Drew Nugent is a classification in and of itself
Well I have loved music ever since I was knee high to a duck. I started out bangin on the keys of a piano my parents bought for me as a child, eventually writing my own little ditties and picking out songs. I began playing violin as at age 9. By age 10 I was picking out songs from the violin onto the piano. My mom was amazed and suggested that she and my father get me lessons. I agreed and it took off from there. I began studying with Joe Benedict, one of the best jazz pianists in the Philadelphia area. To this day that man is still my good friend and mentor. At the tender age of 11, I had become enthralled with Ragtime music due to a family friend who came to our house and played our piano. He beat out a beautiful rendition of The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. I was head over heels. I became obsessed with Scott Joplin and Ragtime. It was all that I wanted to play on the keys. At 13 I began to write my own Rags. When I was 14 years old the Ken Burns Jazz series came to PBS. I watched it at the suggestion of my dear mother who said I needed to broaden my horizons. I did. Boy was I enlightened. I was head over heels AGAIN! But with a new love. Jazz. I fell under the influence of Louis Armstrong and Wynton Marsalis. I was determined now, because of them, to become a Jazz musician. I loved the early Jazz scene in New Orleans, Chicago, and Harlem. I found great influence in pianists such as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Earl Hines, James P. Johnson, Willie the Lion Smith, Art Tatum, Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson. There was such romance and charm to those golden days. I was hooked on the Roaring 20's. I became a Jazz freak, researching and researching at all times and hours the history of the music and the personal stories of its musicians. At age 15 after hearing Louis Armstrong's show stopping solo in Potato Head Blues I stated then and there that I wanted to play the trumpet. I picked up my influences of singing from Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Ray Charles, Leon Redbone and Dr. John. Unfortunately I had not found my own voice, but instead insisted on mimicking and imititating the greats I had forementioned. At the age of 19 I began working on finding my own voice, after a patron at a joint I was playing said your impersonations are impeccable and so lifelike, but what does your real voice sound like? I replied I honestly don't know! So I took to flight trying to find my own voice. I have appeared on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion back in February 2005 playing and singing in their Talent from 12-20 Contest. From there, many doors opened up for me. I worked for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company as a pianist and singer on the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen during the summer season of 2006. I also organized and performed in a concert known as the Students for Students Concert at Bloomsburg University. I organized it to bring the musical talent of a handfull of students to the college public. Recently I began my own musical enterprise known as OFF THE CUFF WITH DREW NUGENT. The goal of this enterprise is to bring Hot Jazz back to the top of the music mainstream. Off the Cuff consists of either myself on solo piano and singing or myself along with a band of variable size, (depending on the demands of the venue). So enjoy the music, pictures and videos. Also feel free to book myself or my all star cast for any of your parties, restaurants, clubs, so on and so forth. Just remember one thing... KEEP IT HOT!