By Maddy Vitale
Tony DeSare is not just a crooner with a smooth voice that can lull a baby to sleep or liven up a concert hall with his Big Band swing.
He wouldn’t be satisfied just to be all of that – even though he pleases fans around the globe.
He is a pianist, a songwriter, a composer, an audio engineer, shoots, edits and records all of his own videos.
“I think that is what makes me different,” DeSare said in a phone interview shortly before getting on the road Wednesday afternoon.
The reason audiences pack his venues from jazz clubs, to theaters and concert halls is simple.
“I tell audiences I try to cover a little bit of the last century of pop music. I love great songs – classic pop songs. I will also throw originals in,” he explained. “The idea is, I really like to think of it not so much like a concert, but entertainment. I try to make it spontaneous and unpredictable. I go from a Cole Porter song to Prince.”
One of DeSare’s favorite songs to perform is one of his own creations titled, “How I will say I love you.”
“If I had a most popular song, it is that one. It has been used over the years in lots of weddings,” he noted.
The audience at the Ocean City Music Pier will be swooned and entertained by DeSare in his concert “Tony DeSare Fly Me to the Moon” Sunday night with the Ocean City Pops Big Band.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $20. DeSare will perform songs by Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, the Bee Gees, and Billy Joel as well as some of his own and the timeless classics of Frank Sinatra.
DeSare, who grew up in upstate New York, said he will be experiencing Ocean City for the first time and is looking forward to it.
“I am very excited about going there,” he noted. “We are going to have a good time. I heard the Pops are great.”
DeSare didn’t surprise with his answer as to who was his biggest influence.
“It is Frank Sinatra. He is the first real pop star to sing with a microphone and make it an art form. He really was the model. Before him was Bing Crosby, but Bing didn’t take it to his level,” he said.
But singing and a love for jazz came after DeSare’s entrance into the musical world through his love of the piano.
“My parents didn’t listen to jazz growing up. I fell in love with the piano,” he said. “I loved jazz and all the greats in the golden age of songwriters – the Great American Songbook. That model where people came up with great songs doesn’t exist the same today. Today it is more about beat and production than it is about the song.”
DeSare takes his fans back to the golden age of songs, paying homage to the classics by putting a fresh twist on it, he said.
He has seven albums to his credit with three top 10 Billboard jazz albums and has won critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances, according to his website.
And it all started nearly 20 years ago, and times have definitely changed for the performer.
“I moved to New York City in 1999. When I first moved there I would walk by the jazz club Birdland, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. I wouldn’t even have enough money to buy a ticket,” he said with a chuckle. “Over the years, I performed at every single one of them. They are definitely checked off my bucket list.”
DeSare lives with his wife Daisy and their 5-year-old son Christopher in the Atlanta area and also have a home in New York City. A strong family is what keeps him grounded. he said.
“I fly just about every week,” he said. “Daisy and I have been married for six years. She is very supportive of me and understands I have to travel for my job.”
He carries with him one thought touring throughout the United States and Canada.
“Being able to communicate with music is something very unique that you couldn’t do just by speaking,” he said. “There is something special and magical that happens with music I don’t think we even understand.”
Tickets to the show Tony DeSare Fly Me to the Moon are $25 and $20. Call 609-399-6111 or visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice. To learn more about Tony DeSare visit www.tonydesare.com.