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Take Five With Marcus Goldhaber

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Marcus Goldhaber:
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Marcus developed a passion for Jazz alongside a 1928 Ivers & Pond upright piano, on which his mother casually played countless standards. Inspired by his upbringing, along with a clear inheritance of the musical gene, Marcus graduated later with a BFA in Musical Theatre from SUNY Fredonia. He then moved to New York City and worked as an Actor, but eventually decided to record the wonderful songs of Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh and many others. Today, Marcus is known in the music world for his songwriting as well as his intimate approach to straight-ahead Jazz.

Credits include: Iridium, The Kitano, The Metropolitan Room and The 1891 Fredonia Opera House. With 4 stars, PEOPLE Magazine recently said, "Goldhaber will have you giddy one moment and melancholy the next and loving every note." CD's: The Moment After (2006) and Take Me Anywhere (2008). Marcus is currently singing every Thursday evening at The Night Hotel on West 45th St (6th Ave/Bway).

Instrument(s): Vocals.

Teachers and/or influences? Gerry Mulligan, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Chet Baker, Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Levi and my mother.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I think I have always been in love with music, making it and listening to it. But it was only about four years ago that I decided to commit most of my time and energy to writing, arranging and performing.

I was sitting in my desk chair one afternoon and my mind was suddenly flooded with several melodies that I had grown up hearing my Mom play on the piano. I just thought to myself, wouldn't it be nice to be able to sing these songs all the time...

Your sound and approach to music: I tend to gravitate towards the raw meaning of a song. I look to communicate whatever the authors were initially inspired or affected by...this informs my approach and eventual delivery of a song.

Of course, sometimes it's just gotta swing.

Your teaching approach: Be as prepared as possible. You must know what the song is about and what it means to you. Everything else builds upon that.

Your dream band: Luckily I am working with them now.

(though it would certainly be a thrill to sing a duet with Anita O'Day or Peggy Lee back when they were just starting out.)

Road story: Your best or worst experience: Aside from the unavoidable cell phone ring or martini shaking, I've been fairly lucky. That said, I have played my share of unique venues ranging from a cave-like ambiance to a grunge bar with heavy metal pop art on the walls and peanut shell covered floors. Perfect for jazz...

Favorite venue: There are many in this town, but so far The Kitano and Iridium really seem to have a deep appreciate for music and a great respect for musicians, which just makes everything better.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? I am particularly fond of the recording I made with Jon Davis of "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails," on my latest record, Take Me Anywhere. We captured a very special moment and really got inside the song.

The first Jazz album I bought was: Chet Baker/Gerry Mulligan, Reunion Tour.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? This is something I ask myself every day.

Did you know... I write with my left hand, but throw a baseball with my right hand.

CDs you are listening to now:
Aimee Allen, L'inexplicable;
Moxy Fruvous, Bargainville;
The Doors, Strange Days;
Chet Baker/Gerry Mulligan, Reunion Tour;
Erroll Garner, Body and Soul.

Desert Island picks: Chet Baker/Gerry Mulligan, Reunion Tour;
Moxy Fruvous, Barganville;
The Beatles, White Album or Abbey Road;
The Doors, Best of the Doors;
Erroll Garner, Body and Soul.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? I think jazz is about to truly prosper more than it ever has. With the way technology has compressed the sound of music today, I think folks will reach a point where they will crave a raw and not so over-produced sound...historically, that has been jazz.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? It's wonderful when parents can encourage their kids to learn music at a young age and perhaps even pick up an instrument or two.

What is in the near future? Aside from upcoming performances at Prohibition and Kitano, I have a bunch of new material that I'm working on getting studio-ready for the next record. I've also started working with another singer on a joint project, which is all very exciting.

By Day: Music really takes up most of my time these days, thankfully...

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: I have always wanted to work in the field of multicultural relations and conflict resolution. My sister does this, so perhaps some day we'll be able to work together in some way.


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