When people recognise beauty in music and cater to that beauty, they come across a Tony DeSare. This Jazz singer, pianist, and songwriter had music inculcated in him soon after his birth with his father singing with his guitar. Long time since the sing along days with his father, this artist has performed throughout America, and has received massive recognition in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong for his exceptional talent. From the Broadway stage to open stadiums, Tony has left his indelible mark.
The piano bar I had been working at had been writing bad checks to me and then went out of business. I had a hard time finding another steady place to play in New York City that would give me enough income to live.”
Once music became his career, Tony went on to receive many laudations, but between these big moments the fond memory of his early golden days holds strong, bringing a smile to his face. Tony recalls his first nerve wracking public singing experience, “The first time I sang in public was at my high school orchestra concert. Not only was I very nervous but the reaction from the crowd set me on a new course. I sang three songs and got an enthusiastic standing ovation from everyone in the audience that night.”
Since those days of being a novice, Tony has come a long way, and has turned himself into an acclaimed singer and pianist. The New York Times raved about him by calling him a singer who “is a Sinatra acolyte who sings Prince as well as Johnny Mercer”. While USA Today wrote, “DeSare covers old and newer pop and jazz standards without smothering or over-thinking the material.”
I had a big dream come true this last year when I played George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with symphony orchestra. I fell in love with that piece when I was 12 years old, and it was amazing to realize the dream of performing it as a professional.”
These moments of resounding applause have happened because of Tony’s rigorous need to develop his musical skills, his fire of curiosity, and his ability to stick it through. Like most musicians his first five years in the music industry were the hardest. He remembers those particularly hard times saying, “The piano bar I had been working at had been writing bad checks to me and then went out of business. I had a hard time finding another steady place to play in New York City that would give me enough income to live.” Earning a livelihood became even more difficult when Tony realised he was losing out more money than he was making, while promoting a club in Manhattan. Imagine having to witness your dream career almost slip between the fingers. Tony says, “I started looking for finance jobs (I have a bachelor’s in management) and wondered what I was going to do next.”
But all good things come to those who bear out the storm, and the storm did pass. After a few months Tony received a big opportunity. “Within six months I was the lead in an Off-Broadway show about Frank Sinatra and was getting on a path that would lead to a major record deal that would kick-start a new and much better phase of my career.”
Defining himself as a classic pop artist, Tony says, “By classic, I don’t necessarily mean ‘old’ music, but songs that have the qualities that allow them to transcend generations and stand the test of time.” His one prime rule: singing the songs he really loves and believes in.
Currently, Tony feels he is in the best place in his career, with the flexibility to try new things and work in new directions. “I scored my first film last year (a Hallmark Christmas movie) and really loved it; and am scoring another film this spring. I also had a big dream come true this last year when I played George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with symphony orchestra. I fell in love with that piece when I was 12 years old, and it was amazing to realize the dream of performing it as a professional.”, says the pianist.
Dreams do come true. And it bodes well to keep in mind that only past a storm is a sky full of stars. Tony DeSare is living proof of it.