Nov 28, 2013 - Former Tulsan back in town to perform
Former Tulsan back in town to perform
By JERRY WOFFORD World Scene Writer | Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 12:00 am
The last time Harold Sanditen was onstage in Tulsa was in a high school musical in 1973.
It took him a while, a few different jobs and some time in another country, but Sanditen, a professional cabaret singer in London, will perform in Tulsa for the first time professionally this weekend.
"I've been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting until I can play Tulsa," Sanditen said in a recent telephone interview from London. "I am so excited to be coming to Tulsa. I come to Tulsa twice a year, but I have never performed professionally in Tulsa, ever."
Sanditen is set to perform at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 111 E. First St., on Saturday. Tickets start at $15 for general admission. VIP table seating is available for $40, which includes a poster and autographed copy of his latest album, "Shades of Blue."
Tickets are available at myticketoffice.com or by calling 918-281-8609.
Sanditen said he's thrilled to be back on the stage in Tulsa. When he left at 18, he never thought that's what would happen.
His parents would always play music around the house, he said. It was an eclectic mix of the bongo beats of the 1950s and piano music from the early 1900s to the '50s on rolls for the player piano.
But what Sanditen got in Tulsa was unique, musically.
"Oklahoma, I always thought of it as a musical crossroads," Sanditen said. "It's not the South, it's not the West. It's in that odd place musically so everything comes there. You get exposed to a lot more music there than you would in New York City, for example."
But all that music experience would sit unused while Sanditen was in college and jumped to different jobs. He went to Arizona State University, worked in manufacturing in San Diego, got his MBA in Philadelphia and moved to New York City to work as an investment banker.
"Once I stopped studying and got into the workforce, there was nothing," Sanditen said. "I sang at home, I sang in the car, but there was no suggestion of me ever being on stage professionally."
At 30, being an investment banker in New York was a pretty good gig. But he needed something more.
An opportunity to move to London came up, and it was appealing, he said.
"I was an investment banker, and while I was making good money, I didn't really like what I was doing," Sanditen said. "It wasn't very difficult to say goodbye to it all. When I moved here, I was 30. It was an exciting adventure. I had no idea when I moved here then that I would still be living here."
Not only did he leave the States behind, but he also left investment banking. Sanditen started working as a theater producer, working on West End, off-West End and touring shows.
He was inching closer and closer back to the stage, he said. As a theater producer, it got him close but still not in the spotlight, a place he didn't care much for anyway, he said.
Then, he heard his friend was doing a cabaret show in New York, and he was intrigued.
"I really realized what the genre of cabaret is about, which is making a connection with the people, not just a connection with the eyes but trying to make an emotional connection with everyone in the house, trying to make everyone understand the songs and feel them as if they were being sung about them and to them," Sanditen said. "It's the idea you're trying to make a very good connection with people and also using these songs which most lyrics have something to do with experience."
He did his first cabaret set in New York in 2008. After a successful show, he took it back to London, where he has regularly performed his cabaret show and recorded two albums.
"Shades of Blue," Sanditen's most recent album, is a live recording of his shows in London and New York.
A big part of having a live album is to capture the audience interaction, an important part of cabaret-style singing. Sanditen said he hopes that comes through Saturday ? that he can deeply connect with his audience.
"What I'm hoping people will do is laugh and cry, not because I'm so good or I'm so bad," Sanditen said. "It's pulling at their heartstrings."
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