Welcome to the new series and over the next few weeks William Price King will be sharing the career and music of Josh Groban.
Today an introduction to this extremely talented singer, songwriter and actor, who has wowed audiences around the world with his distinctive baritone voice.
Josh Groban was born in Los Angeles in 1981 into a musical family. His mother Lindy was a school teacher and his father Jack a businessman and also an accomplished pianist. One of his grandmothers began to teach piano to Josh at age three and his parents introduced him to a wide variety of musical styles from opera to pop. A trait echoed in his own music years later, Groban has said that he was drawn to musicians “who decided not to settle into one particular musical style.”
It was not long before Josh was performing on stage when his music teacher chose him to sing the George Gershwin song ‘S’wonderful’ from the Broadway hit ‘Funny Face’. At that time Josh was more focused on his acting and performed in his high school’s production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.
In 1997 and 1998 Josh attended the Interlochen Centre for the Arts summer camp in Michigan, majoring in music theater and taking vocal lessons.
Seth Riggs, Josh’s vocal coach, happened to be a friend of David Foster, a Grammy-winning producer, writer and arranger as well as Brian Avnet who was to become his manager and introduced them in 1998. This introduction led to Josh Groban acting as a rehearsal singer at some high-profile events including the 1999 Grammy Awards, where as a stand-in for Andrea Bocelli, he rehearsed David Foster’s ‘The Prayer’ with Celine Dion. Although nervous at the prospect, Josh was so impressive that the host of the event Rosie O’Donnell, asked him to appear on her show the following week, leading to an appearance on ‘Ally McBeal’.
Josh majored in theater at The Los Angeles High School for the Arts and graduated in 1999. Following four months of the first semester at Carnegie Mellon University studying musical theater, Josh Groban left after being offered a recording contract, and the start of his meteoric singing career.
Creator David E. Kelley created character Malcolm Wyatt for Groban in the season finale of ‘Ally McBeal’ aired in May 2001. The character of Malcolm Wyatt was so popular, prompting 8,000 emails from viewers, that Groban was asked to return the next season to reprise his role and perform “To Where You Are.” Avnet claims this sequence of events effectively got Groban’s career off the ground
Some of the prestigious nominations for Josh Groban’s work.
Josh Groban has been nominated for four Grammy Awards. In 2005 for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for ‘You Raise Me Up’. 2009 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for ‘Noel’, which was also nominated for International Album of the Year in 2008 for the Juno Awards. 2016 Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for ‘Stages’ and again in 2017 for ‘Stages Live’
In 2017 Josh was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance of an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in ‘Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812′
Josh Groban has released 7 Studio Albums, 4 Live Albums and 30 singles with over 30 million records sold worldwide. Josh Groban Discography
Here is how it all began….. Celine Dion shares how she first met Josh Groban and they then perform ‘The Prayer’.
Join us next time for part two and more music from Josh Groban..
William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.
His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.
While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.
His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.
In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.
William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION – William Price King on Tumblr
Buy William’s music ITunes William Price King iTunes
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My thanks to William for the amazing artists he has brought to the blog and thank you for dropping in today. As always your feedback is very welcome.