Thursday, July 24, 2008

Richard Saunders: GRAMMY Camp® Celebrity
by Sarah Tither-Kaplan

Richard Saunders has become a veritable GRAMMY Camp® celebrity. The 18-year-old Cincinnati native, and fellow camper Natalie Cressman (trombone), were selected to perform and tour Europe with the Next Generation Jazz Ensemble. After arriving at GRAMMY Camp a few days late, Richard performed one of his original songs, instantly losing "the new kid" title and converting all GRAMMY campers into Richard Saunders' fans.

Already a veteran performer, Richard came to camp in hopes of learning more about how to market his music and present himself to his audiences. He says that GRAMMY Camp has "opened his eyes" to ways in which he can promote his music and market himself as an artist. "I definitely want to be a musician and I'm going to school to study jazz voice, and that shows that I don't have a fall back plan, I'm putting myself on a limb and hoping it works out" he explains. While he knows what he is getting himself into he is ready to work hard in order to excel in the industry.

Richard was also a member of the Gibson/ Baldwin GRAMMY Jazz choir. He will be performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the Next Generation Ensemble, and is very proud to admit that he was the first vocalist to ever tour with the group. "I'm in a weird spot because after high-school I realize I don't have a set track, I can only depend on my songs and my voice." He may be a bit unsure about his future, but with his natural talent and newfound knowledge of marketing and presentation he's well on his way from GRAMMY camper to GRAMMY winner.

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