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DeMauro featured vocalist at Symphonic Winds performance

December 11, 2018 GMT

Lake Havasu resident Nick DeMauro will be the featured vocalist in Sunday’s performance of the Lake Havasu Symphonic Winds Community Band.

The Holiday Traditions concert, will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the High School performing arts center and will feature a mix of over a dozen holiday favorites, both new and old.

DeMauro has a 55-year music career as a musician, singer, arranger. He’s also an actor, martial arts grand master, former police officer, husband, father and grandfather of 11. He is also the newest member of the Symphonic Winds.

The son of Italian immigrants, growing up in a poor section of Brooklyn, New York, DeMauro’s interest in music started at a young age. At 13, he went to an Alan Freed Rock & Roll show and saw Sam the Man Taylor open the show with a tenor sax solo and that’s when he knew what he wanted to be …a professional musician.

With his parent’s support, Nick then began taking private music lessons on the saxophone, paying for lessons by shining shoes at the nearby subway station.

In high school, he continued his music studies, practicing three hours a day, forming a band and playing and singing at dances and other local events.

After high school, DeMauro formed a road band and began touring the east coast, often traveling between New Orleans and clubs in Alabama. It was at one of these dates that he was approached by Rod McKuen who asked the band to join him as his backup ensemble.

“The interesting thing about the music business is that if you are a reliable player and can sing too, you get noticed,” he explained. “You also need to travel to where those opportunities are, and I sure did travel.”

And he got noticed.

A year or so later, DeMauro landed a job at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans. There he worked with B. B. King, Tony Bennett, Louis Belson, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., Elvis Presley and many others as they appeared at the popular venue.

Newly married and with a baby on the way, DeMauro saw a new career path in arranging and orchestration (writing musical scores for large ensembles). He was accepted at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where for the next two years, he honed those skills. This training led to Los Angeles, where arranging for film and studio work was in high demand. There, he was hired as a studio musician at Capitol Records, London Records and Motown Records.

“(Studio musicians) are the guys and gals the public seldom hears about,” DeMauro said. “They are at the top of their game as players. If not, you are asked to leave, which usually means for good.”

After several years as a studio musician, composer, arranger and band leader, he started his own production company providing musical entertainment for corporate events.

His band, “The Real Deal,” performed for nearly 90 corporate clients including Ford Motor Company, Staples, Qualcomm and was even hired to be musical director for former President Ronald Reagan’s California homecoming party. For this event he formed a 35-piece band starring Shirley Jones and a host of other entertainers.

A few years ago, Nick decided to retire from performing as a professional and in 2017 he and his wife Donna moved to Lake Havasu City.

In their leisure time, they enjoy boating, shooting, off-roading and getting together with family and friends.

He joined the Symphonic Winds earlier this season playing the clarinet. He also continues playing and teaching saxophone, clarinet and flute.