kentucky Woman" at the Montrose Lounge in Tonawanda.
Don't expect to find a band backing Kondal, however. Long before karaoke came into vogue - and long after - he has done his singing to backing tracks. "I was the first guy to do this in Buffalo. I used to do it with just instrumental records," Kondal said. "No one did it. I thought: "Hey, it's a cool idea. No one has used canned music before.' There's nothing like a live band, but the reason why I did what I did was I could get the work and it was doing what I wanted to do." Kondal, who also performs 8 p.m. shows on Fridays and Saturdays at Middleport Inn in Middleport, says there's no comparison between what people in karaoke bars do and what he does. "I'm the complete package," he said. See for yourself Sunday at the Montrose Lounge, 365 Somerville Ave., where Kondal will perform the first of three sets beginning at 6:30 p.m. There's no cover charge. For more info, call 836-9717.