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Kenneth Kamal Scott
A Salute to Music,
New York, NY
Like a preacher selecting a Bible quote to inspire his sermon, Kenneth Kamal Scott chose “Here’s to Life” as the guide for his celebration of more than 60 years in show business as a dancer, singer, Broadway lead (the title role in The Wiz), and concert soloist, laced with fond and humorous memories from career and family.
... Mr. Scott approached his selections—from a joyful “April in Paris” (Duke/Harburg) to a spare, deeply felt “The Day I Stop Loving You” (Diane Warren)—as if they were art songs, employing his classically trained lyric tenor as a musical instrument to give each a distinctive sound and interpretation.
High points included an evocative “Calling You” (Bob Telson) sung a capella as Mr. Scott entered from offstage, a sly “It Ain’t Necessarily So” (the Gershwins), a soft and gentle “I’m Glad There Is You” (Dorsey/ Madeira) dedicated to his wife, Etta, and a soulful, proudly bittersweet rendition of his show’s title tune, “Here’s to Life,” performed to Nori Ochiai’s simple piano accompaniment.
Mr. Scott graciously ceded the floor to Mr. Ochiai, bassist Scott Colberg, and Charles Goold on drums for solo turns as he tapped along or moved with the music. His pleasure in performing was in full evidence, whether leading the receptive audience in an infectious sing-along of “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (Stevie Wonder) or wringing from his encore, “My Foolish Heart” (Young/Washington), all the fearful hopefulness it possessed.
September 28, 2010
What was it that moved me to want to write my life story? So many things...
The fact that my father was the late Leslie Scott who sang the role of Porgy in the opera "Porgy and Bess" opposite Leontyne Price and Cab Calloway.
My childhood growing up under the eyes of and/or working with Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, The Nicholas Brothers, Ruth Brown, Illinois Jacquet, Nat King Cole, Arthur Lee Simpkins, and Sarah Vaughn.
All those years of treading the boards on Broadway and all over the world, singing, dancing, acting and perfecting my craft in the original casts of (among other shows):
My dramatic love affair with the world of dance, thanks to the renowned Miss Elma Lewis, my first ballet teacher. Always start with the best.
My beautiful and loving family.
To share my reverence and excitement for the Bel Canto ("beautiful singing") approach to enhancing the singing voice and how it saved, changed, and prolonged my virtuosity. My years of practicing and teaching Bel Canto have demonstrated that voices can grow and change at virtually any age, and that it is possible for those not born with a voice to develop one and for those blessed with a great voice to better understand and improve upon it.
The desire to share the journey of my incredibly fulfilling life and career with the world, and to show how a little boy from Roxbury lived his dream. And I'm nowhere near finished dreaming and creating.