Hello and happy Tuesday!
What a nice change in weather today! Finally, a break from the frigid spell! It's the perfect time for me to share my interview with Daryl Kojak, our featured musical director for January (which I am sure you are all waiting for)!
For those of you who are not familiar with Daryl, here's a little bio.
Daryl Kojak is a pianist, arranger, producer, musical director, composer and songwriter. He is honored to have worked with a long list of talent, including Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Phoebe Snow, Ben Vereen, Sheila Jordan. Michael Feinstein, Jane Monheit, Cheryl Bentyne, Kristin Chenoweth, Vicki Sue Robinson, George Coleman, Randy Brecker, Sheldon Harnick, Sandra Bernhard, Mary Testa, Rita Rudner, Richard Belzer, Tiny Tim, Sherie Rene Scott, Catherine Russell, Laurie Krauz, Heather Mac Rae, Stephanie Pope, and a whole bunch of others. Daryl has composed and scored music for film, television, stage, artist recordings and video games, and has been honored with The Bistro Award for Outstanding Musical Director; The Caribbean Gospel Music Award for Top Gospel Arranger; The MAC Award for Best Jazz Group; and with Laurie Krauz, The Bistro Award for Outstanding Theme Show for Tapestry Rewoven.Daryl’s notating and engraving work includes Boston Pops (Robert Rines) and The Scottsdale Philharmonic Orchestra (Byron Olson.) “One of the best piano players in New York”--WBAI-FM!
Daryl Kojak's reputation preceded him. Everyone who had worked with him, loved him and have nothing but the best to say about him. I've had the pleasure of that experience recently when I had the honor of being asked to participate in Rob Davis' Christmas show.
In the brief time that I've worked with Daryl, I was impressed by his impeccable professionalism and attention to details. He is a perfectionist in his art and cares a lot for those he work with, a wonderful combination!
For the interview, I asked Daryl the following questions:
1) Can you share with us an interesting fact that most people don’t know about you?
I like hiking, motorcycling, and building dry stacked stone walls.
2) What started your passion for music? How did it all began?
I think what started my interest in music is that as a kid I could hear simple tunes and figure out how to play them. I listened to and loved a lot of types of music. I had memorable experiences in a lot of genres, but in particular I remember hearing a Benny Goodman 78 side that my dad had, (we weren’t in the dark ages - we also had a 33 1/3 lol,) and Benny’s solo sent me. I can’t recall what tune it was. Dang.
3) In all your years in music, do you have a particularly interesting story that you'd like to share with the readers?
My childhood piano was in B flat, which means it sounded a whole step flat. Because of this I learned to transpose early on.
I have lots of more colorful stories about the nightclub scene, but do they have to be PG13? :-))
4) What motivates your creativity and passion for life? What inspires your music? Name three things that never fails to put a smile on your face!
Three things that never fail to put a smile on my face - my wife, being in the woods, and feeling tired after a physically active day.
5) Share with us what you have in the pipeline for us to be on the lookout for!
Some of my classical compositions, a collection of waltzes, is being recorded by two classical pianists, a project that is being produced by the Maginus Project.
Have I tickled your interest? Pick your song! Invite a friend or two!
Come to Spotlight On YOU Open Mic next Friday, January 19 and experience the pleasure of singing with Daryl for yourself!
Stay tuned for my interview with our featured celebrity artist of the month Richard Skipper soon!!
Lots of love! Natasha