29-year-old Singer, pianist and songwriter Tony DeSare – whose third CD Radio Show will be released by Telarc Records in January 2009 – has won critical and popular acclaim from his concert performances throughout the United States as well as Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. In early 2009, he will launch an international tour with three weeks at the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room in New York, two weeks in London, then will continue on to cities such as Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, Seattle, St. Louis and Palm Beach. “With his dark hair, bright brown eyes and toothpaste smile that rarely fades,” raved The New York Times, “DeSare is one of the most promising young male performers. He is a Sinatra acolyte in his early 30s who sings Prince as well as Johnny Mercer.” According to USA Today, “DeSare belongs to a group of neo-traditional upstarts stretching from Harry Connick Jr, to Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullum. DeSare covers old and newer pop and jazz standards without smothering or over-thinking the material.”
Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness, and robust musicality. His takes on classic standards and sophisticated original compositions have earned him a reputation as one of country’s hottest young singer/pianists. His sound is romantic, swinging and sensual, but what sets Tony apart is his ability to write original material that sounds fresh and at the same time blends seamlessly with the Great American Songbook. Tony has the capability to glide from a standard by George Gershwin to a contemporary classic by Bob Dylan or Phil Collins to one of his inventive original songs with ease.
With a sexy, distinctive sound, Tony’s 2007 recording, Last First Kiss, spotlights a refreshingly contemporary combination of originals and standards, from Prince’s “Kiss” and Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” to classics like “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” and Sammy Cahn/Jimmy Van Heusen’s under-recorded gem “Come On Strong.” The album also features the legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, a horn section, and Tony’s longtime sidemen Mike Lee on bass and Brian Czach on drums. The CD, which debuted at #8 on the Billboard chart and #5 on the Amazon.com ranking, was featured on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday.”
Want You, Tony’s debut CD, debuted at #16 on the Billboard chart when it was released in May 2005. The CD includes standards like “Two For The Road,” “Just In Time,” and “I Wish You Love,” as well as originals “Marry Me,” “How I Will Say I Love You,” and the title track. He performed selections from the CD on national broadcasts of the CBS Early Show, NBC Weekend Today and Fox News Channel.
Tony composed and performed the title theme to My Date With Drew, an independent documentary feature film about a guy who has 30 days and $1100 to get a date with Drew Barrymore. It has been featured on “The Tonight Show,” “The Today Show,” Playboy Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Premiere. The film – awarded top honors at the New York Gen Arts Festival, the HBO Comedy Arts Festival and the Vail Film Festival – was released in theatres nationwide in 2005. The movie’s theme song, “If I Had Drew,” is featured on his debut CD.
He was personally selected by Sam Arlen, son of Harold Arlen, the composer of classic songs like “Over The Rainbow,” “Get Happy,” and “Stormy Weather,” to perform with the Duke Ellington Orchestra at Birdland for the recent Harold Arlen Centennial. His new big band show was presented by “Saturday Night Live” alum Joe Piscopo in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Tony was born and raised in Glens Falls, New York to a musical family and began singing and playing professionally at 17. By the time Tony started college, he had opened for visiting headliners and built a large regional following playing to packed houses. The Tony DeSare trio was one of the most popular bands in central New York State while Tony attended Ithaca College. Tony and his band continually sold out shows in clubs and showcases throughout upstate New York. He took first place in the “IC Showcase,” a college sponsored national battle of the bands and was a semi-finalist in the MasterCardActs, a national talent search for college performers.
Shortly after moving to New York City in 1999, Tony was cast as the star of the long running Off-Broadway musical smash, Our Sinatra, in which he was praised by Variety for his “dapper charm.” In the fall of 2002, Tony performed at the legendary Apollo Theater where he first met jazz guitar icon Bucky Pizzarelli. Since then, Bucky has continued to perform with Tony’s band around the country. Tony was also featured in New York TV personality Bill Boggs’s Off Broadway show Talk Show Confidential at the John Houseman Theater.
DeSare’s noted versatility enables him to headline a variety of venues. He has performed at major jazz rooms like Birdland and the Blue Note with his quartet; posh nightclubs like the Café Carlyle and Feinstein’s at the Regency; with his big band in concert halls like Jazz at Lincoln Center; or with a 60-piece orchestra. For the 2009-2010 season, Tony will be headlining major symphonies around the country.