Contributed by Marcus Dargan
Trash Bar is located in the heart of Williamsburg, aka Hipsterville. A traditional bar in the front (kind of seedy), with a performance space in the back (even seedier). It was April 12th, a Saturday evening. I had came to see a dear friend, DaVe Tony perform. Wasn’t quite sure if I got the venue mixed up, but when saw a familiar face, Andre Danek, I knew I was in the right place.
Andre Danek is a phenomenal musician. We studied together at City College’s Jazz Voice program and he was also the musical director for the show Ain’t Misbehavin’ I did a while back. He also coached me for the role of Jimmy Early in a run of Dreamgirls. In my opinion I gave the best vocal performance of my career in that show, thanks to him. He has since moved on to Broadway (Memphis and Motown). Dude is an amazing singer, composer, pianist and all around musician. I was pleased to see him there and to learn that he was on keyboards for the one performer I did come to see that night, DaVe Tony.
DaVe Tony and I go way back too. He was my choir director at Rivers @ Rehoboth, an affirming church in uptown Manhattan. He was also the worship leader for a tight-knit praise team trio we had with another good friend, Tyrone Richardson. DaVe and I have a bond; kind of like cousins, maybe half-brothers. We just get each other.
I’ve always enjoyed singing with DaVe and listening to him sing. He has a warm, rich falsetto, a great sense of musicality and always delivers a deep connection with the lyric. His tone envelopes you like a thick sweater steeped in the perfume of someone you adore. The timbre of his voice rises to your nostrils like incense and you inhale the full range of emotion he expresses through song. It is a wonderful experience.
This was my first time at a DaVe Tony concert and listening to him sing outside of church. He performed an array of neo-soul covers (Jill Scott and Ledisi) and original tunes with a touch of jazz and gospel. The highlight of the evening was his single “Let the Music Play.” Right before singing it, he shared that he wrote this song to express his deep passion for music. Boy did that passion show. He almost took it to church for a minute. And that’s what I love about DaVe Tony: his passion, love and dedication to the music are self-evident when he sings. He takes you along for the journey with open arms and a sincere presence.
The band was tight. Andre Danek was on keys with Miles Moran (drums) and Kenji Togunaga (bass). Julian Brannon, Sista Shae and July Star sang background vocals. Shout-outs to Lamont the host of the evening and the crazy cool girl at the door. I didn’t catch her name or picture, but she was a true key.
A final special shout out to DaVe’s partner Christopher Williams, who also acted as his stylist for the show. Christopher is a fashion designer with a new shoe line called Stilts premiering this week. Attend the free launch party this Friday. Be warned, his heels are wicked and not for anyone afraid of heights.