Kerman: Did It Rockapella!
After 18 1/2 fantastic
years, I have decided to hang up my pitch pipe. My last show will
be at BB Kings in NYC on July 31, 2004 (where we will be joined
by most of the former Rockapella members).
Rockapella has been such an integral part of my life for so long
that it's hard to imagine my future without it. I'll really miss
the excitement of our live shows and the connection with the audience,
I'll miss the great vocal harmonies and the camaraderie both on
and off stage, and I'll miss hanging out with our amazing fans
after the shows. I've been extremely conflicted about leaving
the group; I feel sad about the prospect of not having Rockapella
in my life, but I'm also looking forward to spending more time
at home with my family in NYC and beginning new life adventures:
working with my wife, Debbie, on her burgeoning art career and
putting together the Elliott Kerman Quartet. I've been dreaming
about singing jazz for a very long time; jazz tunes and standards
are what make my clock tick, and it feels like this is the right
time to embrace my dream (I swear this isn't a mid-life crisis.)
It's incredible to me that a phone conversation with Sean Altman
20 years ago led to the formation of the group and to the long
and winding road that we have all traveled together. Our goal
from the beginning was to have fun singing together and to try
and make a go of it with our unique style - and that goal and
the support of our tremendously devoted fans have carried me throughout
my years in Rockapella.
There are too many career highlights to name, but some of the
most memorable for me were singing with Billy Joel at Madison
Square Garden; appearing on the Tonight Show; Spike & Company
Do It Acappella; the Finkelstein Bar-Mitzvah; Where in the World
is Carmen Sandiego? (filming the show and recording the album);
recording at Electric Lady Studios; performing with the Persuasions
(my a cappella idols) at the Bottom Line in NYC; getting soaked
two years in a row on the Folgers float in the Macy's Thanksgiving
Day Parade; singing at President Clinton's inaugural party in
'97; eating a trawler-full of sushi every year in Japan; appearing
at Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall and many other historic
theaters around the country; the Preparation H sales convention;
singing the National Anthem at Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Fenway
Park, and Soldier Field; and the thrill of walking out on stage
every night and feeling the energy coming back from the audience.
I'm very grateful to all of the members of Rockapella past and
present for the opportunity to perform with such talented and
dedicated musicians and to our entire team for taking such good
care of us over the years, especially Fred "Style Guru"
Schuchman for his skill at making us sound good even in the most
difficult of venues and Phil Gulotta and Steve Lewis for all their
hard work in the trenches. I'm also extremely grateful to my family
and friends for their avid support of Rockapella since our early
beginnings on the streets and in the small clubs of NYC.
Finally, I'd like to say to you, our fans, that I've read every
email and letter that I've ever received from you (I can't say
I've eaten every cookie) and it's brought me great joy, at times
I've been extremely moved, and I've felt tremendously supported
by all of you over the years. I feel like I've watched you grow
up while you've watched me grow up. I hope to see you soon.