Amy Crawford ’05 was a government major who sang…actually, she didn’t realize she could sing until senior year. She was a keyboardist in the Jazz Orchestra, and music faculty member Jay Hoggard invited her to take the mic. She returns to Wesleyan this Saturday to perform an evening of her original music at Crowell Concert Hall.
We at the CFA are particularly excited about the concert because Amy was the first Center for the Arts “Arts Administration Intern.” Not only that, she stayed on after graduation to serve as the project coordinator for the town-wide event, Middletown Dances! In her first two years after graduating, she put together a life for herself that included arts administration jobs during the day and gigs as a jazz singer by night. Then she took the job of Education Coordinator for the Grammy award-winning, Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy. The chorus received an invitation to perform with Elton John, and that’s when everything changed: “I found myself preparing the children to sing this music that I had listened to when I was in high school…it was melodic and powerful. We ended up at a rehearsal on a Sony soundstage and I felt the energy of Elton and his band combined with the voices of these children, and I realized this was an energy I wanted to be a part of.” So after the sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden, she set about writing her own songs. Her influences are the Beatles, Dido, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder and Jon Brion. And today, after spending some time at the Berklee School of Music, she has officially made the transition from jazz singer to a more contemporary popular sound. I can tell you she has a beautiful, clear voice. Her sound is upbeat and polished with a vintage sheen.
In addition to working with her own band, most recently she has been touring the country with the band, DeLeon, playing keyboards, singing and co-writing songs with them. The band has opened for Ozomatli, Mike Gordon and Os Mutantes.
She talked about what was most important about her time at Wesleyan: “I discovered how much I cared about the arts… The enormous flexibility of the school… I was extremely indecisive during my time there, but I had the ability to explore what I wanted to explore. The idea that I was a government major but I was still able to do a senior recital was amazing. I can’t wait to be back on campus!”
And I can’t wait to see her.
Saturday November 7 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall
Director, Center for the Arts