MEDIA and MUSICIAN RAVES

ABOUT KEN SLAVIN

"Jazz and cabaret singer Ken Slavin has what it takes to make hearts melt:  a deep baritone voice that fills the room and a sincere approach to lyrics that reach out tenderly with genuine passion . . . Slavin feels as comfortable with Brazilian romance as he does with Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Heusen, and Harold Arlen:  honoring a timeless songbook that will never be forgotton."  - JIM SANTELLA, CADENCE MAGAZINE

"I looked you up on YouTube and really like the way you sing, with feeling and emotion, especially the New York medley.  I have never heard the "I Got a Crush on New York" tune....thank you for drawing my attention to your singing, and I hope to see and hear you soon in person." - REX REED, NEW YORK OBSERVER

"Ken Slavin is the most stylish, unwavering singer in town. Born too late for the Cole Porter and Sinatra eras, Slavin has managed through hard work to fulfill his saloon-singer dreams. As Ol’ Blue Eyes would put it: His way. . . .Slavin simply sings the Great American Songbook in a baritone timbre that resides somewhere between Chet Baker sweetness and Johnny Hartman’s husky silk." - HECTOR SALDANA, SOUNDS OF THE CITY, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

"A swinging, soulful talent. I had a blast playing with him. A class act!" - NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED JAZZ GUITARIST PAUL BOLLENBACK

"When jazz/classic pop singer Ken Slavin went to New York City for a Halloween night gig, he didn't mess around. Not only did Slavin land a return engagement (coming on Jan. 17, 7 p.m.), he ended up with a live CD, “You Gotta Have Heart: Ken Slavin Live at The Metropolitan Room in New York” . . . The disc sounds great. Working with Ehud Asherie (piano), Joel Forbes (bass) and Phil Stewart (drums), Slavin turned in a night of classics including “I Love Being Here With You,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and a first-class New York medley. Slavin was in fine voice, the band cooked and Brake Brake (recording engineer) captured it beautifully. When live shows go well, they're tough to beat. New York City agrees with the man." - JIM BEAL, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS 

 

"There's a saying, "They don't make them like they used to!" is very appropriate these days when it comes to many of the performers I meet day in and day out.  But for Mr. Ken Slavin, it's a different scenario.  In one word, he's Classic!  He brings to Metropolitan Room a level of class and a classic approach to his performance and presentation that I have difficulty finding these days.  His choice of music and songs and his entire approach to a Cabaret production should be the envy of many an artist.  He is truly talented and a gifted artist at heart, from the fine suits and accessories he wears, to his marketing and advertising output, and all the way down to the very last minute of his show.  In summary, Mr. Slavin's got what it takes to put on a great and memorable performance.  And to top it off, he is the perfect gentleman.  You'll only hear positive remarks from him and he is a pleasure to work with.  I'm looking forward to his next performance and many more after that!" - BERNIE FURSHPAN, OWNER, THE METROPOLITAN ROOM, NEW YORK CITY

 

"Ken does something, I find absolutely delightful. He smiles! Really smiles. And it appears to be because he is a happy soul! His show reflects that. His renditions of STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT, LADY IS A TRAMP, ROUTE 66, and MACK THE KNIFE make you happy .  And when he sang Peggy Lee's I LOVE BEING HERE WITH YOU, I actually believed he meant it! His dedication to Connie Francis with IF I DIDN'T CARE was very moving! He sang beautifully a Richard Whiting/Walter Bullock song, WHEN DID YOU LEAVE HEAVEN and gave the Whiting family a shout out, which was very much appreciated. After the show a man came up to me to tell me that he loved Whiting's composition so much that he will play  it at his daughter's wedding for the Dad/Daughter dance. WOW!!! That is what preserving and promoting the Great American Songbook is all about...passing it on from generation to generation! Thanks Ken! Loved your set with your fabulous band!" -- DEBBI BUSH WHITING (daughter of legendary jazz and cabaret singer Margaret Whiting and granddaughter of acclaimed composer Richard Whiting.)

"Slavin jazzed up the crowd with a megawatt smile and his rendition of 'Mack the Knife' . . ." - KATIE NICKAS, THE RIVARD REPORT (review of the 2014 "Celebrity Song Slam" benefiting American Sunrise)

"His enthusiasm is infectious, he has a real understanding for the lyrics that he interprets and he swings. His voice is excellent, he has a fine range and he is always in-tune . . . Whether one considers Ken Slavin to be a jazz singer or a cabaret performer (he fits into both areas), it is indisputable that he is a very good singer, one well worth discovering." - SCOTT YANOW, LOS ANGELES JAZZ SCENE, NOTED JAZZ HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR (The Jazz Singers, Swing, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76, among many others.)

"The title of Ken Slavin’s live album doesn’t just refer to the chutzpah it takes to play the Metropolitan Room in NYC, which he did for the recording of You Gotta Have Heart. In the summer of 2013, Slavin was batting three for four in blocked coronaries and underwent surgery to get things back to tip-top. As documented on You Gotta Have Heart, Slavin’s heart is healthy and his voice booms through the album’s 16 standards. 

"Like a comedian careening through a familiar joke, Slavin has incredible control over the pacing and melodic intricacies of the best pages of the [Great American Songbook]. But, Slavin and company don’t stick exclusively to standards—towards the end of the evening, he and the trio bring out a great lounge rendition of Robert Johnson’s “Everyday I Have the Blues.” 

 

"Recorded on Halloween night, the album features pianist Ehud Asherie, bassist Joel Forbes and drummer Phil Stewart—all NY players. Forbes and Stewart certainly hold down the low end on this evening in Chelsea, but Asherie steals the instrumental show, threatening at times to pocket Slavin’s spotlight. The Israeli-born pianist is a chameleon at the keys, rending huge swaths of territory on his runs up and down the keys or stating the changes with the simplicity and careful tone of minimalist master Ahmad Jamal. 

 

"Before his closing number “Mack the Knife,” Slavin gives a little personal history of his bond with the Kurt Weill tune. Speaking to his days singing at Dick’s Last Resort on the River Walk, Slavin makes a kindhearted jab at the out-of-towner crowd at Dick’s, a place “where flip-flops are the style,” he says. “Twenty-four years ago I got my first break down there. This is the song that I always close with ’cause it’s my good luck charm.” Cool without sounding corny, Slavin burns up-tempo through the violence of “Mack the Knife,” far away from the River Walk tourist crowd in time, space and recognition" - MATT STIEB, SAN ANTONIO CURRENT 

"Ken's CD, I'll Take Romance, is simply stunning. . . I haven't heard "But Beautiful" done so well since Billie Holiday."  JIMMY R. SMITH, 'FRESH BEATS,' THIS WEEK IN TEXAS

"It was my pleasure to meet and perform with Ken Slavin. He is a wonderful singer and a first -class gentleman. Ken has captured the styles of the great singers that came before him, as can be heard on his CDs "The Song is You" and "I'll Take Romance." Good luck Ken, and I'll be looking for more swingin' music from you."  RICHIE COLE, LEGENDARY JAZZ SAXOPHONIST AND FOUNDER/DIRECTOR OF ALTO MADNESS MUSIC

"During an era when male jazz singers are few and far between, a new recording by Ken Slavin is a welcome event . . . Based in San Antonio, (he) has become established as arguably the city's top jazz crooner or saloon singer."  -SCOTT YANOW, LOS ANGELES JAZZ SCENE

“Slavin slays the crowd with his Bobby Darin tribute, ‘Mack the Knife.’”  TEXAS MONTHLY

“The new CD ['I'll Take Romance'] is really special. We’ve been playing it pretty much every day since we got it, and I did a 30- minute feature a few weeks ago on the South Texas Jazz Project show.  I hope the disc is getting national attention, because it deserves to be heard in L.A., New York City, etc.” AARON PRADO—KRTU 97.1 FM “JAZZ FOR SAN ANTONIO

"Jazz artist Ken Slavin played his first gig more than 23 years ago and hasn't looked back since.  A public relations professional by day, Slavin has made a name for himself on the music scene, playing local nightspots, major concert venues and, recently, becoming an international hit through iTunes. . ."  KATHLEEN PETTY, SAN ANTONIO MAGAZINE

"Slavin is blessed with a haunting, broken-hearted baritone that reaches beneath the skin, crawling its way into the deepest recesses of your soul." SHOTGUN REVIEWS

"Slavin is making inroads in the worldwide music scene...a remarkable talent - a voice that has been variously described as 'velvety,' 'sultry,' 'clear,' and 'rich' - combined with his showmanship, have gained notice as far away as France and Portugal.  Slavin says he is a Texas performer looking to break out.  The way he's going, it won't be too long before his wish comes true."  SCENE IN SA MONTHLY

“San Antonio based vocalist Ken Slavin is one of the most popular singers in that Texas town, and the hardest working.  (He) has paid his dues in the home of the Alamo, having played everywhere from local meet markets to the ritziest lounges in the city…’The Song is You’ is a sincere effort…Slavin has an expressive timbre…and a knack for choosing good songs…”  JAZZREVIEW.COM

"A retro rave with a smooth and sultry voice." TEXAS ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

"Ken Slavin sings from the heart.  Exciting, classy and charismatic come to mind.  Ken’s showmanship and stage presence make him a San Antonio favorite." BARBARA HUNT, FORMER OWNER OF THE BOARDWALK BISTRO IN SAN ANTONIO (Ken appears there twice monthly.)

"I would highly recommend Ken Slavin to any group, cruise line or promoter wanting a top-notch talent with much to give.  You will not be disappointed.  Not only is he a great entertainer, his wardrobe alone would put him on the cover of GQ."  SONNY MELENDREZ, NATIONALLY RENOWNED RADIO BROADCASTER , FORMER HOST OF ABC-TV'S "KIDS ARE PEOPLE, TOO," ACTOR AND PRODUCER

“Through hard work, determination, innate chops and...good sense...Slavin became a first-class singer with a repertoire that transcends nostalgia. And it hasn't hurt that Slavin has become a top-flight showman.  ‘I'll Take Romance’ is a romantic effort indeed, packed with ballads including "But Beautiful,"... and "Alone." To describe the CD as anything but beautiful would be a mistake. Though it's ballad heavy, with only a few selections, including "Just You, Just Me" and "Day by Day," hitting the up category, Slavin's voice is excellent, Brake's production deft and the music, by Slavin's band and a few talented guests, is exactly what the songs call for.” JIM BEAL, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

“I heard Ken stop the room...literally one of the most difficult rooms to stop in New York  City and perhaps the entire world.  This crowd NEVER asks for encores, but they asked for two from Ken that night.  I'll never forget it."  CLINT BROWNFIELD, TRAVEL JOURNALIST, NEW YORK CITY (After watching Ken sit in at The Townhouse in Manhattan.)

“Ken Slavin is a San Antonio treasure! Not only are his musical talents phenomenal, but his passion and enthusiasm are contagious.  I have never seen an entertainer connect with his audience better than Ken.  He doesn't just sing the songs, he involves his audience with the charisma and grace of a master showman.  His authenticity and love for people and music make him a rare and special performer.  Whenever someone local or from out-of-town asks me where they should go for live music in San Antonio, I tell them to go wherever Ken Slavin is performing.  Ken's immense talent on stage is matched only by his heart and soul off stage:  he's a tireless supporter of numerous charities, regularly volunteering his time to help those in need.  I'm proud to be one of Ken Slavin's biggest fans!"  CHRIS DUEL, TALK SHOW HOST AND CO-FOUNDER OF "TALK NOW SA" WHICH STREAMS WORLDWIDE FROM GEEKDOM IN THE ALAMO CITY

"Ken Slavin’s got some pipes and he knows how to use them.  Attend a show and you are likely to fall in love -- not only with his sultry voice, but also with that mile-wide, boyish grin and  those handsome good looks.  Slavin is funny, charming and works hard to ensure the entire audience has a great time." MISI WOOLARD, “ART & SOUL" NORTH SAN ANTONIO TIMES 

“A sultry, late-night ode to love, [Ken's latest CD] ‘I’ll Take Romance’ is a seductive 16-song collection that features both the lushest texture (particularly with the string-ladenn bookends "Thoughts of your Smile" and "I'll Take Romance") and the most intimate, casual vibe ever heard on a Slavin album ... More than most contemporary interpreters of the Great American Songbook, Slavin delights in turning his material sideways, making even the most familiar tunes sound like new discoveries...." GILBERT GARCIA, SAN ANTONIO CURRENT 

"Ken Slavin is an artist who knows who he is and knows what he wants to give his listeners.  He takes a song that touches him in some way and sumptuously makes it his own.  And at his final note you sit for a moment and breath in that feeling of utter satisfaction that only great music can bring.  Ken has got "IT"! He hits every note and you understand every word.  He sings I Wish You Love and you are playing on the Riviera.  He sings It's a Good Day and you are riding the ferris wheel at Coney Island. Traditionally he ends his show with "Mack The Knife." His audiences want it and they wait for it and there is a reason for this:  Ken's version of the song KNOCKS YOU OUT.  Hear him sing it once and I promise you'll want to hear him sing it again." MAGGIE WORSDALE, nationally acclaimed American cabaret singer

“Eminent jazz musician Ken Slavin took a new direction this spring with his cabaret debut…an ambitious two-act show designed to incorporate every color in this veteran crooner’s palette…Slavin earnestly studies his favorite singers,  (but) takes pains to avoid mimicking their vocal techniques.  His phrasing might be as smooth and impeccable as his pinstripe suits, but it is also highly idiosyncratic.  And he constantly seeks out obscure material that will set him apart from bandwagon-jumping standards interpreters (raise your hand, Rod Stewart). ”  GILBERT GARCIA, MUSIC EDITOR, SAN ANTONIO CURRENT (Upon that publication's naming of Ken "Reader's Pick: Best Musician" of 2006.)

“It was 10 on a sticky Friday night in July, and the dance floor in the Sage bar at the Fairmount Hotel was full . . . Slavin and backup band (did) their best to invoke New York, and if we closed our  eyes we could for just a second imagine that were in the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis, or even the holy grail of sophisticated tippling, Bemmelman’s…” ELAINE WOLFF, THE BAR TAB

“The best thing since Frank Sinatra for local smooth-jazz fans.” SUSAN YERKES, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

"Ken’s vocals are clear, rich and swinging.... great heart and soul ...His interpretations of classics like ‘Fever’. . . display his command of the material and his strong understanding of jazz vocal performance.” JAZZ ONLINE

"Buttery, warm tones that suggest a young Mel Torme issue forth from the mouth of Ken Slavin, who caresses each lyric of the jazz and popular standards that compose his sets at local nightspots . . . for those who prefer their martinis shaken, not stirred, and their listening fare melodic, memorable and soothing." SONGWRITER AND MUSIC JOURNALIST RON YOUNG

“I receive a lot of CDs … many of them from vocalists, and most of them mediocre.  But I found ‘The Song is You’ to be a thoroughly enjoyable recording.  Ken Slavin has a very appealing voice and a nice, easy-going approach to each performance on the disc.  He seems to be having a good time with each song and, more importantly, conveys that feeling to the listener.” LENNY MAZEL, JAZZ DIRECTOR, KCME 88.7 FM, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, USA 

“…an integral part of the San Antonio fabric for locals and tourists.”SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS 

“The smoothness of his voice is rivaled only by the genius in his delivery.” JOHN SANTOS

“Breezy sophistication ... a suave, well-controlled baritone...epitomized in his silky version of ‘Moonlight Serenade.’ This listener's favorite selection of the evening was Slavin's smoldering, understated version of 'Cry Me a River." DIANE WINDELER, ARTS WRITER, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

“Ken Slavin, a veteran of five Jazz’SAlive gigs, was excited, and admittedly a little nervous about his first appearance on the main stage...(but) he certainly didn’t show it.  The Fairmount Hotel star ...scored with smooth vocals caressing such finger-popping numbers as ‘How High the Moon,’ ‘Summertime,’ ‘What A Difference A Day Makes’ and ‘Route 66.’” HECTOR SALDANA, MUSIC WRITER AND LEADER OF THE NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED POP/ROCK BAND 'THE KRAYOLAS'  (NOTE:  Jazz’SAlive is one of the nation’s largest annual jazz festivals.)

 “The genteel Polo’s Lounge...(is) where jazz crooner Ken Slavin holds court on Friday and Saturday nights with his classic jazz trio.  Slavin is known for his unique jazz and pop classics interpretationns and his easy rapport with audiences."  BEST READ GUIDE

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEN ON TV

 

 

KEN'S "VIRTUAL SCRAPBOOK"

JIM BEAL'S "NIGHT LIGHTS" - SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

Friday, October 11, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS - "JAKLE'S JACUZZI" by JEANNE JAKLE

October 5, 2011

 

SA CROONER SCORES GIG ON BBC IN LONDON

San Antonio crooner and recording artist extraordinaire Ken Slavin has entertained many a crowd in the Alamo City.

Now, he’s out to spread that fabulous voice globally.

Slavin is in London, he said, on a promotional visit to jazz clubs, where he’ll meet booking agents, etc. “The man who has arranged all of this has booked me on London’s top late-night radio program: ‘The Late Show With Joanne Good’ on BBC London 94.9 FM. The show is heard all over the UK and throughout Europe, but also globally through the Internet. I will be on from 10 to 10:30 p.m. (London time)

Locally, you can hear him by clicking here from 4 to 4:30 p.m. today.

“It’s not every day that an S.A. boy goes on BBC radio!” Ken wrote me. “I’m hoping that some of my friends will tune in.”

Slavin, who is a local godsend to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett fans, also has caught on with a radio program devoted to the music of Connie Francis (“Where the Boys Are”). He’ll guest-host on “A Visit with Connie Francis,” on Baltimore Net Radio for the third time from 2 to 3 p.m. our time on Thursday.

“Connie called me on the phone to tell me she loved it” he said of his first appearance, “that it was ‘overwhelming’ – bringing back wonderful memories for her. “

It’s cool to see a local treasure like Ken spreading his gifts across the nation and the world.

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE:  http://blog.mysanantonio.com/jakle06/2011/10/s-a-crooner-scores-gig-on-bbc-radio-in-london/

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KEN SLAVIN MUSIC MUSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"When jazz/classic pop singer Ken Slavin went to New York City for a Halloween night gig, he didn't mess around. Not only did Slavin land a return engagement (coming on Jan. 17, 7 p.m.), he ended up with a live CD, “You Gotta Have Heart: Ken Slavin Live at The Metropolitan Room in New York” . . . The disc sounds great. Working with Ehud Asherie (piano), Joel Forbes (bass) and Phil Stewart (drums), Slavin turned in a night of classics including “I Love Being Here With You,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and a first-class New York medley. Slavin was in fine voice, the band cooked and Brake Brake (recording engineer) captured it beautifully. When live shows go well, they're tough to beat. New York City agrees with the man."

 

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