Giacomo GatesView in iTunes
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A smoky-voiced jazz singer from the East Coast, Giacomo Gates is an expressive interpreter of lyrics who is proficient with scat singing and vocalese. Gates was born and raised in Connecticut, where he started singing at seven and was turned on to jazz by his father, a classical violinist. He studied the guitar at the age of eight and continued to study it until he was 14, but he gave the instrument up when he decided that singing was the best way to express himself musically. As a young adult, Gates wanted a change of environment and decided to move to Alaska, where he spent 12 years and earned a living doing everything from operating bulldozers to working as a bouncer in a bar. At a summer arts festival in Fairbanks, he performed a set and caught the attention of headliner Sarah Vaughan, who seemed to feel that he had some potential and advised him to leave Alaska because he stood little chance of being discovered up there. At the time, Gates wasn't seriously considering a career in music, but by the time he was 40 in 1990, he decided to seriously pursue it and returned to Connecticut in order to be close to New York. Gates' debut album, Blue Skies, came out on Digital Music Products in 1995, and the singer recorded his second album, Fly Rite, for Sharp Nine in 1998. ~ Alex Henderson