Born: June 25, 1985 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Devin began his journey at the early age of six. As he sat down at a dusty, barely tuned, upright piano in the basement of his father’s live theater, he discovered an unequivocal infatuation for the art of music. Through childhood and into adolescence, Devin’s passion for jazz intensified along with the yearning to create and perform it.
“It was ‘My Funny Valentine’ that ultimately did it for me. I remember casually sitting down at the piano one day before dinner and I performed it for my parents. By the end of the song, they stood there motionless with their jaws dropped. Their expressions alone said enough. They really enjoyed it.”
But parents can be deceiving, they love everything their kids do! The true test was on the scene. So that’s exactly what Devin did. At 15 he was playing professionally in local blues clubs and by 17 was headlining his own trio. After winning various All-Star music honors within New York, Devin figured it was time for another scenic change and moved to Miami to study Jazz exclusively, thus evolving his distinct style as a singer, arranger and songwriter.
“I wasn’t content. I knew there was so much more to explore musically and personally, so I decided to do it in another happenin’ city”
After some much needed growth and maturation in Miami, Devin was determined to find himself as an artist.
“Know thyself, If you don’t know who you are, how is anyone else going to!?”
It was a strong realization for this young performer. Working with even the most successful producers doesn’t guarantee your ticket as an aspiring artist. After being introduced by his manager Tom Trapani to producer and rap artist Freddie Foxxx, Devin began working on projects within the R&B/Pop genre. Though he identified with the R&B and Pop world, it was evident that his true devotion was to jazz and the great American Songbook.
“I was in the studio, pounding away at an unused track off of an already known R&B singer’s record when I asked everyone to listen to me play some jazz. I performed “When I Fall In Love,” when I turned around afterwards, no one clapped or said anything, they all still had their eyes closed, their expressions were very reminiscent of my parents that one day.”
Devin eventually came back to New York to work closely with Trapani and his management team. “His ability to truly engage an audience with his musical styling’s and charismatic stage performance set him apart from any other artist I have worked with.” Soon after, Devin was introduced by Trapani to long time friend and music icon Lloyd Price who identified Devin as a “rare talent with longevity in this business.”
“It was probably the most gratifying compliment I could get from someone who is such an influential cat within the industry. I mean who knows more about longevity than Lloyd, he’s the ‘King of the 50’s!’”
And longevity was the key word. Like Lloyd, who has songs of his still playing today, Devin wanted to integrate his ability to sing and play standards with writing his own material.
“I love singing standards because they are timeless, but in the end, I want to leave something behind of my own, something that others can recreate much like I have. I enjoy observing the everyday road of life, there are so many experiences both good and bad that everyone can relate to in one form or another. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but it’s the experience that shapes you, and I like sharing that through the art of song.”
He certainly shares and bares it all in his self-titled album. “Lover Boy,” a song that depicts his experiences as a cocktail pianist, speaks about the more mature women who would flirt with him and try to take him home with them. “Lovin’ You’s So Easy” encompasses that effortless love one gives to the one they truly care for. But it’s “Be Alright” that is his most exposing song.
“Everyone experiences tragedy within their life. After the loss of my family’s home due to a house fire, I felt numb. I lost everything and the only place I could turn to was a piano. I wrote “Be Alright” because I realized that even in the darkest of places, the strength of ones mind, body and spirit can work in amazing ways. Once you see that shimmer of light and hope, your perspective can change in a moment and you begin to believe in yourself and understand that you can make it through.”
Devin innovates musically through his ability to sing, play and perform. And in his self- titled album he shows this by taking songs of the past like “My Funny Valentine,” “When I Fall In Love,” and “Fly Me To The Moon,” and brings a contemporary feel to them while keeping true to their original beauty. His original songs like “Lover Boy,” “Lovin’ You’s So Easy” and “Be Alright” embodies all his influences of Jazz, R&B and Pop. The dynamic baritone soars over diverse musical contexts and captures the ears of listeners with his rich bottom end all the way up to his vibrant falsetto.
“We all have something to give each other, and as we write our own story, we take elements from others and add them to our own. I hope to be able to share my music with those who enjoy it and can use it in their journey much like I have used music in mine.”
Devin is a rare talent with longevity in the business - Lloyd Price