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Landau croons and swoons his way to the Pops

Album recording session


Read this article online: www.Metro.US

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. croons and swoons his way to the Pops

The winner of “America’s Got Talent” has been keeping busy.

A.D. AMOROSI

When Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. won NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” five years ago, he had no idea that he’d continue on with his arsenal of good time swing and emotive, clarion vocal skills. He loved standard jazz classics by his heroes, Sinatra and Bing Crosby, and was simply happy to keep their legacy alive.

Album recording session

Album recording session

But then again, Murphy Jr. never though he’d make it out of a Michigan car wash where he sang Sinatra tunes to his co-workers. Fast forward to the present, and not only has he released a debut album, “That’s Life,” that hit No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz chart, a Christmas album —”Christmas Made for Two”— and an autobiography (“Landau: From Washing Cars to Hollywood Star”), he readying his third album for 2017 release with holiday shows on the horizon.

You won “America’s Got Talent,” but are you a competitive fellow with everything you do?

Music is too pure to be competitive about. I just want to entertain, and that show was a great vehicle for it. I have never been competitive in regard to singing at all. Throwing basketballs, running fast; those things I would compete in. Also, I think that everybody can sing, you just need the right opportunities.

Well, looking at basketball and running for a moment, that takes training. Did you train your voice to do what you wish, or was it – is it — natural?

Life trained my voice, whether it was me being funny with my friends or me chatting in-between dance steps. That said, you couldn’t go in unprepared. I’ve been booed during open mics. My family booed me – but that trains you too; that and singing in church, old age homes and such as I have since I was three-years-old.

Man, that’s a tough family. You’re not singing conventionally easy stuff to begin with – it’s mostly jazz, big band, and Tin Pan Alley standards, to go with your own soulful compositions at a time when so many people your age go for pop or hip-hop. What was that challenge like?

As a normal urban black kid, I grew up listening to rap and pop in West Virginia; from Sugarhill Gang to Cyndi Lauper to the Oak Ridge Boys. By the time we moved to the big city, more of what was popular hip-hop on the radio became my steady diet. But this genre – the standards – was something I liked from childhood. I sang Bing Crosby every day, just joking with my friends.

Yet, it’s not like I could be Bing Crosby. Or Frank Sinatra. Imagine sounding like Sinatra, looking the way I look? But it worked. I think this genre chose me. The music is pure and timeless so it became natural. I have to say too that my friends would crack up listening to me do this – they like me, never took it seriously.

So when did that change? When did it get serious?

I worked for this car wash dealership in Michigan, and my boss came into the washroom one day when I was singing. He told right then, ‘You should not be working here.’ He took me to a club in Oakland County Michigan to a room full of people for some open mic, and the room just got quiet when I sang. That was the turning point I guess. He made me know that I had something. It took me a minute to get it, because I was 30. I weighed my options— am I going to be a successful rapper at this age, or do I stand a chance crooning?

So when you’re writing you own stuff, what are you going for?

That same pocket, vibe and feeling that I get when I’m singing Cole Porter or Nat King Cole; that’s my thing. You don’t fix something that’s not broken. So my song like “Come Home to West Virginia” – I hope you get the same feelings that I have about that place, that easy country road feeling and the same feeling you would get from a Frank Sinatra song where he’s singing about New York or Chicago. Plus, there is always a great, stylish arrangement – the bigger the better.

Which reminds me: you’re fronting the Boston Pops coming up for New Year’s Eve, the biggest of all orchestras.

When I travel, we usually play with between 12 and 22 pieces. The Pops though? That’s big. They’re a down-to-earth crew and I think they appreciate what I do, that I love the old standards. I did a walk-on with the Pops when they did a Motown set last year, and they said ‘why don’t we just put you on the books for New Year’s’? Guess I knew my plans a year early.

If you go:

Tues. Dec. 27, 8 p.m.
Highline Ballroom
431 W. 16th St.
$20-$35, highlineballroom.com
Wed. Dec 28, 8 p.m.
Sellersville Theater
24 Maple Ave. Sellersville
$25-$39.50, st94.com

Sat. Dec. 31, 10 p.m. with the Boston Pops
Boston Symphony Hall
301 Massachusetts Ave.
$51 -$140, www.bso.org

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Landau Returns to Meadowbrook Mall for Charity Event

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Returns to Meadowbrook Mall for Charity Event!

552542730d6bc-image(Bridgeport, WV) October 28, 2016: Thousands of shoppers are expected to attend what’s become known as Meadowbrook Mall’s official kick off to the holiday shopping season. The 12th annual after-hours charity event, Purchase with a Purpose, will take place Sunday, November 6 from 6:00-9:00pm. The three-hour event offers shoppers exclusive discounts, entertainment and the chance to win over $7,500 in door prizes, including the $5,000 Grand Prize from sponsor Dan Cava’s Toyota World. The entertainment highlight of the evening: a special guest performance by Eugene Landau Murphy, Jr. This renowned jazz crooner (and Logan County, WV native) last performed at Meadowbrook Mall during our 2013 Grand Re-Opening Celebration. He was the Season 6 Winner of America’s Got Talent.

Participating charities have been pre-selling $5 tickets to Purchase with a Purpose. They will be on hand Sunday night selling tickets at the following locations in the mall:

Food Court: WVU Children’s Hospital

Garfield’s: Harrison County 4-H

Holiday Hair: Marion County Humane Society

Elder-Beerman Home Store: Harrison County Special Olympics

JCPenney Men’s Department: Lincoln High School Band

Target: Robert C Byrd High School Band Patrons

JCPenney Catalog: The Studio of the Performing Arts

JCPenney Shoe Department: Wings of Hope

Elder-Beerman Fashion Store: Bridgeport Lions Club

 

Entertainment will include:

 

The Cool Cats, WV Jazz Society’s Ambassador Band

On stage in the WDTV5 Event Center 6:00-7:45pm

 

RCB Jazz Band

Sears Court 6:00-7:00pm

 

The Studio for the Performing Arts

Sears Court from 7:00-7:45pm

 

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

On stage in the WDTV5 Event Center (approx.) 8:15-9pm

Pictured below is the 2014 Grand Prize winner, Karen Hinkle of Clarksburg, shortly after receiving her $5,000 check from Machelle and Santino Cava., along with event M.C. Sarah Rowan of Magic 106.5.

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The Meadowbrook Mall Complex is located on Interstate 79, Exit 121 in Bridgeport, West Virginia. It has been serving the people of the Bridgeport/Clarksburg area since 1982. To learn more, visit www.meadowbrookmall.com. Meadowbrook Mall is owned and managed in association with Cafaro affiliated companies, based in Niles, Ohio. One of the nation’s largest privately held shopping center developers, the Cafaro organization owns and oversees more than 30 million square feet of commercial real estate in 10 states. For information on the Cafaro organization, visit www.cafarocompany.com.


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A Night Under the Stars with Landau – A Logan Homecoming Concert

LANDAU STARS

Announcing Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Under the stars Friday August 12th at Chief Logan State Park Amphitheater!

The Aracoma Story Inc. Presents Landau’s Logan Homecoming concert with his full Big Band Friday night August 12th at the park. Gates will open at 8:00 pm, showtime is 9:00 pm.

Reserved seat tickets are on sale now at Gatti’s at Fountain Place Mall in Logan, online at landaumurphyjr.com, and by calling (304) 752-0253. Tickets are just $20.00 in advance and $25.00 day of show. A very limited number of Gold Circle VIP seats, including a backstage reception with Landau and the Band, will be available for $50.00.

Landau and his band will be singing his new top ten hit Come Home to West Virginia along with songs from his upcoming new album, and performing many of the classics he’ll be singing during his PBS special at The Grove in Hollywood and during Labor Day weekend with The Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra!

Don’t miss Landau Under the Stars Friday night August 12th at Chief Logan State Park Amphitheater, presented by the Aracoma Story, Inc!

Sponsored in part by Robert Noone Legal Services, specializing in foster care and adoptions 304-784-8818.

 

LANDAU SILVER

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Rebuild WV Flood Relief Benefit Concerts

WV FLOODS cropped smallIn response to the devastating flooding in his home state of West Virginia, America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. is teaming up with Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD and Bethesda Blues & Jazz in Bethesda, MD for two special benefit performances Thursday July 21st and Friday July 22nd in conjunction with the American Red Cross of West Virginia. A portion of show sales will go directly to flood relief efforts to aid the thousands of residents affected by what has been called “once in a thousand years flooding.”

In addition, all profits in the month of July from Landau’s new single “Come Home To West Virginia” have been designated for flood relief. The song is currently on the iTunes Top 10 Jazz chart and will also be available at Landau’s Rams Head On Stage and Bethesda Blues & Jazz appearances for a $5.00 donation to the American Red Cross.

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Landau to Perform Twice This Summer with the Legendary Boston Pops

For Immediate Release:

Contact Jessica Lloyd (703) 589-8960 or jessica@allenmediastrategies.com

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. to Perform Twice This Summer with the Legendary Boston Pops!

Boston PopsAmerica’s Got Talent winner and Columbia Records artist Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. will perform on June 8th and September 3rd with the legendary Boston Pops.

“I can’t tell you what an honor this is for a guy from Logan, West Virginia who was washing cars and singing in the wash bay just a few years ago, to be singing with the Boston Pops!” said Landau. “And it’s extra special that my Music Director and pianist Duane Flesher will get to join me on stage for this. We’re like two little kids who can’t believe this is happening to us!”

rockport-dinner-dance-20150828212622-2-resizedFlesher has had the honor of working with The Boston Pops on composing Landau’s arrangements for both performances.

“As a young man, 19 years of age, not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I did a six-week evaluation course at Berklee College of Music in Boston,” says Flesher. “But my schooling was delayed by a four-year stint with the 661st Air Force Logistics Command Band. After finally arriving at Berklee, I lived just two blocks from Symphony Hall in Boston, passing by it quite frequently, even getting to attend a few concerts there by the Pops. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that someday I would play there, much less play there WITH the Pops. It is an incredible honor to get to perform with them and have this great orchestra play arrangements that I have written. I am truly humbled by this opportunity, and so thankful to Landau for making this dream come true,” said Flesher.

Glenn LeonardOn June 8th, his friend and former Temptations lead vocalist Glenn Leonard will join Landau on stage for a special Tribute to Motown at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 35th annual “Presidents at Pops,” widely acclaimed as one of the largest and most successful corporate benefits for the arts in the United States. The performance will be hosted by show business legend Mandy Patinkin. Patinkin is known for his Patinkin Headshot-bwTony Award-winning roles in Evita and Sunday in the Park with George, and as an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for his work in Chicago Hope and Homeland. The star of dozens of movies, Patinkin is perhaps best for his portrayal of Inigo Montoya in the timeless classic The Princess Bride. The New Yorker says: “Mandy Patinkin is in the business of show stopping… He is a musical force of nature!”

On Saturday, September 3rd, keith-lockhartx345Landau will return to Boston to join the Pops in presenting “Dancing Under the Stars” at the Koussevitzky Music Shed in Tanglewood. Conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra will perform with Landau for “Dancing Under the Stars,” a festive, toe-tapping performance to close out the 2016 season in style. A dance floor will be set up on the lawn for this crowd-pleasing evening of memorable melodies and big band standards, with Landau up front vocalizing the timeless crooner classics. This show will mark the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra’s first-ever performance at Tanglewood and will be one of the hottest tickets of the summer.

Tickets for both performances are currently available online at: www.BSO.org or by calling the Boston Symphony Orchestra at (888) 266-1200. For information about corporate gala ticket packages or single tables, please contact Mary Thomson with the BSO at mthomson@bso.org or (617) 638-9278.

 

About Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. has performed around the world since winning America’s hearts and season six of NBC TV’s America’s Got Talent by the biggest margin in the show’s history. Landau’s debut CD “That’s Life” for Columbia Records was a chart topper, the book about his amazing life story “From Washing Cars to Hollywood Star” spent several weeks at #1 on the Amazon.com Jazz Books chart, and his “Christmas Made for Two” CD was a hugely successful fundraising vehicle for the Children’s Home Society in his home state of West Virginia, where to date he’s helped raise over a million dollars for Mountain State charities. Landau’s third CD is due for release in late 2016, and his tour stops will once again take him around the world. Landau’s dozens of media appearances include The Today Show, the Tom Joyner Show, Wendy Williams, CNN, Fox and Friends, and ESPN.

 

About the Pops

Affectionately known as “America’s Orchestra,” the Boston Pops is the most recorded and arguably the most beloved orchestra in the country, beginning with the establishment of the modern-era Pops by Arthur Fiedler and continuing through the innovations introduced by John Williams and the new-millennium Pops spearheaded by Keith Lockhart. In 2010, with the 125th anniversary season, the Boston Pops reached a landmark moment in a remarkable history that began with its founding in 1885. Fours years earlier, in 1881, Civil War veteran Henry Lee Higginson founded the Boston Symphony Orchestra, calling its establishment “the dream of my life.” From the start he intended to present, in the warmer months, concerts of light classics and the popular music of the day. From a practical perspective, Higginson realized that these “lighter” performances would provide year-round employment for his musicians.

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