Tony DeSare On Piano Jazz

Written by from NPR

Singer and pianist Tony DeSare grew up in Glen Falls, N.Y. He began his musical career on violin, but from an early age, he expressed a fascination with the piano and organ. His parents bought him a small Casio keyboard to test his interest, and by age 12, DeSare had been given a full-size keyboard and was taking piano lessons.

Growing up in the ’80s, DeSare gravitated toward the melodic pop songs of the day, by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, and Elton John. His father played guitar and sang around the house, bringing music from his generation — the Beatles, The Eagles, and James Taylor — into his son’s musical milieu. At age 15, DeSare discovered Frank Sinatra and began digging deeply into jazz. A year later, he was finding his own singing voice and had begun to perform professionally as a singer and pianist in and around his hometown. He continued gigging during his time at Ithaca Collage, earning money for school and honing his chops. By the time he’d graduated, he’d become a regional musical celebrity, with a string of sold-out club dates around Upstate New York.

DeSare made the decision to pursue music full time with a move to New York City in 1999. He found a stage for his solo show at the Marquis Hotel in Times Square. He also pursued musical-theater gigs, and made a big splash with his role in the off-Broadway musical revue, Our Sinatra. DeSare made his New York club debut at the Café Carlyle, receiving rave reviews from critics while wowing audiences. Riding a wave of good press, DeSare released his first album, Want You, in 2005. His latest album, Radio Show, spans 50 years of American pop music and includes five original songs.

Originally recorded June 28, 2007.

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