Our May Rising Artist, Jon Sandler played one of the most important gigs of his career Sunday night at a packed City Winery in SoHo. It was not just any regular gig for the New York singer-songwriter, it was the official release party of his new record, Late Night Champ.
As he walked on stage, Sandler understood what this gig was all about, in fact he hired a string ensemble and a group of backup singers to help bring his songs to life. Playing Late Night Champ from start to finish, Sandler showed the New York crowd just exactly what he is made of. Sandler is not just any other singer-songwriter out there in the New York circuit, he is ambitious and not afraid to mix and blend various styles of music together. For Sandler, his range goes from folk to rock to jazz to blues to ambient to dub and makes no apologies for the various style changes. Sandler and his band, The Fancy Band, are some of the most talented musicians in the city right now, from killer piano solos that would have kids at Juilliard in awe to roaring guitar solos that could fill an arena, Sandler has the best at his fingertips. Sandler himself is a showman, his excitement and child-like innocence playing Late Night Champ was like watching a kid on Christmas morning opening the gifts they asked Santa Claus for. As he danced around stage and grooved to his own music, Sandler added to the layers of his songs just by being himself. In a set that spanned an hour and 45 minutes that included all of Late Night Champ, new songs, a handful of old ones and a killer cover of Queen's "Somebody to Love," that would have the surviving members of the band impressed, the self proclaimed "Late Night Champ," is more than ready to make his mark.