His mother says he began singing from the moment he was born. Whether or not that’s a mother’s rose-colored memory, Jonathan Karrant’s starting out young is without question. His first musical performance was as a 7-year-old in his home church, then later that same year the gutsy little tyke walked onto the stage at a nightclub in Eureka Springs, AR and asked the band there to accompany him while he sang “Stormy Monday.”
That was just the beginning.
As he grew up, he continued honing his craft, singing jazz with a college band in Arkansas, doing a bit of local theatre and some commercial work. But he knew that he was destined for bigger and better things. So at the tender age of 17 after graduating from high school, he left Arkansas for New York to study at the prestigious William Esper Studio.
During Karrant’s time there he also auditioned and was hired by the famed Metropolitan Opera House to play character roles in their performances, one of them being the opera Aida starring Luciano Pavarotti. Karrant shared of his time there, “it was a really great experience, the people I worked with were truly amazing. I just jumped right into the lifestyle, it was like I belonged there. I made a lot of great friends through the Met.”
New York lasted for three heady years, after which, at the suggestion of a professor, he moved to Las Vegas (talk about culture shock). Vegas was considered such a thriving place for music and musicians and as he put it, “I made some really great contacts while there and got to work with Vince Falcone (one of Frank Sinatra’s musical directors).
But, it was a challenging environment in which to be creative, the resorts often had strict guidelines on what style of music that could be performed”. As he said, “If I plugged the Sinatra Rat Pack thing it was better and I found more work. I think this whole throw-back ‘60s Sid Caesar, Dean Martin thing that we’re experiencing is really big and is helping a lot right now.”
It was at that time he decided to uproot one more time and head to sunny Southern California, San Diego to be specific. Of the move and what it’s brought to him he had this to say, “I had visited San Diego and fell in love with the city, the people and of course the climate. So I moved here and split my time between Vegas and here. I’ve really started to focus on reaching out to other cities and states as well, so now I travel a lot more, which I love.” Thinking globally, smart man.
Karrant’s upcoming musical appearance at Martinis Above Fourth follows a slightly different musical path than his Vegas repertoire. His show “Cole Porter & Me” is the fulfillment of a life-long goal. “When I was a kid, I listened to a lot of Porter’s music and have always wanted to do a show of it. As far as standards, his were a lot of the first ones that I learned and started singing, so I’ve always had a sweet place for his music. I also share the same birthday as Porter so I have a special affinity for him.”
I asked Karrant to talk about what we can expect from his show, “I’ll tell some stories about myself and about Porter, his music and how some of the tunes came about. I think it will be a lot of fun, I love intimate settings, you can actually talk to the audience and connect with them. It makes for a much more interesting show.”
Can’t wait to hear this guy, it’s going to be a great evening with a lot of wonderful music.
Check out Rage Monthly @ http://www.ragemonthly.com/2014/01/09/jonathan-karrant-the-intimacy-of-music-and-martinis/