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Interview with our August Featured Musical Director, Kenneth Gartman

August 17, 2017

Hi Everyone!


Are you ready???  The next Spotlight on YOU Open Mic is TOMORROW!!


To get you going, here's some juicy bits of our musical director of the month, the multi-talented Kenneth Gartman!  I met Kenneth way back from my days at the Singers Forum when he used to play the open mic from time to time.  I've always admired his work.


 Kenneth Gartman comes packed with credits, some of which includes "Singin’ in the Rain" (Summer Theatre of New Canaan); "Inner Voices III: Arlington" (Off-Broadway); The White City (Eugene O’Neill National Music Theater Conference NMTC2014); Broadcast (NMTC2013); Bryan Putnam’s "The ToyMaker" (NMTC2012);  Danny and the Rocket at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts; Reading of "Once Removed" (music by Graham Russell of Air Supply); "Zapata! The Musical" (New York Musical Theatre Festival NYMF2012); Show Choir! The Musical (NYMF2010) plus subsequent demo recording; Bryan Putnam’s The ToyMaker (NYMF2009) as well as two prior readings and demo recording featuring Christiane Noll (Ragtime) and Zachary James (The Addams Family). Kenneth was also featured in the award-winning FringeNYC production of "Trouble in Shameland" by Bryan Putnam starring Evita’s Florence Lacey and subsequent cast recording.  Kenneth is also involved with numerous cabaret workshops, cabaret shows, benefits, award presentations & concerts. for more information.


For the interview, I asked Kenneth the following questions:


1)  You are a performer, a musical director and a vocal coach.  Where would you say your heart is at?  Can you share with us an interesting fact that most people don’t know about you?


I really love everything about being a musician.  Singing, playing the piano, music directing and coaching.  There is something about all of them that is very satisfying in different ways.  I think the diversity also keeps things interesting for me.  Most people here in the cabaret community don't really know that I was originally an opera singer.  I won several vocal competitions and sang with Ft. Worth Opera before moving to NYC and diving into the world of musical theatre!


2)  How did you discover music and how was your talent uncovered?    Do you have a particularly interesting story that you'd like to share with the readers? 


My great aunt and uncle were blind musicians.  She played the piano and sang, and he played the saxophone.  I remember being totally smitten with my great aunt.  She knew how to sing and tell a good story.  That is what sparked my initial desire to be a musician.  I finally began studying the piano when I was in 4th grade.  I was actually scouted by Star Search when I was in 5th/6th grade.


3) What motivates your creativity and passion for life?  Name three things that never fails to put a smile on your face!


I love to create.  I don't know that I'm motivated by anything in particular.  I just love making music and being a part of the process.  3 things that put a smile on my face: pigs (odd perhaps, but my dad was the oldest of 7 raised on a farm in West Texas...I remember bottle feeding a piglet when I was a kid, and it was like love at first sight!), a nice long walk exploring some place new, spicy food.


4) Share with us what you have in the pipeline for us to be on the lookout for! 


I'm music directing Steve Bustamante's debut show in September and keeping busy with vocal coaching clients.  In October I'll be music directing a workshop/reading of a new musical called "Rapture".  I've already sold out a cabaret workshop that I am directing/music directing in November.  It is a version of my "Sing Your Heart Out" cabaret workshop with a band.  I'm really excited about that!


Come join us tomorrow night and be in the Spotlight with Kenneth!!   See you there!!



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