For those who feel more comfortable with clear and simple labels, I’m a jazz vocalist. I draw heavily from the Great American Songbook, the canon of mostly mid-20th Century popular pieces that make up much of the raw material jazz vocalists like to interpret.
But “jazz vocalist” doesn’t say it all. I also mix in quite a few blues tunes — well-worn and relatively new. And I’m a big fan of American folk, country, bluegrass and post-American Songbook pop music, too. I try to set all this great music into what I think is a jazz — or, at the very least, jazzy — framework. It helps that I bring in some immensely talented musicians to back me up and make me sound good.
I approach my shows as if I’m sitting with you in my living room. I just share music I like (and that’s good for my voice, of course) and that I think you’ll like. People who’ve been to my shows consistently tell me that this blend of sounds and sensibilities is pleasantly surprising. One seasoned local jazz veteran called my act “fresh.”
All this says a lot about who I am as a musician. In high school in Indiana and college in Illinois, most of my singing was from the musical comedy world — again, Great American Songbook, though I’ve had experience with more classical “art” music, too. Later, with my guitar, I dove into folk, country, bluegrass and blues, and I performed in a few folk music ensembles.
When I got a bit older, I gravitated back to the Songbook standards and spent a lot of time sitting in with and learning from some great musicians who generously helped me quite literally get my act together – a process that is always evolving. I perform now mostly in Washington, D.C.-area venues. I also sing Jewish liturgical music at my local synagogue.
In another part of my life, I’m a public relations consultant. I live in the D.C. area with my wife Audrey Lyon, who leads a local nonprofit that preserves affordable housing, and we have three remarkable adult children.
Until then, thanks for visiting,