Nashville, Tennessee based singer/songwriter and cruise ship entertainer Rob Ondras has the extraordinary ability to immediately connect with his audience and make them feel right at home. With a vast repertoire of one-thousand-plus songs stored in his memory, Ondras can quickly read his audience and perform each show as if it were tailor-made for them.
At only 5-years old, Rob Ondras began his musical career as one of The Beatles by tearing a picket from his neighbor’s fence, pretending it was a guitar and singing, “She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” while using the roof of his dad’s tool shed as a stage. A few months later, Rob’s dad grew tired of replacing pickets on their neighbor’s fence, so Rob’s mom bought him a Roy Rogers guitar. This propelled 5-year old Rob to the next phase of his career where he entertained family and friends by standing on the fireplace hearth singing Buck Owens songs with his new Roy Rogers guitar.
Thanks to a Zenith record player and his mother’s and older sister’s extensive record collections, Rob’s musical tastes were greatly influenced by the albums of a wide range of artists and entertainers from all genres from Country and Western and Folk to Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll. Ondras learned as many songs as possible from artists including Hank Williams, Sam Cooke, Buck Owens, Gordon Lightfoot, The Beatles and many more. But, it was the Jim Croce albums he received for his 12th Christmas that began to define Ondras’s musical direction.
Sharpening his skills as a musician, entertainer and songwriter in the Seattle area where he grew up, Rob eventually moved to the Midwest and ultimately to Nashville, Tennessee where he currently resides. Writing for a Christian music publisher, more than forty of Ondras’s songs were published and recorded through Mass Voice Music Publishers. He also received an award for an album by Songs For The Masses that sold over half-a-million units on which three of his own songs were included.
In early 2012, Ondras began performing for cruise lines. Primarily, Rob entertained in various ship lounges. But, after hearing Ondras sing a Neil Diamond set one evening, the musical director requested that Rob take his Neil Diamond Show (“A Hot Diamond Night!”) into the ship’s theater to perform a show with the orchestra. That initial show led to more and more theater performances which led Ondras to create more theater shows such as “American Troubadour ~ The Singer/Songwriters” and “Sweet Music Man ~ A Tribute to the Music of Kenny Rogers”. Ondras also performs specialty sets as a solo act including: “Solid Gold Country ~ A Tribute To Classic Country Music”, “A Parrot Head Party ~ A Tribute To the Music Of Jimmy Buffett” and “I Got A Name ~ A Jim Croce Tribute”.
Over a span of seven years, several ships and dozens of contracts, Rob has had the pleasure of meeting and performing for thousands of people from all around the globe. Many of which Ondras now counts as life-long friends.
A few of the guest comments include:
*A special thank you to our entertainer Rob Ondras. We saw him perform "A Hot Diamond Night!". The theater was packed, standing room only and standing ovations! His performance was stellar.
*I chose this cruise expressly to see singer , Rob Ondras. The best entertainment on the ship by far was "A Hot Diamond Night!".
In 2018 aboard The Caribbean Cruise Line’s Oasis of the Seas for a four-month contract, Rob composed the songs for his latest CD “Americana Café. Americana Café reaches back to the days of the singer/songwriter with story songs and love songs steeped in the style of that golden era.
2018 was also the year Rob began his first foray into fundraising. Inspired by his wife, Deb, a breast cancer survivor, Rob set out to raise $750.00; the cost of putting one breast cancer survivor through the 16-week ABC (After Breast Cancer) program. But, along with the help of family and many of the friends he had met through traveling and entertaining on cruise ships, he went on to raise $2,100.00 for the ABC (After Breast Cancer) Group. The fundraiser was kicked-off on Labor Day weekend and was completed on October 23rd, 2018. 100% of all CD and merchandise sales from Labor Day through October 23rd (Rob’s birthday) went to the ABC fund. On October 23rd, Rob’s wife, Deb delivered the check of $2,100.00 to the Heroes In Heels event in Franklin, TN to enroll 6 to 8 breast cancer patients/survivors into the ABC program. Much of the fundraising took place on port days aboard the Norwegian Dawn and any free time Rob had available.
In his spare time at home in the Nashville, Tennessee area, Ondras is a member of the praise and worship team at his home church in Hermitage, Tennessee and volunteers his time and talents with hospice organizations performing his music for the residents. He also loves volunteering his time to worthy and wonderful causes such as Room In The Inn and The Nashville Women's Shelter among several other organizations.
Rob is extremely active within the Nashville songwriting communities performing live and on television and radio shows. He loves the outdoors and loves to hike, golf, fish, SCUBA dive and spend time with family and friends.