An evening with Steve March Tormé
Steve March Tormé, son of the late, great, Mel Tormé, is more than a jazz singer-he's a consummate entertainer. Much like his father, he holds a crowd and excites emotions with jazz scats, profound lyrics and his signature, silky-smooth voice. Tormé will perform many of the classic standards, his own original songs, and share personal stories from his never boring life, on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at the historic Thrasher Opera House in downtown Green Lake.
Steve was born in New York City to the multi-talented Mel Tormé and the former model, Candy Tockstein. They were divorced when Steve was two and a half years old. Shortly thereafter, Candy married the actor/comedian Hal March, who was the host of NBC-TV’s The $64,000 Question Show and subsequently starred in Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn on Broadway.
An avid baseball player and fan growing up in Westchester County, N.Y., Steve dreamed of playing for the Yankees. While listening to games on the radio in the basement of their home, he discovered his love for music almost by accident. Following every game, he would switch to the Top 40 music stations and find himself singing along with such artists as The Four Seasons, Nat King Cole, The Temptations, Ricky Nelson and Gene Pitney. With his natural ear for harmonies, his favorites quickly became and remain The Beatles. By the age of 12, he knew that he wanted to be a performer and at 13, he earned his first paycheck, fronting his own band.
After his family moved to Beverly Hills, he formed friendships with other second generation “show biz kids” like Desi Arnaz Jr., Dean Martin Jr., Miguel Ferrer, Carrie Fisher and Liza Minnelli while attending high school. During this time, he continued to develop as a musician and his influences grew to include Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Todd Rundgren and Steely Dan.
Following the early death of his stepfather, Steve rekindled his relationship with his father Mel, and soon realized they had a great deal in common besides a love for performing and various types of music.
In the late 1970’s, Steve recorded his first LP, "Lucky", for United Artists Records, supporting it with a well-received 20 city, national concert tour. Upon returning to California, he produced and sang on Liza Minnelli’s Columbia Records release "Tropical Nights", which became a favorite of the New York dance clubs.
Honing his craft as a performer, Steve worked as an actor, playing the male lead in a mini-series for RAI (Italian) Television, and appeared on a number of variety television shows back home. He spent three years as the featured vocalist on ABC-TV’s $100,000 Name That Tune and hosted two Los Angeles based television shows, Video 22 (a precursor to MTV) and Box Office America.
On the recommendation of Quincy Jones, Steve was tapped to be one of the three featured singers for the vocal group Full Swing, which had its debut release on Planet Records. After successful tours of the United States, Brazil and Japan, Steve left the group to focus on his solo career.
Steve's first solo musical project became his Swingin' at the Blue Moon Bar & Grille CD (2000), which showcases a fun, dueling scat duet of "Straighten Up and Fly Right" with his father, Mel.
"The Night I Fell For You" followed, featuring an alluring arrangement of the Lerner & Loewe classic On the Street Where You Live and a number of Steve’s original tunes, many penned with longtime collaborator Steve Rawlins. In reviews of both CDs, critics singled out a number of these new songs as “contemporary yet timeless, combining a wry sense of humor and a natural feel for romance, with classic melodies.”
Those two releases were followed up by "The Essence of Love," which contains some of the most romantic, well crafted standards ever written, including Blue Skies, Stardust, Every Time We Say Goodbye and a playful duet with jazz icon Diane Schuur on The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else. His current jazz CD, "So Far" combines the most popular material from his first three CDs into one “best of” recording.
Steve's latest CD, "Inside/Out" (2009), completed in Los Angeles, is rooted more in his pop underpinnings than his four recent jazz offerings. It’s a set of twelve brand new, original tunes written entirely by Steve and is the first CD he’s recorded on which he not only sings but plays keyboards and guitar as well. In addition to his performing and recording career, he’s also now hosting his own radio show every Wed. and Thurs. afternoon for two hours on the Music of Your Life network at www.musicofyourlife.com.
Tickets for the performance are only $20 are available at the Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake Bank (Green Lake); Pick N’ Save, Ripon Drug (Ripon); Twister (Princeton) or by calling (920) 294-4279. Online tickets available at www.thrasheroperahouse.com.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Special accommodations provided by the Heidel House.