March-Tormé to perform at the Gerold
By Angie Landsverk
Steve March-Tormé will bring his pop jazz style of music to the Gerold Opera House on Saturday, Dec. 17, for “Mistletoe & Merriment.”
The performance in Weyauwega will include a quartet of musicians – Marc Jimos on the saxophone, Danny Lueck on the drums, Mark Urness on the bass and Mike Kubicki on the piano.
“It will be a very nice evening. We will have a small dance floor in case people want to dance,” said Kathy Fehl, of the nonprofit Wega Arts, which owns and operates the Gerold.
The house will open at 6 p.m., and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m., with table service during the show.
Seating is reserved, and advanced tickets may be purchased online at wegaarts.org with prices of $45 for VIP seats, $35 for regular and $25 for seating in the balcony.
Fehl said people may purchase tables of eight if they want to sit with their friends, or they may buy seats and sit at a table.
There will be snacks on the tables and a full cash bar.
This will be the first time March-Tormé performs at the opera house.
“We’re thrilled to have him perform in our beautiful venue near his home of Appleton,” Fehl said.
March-Tormé is looking forward to it as well.
“I love the venue,” he said.
March-Tormé said the concert will include jazz, holiday music, songs associated with the Great American Songbook, some original tunes and some of his father’s music.
March-Tormé is the son of Mel Tormé, who wrote “The Christmas Song,” and Candy Tockstein, who was a model and actress. Hal March, an actor and comedian, became his step-father when his mother married him.
Born in New York, March-Tormé was about 2 1/2 years old when his parents divorced.
Like many young boys living in New York, he dreamed of playing baseball for the New York Yankees.
He listened to the games on the radio and also the pop music of the day, singing along to the songs.
“By about age 11 or 12, I realized I loved doing it,” March-Tormé said of singing.
When he was 13, he put together his first band, a rock and roll band.
Later, he gravitated toward pop jazz.
“It’s been a very long road,” March-Tormé said. “I think I’m a better singer than I’ve ever been. If you take care of your voice, you can get better and better.”
He tours as much as he can and during a recent clinic with students, he talked to them about the importance of breathing, staying healthy and to keep singing if they enjoy doing so.
March-Tormé stays healthy by playing tennis at least three times a week.
He taught himself how to play piano and guitar and spent one year at a junior college after graduating from high school.
“I wanted to go on the road,” he said.
The arrangements March-Tormé sings today include tweaks and small changes, which often surprise those in the audience.
“The greatest lesson I’ve learned in the last 15 years,” he said, “is less is more. Once you know your instrument, you don’t have to over sing, like you’re auditioning.”
When not touring, March-Tormé is in Appleton with his wife, Angela, and their two daughters: 12-year-old Ruby and 10-year-old Sunny.
He is often asked how someone who lived on both coasts of the country ended up in Wisconsin.
Angela is from Berlin.
“I met her in Chicago when I was singing. I fell in love with her,” March-Tormé said.
They decided to raise their daughters in Wisconsin.
Ruby will sing on stage with him for the first time on Saturday, Dec. 10, when he performs a holiday concert with the Fox Valley Symphony, at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, in Appleton.
Fehl said the Dec. 17 concert at the Gerold Opera House will be an elegant evening.
March-Tormé will sing “The Christmas Song,” as was as many other jazz standards and ballads, she said.
What he wants people to know is his shows are not just about songs.
He hopes people enjoy the stories he tells.
“I like people to see a show and think, ‘He is a person I’d like to have a beer with,’” March-Tormé said.