7-16-04

Elliott Kerman: Did It Rockapella!

After 18 1/2 fantastic years, I have decided to hang up my pitch pipe. My last show will be at BB Kings in NYC on July 31, 2004 (where we will be joined by most of the former Rockapella members).

Rockapella has been such an integral part of my life for so long that it's hard to imagine my future without it. I'll really miss the excitement of our live shows and the connection with the audience, I'll miss the great vocal harmonies and the camaraderie both on and off stage, and I'll miss hanging out with our amazing fans after the shows. I've been extremely conflicted about leaving the group; I feel sad about the prospect of not having Rockapella in my life, but I'm also looking forward to spending more time at home with my family in NYC and beginning new life adventures: working with my wife, Debbie, on her burgeoning art career and putting together the Elliott Kerman Quartet. I've been dreaming about singing jazz for a very long time; jazz tunes and standards are what make my clock tick, and it feels like this is the right time to embrace my dream (I swear this isn't a mid-life crisis.)

It's incredible to me that a phone conversation with Sean Altman 20 years ago led to the formation of the group and to the long and winding road that we have all traveled together. Our goal from the beginning was to have fun singing together and to try and make a go of it with our unique style - and that goal and the support of our tremendously devoted fans have carried me throughout my years in Rockapella.

There are too many career highlights to name, but some of the most memorable for me were singing with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden; appearing on the Tonight Show; Spike & Company Do It Acappella; the Finkelstein Bar-Mitzvah; Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (filming the show and recording the album); recording at Electric Lady Studios; performing with the Persuasions (my a cappella idols) at the Bottom Line in NYC; getting soaked two years in a row on the Folgers float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; singing at President Clinton's inaugural party in '97; eating a trawler-full of sushi every year in Japan; appearing at Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall and many other historic theaters around the country; the Preparation H sales convention; singing the National Anthem at Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, and Soldier Field; and the thrill of walking out on stage every night and feeling the energy coming back from the audience.

I'm very grateful to all of the members of Rockapella past and present for the opportunity to perform with such talented and dedicated musicians and to our entire team for taking such good care of us over the years, especially Fred "Style Guru" Schuchman for his skill at making us sound good even in the most difficult of venues and Phil Gulotta and Steve Lewis for all their hard work in the trenches. I'm also extremely grateful to my family and friends for their avid support of Rockapella since our early beginnings on the streets and in the small clubs of NYC.

Finally, I'd like to say to you, our fans, that I've read every email and letter that I've ever received from you (I can't say I've eaten every cookie) and it's brought me great joy, at times I've been extremely moved, and I've felt tremendously supported by all of you over the years. I feel like I've watched you grow up while you've watched me grow up. I hope to see you soon.

Love,

 

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