New Discovery: Donna Singer


New Discovery: Donna Singer

Reflecting on your musical journey, how have your early experiences in piano and singing lessons shaped your approach to music today?

I truly respect the music in front of me. So many stylizations and you lose what the writer wants, so I stay true to myself while understanding the note on the paper is a ‘d’. Are there specific lessons or insights from those early years that still resonate with you? Yes, knowledge and teaching and learning are extremely important. I understand raw talent, but structured learning environment has many many advantages

You mentioned auditioning for the New York Academy of Theatrical Arts and later studying at Juilliard. Can you share a defining moment during your time at these prestigious institutions that had a profound impact on your musical development?

The friendship and comradery. My husband was in a rock band with one of my fellow instructors at Juilliard and bringing them together was a defining moment for my husband who is a concert classical pianist. Those are the moments I treasure, the friendships I still have today.

Your musical influences include Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, and Sammy Davis Jr. How do you incorporate elements from these legends into your own style, and how has their influence evolved over the course of your career?

With Dinah its always about stylization and how i’m going to get this articular songs across with Nancy it’s the notes, she could take a song and make it her own and Sammy the performance, I love having fun with my audience and bring in a little impromptu jazz, skatting or even just a good ole joke. Thanks all!!!

You mentioned Sammy Davis Jr.’s performance at Town Hall as a pivotal moment. Can you elaborate on how that specific performance influenced your artistic direction or performance style?

His impersonations and ‘hey there’. The man was a genius and great roll model for me. My favorite class was stand up comedy and I think I truly got it from Sammu.

Performing on the steps outside Buckingham Palace in London sounds like a remarkable experience. Can you share more details about that performance and how the unique setting added to the overall impact?

I was on tour with harmony travel and they would do impromptu performances all around and next thing I know the performers gathered around and started to sing, “Let There Be Peace On Earth” and everyone just stopped in their tracks to listen. Not just to the music but to the words.

Your pre-show ritual involves being out front with the audience. Can you share another interesting or unexpected encounter you’ve had while connecting with fans before a performance?

I was sitting with a group of people in Kansas before the show and a woman says to me she’s so excited to being seeing Donna Singer, I hear she’s great. Her husband turned to her and said Betty, this is Donna Singer. We all started to laugh.

Collaboration seems to be a significant part of your musical journey. Can you delve into a specific collaboration with the Ranses Colon Trio or The Doug Richards Trio or the Diamond Jazz Orchestra and how it challenged or inspired you as an artist?

I love performing with Trios, Doug Richards of Erskine Hawkins Tuxedo Junction fame was a joy to work with and he knew his theory as all musicians due, that crazy circle of 5ths. Doug passed away just before covid. Ranses Colon is one of the most sought-after bassists from South America to Miami. Conservatory trained in his native Venezuela, Colon has worked with such prominent artists as Placido Domingo, Ricky Martin, Emilio Estefan, Both men are special to me. Their talent made me a better person, a better musician and a better singer.

Memorizing music has been a challenge for you. Could you share any specific techniques or practices you’ve developed to overcome this challenge and deliver confident performances?

Repetition, again and again and again.

“Beauty Along With A Bass” is your latest album, and it received critical acclaim. Can you discuss a specific track from the album and the emotions or messages you aimed to convey through it?

The message for ‘One Voice’ and standing on the shoulders of your ancestors, building on those who came before and as my grandmother always said, “know where you come from.” It’s number 3 on the charts.

Balancing touring, personal life, and creative processes can be demanding. Could you share a piece of advice for aspiring musicians on how to maintain a healthy balance and stay creatively inspired while on the road?

Because you rehearsed your heart out to be ready for the tour, the tour should go well, sit back and relax and enjoy the process. My sound check is a sound check not a rehearsal, my tech rehearsal is only for blocking. Roy and I always go into a show days before the show.

Looking ahead, what are some specific goals or projects you have in mind for your musical career? Are there any collaborations, performances, or albums that you’re particularly excited about?

Still living in the moment with The Marvelous Magical Merry Mrs Claus #1 for two weeks and One Voice #3, but i will say look for the latest gospel single, ‘God Is Love’ premiers March 1st.

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