December 17, 2018

Lea DeLaria in the Spotlight

1. What genre of music do you perform?

I am a Jazz singer with 5 cds out on the Warner Jazz and Classics label. However I have also been in a few Broadway musicals. So I guess what I do that is different from the other Jazzers out there is bring a sense of show to my sets.

2.     When did you start performing?

I started singing with my father when I was quite young, 11. This gives me the musical background for what I do. I myself  started on my own “thing” when I was 24, that was 30 years ago.

3.     What city and state are you based out of?

I live in Both NYC and London, England. I call myself a NYLON… a NY, LONdoner.

4.     What about playing music makes you happy?

I love to perform and all the other things I do, and have been successful at, Stand Up, Acting, Writing, Broadway, all of these I enjoy, love even and they certainly pay the bills, but Jazz feeds my heart and soul.

5.     What are your hopes for your future in live music?

To have a sold out show in Hartford.

6.     What other acts/musicians do you regularly play with?

I have worked with everyone from Joan Jett to Goldie Hawn. It’s a big list. I regularly use Gil Goldstein for arrangements and you can find Seamus Blake and Brad Meldau on a lot of my stuff

7.     Are you currently working on any projects? If so, what are they?

I am currently in a brand new T.V. series, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. We are filming as I write this. I have also been cast in a new musical, AMANDINE which will run at The Cherry Lane Theater in Jan. I am due to go into the studio to record my 6th Warner record, HOUSE OF DAVID delaria+bowie=jazz. The cd consist of Jazz covers of David Bowie tunes. Hopefully out this Spring.

8.     What has been your favorite performance so far?

I have a couple that are fond memories for me. The first preview of ON THE TOWN in central park. After I sang my big number, I CAN COOK TOO, I had to run off the stage for a quick change. The quick change area was set up under the audience bleachers. I could hear them screaming and feel them stamping their feet. It was amazing. Then the tribute to Stephen Sondheim at Carnegie Hall where I stopped the show with my Jazz version of THE BALLAD OF SWEENEY TODD. It is an amazingly surreal experience to stop the show at Carnegie Hall.

9.     Who are some of your favorite musicians?

Favorite singer: Betty Carter, Favorite tenor player: John Coltrane, Favorite Alto player: Bird, Favorite Trumpet: Terrance Blanchard, Favorite Pianist: Errol Gardner. Oscar Peterson. Cedar Walton. Brad Meldau . Monk.

10.     What is your favorite instrument to play? Why?

tissue paper on a comb, because I can actually play that.