SOLO PERFORMER WITH A MASSIVE BIG-BAND SOUND
Sitting down and eating lunch, the occupants at West Marin Senior Services occasionally spoke to those across the table. Their movements were slow, their voices small, and their faces emotionless. But when Andrew Clyde took the stage something changed.
His big band songs brought life back into their eyes. For the forty-five minutes he played, these seniors, some barely able to walk, were young again. His suavity and charmingly flirtatious manner created such a visible change in these elderly folk that it was hard not to smile at the scene. He greeted and conversed with the audience, asking them their names and how they were doing.
As the show progressed, the audience became more and more impressed with his talent and in return grew more excited he came around to talk. A few began to tap their feet. Some even got up to sing along and dance to the music. Everyone however, was happy and excited to hear music again, a rare treat for many.
Towards the end of the set an employee came up to me and said with tears in her eyes, “I’m starting to get emotional. A few weeks ago they would have just sat with their heads down.” The transformation was obvious.
As the show closed some sang and danced their way out of the room and back into their normal routine. The magic of the music continued even as they left the venue. Fifteen minutes after the show had ended, I saw an old man and woman sitting on a bench outside singing with each other and smiling, proving that music is in fact contagious.
Few in the world know the true power of music and its remarkable affect on the brain, but going to a Bread and Roses show like this is a guaranteed way to realize it for yourself. The experience is one you won’t forget.
Story by Aidan Nelson - Bread & Roses - August 2012.
“Andrew Clyde and his Imaginary Big Band put on a fabulous show at the Cedars Textile Arts Center. Andrew is very engaging with the audience and brings them into his performance. His beautiful voice brought classic standards like Blue Moon back to life. It did not take long for the front of the room to be filled with dancers, with such joy in their faces, it was contagious! But Andrew did not want people sitting to be left out. So he frequently walked to the back of the room, even sitting and serenading a lovely woman who was captivated by his music. There was a pouring of affection and happiness from everyone in the room, numerous couples were dancing close during slow numbers. There was also plenty of hand clapping during the show, and hand shaking with Andrew after the show, with many people wanting his autograph.”
Debbie Matson - Bread & Roses.
Andrew Clyde at The Cedars of Marin *
Host: Debbie Matson - Bread & Roses.
When Andrew walked out looking dapper in his tuxedo, the stage was set for excellence. The audience was very enthusiastic, expressing their excitement in many forms, but seeing true joy on their faces brought a huge smile to Andrew’s face.
As the show progressed, more people were dancing and celebrating, but a few really stood out to me. There was the blind young man who really connected with the music, there was a woman who brought her small toy guitar and stood right next to Andrew to be part of the band. He welcomed her with open arms and she “played” along, loving every minute of it. I was most moved by a woman who sat in the dining room until the encore - New York, New York. She got up like a butterfly and literally spread her wings and danced throughout the entire dining room.
It was a glorious performance and everyone left feeling happy and elated!
Essence Story by Lynn Colombo:
As Andrew Clyde approached the stage, dressed in a black tux, red bow tie, black hat and sunglasses, I knew this show was going to be fabulous. Andrew not only looked the part for his 20's - 50's vocals but sang beautifully, charming the ladies in the audience and getting several of the men to sing along. The audience knew all the songs from "When Somebody Loves You" which got a big OHHHH! on the first note, to the big finale of "New York, New York." There was lots of audience participation and lots of smiles. It was a great way to kick off the holidays and bring happiness to everyone in attendance.
November 2012 - www.breadandroses.org
Andrew Clyde at Mission YMCA Senior Center
Date: Friday 4/19/2013
Host: Carolyn Gauthier - Bread & Roses.
Host in Training & Show Report: Shannon Geis
Andrew Clyde was a big hit! He sang familiar Rat Pack era songs like he was Frank Sinatra at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. He shook hands with everyone, got down on a knee a few times, gave several solos, and generally left everyone touched with a little bit of romance. He introduced all of his songs with either a witty comment, a bit of history, or some interesting fact. The audience loved it and was full of joy and smiles from beginning to end. Andrew was extraordinarily professional, super enthusiastic and positively entertaining!
Andrew Clyde at Whistlestop *
Date: 2/14/13 (two shows)
Host & Essdence Story: Barb Withers
Andrew Clyde cut a tall, dashing figure striding around the Whistlestop's Jackson Cafe in his black tuxedo, red cummerbund, red bow tie, top hat, and - in honor of Valentine's Day, a red carnation. Singing "you make me feel so young," he interrupted his singing to banter with the audience, "how are you doing today?" then gliding to the next table microphone in hand, and with a smile, "thanks for coming."
After the first song, Andrew said hello to everyone and with a broad smile and said "Happy Valentine's Day - anyone in love here today?"
He then launched into Dean Martin's "Let There be Love" followed by Cole Porter's "Blue Moon." Andrew certainly lived up to his poster hung on the wall as "Marin's Premier Crooner!"
With a bounce in his step, Andrew then sang some Irving Berlin and Cole Porter selections, and the seniors responded by smiling and bobbing their heads to the music. The cafe was like a lively music cafe, with new seniors arriving in the doorway and smiling when they saw Andrew singing and saw that their lunch would be accompanied by a show. Andrew crooned many love songs for the occasion from Etta James' "At Last" to Peggy Lee's iconic "Fever." Then, Andrew held the microphone and said "I'm going to sing one I don't perform very often, but I will do it today for you as a treat!" Then, he launched into Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel," much to the delight of some of the women sitting at the front table, who began to clap their hands in time to the music.
With his warm smile, Andrew invited the seniors to sing along with him and, as new seniors arrived, he asked them how they were. He closed his show with a wonderful rendition of "New York, New York." Back in San Rafael, it was a warm, sunny day and Andrew provided nostalgic tunes for these seniors that was as sweet as a Valentine's cupcake.