A Big Band Crooner for the 21st Century
ABOUT LUKE CARLSEN
I should probably let you know how I got into jazz. I have loved jazz and big band music since I was a wee lad. Whenever I would go on a car ride, I would request that my parents play Glenn Miller: quite an odd request for a toddler. Luckily enough, I happened to have been blessed with a pleasing baritone voice as well, which is the signature voice for male jazz vocalists.
After I graduated college, my big band teacher Albert Alva introduced me to Barbara Morrison at Steamer’s in Fullerton. Albert let Barbara know I was a singer, and Barbara was kind enough to ask me to sit in with her band. I sang “Fly me to the Moon” and the crowd erupted in delight. It was on this night that I first felt I had the talent to make performing in music my career. In the same year I partnered up with my music director Michael Seaman and good friend Matt Pollard who played the drums for the band. By spring of 2016, we played a Frank Sinatra tribute at her club for Jazz and Blues Month.
By the spring of 2016, I had heard from many clubs that the best thing to do to expand the band’s presence would be to make a demo and video. We recorded that demo with the help of Marta Woodhull, and eventually that demo led to working at Disneyland since Matt had a connection there, Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill from our video, The Queen Mary, The Cicada Club and many more venues. Within a couple of years, Michael and I had expanded the band from a 5 person band to a 12 person band, and Michael and I remain partners on our big band project.
2019 was a turning point for me. I met Patrick Tully who is the arranger for The Chainsmokers and is a very successful musician himself. Patrick's dad was big into jazz and Patrick is a classical pianist by training, so he immediately understood the foundation for my passion. We began to make some records together that will be released throughout the year. I also was lucky enough to get asked to sing in a new HBO show, which will be released this next year as well! More details on that to come.
100 years after the Jazz Age, I am playing a small part in breathing life into the exciting, complex and romantic music known as the jazz standard. I would not be able to do this if not for the people who still get a kick out of this stuff like I do. So thank you to all the friends who give me the privilege to entertain you.